Love of Allah is the Greatest Delight in this Life
Ibn al-Qayyim [d.751H] - rahimahullaah - said:
“Rushing towards Allah and depending on Him, being pleased with Him, filling the heart with love of Him, constantly remembering Him, feeling happiness and joy with knowing Him – all of these are instantaneous rewards, a paradise of this world, and a life that the lives of kings cannot even compare to. I heard Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H - may Allah have Mercy on him) say:
“Indeed, there is a paradise in this world. Whoever doesn’t enter it will not enter the Paradise of the Hereafter.”
And he once said to me:
“What can my enemies do to me? My paradise and garden are in my chest, and they are with me wherever I go. My imprisonment is my privacy with Allah, my killing is martyrdom, and my expulsion from my homeland is tourism."
And Allah Knows that I never saw anyone with a purer life than him despite what he was experiencing of hardship and lack of relaxation and rest, and despite his imprisonment and fear of being killed. With all of this, he lived the purest life, had the strongest and most open
heart, was happiest in spirit, and had a face that emanated the brightness of delight.
When we were frightened, had desperate thoughts, and felt as if the world was choking us, we would rush to him. Simply by seeing him and hearing his words, this would all turn into relaxation, certainty, and assurance. So, glory to the One who allowed His slaves to witness His Paradise before meeting Him and opened for them its doors in this life, giving them from its taste and sweet breeze that they have been dedicating their strength to seeking and competing for.
And some of the People of Knowledge would say: “If the kings and their sons knew what we were experiencing, they would have fought us with swords over it.” Another said: “The people of this world are deprived. They left this world without tasting the sweetest thing in it!” It was asked of him: “And what is that?” He said: “Love of Allah, knowing Him, and remembering Him.”
So, love, knowledge, and constant remembrance of Allah, leaning to Him, feeling tranquil with Him, singling Him out for love, fear, hope, dependence, and attention – such that He alone is the main concern and preoccupation of the slave and his goals – is the paradise and delight of this world that no other delight can compare to, and it is the coolness of the eyes of those who love Allah, and true life for those who know Him.”
[Source: al-Waabil as-Sayyib of Ibn Il-Qayyim, p. 44]