The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 1: Love Towards Allah

Sheikh Falaah ibn Ismaa’eel al-Mundakar, one of the Salafi shuyookh of Kuwait and a professor of ‘Aqeedah at Kuwait University, authored a book entitled “The Essential Beliefs Regarding Love: the Love of Allah – a Theological Study”. He devoted one of its chapters to the Qur’anic ayaat regarding loving Allah. This chapter begins by first discussing the characteristics of those who truly love Allah, then moves on to Allah’s descriptions of those whom He loves, and concludes with a discussion of the descriptions of those whom He does not love. What follows is the first section:

ذكر الآيات الواردة في المحبة الخاصة
The ayaat specifically regarding Love

من أهم الآيات التي جاءت في هذه المحبة هي قوله تعالى : {قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَ‌تُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَ‌فْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَ‌ةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْ‌ضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرَ‌سُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَ‌بَّصُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّـهُ بِأَمْرِ‌هِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ} [التوبة 24] . ـ

○ Among the most important ayaat on the subject of this love is Allah’s statement:

قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَ‌تُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَ‌فْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَ‌ةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْ‌ضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرَ‌سُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَ‌بَّصُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّـهُ بِأَمْرِ‌هِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihaad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [9:24]

ففي هذه الآية وعيد شديد من الله تعالى لمن كان أهله وماله أحب إليه من الله ورسوله والجهاد في سبيله . ـ

For this ayah contains a severe threat from Allah to whoever holds their family and their wealth as more beloved to them than Allah, His messenger and jihaad in His path.

والوعيد في كتاب الله وفي سنة رسول الله ﷺ لا يكون إلا على ترك فرض أو ارتكاب محرم من المحرمات ، فالآية تدل بذلك على وجوب محبة الله تعالى ووجوب ما تقتضيه هذه المحبة من محبة رسوله ﷺ والجهاد في سبيله حباً يفوق حب الأهل والمال والوالد . ـ

And a threat does not occur in the Book of Allah or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) except for the abandonment of an obligation or the perpetration of one of the forbidden acts. So this ayah thereby proves the obligatory nature of loving Allah, as well as the obligatory nature of what that love entails of love for His messenger (ﷺ) and for jihaad in His path – with a love that surpasses one’s love for family, wealth and offspring.

  وهذه الآية تنص على أن المحبة الله تعالى تستلزم محبة رسوله ﷺ ، وتستلزم محبة العمل له سبحانه وتعالى الذي هو الجهاد في سبيله . ـ

This ayah stipulates that love for Allah necessarily entails love for His messenger (ﷺ), and that it also necessarily entails love of performing action for His sake – which is jihaad in His path.

والجهاد هو بذل الوسع والقدرة في حب الله ، والاجتهاد في حصول ما يحبه الله من الايمان والعمل الصالح ، وفي دفع ما يكرهه ويبغضه من الكفر . ـ

And jihaad is the expenditure of one’s strength and effort in loving Allah, and striving to enact the eemaan and righteous good deeds that Allah loves, as well as repelling the kufr which He hates and abhors.

والعبد متى ترك ما يقدر عليه من الجهاد دل ذلك على ضعف محبة الله تعالى في قلبه ؛ فالمحبة الصادق يحب ما يحبه المحبوب ، ويبغض ما يبغضه ، ويوالي من يواليه ، ويعادي من يعاديه ، ويرضى لرضاه ، ويغضب لغضبه ، ويأمر بما يأمر به ، وينهى عما ينهى عنه ، وهذه الصفات إنما تتجلى في الجهاد في سبيل الله ؛ لأن حقيقة الجهاد هو إعلاء كلمة الله وموالاة أوليائه ومعاداة أعدائه والغضب له سبحانه وتعالى . ـ

When a slave leaves off what he capable of doing of jihaad, then this indicates a weakness of the love of Allah in his heart. For the one with true love loves what his beloved loves, and hates what his beloved hates; he is close with those with whom his beloved is close, and shows enmity to those whom with his beloved has enmity; he is pleased with his beloved’s pleasure, and angered by his beloved’s being angered; he commands what his beloved commands, and forbids what his beloved forbids. These characteristics only become manifested during jihaad in Allah’s path, for the reality of jihaad is elevating the Word of Allah, standing by His close ones, and actively opposing His enemies and hating them for His sake.

ومن الآيات الجامعة في هذه المحبة أيضاً قوله تعالى : {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَن يَرْ‌تَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّـهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لَائِمٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ } [المائدة 54] . ـ

○ And another one of the comprehensive ayaat on the subject of this love is Allah’s statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَن يَرْ‌تَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّـهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِ‌ينَ يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لَائِمٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. [5:54]

في هذه الآية بيان الصفة عظيمة من صفات أهل الايمان ، ألا وهي محبة الله تعالى لهم ومحبتهم له تبارك وتعالى . ثم أخبر سبحانه وتعالى عن صفات هؤلاء المحبوبين المحبين ، وهي أنهم رحماء أذلاء على إخوانهم من أهل الايمان مهما تنوعت أجناسهم وألوانهم ، وتفرقت بلادهم وأمصارهم . ـ

This ayah contains an explanation of one of the tremendous attributes of the people of eemaan, which is Allah’s love towards them and their love towards Him. Allah then informed us of the characteristics of those who are both loving and beloved, which is that they are merciful and humble to their brothers in eemaan, regardless of the variations in their nationalities and colors or the differences in their home countries and towns.

وأنهم أشداء أعزاء على أعدائهم من أهل الكفر والشرك وإن كانوا من قرابتهم وأهلهم ، ثم أخبر سبحانه وتعالى أن من صفاتهم أنهم يجاهدون في سبيل الله تعالى ولا يخافون في جهادهم لومة لائم ، فيوالون أهل الايمان ويعادون أهل الكفر والعناد وإن كانوا من أقرب الناس إليهم نسباً ، كما أخبر سبحانه وتعالى : {لَّا تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَ‌تَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَأَيَّدَهُم بِرُ‌وحٍ مِّنْهُ ۖ وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ رَ‌ضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَ‌ضُوا عَنْهُ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّـهِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّـهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ} [المجادلة 22] . حيث إن حب الشيئ يستلزم بغض ضده وكراهيته . فمحبة الله تعالى تستلزم محبة أوليائه ومعاداة أعدائه ، ويناقضها موادّة ومحبة أعداء الله وأعداء الرسول ﷺ ، وهذه الخصلة إنما تتجلى وتتضح في الجهاد في سبيل الله تعالى . ـ

And furthermore that they are severe and powerful against their enemies from the people of kufr and shirk, even if those ones are from their close relations and family members. He then informed us that one of their characteristics is that they strive in the path of Allah and they do not fear the blame of the blamers in their striving. So ally with the people of eemaan and show enmity towards the people of kufr and opposition – even if these were the closest of people to them in terms of lineage. This is just as Allah informs us:

لَّا تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ‌ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَ‌تَهُمْ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَأَيَّدَهُم بِرُ‌وحٍ مِّنْهُ ۖ وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِ‌ي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ‌ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ رَ‌ضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَ‌ضُوا عَنْهُ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّـهِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّـهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those – He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him – those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful. [58:22]

For love of something requires hatred and dislike of its opposite. So love of Allah requires love of His close ones and opposition of His enemies, and it is contradicted by love and affection towards the enemies of Allah and the Messenger (ﷺ). This attribute is only fully manifested and clearly seen in jihaad in Allah’s path.

وبهذا يتبين أن الجهاد في سبيل الله من أبرز العلامات على صدق محبة الله تعالى ومحبة رسوله ﷺ ؛ كيف وهو ذروة سنام الإسلام وأفضل ما يتطوع ويتقرب به العبد إلى ربه ؟ والنصوص في فضل الجهاد وأهله كثيرة جداً .  ـ

So it is clearly shown by this that jihaad in Allah path is one of the most prominent signs of the sincerity of one’s love for Allah and love of the Messenger (ﷺ). And how else could it be when it is the apex of Islam and most virtuous of that with which a slave draws nearer to his Lord? And the texts regards the virtues of jihaad and those who engage in it are many.

ومن الآيات التي جاءت في هذه المحبة قوله تعالى : { قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّـهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ‌ رَّ‌حِيمٌ} [آل عمران 31] . ـ

○ And another one of the ayaat regarding this love is Allah’s statement:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّـهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَغْفِرْ‌ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. [3:31]

هذه آية عظيمة تمتحن الناس في صدقهم في محبتهم لله تعالى ؛ فقد كثر المدعون لهذه المحبة ، والساقطون أمام الامتحان العظيم الذي يفرق بين أهل الدعوة وأهل الصدق في محبتهم لله تعالى . ـ

This tremendous ayah acts as a test for the people regarding the sincerity of their love towards Allah. For there are many who claim this love, however their claims fail when put to this great test which separates between the people who merely claim it and the people who are sincere in their love towards Allah.

ففي هذه الآية جعل الله تبارك وتعالى اتباع رسوله ﷺ ظاهراً وباطناُ شرطاً لازماً لمن كان يحب الله تعالى ؛ إذا الرسول ﷺ يأمر بما يحبه الله وينهى عما يبغضه ، ويفعل كل ما يحبه الله تعالى من أعمال ، ويخبر بما يحب الله التصديق به ، فمن كان محباً لله تعالى لزمه أن يكون متبعاً للرسول ﷺ فيما أمر ونهى ، ومصدقاً له فيما أخبر ، ومتأسياً به فيما فعل . ـ

So in this ayah, Allah made following His messenger (ﷺ) – both outwardly and inwardly – an essential condition for whomever loves Allah. This is because the Messenger (ﷺ) orders that which Allah loves and forbids against what Allah hates, and he does all of the actions which Allah loves, and he informs us of what Allah loves for us to believe in. So whoever loves Allah, then he must be a follower of the Messenger (ﷺ) in whatever he commands and prohibits, and believe in whatever he informed us of, and be enamored with whatever he did.

فالاتباع هي العلامة الثانية من العلامات الدالة على صدق محبة الله تعالى ، ولا شك أن العلامات الدالة على محبة الله تعالى كثيرو ولكن الجهاد في سبيل الله واتباع الرسول ﷺ هما من أبرز هذه العلامات وأكثرها أهمية في دين الله . ـ

For following the Messenger (ﷺ) is the second sign which indicates the sincerity of one’s love for Allah. And there is no doubt that the signs which indicates one’s love for Allah are many, however jihaad in Allah’s path and following the Messenger (ﷺ) are two of the most significant and most important of these signs in terms of this religion.

وقد جعل الله سبحانه وتعالى لمتابعة الرسول ﷺ وموافقته ثمرة عظيمة يرجوها كل مريد للنجاة ، ألا وهي محبة الله تعالى ، فمن أخلص المتابعة لرسول الله ﷺ فإنه ينال محبة الله تعالى له وينال مغفرته لذنوبه . ـ

Allah has made a tremendous result to come from following and imitating the Messenger (ﷺ) by which every follower hopes for salvation. And that result is nothing other than Allah’s love, for whoever purifies his following of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), then he will surely attain Allah’s love for him and His forgiveness for his sins.

فالاتباع علامة على صدق العبد في محبته وسبب لنيل محبة الله تعالى ومغفرته ؛ حيث قد شرط سبحانه وتعالى لمن يتبع الرسول أن يحبه ويغفر له ذنوبه ، وفي هذه الآية حافزعظيم لمن كان يرجو الله واليوم الآخر . ـ

For following the Messenger (ﷺ) is a sign of the sincerity of the slave’s love and a cause for him to attain Allah’s love and forgiveness, such that Allah stipulated that He would love whoever follows the Messenger and forgive his sins. So this ayah contains a tremendous incentive for whoever longs for Allah and the Last Day.

ومن الآيات التي جاءت في هذه المحبة قوله تعالى : {وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّـهِ} [البقرة 165] ـ

○ And among the ayaat regarding this love is Allah’s statement:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّـهِ

And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. [2:165]

بين سبحانه وتعالى في هذه الآية وغيرها أن من أبرز صفات أهل الايمان أنهم يحبون الله تعالى حباً يفوق كل حب ، فحبهم لربهم وخالقهم أشد وأعظم من حبهم للأهل والمال والولد ، واشد أيضا من حب أهل الأنداد لأندادهم . ـ

In this ayah and elsewhere, Allah made it clear that one of the most apparent characteristics of the people of eemaan is that they love Allah with a love that surpasses all other loves. So their love for their Lord and Creator is greater and more intense that their love for their kinsfolk, their wealth or their children. It is also more intense than the love of those who worship other than Allah towards what they worship.

وفي الآية إشارة إلى أن من لم يكن حبه لله تعالى بهذا الوصف فإنه ناقص الايمان ، بل إنه لم يحقق الايمان أصلاً ، وإن أصل الشرك والمشركين إنما هو اتخاذهم الأنداد ، وحبهم لهذه الأنداد محبة تعادل محبتهم لله سبحانه وتعالى . ـ

So this ayah contains an indication that whoever’s love for Allah does not have this attribute, then that is a deficiency in his eemaan; rather, he has not actualized al-eemaan at all. Indeed, the basis of al-shirk and the mushrikoon is that they take things besides Allah as objects of worship, and their love for these other things is a love which is on par with their love for Allah.

[al-‘Itiqaad al-Waajib fi al-Mahabbah: Mahabbah Allah – Diraasat ‘Aqadiyyah by Sheikh Falaah ibn Ismaa’eel al-Mundakar pg. 31-35]

To read the introduction to this work, please visit: Essential Beliefs Regarding Love Towards Allah: An Introduction at Taalib.com

To read part two of this three-part series, see: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves

To read the third and final part of this series, see: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 3: Those whom Allah does not Love

See also: Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “Say, ‘If you love Allah, then follow me'”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Beautified for people is the love of what they desire”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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4 thoughts on “The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 1: Love Towards Allah

  1. Pingback: “Say, ‘If you love Allah, then follow me’”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 2: Those whom Allah Loves | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 3: Those whom Allah does not Love | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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