Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H)- rahimahullah - said: "People have discussed about mahabbah (love of Allah); its causes and what brings it about, its signs, its fruits, and its rulings. The most comprehensive saying about this is what Abu Bakr al-Kattani - rahimahullah - relates about al-Junayd (d.279H).
Abu Bakr al-Kattani (d.322H) said: "A discussion about mahabbah took place in Makkah during the Pilgrimage month. The Shaykhs who were present spoke about this matter, and al-Junayd was the youngest of them. They said to him: O 'Iraqi, what do you have to say? So he bowed his head and tears were flowing from his eyes, then he said:
And be continuous in the remembrance of his Lord;
Establishing the rights of his Lord;
Focusing upon Him with his heart;
The late of fear letting ablaze his heart;
Whilst drinking from the vessel of true love;
And certain realities become unveiled for him.
So when he talks, it is due to Allah.
When he speaks, it is from Allah.
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allah.
And when he is serene, then it is from Allah.
He belongs to Allah, is for Allah, and is with Allah."
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim - rahimahullah - further said:
"The rearons which cause mahabbah (love of Allah) to develop are ten:-
Firstly: Reciting the Qur'an, reflecting upon it, and understanding its meanings.
Secondly: Drawing closer to Allah through the performance of optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.
Thirdly: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah - in all circumstances - with the tongue, the heart and the limbs. The more constant the dhikr, the more mahabbah develops and intensifier.
Fourthly: Giving precedence to what Allah loves - when being overcome with desires - over what one personally loves and desires.
Fifthly: Causing the heart to contemplate over the Names and the Attributes of Allah, being a witness to what they necessitate, and causing the heart to be enlivened in the garden of this realisation.
Sixthly: Witnessing the blessing and favours of Allah; the apparent and the hidden.
Seventhly: Subduing the heart and humbling it before Allah, causing it to be in awe of Him.
Eighthly: Being in seclusion during that time in which Allah decends to the lowest heaven; reciting the Qur'an, and finishing this recitation with seeking Allah's forgiveness and sincerely repenting to Him.
Ninethly: Sitting in the gatherings of the true and sincere lovers of Allah; reaping the benefits of their teachings, and not speaking except when you know that there is benefit in doing so, and that such speech will increase you in goodness and benefit others as well.
Tenthly: Keeping clear of all there matters which will cause the heart to distance itself from Allah - the Mighty and Majestic.
So there are ten matters which causes the lover to reach the station of true love for Allah, so that he may then reach Allah - his Beloved...