In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful…
Allaah describes the true believers in Islaam with the following description:
( وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا للهِ )
( While the people of eemaan are stronger in their love for Allaah [than anyone else] ) [Soorah al-Baqarah: 165]
Love and hatred are opposites. Since it is logically impossible to truly love something without hating what stands against it, Muslims both love and hate for the sake of Allaah.
The Messenger of Allaah (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) guided us to this balance and moderation in our emotions when he said:
(( إِنَّ أَوْثَقَ عُرَى الإِيْمَانِ أَنْ تُحِبَّ فِي اللهِ وَتُبْغِضَ فِي اللهِ ))
“Verily the strongest handhold of faith is that you love for the sake
of Allah and that you hate for the sake of Allah.” [Ahmad 4/286, authentic]
The great scholar, Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez ibn Baaz (d.1420, may Allaah have Mercy on him) was asked about love and hatred for the sake of Allaah, and he replied:
Loving for Allaah is when you love (someone) for Allaah’s sake, the Blessed and Exalted, because you believe him to be a person of taqwaa (mindfulness of Allaah’s orders) and eemaan (upright beliefs, statements, and actions). Because of these things you love such a person for the sake of Allaah.
You also hate for the sake of Allaah when you see a disobedient disbeliever. You hate such a person for the sake of Allaah.
You also hate a disobedient person, even if he is a Muslim, based on the degree of his disobedience.
This is how a believer is – He allows his heart to react to both types of people, loving some of them for the sake of Allaah. He loves the people of eemaan and taqwaa for the sake of Allaah, while he hates the people of disbelief, evil, and disobedience for Allaah’s sake, allowing his heart to interact with both kinds.
In the case when there is good and bad in a person, like a disobedient Muslim, then he loves him for his Islaam and hates him for his disobedience, combining both emotions of love and hatred for one person.
As for the people of eemaan and the people of upright Islaamic practice, then he (a true believer) loves them wholeheartedly. Similarly, he hates the people of disbelief wholeheartedly.
But regarding someone who has both things (good and bad traits), a disobedient Muslim, he loves him based on the level of his eemaan and Islaam, while he hates him according to the level of his disobedience and violations (of Islaamic beliefs and practices).
Source: The shaykh’s answer to a question on the radio program, Noor ‘alad-Darb (click here for Arabic source).
Important note: With these necessary emotions, Muslims are required to maintain an important balance, and they are not allowed to transgress against the rights of those they hate. Allaah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ للهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَئَانُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلَّا تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللهَ إِنَّ اللهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
( O you who believe! Stand devoutly for Allah as witnesses of justice, and do not let your animosity for some people prevent you from being fair. Be fair, as it is closer to piety, and observe your duty to Allah. Verily, Allah is all-informed of what you do! ) [Soorah al-Maa’idah, 5:8]