قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Meaning: Say, [O Muhammad (to your Ummah/Nation)], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Sura Ale-Imran: 31]
In the above verse, Allah Taala has informed us of the significance of following the Prophet of Allah ﷺ.
No doubt, acquiring Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى’s Love is the ultimate aim of a believer. However, the path of attaining it is the path of following His Prophet ﷺ. There is no other way and no other alternative to it.
If a father commands his son, “O son! Do this work but ‘so and so’ are the conditions.” If the son does the work but doesn’t do it fulfilling his father’s condition, will his father be pleased? No.
Therefore, when Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى’s condition requires to be fulfilled, we require to follow the Prophet ﷺ and reach Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
The fundamental and basic principle of Islam encapsulates the law of Allah and following it in the Prophetic way.
The Prophetic way has been clearly demonstrated, exemplified and modeled. Peace, success, and salvation of the world and afterlife can be achieved through following it.
If we, the Muslims look into ‘the best practices’ of actions even in the west, there are several practices that resemble the Sunnah, the prophetic way. Indeed, disbelievers and non-Muslims have accepted these best practices through experience and research. However, the Quran, Hadith, and Seerah have instructed/commanded us to do so much earlier on the premise of faith – Imaan. Unfortunately, Muslims, in a big number, have ‘almost’ abandoned the Prophetic way, but when they see the same practices during their visit in the western countries – in the western culture, they find it very attractive and useful. This, in fact, is not due to the belief and reliance on Allah and His Messenger, but due to love of and following the western culture.
If as a Muslim, I desire the peace, success, and salvation of this world and afterlife, my belief and action should be developed on the premise of Iman – full faith on Allah and His Messenger. When thereafter I would practice the Sunnah – i.e. the Prophetic way, my life would become a Muslim’s life. Muslim life is not just confined in some words and expression, it is not only the outward attire, along with the outward attire and behavior – it is the combination of belief and actions, innate beauty and its display.
If we study the Seerah – the biography of the beloved Prophet ﷺ, and also the life of his noble companions – the Sahaba (May Allah be pleased with them), we would find a very amazing implementation of belief and actions. There is a continuous harmony between these two. There is no contradiction and falsehood. There is no question of hypocrisy or dual-role. What is being said is being done. What is expressed is being believed. There is nothing artificial and superfluous.
Until and unless we follow our beloved Prophet ﷺ, our claim of loving Allah is therefore baseless and untrue. If we cannot achieve Allah’s love, what sort of Muslims are we?!