We refer to the Quran to find meaning in every aspect of our lives. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
كِتابٌ أَنزَلناهُ إِلَيكَ مُبارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّروا آياتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الأَلبابِ
(This is) a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, (Oh Muhammad), so that they may contemplate its verses, and people of reason may be mindful.
(Surah Sad, 38:29)
One of the reminders that can be found is the meaning of love. Love is widely mentioned in the Quran in many ways, such as the Divine qualities of Allah s.w.t. in multiple verses: Al-Ra-uuf (The kind), Al-Wali (The Protecting Friend), Al-Lateef (The Gentle), Al-Ghafur (The Forgiving), Ar-Rahim (The Merciful), Al-Wadud (The Affectionate Loving), just to name a few.
Here, love is not merely described as an action but also as one of the Divine Names of Allah s.w.t - Al-Wadud. Other Divine Names mentioned also imply the meaning of love. This tells us that love plays a very significant part, not just in the lives of human beings, but also in the whole of creation. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ
and My Mercy encompasses everything
(Surah Al-A’raf, 7:156)
Love is a gift from The Creator for His creation. It is put into the hearts of humankind and brings joy to the soul. Love is the reason life continues to blossom. It is, for the human experience; a feeling of deep affection that may inspire commitment and sacrifice.
For example, parents love their children so much that they strive to give them the best that they can. To a parent, just seeing the smile on their children's faces is enough to make them happy. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. also showed love and mercy towards children.
Love comes in many forms. It is part of human nature for a person to develop love for wealth, ambitions, spouse and children, but the highest form of love is to love of Allah s.w.t. Everything that we do in this world should be aligned with the intention to attain Allah’s pleasure.
The Quran acknowledges these different forms of love. Allah s.w.t. reminds us in the Quran:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّه
Still, there are some who take others as Allah’s equal—they love them as they should love Allah—but the believers love Allah even more.
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:165)
In other words, love for others does not necessarily have to contradict with Allah’s love, as long as we love others for the sake of Allah s.w.t and in accordance to His pleasure. However, there are other forms of love that are warned to us by Allah s.w.t. These are the bad and prohibited ones, such as love for adultery and false deities.
As we all strive to love Allah s.w.t, the guide that we are given to persue that love; is the life and teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
For example, one of the ways to attain the ultimate love, taught by the Prophet s.a.w, is to love one another. In a Hadith, The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said,
"You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I inform you of something which, if you do, you will love one another? give greetings (peace) amongst yourselves."
Read about the other lessons of love and mercy from Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Here are some of the verses in the Quran which tells us about love and compassion:
There are always good days and bad days. While we are able to be grateful when we’re feeling joy, let us not forget the blessings of Allah in times of distress too. It is important to remind ourselves that Allah s.w.t. is always there for us and even if we might be feeling our low, there is always something to thank Allah for.
وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
And if you should count the favours of Allah, you would never be able to number them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful
(Surah An-Nahl, 16:18)
To worship Allah while having gratitude in our hearts is one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. When we look at our lives and the wonders of the universe, we will definitely see that there is a Divine presence amidst this amazingly intelligent design in creation.
Although Allah’s love is extended throughout creation, there are some people with positive characteristics that are specifically praised by Allah s.w.t. They are mentioned in the Quran such as; Al-Mutawakkilin (Those who rely on Allah), As-Sabirin (Those who are patient), Al-Muttaqin (Those who are mindful of Allah), At-Tawwabin (Those who repent).
Allah s.w.t. also mentions His Love for those who do good:
وَأَنفِقُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ ۛ وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
Spend the cause of Allah and do not contribute to your destruction with your own hands, but do good, for Allah loves those who do good (virtuous)
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:195)
To attain a fellow human being’s love, we generally do the things that he or she loves and avoid that which he or she hates. Allah’s love is far greater than the love any human being can manifest; in fact, it is the greatest love that we can attain.
The paragon of virtue and beauty, our beloved Prophet s.a.w. is the key to understand and attain Allah’s love. Through his teachings, we understand Islam. Through his life examples, we achieve Divine Love. He loves us even if we might not meet each other in this world. Allah s.w.t. attested this in the Quran:
لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
There certainly has come to you a messenger from among yourselves. He is concerned by your suffering, anxious for your well-being, and gracious and merciful to the believers
(Surah At-Tawbah, 9:128)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
O mankind, be mindful of your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed, Allah is ever, over you, an Observer
(Surah An-Nisa 4:1)
Every human being is created from a soul which was then dispersed into men and women. Therefore, to each is his or her own mate, where some might refer to it as a soulmate.
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, that are signs for people who give thought
(Surah Ar-Rum 30:21)
After marriage, partners tend to show sound affection and mercy to one another. This includes forgiving the other and becoming patient in facing challenges ahead. It is as clearly mentioned in the Quran that men can find tranquillity in women who are their soulmates and vice versa.
هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ لِبَاسٌ۬ لَّهُنَّ
Your spouses are a garment (comfort, chastity, and protection) for you as you are for them
(Surah Al-Baqarah 2:187)
The literal meaning of ‘libas’ as stated in the above verse means clothing. Clothes cover our flaws and defects, protect us from external harm and it surely compliments the way we look. Likewise, spouses cover defects and protect one another from any harm. Spouses also beautify one another, leading to joy and comfort.
Love is truly an amazing gift. There are many verses in the Quran which Allah states what He loves and what He doesn’t. Here are 6 beautiful Islamic quotes on love.
Apart from that, Allah s.w.t. also specified those that do not receive His Love. Such as the verse:
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْتَكْبِرِينَ
Without a doubt, Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. He certainly does not love those who are too proud (Arrogant)
(Surah An-Nahl, 16:23)
After all, the Quran is the book of revelation from Allah s.w.t from which we refer to for reminders about many things, including love. Indeed it is guidance from The Most Merciful, Most Loving.