Love for God is the furthest reaches of all stations, the sum of the highest degrees, and there is no station after that of love, except its fruit and its consequences…nor is there any station before love which is not a prelude to it, such as penitence, longsuffering, and asceticism. Yet some…deny the possibility of love for God, and say that it means nothing more than persevering in obedience to God, be He exalted, while true love of God is impossible except metaphorically or in very unusual circumstances. And since they deny the possibility of loving God, they also deny any intimacy with Him, or passionate longing for Him, or the delight of confiding in Him, and the other consequences of love. — Al Ghazali
Al Ghazali (c. 1058–1111) is also known in Islam as Abu Hammid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, was a Muslim theologian often considered the most influential Muslim after Muhammad himself. He is simultaneously known for bringing the philosophical investigation of Islam through the Greek philosophers, especially Aristotle and Plato, to an effective end while also unifying many elements of the fundamentalist orthodox and mystical Sufi elements of Islam, thus strengthening the faith’s unity.