al-Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi in his book al-Jawab al-Kafi said:
Intimacy comprises the perfection of love and its limit, in such a manner that no orifice in the heart is left for other than His love. It is a rank which does not come to one whose goal is shared. And this is an exclusive rank for the two intimate friends, upon them the Salutation of Allah and His Blessings of Peace: as what is said by our Prophet – Salutations of Allah and His Peace upon him – ” Allah has surely took me as His Intimate Friend as how He took Abraham as His Intimate Friend.”
And in an authentic narration from him – Salutations of Allah and His Peace upon him – “If I were to take from the people of the world an intimate friend, I would surely have taken Aba Bakr, but your friend (the Prophet (s)) is the intimate friend of Allah.” And in another narration: “Surely I have acquit myself from all intimate friends other than His Intimacy.”
When Abraham, upon him peace asked for a son and he was given, his love for his son became passionately attached to his heart. And it seized his state of union with his lord. The Beloved is jealous for His intimate friend that in his heart is a place for other than Him, and He commanded him to his slaughter. And the command occurred in his sleep so that the execution of the order becomes of magnified tribulation and test. And the purpose is not to slaughter the child, but the purpose is his slaughtering from his heart, so that the heart becomes devoted to his Lord. And when Abraham – upon him peace- make the first move to submit to the order, the love of Allah precedes the love of his child and the purpose is achieved. The slaughtering is thus lifted, and it is redeemed with an exalted slaughter. And the all Majestic Lord surely does not command something, and then annuls it immediately, rather certainly He maintains part of it or replaces it, as how he maintains the laws of sacrifice. And as how he maintains the recommendability of giving charity from one’s possession as an a means of safety. And how He maintains the five daily prayers after the fifty prayers are lifted but maintain its rewards. He said : “And the Word does not change to Me, it is five in action, while it is 50 in rewards”.