The Messenger of Allah said ﷺ: “Whoever possesses these three qualities will taste the sweetness of faith: that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else; that he only loves another person for Allah’s sake and that he would hate to return to disbelief after Allah had saved him from it just as he would hate to be cast into the Fire.”
Imam al-Nawawi said of this hadith in his commentary on Sahih Muslim: “This is an immense hadith and one of the foundations of Islam.”
Notice that the Prophet ﷺ directed us to love Allah and His Messenger and taught us that our love for Allah’s slaves should be rooted in our love for Allah: “He only loves another person for Allah’s sake.”
Our hatred, however, should be directed at the evil which we may fall into and not at anyone else: “He would hate to return to disbelief after Allah had saved him from it just as he would hate to be cast into the Fire.”
He said that a person will taste the sweetness of faith when he possesses these qualities and not through performing outward acts of worship. This is not, however, to negate the importance of these acts of worship, for they are a means of drawing close to Allah.
This is how the Prophet ﷺ taught us the concept of love and hatred. Where do we find ourselves in relation to this hadith?
O Allah, enable us to love You and Your Prophet ﷺ and to love Your creation for Your sake. Protect us from disbelief and the things which lead to it.