(1) Recognizing the bounties Allah has bestowed upon His slaves. These bounties [are so many that they] cannot be counted or enumerated. [Allah says:]
“If you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.” [Al-Qur’an 14:34]
Hearts naturally have love for those who do good to them. Love for a blessing is from the general aspects of thanking the one who has bestowed a bounty. It is said that thanks is with the heart, tongue and limbs.
(2) Another cause is to have knowledge of Allah by His Names, Attributes and Actions. The one who knows Allah, loves Him. Whoever loves Him, obeys Him. Whoever obeys Allah is honored by Him. Whoever Allah honors, He will have him live close to Him. Whoever lives close to Him, has attained the glad tidings.
(3) One of the great causes [that leads to having love of Allah] is the specific knowledge that comes about through pondering over the creation of the heavens and the earth and what Allah has created. In the Qur’an, there is much mention of the signs of Allah that indicate His Greatness, Power, Majesty, Perfection, Eminence, Compassion, Mercy, Strength, Subjugation and other of His beautiful Names and exalted Attributes. Whenever one’s knowledge of Allah is strengthened, one’s love for Him is also strengthened and one’s love for obeying Him is also strengthened. He will then experience the pleasure of worship, whether it be in prayer, remembrance or other forms of worship.
(4) Another cause that will bring about love for Allah is to act towards Allah with sincerity and purity while going against one’s desires. This is a cause for Allah to bless a slave and when He blesses the slave, the slave loves Him.
(5) One of the greatest causes that bring about one’s love for Allah is increasing one’s remembrance of Allah. Whenever a person loves something, he remembers it more often. And it is through the remembrance of Allah that the hearts find tranquillity. In fact, one of the signs of having love for Allah is the constant remembrance of Allah by one’s heart and tongue.
(6) One of the causes that brings about Allah’s love for His slave is reciting the Qur’an often and pondering over its meaning, in particular those verses that contain Allah’s Names, Attributes and Actions. Having fondness for that action will lead the slave to love Allah and Allah to love Him.
(7) Another of the causes of love for Allah is remembering what has been mentioned in the Qur’an and sunnah concerning the believers seeing their Lord in the Hereafter and visiting them and gathering together on the Day of Abundance. That will definitely bring about in a person love for Allah.
Ibn Rajab, Instinshaq Nasimul-Uns min Nafahati Riyadil-Qudus, pp. 22-30.
(s) The Delight of Faith