What is your most beloved possession?
This is something many of us underestimate and sometimes even take for granted: our faith. Do you daily thank Allah for guiding you? And how many times do you ask Him to make you die as a believer?
There is something we all know we should do, but in real life many of us don’t because our hearts are ill. It is one of the purest forms of love.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Truly, this hadith is a beautiful demonstration of the beauty of Islam.
Allah instructs us about true love:
Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed – those who establish prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in worship]. (Quran 5:55)
A Test for Your Heart
It is clear that being able to love for your brother or sister what you love for yourself is a characteristic every true Muslim should train their heart upon.
What does this mean?
Firstly it is the golden rule; treat others how you want to be treated. You don’t want to be backbitten, so don’t backbite others.
Secondly it means you place yourself in someone else’s shoes and think: what would I have desired? And then desire the same for him. Imagine if every Muslim would live by this hadith then most of the problems between people would be solved and we would know true brotherhood!
5 Tips on Learning How to Love for Others what You Love for Yourself!
It is easily said, but sometimes hard to practice, because our ego gets in the way. So here is a selection of tips on how to attain this beautiful love.
Learn the Names of Allah
Imagine your friend is talking about planning her wedding and you have not been able to find a spouse for years and secretly you wish her wedding will just not happen.
This is hasad (envy), one of the biggest diseases of our heart. It means you want the good of someone else has and you want them to lose it.
Ghibta means you see that good in someone else and you want it without them losing it, which is fine.
So next time, test your heart, if you notice you have hasad, then there is a problem in how you look at your brother or sister.
A tip to get cure from this is to read about the Names of Allah. He is al-Wahhaab, He is the One Who gives everything, He is Al-‘Aleem, He gives and withholds to whomever He knows is good. Put your trust in His wisdom.
What you see as someone’s blessing, might actually be a big test for them; their beauty might lead them to temptation, their wealth to greed and their health to waste of time.
Never Wish Evil on Others
When you find yourself secretly wishing bad things for someone else, don’t allow it to be in you! Keep saying a’oodhu billaah, because it is probably from Satan. Just like any other evil feeling, we have to keep trying to expel it. Hasad is just like any other evil feeling and Allah knows best.
Don’t Exploit Other People’s Flaws
Some people see flaws in others and instead of hoping for them to improve they put the person down further in order to feel better. This is a disease of the heart, wanting to see others to do bad in order to feel better yourself.
When you see flaws in others, try to help them fix their problems, advice them gently, offer help in reconciling between people and love for that person to grow closer to Allah.
Share Your Blessings
The believers are nothing else than brothers. (Quran 49:10)
If you have Islamic knowledge, wish for others to have that knowledge as well and actively help them to gain it. Another important lesson from this hadith is that just like we love being guided as Muslims, we wish guidance for others.
Homework: Make Dua
Last on the list, but first to do is asking Allah to help you live by this hadith and ayah and open your heart to selflessness and humbleness. Look up and memorize this Quranic dua:
And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.” (Quran 59:12)
O Allah, guide us to live by Your Names, make us desire for others what we desire for ourselves, help us to share our blessings and adorn us with a heart full of true love for others what we love for ourselves.