Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,7
‘My love is promised to those who love each other for My sake.
My love is promised to those who go out to visit each other for My sake.
My love is promised to those who give each other for My sake.
And My love is promised to those who stay connected with each other for Me’.” (Ahmad)
Allah lets us know again and again that His love is tied to acts of compassion toward others. Getting closer to Allah involves maintaining and mending our relationships with family and friends.
Normally, social activities are not the first things that come to mind when we are hoping to get closer to Allah—instead we may focus on prayer, charity, and other acts of ritual worship. Yet Allah in His wisdom has tied His love to maintaining good relationships with the people in our lives. While the desire for increased spirituality may trigger a retreat to worship and isolation, we are reminded here that our human connections are indispensably part of our worship.
It is too easy to throw up our hands and abandon our friends when they hurt us, or cut off our relatives when they ignore our kind gestures. We do not visit or call when we are too busy to be bothered by social obligations.
When we become frustrated in working with our student organization or community, it is tempting to withdraw and look out just for ourselves—after all, it is others who drive us away, right?
Yet in doing so, we not only cut off people, we cut off one of the avenues to Allah’s love. He promises His love for those who strive in maintaining their relationships and keep the love for others alive in their heart, despite the hurt and hassle of dealing with other people. His love is for those who love, and His mercy is for those who treat others with compassion.
In our age, electronic communication often takes the place of visiting and face-to- face conversation. We should take a hint from this hadith and not allow superficial exchanges to take the place of real human interaction. While tweets and status updates help us keep in touch, they probably do not foster the love that the Prophet speaks about. For that, there has to be the element of genuineness and sacrifice— we have to be ourselves and we actually have to go out of our way for others.
When people seek Allah’s love via their relationships, we begin to witness amazing acts of kindness, the sort that stand out in the lives of the Prophet’s companions. People are willing to sacrifice for each other, to go out of their way to stay connected, and to be forbearing when offended.
Such people do not want recognition or acceptance, only to be part of the privileged group of those whom Allah loves. They forge love and connection with the old, young, different estranged—the differences do not matter since it is the process of loving and giving, and not the resulting friendship that is the aim.