Lesson of Love

Love is the essential ingredient which keeps marriages and families together. Sadly, true love is sorely lacking today.
What does Islam say regarding cultivating and growing this love?
The first fact we are taught is that love comes from Allah: And He (Allah) placed love between them two (husband and wife). [Qur’aan]. He dispenses love so we need to follow the method He has shown us to draw this love.
The Hadith mentions several ways in which love can be cultivated with people:
Spread the greeting of Salaam,
Feed people,
Exchange gifts,
Stand in prayer (salaah) while people are asleep (at night).
Greeting all Muslims irrespective of status or familiarity is a simple but effective method of diffusing enmity.
The second way of feeding people highlights a significant aspect: on many occasions of Muslim celebration, feeding people is an integral part of the festivities. The two Eid celebrations are called days of eating and drinking in the Hadith; when a child is born, an animal is slaughtered and the meat given; when a wedding takes place the Walima (wedding feast) is hosted by the bridegroom’s family; when a child completes Hifz of the Qur’aan or some other significant Islamic milestone, a meal is sometimes given. Umar radhiallahu anhu slaughtered a cow and held an eating when he learnt Surah Baqarah.
The first 3 ways of engendering love outlined in the Hadith concern doing good to people. It also teaches us that love can’t be taken for granted: effort is needed to sustain it.
But the fourth method has nothing to do with people; it requires one to worship Allah. How does this aid in growing love? We mentioned at the outset that Allah is the dispenser of love. Therefore, if we please Him, we are bound to receive the quality of love.
A narration mentions that when Allah loves a person, the occupants of the Heavens and earth automatically begin to love him/her. So the starting point in fostering and maintaining love with people is to become beloved to Allah by pleasing Him.

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