Yesterday, while commuting to work I was listening to the hourly news bulletin on a local NPR radio station which mentioned the $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and hundreds of victims abused by clergymen.
One woman that had been abused said, “I love God but I love me more.” And I thought to myself what an asinine comment. I’ll admit that I can barely comprehend much less imagine what it must be like to be sexually abused by a family member or a man of the cloth but I do know something about loving God.
Islam speaks about loving Allah, the Prophets, and our fellow human beings. And to say that you love yourself more than you love your Creator is an act of supreme arrogance and disbelief.
Allah says: “Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline: or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.” [Surah al-Tawbah: 24]
Say: ‘If you love Allah then follow me: Allah will love you and forgive your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’ [Surah Al Imran: 31]
And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment. [2:165]
You who believe! If you turn away from your religion, soon will Allah produce a people whom He loves and they love Him. [Maidah 5/54]
Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “None of you believes until I become more beloved to him than his parents, his children, and all of humanity. [Bukhari & Muslim]
Anas relates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “There are three qualities that make those who possess them taste the sweetness of faith. They are: for a person to love Allah and His Messenger more than anyone or anything else, to love for the sake of Allah alone, and to hate returning to disbelief as much as being thrown into the fire. [Bukhari]
Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
Abd Allah b. Hishâm relates the following:
We were with the Prophet (peace be upon him) who had taken `Umar b. al-Khattâb by the hand. `Umar said: “O Messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than anything besides my own self.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Nay. I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, your faith will not be complete until I am more beloved to you than even yourself.”
So `Umar said: “Now I swear by Allah, you are more beloved to me than even myself.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “O `Umar, now it is right.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]
Anas relates to us the following: A man asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) when the Final Hour would be. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied with a question: “And what have you prepared for it?”
He said: “Nothing, save that I love Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him).”
To this the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “You will be with whom you love.”
And who can forget the story of Kab ibn Malik during the time the people boycotting for remaining behind from the expedition at Tabuk, when he went to visit his most beloved cousin Abu Qatadah and implored him by saying, “Don’t you know I love Allah and His Messenger?”
One of the seven groups of people that will be under the shade of the throne of Allah will be two people that love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that.
Allowing someone to abuse you without holding them accountable has nothing to do with loving God. And one should not feel that they have to choose between their faith and loving God and justice. Allah is the Most Just and people are unjust.