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Quranic Terminology: Love

Quranic Terminology: Love

Published in January 6, 2017

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

Introduction:

1- Among the Sufi myths is the so-called term 'divine love', which means for Sufis physical love/fornication among people supposedly leading to 'spirituality', and as if they thus apply their assumed pantheistic 'oneness' with God by supposing they are part of Him.

2- In this article, we give an overview of the word ''love'' mentioned in the Quran, as pertaining to God, within three types of love: 1) real believers' love toward Almighty God, 2) polytheists' love toward their entombed deities, and 3) those whom Our Lord God loves and those whom He loves not.

 

Firstly: real believers' love toward Almighty God:

1- This type of love involves deification, sanctification, supplication, and glorification of God as well as total submission to Him. real believers address God during prayers by saying: "Our Lord…", while feeling with all their senses that they are owned by God as His servants and pious, devout worshippers, and it is part of true faith/belief that they have no other gods/deities beside Our Lord God: Allah. "Say, "Am I to seek a Lord other than God, when He is the Lord of all things?" No soul gets except what it is due, and no soul bears the burdens of another. Then to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you regarding your disputes." (6:164).

2- This love toward God inside hearts of real believers differs from their love to their fellow human beings; love toward another human being (in a brotherly way or romantically) does not include sanctification of deification; it is love based on equality between two human beings, and it might increase or decrease or even turn to hatred, as per changeable conditions. As for love toward God, in cases of ordeals and calamities, real believers would thank the Almighty and be patient, all times, in fear and piety and for the love of God.    

3- Real believers love God above anyone and anything else, and God loves them in return, as He loves the pious, righteous believers: "O you who believe! Whoever of you goes back on his religion-God will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, kind towards the believers, stern with the disbelievers. They strive in the way of God, and do not fear the blame of critics. That is the grace of God; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. God is Embracing and Knowing." (5:54).

4- Of course, this type of love toward God is not merely words expressed or mere sentiments felt; rather, it is devout obedience dedicated exclusively to Our Creator: "Say, "If you love God, then follow me, and God will love you, and will forgive you your sins." God is Forgiving and Merciful." (3:31). Thus, love of real believers toward God means obeying His commands in the Quran, while the love of God toward real believers means pardoning and forgiveness of their sins on the Day of Judgment, and consequently making them enter Paradise with His mercy.

 

Secondly: polytheists' love toward their entombed deities as equals to God:

1- When polytheists love their deities among mortals, they love these human beings in a way that includes sanctification and deification, though both sentiments should be exclusively addressed to God. "Yet among the people are those who take other than God as equals to Him. They love them as the love of God. But those who believe have greater love for God. If only the wrongdoers would realize, when they see the torment; that all power is God's, and that God is severe in punishment. " (2:165). The Quranic term ''among the people'' indicates that wherever there are a community of human beings, there will be those among them who take up deities and gods among creatures and dead and living human beings, and they love them with reverence, deification, and sanctification mixed with submissiveness, servitude, and supplication. Such sentiments should have been retained for Almighty God alone. Thus, those polytheists commit injustice against God, and on the Day of Resurrection, they will get to know that power is wholly the Omnipotent Lord's, as the creatures/human beings whom they used to worship will disown them, and those reverent polytheistic worshippers will regret it in Hell, after it is too late: "Those who were followed will then disown those who followed them, and they will see the retribution, and ties between them will be severed. Those who followed will say, "If only we can have another chance, we will disown them, as they disowned us." Thus God will show them their deeds, as regrets to them, and they will not come out of the Hell-Fire." (2:166-167).

2- Many Muhammadans claim that the verses 2:166-167 are confined only to polytheists and disbelievers at the time when the Quran was revealed 14 centuries ago and not related to the Muhammadans who deem themselves as 'Muslims'. Nothing could be further from the truth; these verses apply to the Muhammadans and all other types of polytheists in all eras and locations, as 2:165 talks about the past, present and future before the end of days. Besides, real life now confirms such polytheistic love of deified mortals; people at 'holy' mausoleums in the countries of the Muhammadans circle those 'hallowed' tombs, worship at them, supplicate reverently at them, weeping in submission and devoutness, invoking the so-called 'saint' who never hears them or feels their presence at all: "Who is more wrong than him who invokes, besides God, those who will not answer him until the Day of Resurrection, and are heedless of their prayers?" (46:5). Those polytheists are often distracted when they perform the five daily prayers to go, but they never get distracted for  single second while they worship at 'holy' tombs of saints, whom they love as sanctified, deified, immortal beings. The entombed ones are mere dust, totally unaware of the physical world at all and never aware of those who love them as gods. In many cases, these tombs are empty with no bones inside them, but polytheistic worshippers would still love and worship 'saints' in full adoration. "He merges the night into the day, and He merges the day into the night; and He regulates the sun and the moon, each running for a stated term. Such is God, your Lord; His is the sovereignty. As for those you call upon besides Him, they do not possess a speck. If you pray to them, they cannot hear your prayer. And even if they heard, they would not answer you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will reject your partnership. None informs you like an Expert." (35:13-14).     

3- Such polytheistic worship frenzy is unparalleled within the Shiites who love a deity called Al-Hussein (purportedly son of Fatima [daughter of Muhammad] and her husband Ali [purportedly son of Muhammad's paternal uncle]), though this Al-Hussein is a dead person who is never aware of them and their love toward him. Shiites in their madness and frenzy supplicate, adore, and invoke Al-Hussein reverently and piously in mosques (or rather pagan temples) dedicated to his name, especially in a feast dedicated to his name to mourn his murder (feast of Ashura) when they weep, cry, and scream and intentionally cause their bodies to bleed! Of course, this Al-Hussein will disown them on the Day of resurrection: "Who is more wrong than him who invokes, besides God, those who will not answer him until the Day of Resurrection, and are heedless of their prayers? And when humanity is gathered, they will be enemies to them, and will renounce their worship of them." (46:5-6).  

 

Thirdly: those whom God loves:

1- The pious, righteous ones: "… God loves the righteous." (9:4); "… God loves the pious." (9:7); "Indeed, whoever fulfills his commitments and maintains piety-God loves the pious." (3:76).

2- The repentant ones who purify themselves from polytheism: "…God loves the repentant, and He loves those who keep clean." (2:222); "Do not stand in it, ever. A mosque founded upon piety from the first day is worthier of your standing in it. In it are men who love to be purified. God loves those who purify themselves." (9:108). 

3- The charitable ones who perform good deeds: "Those who give in prosperity and adversity, and those who restrain anger, and those who forgive people. God loves the doers of good." (3:134); "Their only words were, "Our Lord, forgive us our offences, and our excesses in our conduct, and strengthen our foothold, and help us against the disbelieving people." So God gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. God loves the doers of good." (3:147-148); "…But pardon them, and overlook. God loves the doers of good." (5:13); "Those who believe and do righteous deeds will not be blamed for what they may have eaten, provided they obey, and believe, and do good deeds, then maintain piety and faith, then remain righteous and charitable. God loves the charitable." (5:93).

4- Those adhering to patience: "How many a prophet fought alongside him numerous godly people? They did not waver for what afflicted them in the cause of God, nor did they weaken, nor did they give in. God loves those who endure patiently." (3:146).

5- Those who trustingly depend on their Lord: "… And when you make a decision, put your trust in God; God loves the trusting." (3:159).

6- The just, fair, equitable ones: "…But if you judge, judge between them equitably. God loves the equitable." (5:42);  If two groups of believers fight each other, reconcile between them. But if one group aggresses against the other, fight the aggressing group until it complies with God's command. Once it has complied, reconcile between them with justice, and be equitable. God loves the equitable." (49:9); "As for those who have not fought against you for your religion, nor expelled you from your homes, God does not prohibit you from dealing with them kindly and equitably. God loves the equitable." (60:8).

7- Those who fight and strive for God's cause: "God loves those who fight in His cause, in ranks, as though they were a compact structure." (61:4).

  It is clear that all the above descriptions are linked to one frame: those who believed and performed good deeds during their lifetimes on earth.

 

Fourthly: those whom God does not love:

1- The disbelieving disobedient ones: "Say, "Obey God and the Messenger." But if they turn away-God does not love the disbelieving ones." (3:32); "…Indeed, He does not love the disbelievers" (30:45).

2- The aggressors who commit transgression against innocent, peaceful ones: "And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors." (2:190); the aggressors who violate God's right as Legislator by prohibiting the permissible: "O you who believe! Do not prohibit the good things God has permitted for you, and do not commit aggression. God does not love the aggressors. And eat of the lawful and good things God has provided for you; and be conscious of God, in whom you are believers." (5:87-88); another type of aggressors are those who invoke God and implore Him in loud voices and irreverently [e.g., Sufis who dance, chant, and sing to music loudly as if they pray!], as God wants us to invoke Him in the following manner: " Call upon your Lord humbly and privately. He does not love the aggressors." (7:55).

3- The spendthrift ones: "… and do not waste. He does not love the wasteful." (6:141); "O Children of Adam! Dress properly at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not be excessive. He does not love the excessive." (7:31).

4- The corrupters and committers of corruption: "Among the people is he whose speech about the worldly life impresses you, and he calls God to witness what is in his heart, while he is the most hostile of adversaries. When he gains power, he strives to spread corruption on earth, destroying properties and lives. God does not like corruption." (2:204-205); "…And they strive to spread corruption on earth. God does not love the corrupters." (5:64); "… And do not seek corruption in the land. God does not love the seekers of corruption." (28:77).

5- The usurers:  "God condemns usury, and He blesses charities. God does not love any sinful disbeliever." (2:276).

6- The unjust ones: "…God does not love the unjust." (3:57); "… God does not love the unjust." (3:140); "The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But whoever pardons and makes reconciliation, his reward lies with God. He does not love the unjust." (42:40).

7- The arrogant, proud, haughty, stingy, bragging, disbelieving ones and those assuming to be superior to others: "… God does not love the arrogant showoff." (4:36); "And do not treat people with arrogance, nor walk proudly on earth. God does not love the arrogant showoffs." (31:18); "Your God is one God. As for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, their hearts are in denial, and they are arrogant. Without a doubt, God knows what they conceal and what they reveal. He does not love the arrogant." (16:22-23); "Quaroon belonged to the clan of Moses, but he oppressed them. We had given him treasures, the keys of which would weigh down a group of strong men. His people said to him, "Do not exult; God does not love the exultant." (28:76); "That you may not sorrow over what eludes you, nor exult over what He has given you. God does not love the proud snob. Those who are stingy, and induce people to be stingy. Whoever turns away-God is the Independent, the Praiseworthy." (57:23-24).

8- The disbelieving, sinning, deceitful ones: "And do not argue on behalf of those who deceive themselves. God does not love the deceitful sinner." (4:107); "God defends those who believe. God does not love any ungrateful traitor." (22:48); "If you fear treachery on the part of a people, break off with them in a like manner. God does not love the treacherous." (8:58).

9- The ones who declare bad things in public: "God does not like the public uttering of bad language, unless someone was wronged. God is Hearing and Knowing." (4:148).


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