The Principle of Love and Desire is one of Ibn Taymiyyah’s many important works on ‘aqīdah. In it, he explains how love is the basis of every movement that occurs in the universe and every action of Bani Ādam. He explains that love necessitates hate for the things that oppose what one loves, and that this love and hate is the foundation of Islām, tawḥīd, and īmān. He also discusses the many sects that strayed from Allāh’s straight path due to their misunderstanding of this fundamental principle.
The following are excerpts from the text:
“The basis of īmān (faith) is loving for Allāh’s sake and hating for Allāh’s sake, so the one who loves for Allāh, hates for Allāh, gives for Allāh, and withholds for Allāh, has completed his īmān.”
“… and Allāh, the Most High, said:
﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ﴾
‘And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allāh as rivals (to Allāh). They love them as they love Allāh. But those who believe love Allāh more (than anything else).’ [Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:165]”
“…and the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ said:
ثلاث من كن فيه وجد بهن حلاوة الإيمان: أن يكون الله ورسوله أحب إليه مما سواهما، وأن يحب المرء لا يحبه إلا لله، وأنيكره أن يعود في الكفر بعد أن أنقذه الله منه، كما يكره أن يقذف في النار.
‘There are three qualities, whoever has them will taste the sweetness of īmān: to love Allāh and His Messenger ﷺ more than anyone else; to love a person only for the sake of Allāh; and to hate to return to disbelief after Allāh has saved him from it, as much as he would hate to be thrown into the Fire.’”
“…So every movement and every action in the world is based on love and desire, and every love or desire that is not based on the love for Allāh and the desire to see His Face is futile and corrupt.