The sublime verse,
Say: “If you do love God, follow me: God will love you”(3:31)
proclaims in definite fashion just how necessary and important it is to follow the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices. Yes, among the syllogisms of logic, this verse is the most powerful and certain of the sort called hypothetical or conditional syllogisms. It is as follows:
To exemplify a hypothetical syllogism it is said in logic: “If the sun comes out, it will be daytime.” For a positive result it is said: “The sun has come out. One may therefore conclude that it is daytime.” For a negative result, it is said: “It is not daytime. One therefore draws the conclusion that the sun has not come out.” According to logic, these two conclusions, negative and positive, are definite.
In just the same way, the above verse says: “If you love God, you will follow God’s Beloved (UWBP). If you do not follow him, it points to the conclusion that you do not love God.” If a person loves God, it entails following the practices of God’s Beloved (UWBP). Yes, the person who believes in Almighty God will certainly obey Him. And the most acceptable, the most direct, and the shortest among the ways of obeying Him is without doubt the way God’s Beloved (UWBP) showed and followed.
Yes, it is necessary and self-evident that the All-Generous One of Beauty who fills the universe with so many bounties should want thanks from conscious creatures in return. And clearly that All-Wise One of Glory who adorns the universe with so many miracles of art will make the most excellent of conscious creatures His addressee and interpreter, and the herald and leader of His servants. And certainly and self-evidently that All-Beauteous One of Perfection, who makes the universe reflect the innumerable manifestations of His beauty and perfections, will give the most perfect worshipful stance to the person who is the most comprehensive, perfect measure and means of displaying His beauty, perfection, names, and art, which He clearly loves and wants to display; He will make his conduct a fine example to others and encourage them to follow him so that his fine conduct may appear in others too.
I n S h o r t : Love of God necessitates and results in following the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices. How fortunate the person who follows them to a large extent! And woe on the person who does not appreciate the practices and adopts innovations!