Shirk also occurs when human beings love, trust or fear the creation more than God. In the last revelation, God said:
“There are among men those who worship others besides God as equals to Him. They love them as only God should be loved. But those who believe have a stronger love for God.”
When these and other similar emotions are directed more strongly to the creation, they cause human beings to disobey God in a effort to please other humans. However, only God deserves a complete human emotional commitment, for it is He alone who should be loved and feared over all creation. Anas ibn Maalik narrated that the Prophet (SallAlahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:
“Whoever possesses [the following] three characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith: he who loves God and His Messenger above all else; he who loves another human being for God’s sake alone; and he who hates to return to disbelief after God has rescued him as he hates to be thrown into a fire.”
All the reasons for which humans love other humans or love other created beings are reasons to love God more than His creation. Humans love life and success, and dislike death and failure. Since God is the ultimate source of life and success, He deserves the full love and devotion of mankind. Humans also love those who benefit them and help them when they are in need. Since all benefit (7:188) and help (3:126) come from God, He should be loved above all else.
“If you try to count God’s blessings, you will not be able to add them up.”
However, the supreme love which humans should feel for God must not be reduced to the common denominator of their emotional love for creation. Just as the love humans feel for animals should not be the same as what they feel for other humans, the love of God should transcend the love humans feel towards each other. Human love of God should be, fundamentally, a love manifest in complete obedience to the laws of God:
“If you love God, then follow me [the Prophet] and God will love you.” (Quran 3:31)
This is not an abstract concept, because human love of other humans also implies obedience. That is, if a loved one requests that something be done, humans will strive to do it according to the level of their love for that person.
The love of God should also be expressed in the love of those whom God loves. It is inconceivable that one who loves God could hate those whom God loves and love those whom He hates. The Prophet (SallAlahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was quoted by Aboo Umaamah (RA) as saying:
“He who loves for God and hates for God, gives for God and withholds for God, [and marries for God] has perfected his faith.”
Consequently, those whose faith is proper will love all those who love God. In Chapter Maryam, God indicates that He puts love in the hearts of the believers for those who are righteous.
“Surely, God will bestow love [in the hearts of the believers for] those who believe and do righteous deeds.”
Aboo Hurayrah also related that God’s Messenger (SallAlahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said the following in this regard:
“If God loves a servant He informs angel Gabriel that He loves so-and-so and tells him to love him, so Gabriel loves him. Then Gabriel calls out to the inhabitants of the heavens: ‘God loves so-and-so, therefore love him.’ So the inhabitants of the heavens love him. Then he is granted the love of the people of the earth.”