Allah Love! A book review
“The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that one of the supplications of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was that he would say: “O Allah, I ask You for Your love, and the love of those who love You, and all of the actions that would bring me closer to being loved by You.
Our aim should constantly be to pursue Allah’s pleasure; pursue the reward that He has promised”.
Allah Loves by Omar Suleiman is a thirty-chapter exploration of who and what Allah loves, so that we as readers may become one of those who are beloved to Him. The book explores our actions, characteristics and beliefs to acknowledge and learn, as we become better individuals for the sake of Allah. Each chapter is a different attribute that Allah Loves and provides explanations on how we as readers can attain that state - not only for the sake of Allah but for the sake of our love for Allah. Omar Suleiman writes: “Indeed the greatest way to be loved by Allah is to show that we fear to lose that love”. Omar Suleiman explicitly presents the clear connection that love and fear have when it comes to Allah. When we fear something, we typically want to stay away from it out of fear. However, when we fear Allah, we fear Allah to return back to Him. What is beautiful of all thirty chapters is the fact that they all link to one another - they are short and engaging leaving the reader to want to find out the next step to being one of those whom Allah Loves.
Omar Suleiman notes “Allah loves those who put their trust in Him”. Whilst reading the book, readers will find chapters that resonate with themselves more. The chapters are diverse in their topics; a few being Allah Loves: piety, trust, consistency, cleanliness and generosity in trade. These are just five out of thirty chapters that Allah Loves explores, being beneficial for all. Allah Loves is not only an exploration of our actions, characteristics and beliefs but also a guide to return back to when one needs reminding. It acts as a friendly agenda that is easy to read and engaging most importantly. It most definitely is a book for those who seek to self-improve, and love one another for the sake of Allah and His Love.
It is indeed interesting to read upon such characteristics and attributes in relation to the Prophets (peace be upon them) so that we as readers feel a closer connection to the Prophets of Islam. Even to the five pillars of Islam, such as Hajj. In chapter seven ‘Allah Loves Tears and Traces’ Omar Suleiman writes:
“If any of us have been to Hajj, and may Allah allow all of us the blessing of a sincere and accepted hajj, we see the pilgrims on the Day of ‘Arafah in their pilgrim’s garb of ihram. They haven’t slept for days, have dust on their faces, and bags under their eyes because of sleep deprivation. They look so exhausted and tired: no one looks their best on the Plain of ‘Arafat. The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned that Allah loves to boast to the angels on the Day of ‘Arafah and says, “Look at all these servants of Mine that have come to Me from all over the world, their hair unkept, their faces dusty, deprived of rest and all they ask for is My Mercy and My Favour.” SubhanAllah. Omar Suleiman, through Allah Loves most definitely allows the readers to rediscover and deepen their love for Allah and the deep-rooted fear of losing that love for Allah, with each chapter.
As well as the obvious characteristics, actions and beliefs that Allah Loves, Omar Suleiman also points out the characteristics, actions and beliefs that we wouldn’t have really thought Allah Loves; such as pride. Pride is often connoted to negativity, to arrogance and selfishness. However, Omar Suleiman speaks of a good type of pride - the type of pride that we take in our work and our actions, for the superior motive, being for the sake of Allah. Omar Suleiman explains that Allah Loves when a person feels motivated and competes for the goodness of pleasing Allah and takes pride in always trying to do the best of deeds with the best of intentions. Indeed, through Allah Loves, Omar Suleiman provides a guide to achieving the beauty, the inner beauty that Allah Loves through holding the characteristics that Allah Loves, for the sake of bettering ourselves and getting closer to Him.
The book ends beautifully, with the chapter ‘Allah Loves Beauty’. The chapter begins: “Allah is beautiful and He Loves beauty. This hadith speaks to the etiquette and a general mindset that we are supposed to have, although it is especially relevant on the Day of Eid”. And there is no greater demonstration of course, of that than on Eid day when the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to come out in our best form, to wear our best clothes, to show the best of adornment within what is permissible, and to thank Allah. In regards to mindset, Omar Suleiman explains that we must do things in a moderate way without being extravagant and say ‘Alhamdulilah’ all the time. SubhanAllah, we let the gratitude show in the actions with the beauty that Allah has given us.
Omar Suleiman’s book ‘Allah Loves’ is in no doubt, a book to return to. It’s not a book to stay on the shelf but instead is one that readers feel inclined to visit whenever they need a reminder, or just some comfort in knowing that Allah Loves you and I. Through Omar Suleiman’s comforting words, we as readers fall in love with knowing what Allah Loves about us.
May us readers benefit from this book as a road map on how to become most beloved to Him and in ways that are most pleasing to Him. Ameen.