Sheikh Al Albaani on true love
Questioner: Someone who loves a person for the sake of Allaah, must he say, “I love you for the sake of Allaah,” to him?
Al-Albaani: Yes, but loving [someone] for the sake of Allaah has a huge price, only very few people pay it. Do you know what the price [to be paid] for loving someone for Allaah’s sake is? Do any of you know the price?
Let whoever knows give us the answer.
Someone present: Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “There are seven whom Allaah will shade with His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His …” one of the categories mentioned are two men who love each other for Allaah’s sake, who get together for that reason and part for it too.
Al-Albaani: This is correct in and of itself but it is not the answer to the question, it’s an approximate definition of loving for the sake of Allaah but not a conclusive one.
My question was what is the price that two people who love each other for the sake of Allaah must give one another? And I’m not referring to the reward in the Hereafter. What I’m getting at from the question is what is the practical proof that two people love each other for the sake of Allaah? Because two people may love each other but their love is nominal, not real.
So what is the proof of true love?
Someone present: “That he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
Al-Albaani: This is the characteristic of love or [at the very least] one of the characteristics of love …
Someone else: Allaah said, “Say: ‘If you love Allaah, then follow me and He will love you.’” [Aali-’Imraan 3:31]
Al-Albaani: This is the correct answer to another question.
Someone present: Maybe the answer can be found in the authentic hadith, “There are three things if found in a person, he will experience the sweetness of faith …” one of which is two people who love each other for Allaah’s sake.
Al-Albaani: This is the effect of loving someone for the sake of Allaah, [that you find] a [certain] sweetness in your heart.
Someone present: The Most High said, “By Time! Indeed, mankind is in loss. Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” [SurahAsr 103]
Al-Albaani: Well done. That is the answer.
And an explanation of that is that if I really love you for the sake of Allaah I would persist in advising you, and you would do the same. Persevering in advising one another is very rare between those who claim to love each other, this love might have some sincerity in it, but it is not complete, because we try to make an allowance for the other, afraid that the other person will become angry, that he will flee … and so on.
It is in light of this that [you can see that] the cost of loving someone for the sake of Allaah is that each person shows sincerity towards the other by advising him, always and forever telling him to do good and preventing him from bad—he is more constant in advising him than that person’s own shadow is close—for this reason it has been authentically reported that when parting from one another, one of the habits of the Companions was that one of them would read to the other, “By Time! Indeed, mankind is in loss. Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” [Surah Asr 103]
Al-Haawi min Fataawaa al-Albaani, pp. 165-166.