Allah Ta’aalaa says:
"He (Allah Ta'ala) loves them and they love Him"
"Those who have Eimaan are strongest in love for Allah."
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"He who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. And, he who detests the meeting with Allah, Allah detests meeting him."
The inclining of the heart towards something which gives it pleasure is called Muhabbat (love). Muhabbat consists of two kinds: Muhabbat-e-Tab'ee (physical love) and Muhabbat-e-Aqlee (intellectual love). Muhabbat-e-Tab'ee is not a voluntary or volitional condition. Its occurrence and endurance are non-volitional. Sometimes non-volitional acts are not lasting and are merely transitory. It is for this reason that Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee is not commanded. On the contrary, the origination and endurance of Muhabbat-e-Aqlee are volitional. It is, therefore a state which can endure. Muhabbat -e-Aqlee is thus commanded. It is this kind of Love which is superior and preferable. Since the source of physical love is emotion, it is a passing state.
There are three factors giving rise to Muhabbat;
These three attributes par excellence exist in only Allah Ta'aalaa. The Muhabbat endures as long as these attributes endure. In so far as the Object of True Love (Allah Ta'aalaa) is concerned, these attributes are eternal. They will endure forever, hence love for Him is perpetual. Since, the existence of attributes in the state of perfection is not found independently (biz-zaat) in any being other than Allah Ta'aalaa, the Kaamileen (the Saints who have attained spiritual perfection) cannot have Muhabbat-e-Aqlee (Intellectual Love for anyone besides Allah Ta'aalaa. Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee (physical love) is possible with others, but the love which has been commanded for Allah Ta'aalaa is Muhabbat-e-Aqlee. The terminology of the Qur’aan and Hadith describes this form of love as Hubb. This should not be understood to mean that the Kaamileen are devoid of Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee. However, in them (the Kaamileen), Muhabbat-e-Aqlee is dominant. At times Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee in the Kaamileen exceeds the love in those in whom Muhabbat Tab’ee is dominant, but Muhabbat-e-Aqlee remains dominant Inspite of this comparative higher degree of Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee. At times, Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee becomes dominant in even the Kaamileen, but this is not frequent.
In short, the Kaamileen are perfect in both Muhabbat-e-Aqlee and Muhabbat-e-Tab’e, the former being dominant while in others, Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee (physical love) is dominant. Although this attribute of excellence (in the kaamileen) is not a goal in itself, it nevertheless is praiseworthy. Those devoid of both these aspects of love are in danger. Muhabbat is thus essential. Obedience without muhabbat is not sufficient since there is no resolution and firmness in such acts of obedience devoid of love.
Constant remembrance and contemplation of the Attributes and Bounties of Allah Ta'aalaa will induce the desired Muhabbat for Him. Compliance with the Laws of the Shari'at and much Zikr of Allah expel the love of others from the heart, making way for the exclusive Love of Allah Ta'aalaa.