In this Malfooth, Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat-rahmatullah alayh-explains the degrees of Divine Love imperative for Imaan.)

The actual nature of Muhabbat (Love) is the inclination of the heart. This degree of Muhabbat is natural and its acquisition is not commanded. (in view of it not being in one’s volitional control-or ikhtiyaar). The presence of this natural and emotional love for Allah Ta’ ala is a ni’mat and it is a pure bestowal of Allah. (In other words, it is not attainable by effort). The effect of Muhabbat for Allah, the Pleasure of Allah over and above the pleasure of others. This kind of love is rational (Aqli) and its cultivation is imperative. (This is minimum degree of Divine Love. The presence of this degree of Love induces the Mu ‘min to give preference to the commands of Allah Ta’ala in any conflict between personal desires and Divine Desires.)

The category of Aqli Love on the basis of which preference is given to the desire and pleasure of Allah Ta’ala has several classes. The first class is to prefer Imaan over kufr. This is the very minimum degree of Divine Love. In the absence of this degree, one cannot be a Mu’min. In the other classes of rational Love for Allah, are the various kinds of Ahkaam (Laws of the Shariah).

Giving preference to the Laws over what is not law is subdivided into different categories. Some are Waajib and some are Mustahab.

Source: Malfoothaat of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Rahmatullahi Alaihi, part 5

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