Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports: the Holy Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) said, “Anyone who possesses three qualities finds thereby the sweetness of faith: that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than everything else; that when he loves a human being he loves him for Allah’s sake alone; and, that he abhors returning to unbelief from which Allah has rescued him, as he abhors being thrown into fire.”
The hadith brings into light in no ambiguous words three distinguishing features of a believer. One, that a believer loves Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) more than anybody and anything else, even his own dear life or that of his offspring and other close relations. This is because whatever man possesses in his life on earth is the gift or Amanah bestowed upon him by the Lord Creator. Thus he ought to love Him and His Apostle (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) more than anything else.
The second feature of a believer the hadith teaches us is that whenever he loves a human being he loves him for Allah’s sake alone. In this earthly life, man does feel love and affection for his near and dear ones, his neighbours, etc. But he must see to it that his love for a human being must not surpass his love for Allah and His Messenger. And, whenever a clash between the two occurs he ought to respond to the call of his love for Allah and His Messenger.
The third important feature of a believer described here is that he abhors returning to unbelief. For, to a true believer his or her Iman (Faith) is the most precious, most loving and most important possession, which he/she protects, and ought to protect, from the designs of Satan. He ought to keep a strict eye upon his deeds and actions in order to see that none of them brings him close to kufr which in turn will lead him to the fire of Hell. The Holy Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be with him) says that one who has these three features enjoys the sweetness of faith.