Hadhrat Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (db) writes in “Easy Good Deeds”:
To have love for someone for the sake of Allah’s pleasure is also a grand act for which much merit and many rewards have been promised. “To love for the sake of Allah” means loving someone, not for any worldly gain, but because he is more religious and pious or he is very learned in Deen or is busy in serving the cause of Deen or because loving him or her is commanded by Allah, e.g. one’s parents.
Such love has been called “love for Allah” in ahadith. One hadith says:
Allah shall ask on the Day of Judgment, “Where are those who loved for the sake of My Greatness? Today when there is no shade save Mine, I shall have them in My Shade.” [Sahih Muslim: Kitab al-Birr wa al-Silah]
Another tells us that “On the Day of Judgment. Those who had mutual love for the sake of Allah’s Greatness shall be on pulpit of light and all shall envy them.” [Jami’ Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Zuhd]
Abu Idris Khulani, one of the famous tabi’in says that once he visited Mu’adh ibn Jabal in the mosque of Damascus and told him that “By Allah I love you for the sake of Allah”. He repeatedly asked me to swear if it was so and when I answered in affirmative every time he pulled me by my shawl and said, “Hear the good news! I have heard the exalted and blessed Messenger of Allah saying that “My love shall certainly be for those who love each other for my sake, who sit in each other’s company for my sake, who go to meet each other for my sake and spend money on each other for my sake.” [Muwatta Imam Malik, Kitab-al-Shi’r]
Having love for Allah’s pious and good bondsmen is actually an outcome of one’s love for Allah, so it earns the same rewards and merits as the latter; because of this love, Allah includes His lover in His beloved people. According to a hadith, someone asked out blessed and exalted Prophet”. When shall come the Day of Judgement” Our Prophet asked him “What preparation have you made for the Day?” The man said “Nothing, but I have love for Allah and his Messenger”. The Prophet said “You shall be (on that Day) with whom you love.”
The above hadith has been quoted by Anas. He says that these words of the Holy Prophet mere so pleased us as nothing els had ever done. He further said “I have great love for the Holy Prophet – may he eternally blessed – and with Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, and because of this love I hope I shall be in their company, even though my deeds are not equal to theirs.” [Sahih Bukhari, kitab-al-Adab, chapter Alamah al-Hubb fi Allah]
There are many ahadith of the same import showing that having love for someone for the sake of Allah is an act of great merit, which grants one the opportunity of doing good in this world and being in exalted company in the Hereafter.
Hence one should love good people for the sake of Allah and with the intent of becoming good oneself and earning Allah’s pleasure, as the poet says:
“I love good people (and) although I am not one of them, may Allah grant me goodness too.”
Hadith tells us that when one loves his brother in faith, he must tell him of hs love. [Abu Dawud: Kitab-al-Adab; Tirmidhi: kitab-al-Zud]
Anas has recounted that someone was sitting with out Holy Prophet when another one passed. The sitting one said “O Messenger of Allah! I love this man”. The Prophet said “Have you told him?” The man said “No”. The Prophet said “Tell him!” The man rose to his feet and went to the man who was passing and said “I love you for the sake of Allah”. He said “May Allah Whom you love, love you in return!”