The Levels of Love
Ibn Taymeeyah

Excerpted from Ibn Taymeeyah's 'Al-`Uboodeeyah' [The Essay of Worship]

Al-'Ibaadah (worship) which we are commanded to perform includes the meaning of humility and love, it contains extreme humility before Allaah together with the extreme love for Him . The uppermost level of love is the extreme adoration (Tatayum) and its lowermost level is the interest, because the heart is first interested in the beloved. After the interest comes the affection, then the love, and finally the extreme adoration. In Arabic "Taym-u-Allaah" (the adorer of Allah) is used to mean "Abd-u-Allaah" (the worshiper of Allaah) because the adorer is the one who yields completely to his lover.

One who submits to someone with hatred is not worshiping him. And one who loves someone without submitting to him is likewise not worshiping him; this is like a man who loves his son and friends. Therefore, neither love nor submission alone are sufficient in worshiping Allaah . Allaah must be loved most by Al-'Abd and He must be the greatest of all in his sight. Nothing deserves complete love and submission except Allaah . It is a futile love when anything has been loved for other than the sake of Allaah . And whatever has been highly regarded without it being by the Command of Allaah , its glorification is rejected.

The love for Allaah and Ar-Rasool should override any other love.

Allaah said (which means):

"Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allaah and His Messenger, and striving hard and Fighting in His Cause; then wait until Allaah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allaah guides not the rebellious folk." [At-Tawbah:24]

Thus, the essence of love should be due to Allaah and His Messenger , so too with the obedience. For the obedience is due to Allaah and His Messenger , and pleasing is due to Allaah and His Messenger,

"But it is more fitting that they should please Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ) if they are (true) believers." [At-Tawbah:62]