10 Ways of Developing Love for Allah
Adapted from Ibn Qayyim's (rah) Madarij-us-Saalikeen
Ibn al-Qayyim (rah) says: "The reasons which cause mahabbah (love) of Allaah to develop, are ten:
First: Reciting the Qur'aan, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.
Second: Drawing closer to Allaah – the Most High – through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.
Third: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more continuant the dhikr, the more muhabbah develops and intensifies.
Fourth: Giving precedence to what Allaah loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.
Fifth: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allaah.
Sixth: Recognizing and remembering the favors and bounties of Allaah – both manifest and hidden.
Seventh: To be humble and submissive before Allaah – and this is the greatest matter.
Eighth: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur'aan, during that time in which Allaah descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allaah's forgiveness and repenting to Him.
Ninth: To sit in the gatherings of the true and sincere lovers of Allaah, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefit others as well.
Tenth: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic.
So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allaah and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.