Does Love Exist in Islam?

Does Love Exist in Islam?

Question: Salam! I want to ask if in Islam “love” exists, because many non-Muslims claim that love does not exist in Islam; it promotes hatred between people and Allah is not a loving God.

Salam sister,
Thank you for your question.
In Islam, one of Allah’s names or attributes is Al-Wadood, which means the “Most Loving”, derived from the root word Wadda, literarily meaning “loved”.
Allah mentions in the Qur’an what is translated as:
“And He is Al-Ghafoor (Oft-Forgiving), Al-Wadood (the Most Loving; full of love)” (Al-Burooj, Chapter 85, Verse 14)
Allah loves those who follow His religion and loves the believers in their different qualities as explained in His book in what is translated as:
[Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islam by following the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”] (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 31)
There are several verses pertaining to qualities that Allah loves in a believing person:
[Those who spend (in Allah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).] (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 134)

[And many a Prophet (i.e. many from amongst the Prophets) fought (in Allah’s Cause) and along with him (fought) large bands of religious learned men. But they never lost heart for that which did befall them in Allah’s Way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves As-Sabirun (the patient).] (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 146)

[And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allah’s) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).] (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 159)

[(They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden. So if they come to you, O Muhammad, either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least. And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.] (Al-Maeda, Chapter 5, Verse 42)
We conclude from the verses above that Allah loves those who have the highest moral conduct.  Also the Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned in the following hadith that if Allah loves a person then He will make the Angels and all people on earth love him:
[Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying: ‘Allah loves so and so; O Gabriel, love him.’ Gabriel would love him, and then Gabriel would make an announcement among the residents of the Heaven, ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore, you should love him also.’ So, all the residents of the Heavens would love him and then he is granted the pleasure of the people of the earth.”]  (Bukhari – Book 73, Hadith 66)
There are many types of love in Islam which I have categorized in order since we are advised to love some beings more than others:

Loving Allah and His Prophet Muhammad
Believers should love Allah, their creator more than anyone or anything.  Allah should be loved the most since this will guarantee Allah’s love as was mentioned in chapter 3 verse, 31 above.  The way we love Allah and His prophet (peace be upon him) is by obeying Allah’s commands the way shown by our prophet (peace be upon him).  Narrated Anas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith: 1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else. 2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake. 3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”  (Bukhari – Book 2, Hadith 15)

“None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”  (Bukhari – Book 2, Hadith 14)

Loving the Prophet’s Companions and the Believers
We should have a special love for our Prophet’s companions and the believing people; a kind of love that is not based on any worldly benefit, loving just for the sake of Allah.
[Narrated Anas: A man asked the Prophet about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, “When will the Hour be?” The Prophet said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Apostle.” The Prophet said, “You will be with those whom you love.”]  (Bukhari – Book 57, Hadith 37)
Anas then said: “We had never been as glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet (i.e., “You will be with those whom you love.”) Therefore, I love the Prophet, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs.”
Narrated Samurah ibn Jundub: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to respond to the salutation of the imam, to love each other, and to salute each other.” (Sunan Abudawood, Book 3, Hadith 996)
Loving the believers will unite and strengthen the Muslim community; one of the easy ways is to salute each other with the salutation of Islam: “Peace be upon you”.  Also performing good deeds; Allah says:
[Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Gracious (Allah) will bestow love for them (in the hearts of the believers)]. (Maryam, Chapter 19, Verse 96)

Loving Our Parents
Loving our parents and honoring them comes after worshipping Allah according to following verse:
[And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor.] (Al-Isra, Chapter 17, Verse 23)

Loving Our Spouses
Allah mentioned in His book that he puts love, affection and mercy between husband and wife:
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you love, affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Room, Chapter 30, Verse 21)
Mawadda is the Arabic world used in this verse means cordiality, affection and love which are all synonyms in the English language.  So love between husband and wife is very important in Islam.  Also the following hadith shows that the Prophet (peace be upon him) loved his wife, Aisha, the most:
[Narrated Abu Uthman: Allah’s Apostle sent ‘Amr bin Al As as the commander of the troops of Dhat-us-Salasil. ‘Amr bin Al-‘As said, “(On my return) I came to the Prophet and said, ‘Which people do you love most?’ He replied, ‘Aisha.’ I said, ‘From amongst the men?’ He replied, ‘Her father (Abu Bakr)’. I said, ‘Whom (do you love) next?’ He replied, “Umar.’ Then he counted the names of many men, and I became silent for fear that he might regard me as the last of them.”]  (Bukhari – Book 59, Hadith 644)

Loving Everyone
In general a Muslim should love all beings.  Ali, the Prophet’s cousin (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “If people are not your brothers in faith then they are your brothers in humanity.”  Also Allah mentions in the following verse:
[Lo! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scriptures [i.e. you believe in the Torah and the Gospel, while they disbelieve in your Book, the Qur’an]… (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 119)
There is also emphasis in Islam to love little children and those who are less privileged such as orphans and the needy.  There are also many narrations where the Prophet (peace be upon him) shows his love to animals and even plants.
In conclusion, Islam is the true religion of love and compassion.
I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

consultant: AAI Editorial Staff

This answer was kindly provided by Brother Maan Khalife, a member of Ask About Islam Editorial Staff.

Source: OnIslam


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