Love in the Qur Term Paper

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The objective of this study is to consider how the language, arrangement and general compositional strategies of the text in the Quran result in a particular understanding of Allah's love of man and man's love of Allah.

For the reader of the Quran who has never encountered the writings love may not be at first obvious to the reader. However, when better understanding the context of the Quran and the meaning that hit holds for believers of the Muslim faith, it is clear that love is interwoven throughout the entirety of the Quran.

Love of God for Humans

According to the work of Ghazali the love of God for human beings in the Quran is God drawing people "nearer to Himself by warding off distractions and sins from [them]…"( Ghazi, 2012, p.12) The word 'mahabbah' is used for 'love' in the statement as follows:

"In its ordinary use, 'love' means the soul's inclination to something which suits it and pleases it. Such a thing can only be envisaged for an imperfect being, which inclines towards something it lacks and is made complete by attaining it, and delights in having attained it; and this is impossible for God… God's love for man, then, is for Him to draw him nearer to Himself by warding off distractions and sins from him, and purifying his inner being from the turbidity of this worldly life, and drawing back the veil from his heart so that he may behold Him, as though he sees Him with his heart. As for man's love for God, it is his inclination towards attaining the perfection which he utterly lacks and needs, for he will doubtless yearn for what he lacks, and delight in attaining any part of it. This kind of yearning and love is impossible for God." (Ghazi, 2012, p. 11-12)

This definition of love is stated to be "confirmed by the etymological root of the word 'hubb' or 'love' derived from the word 'habb' meaning seed. This has the implication that the seed when falling to the ground sprouts forth and grows into a new and beautiful plant as stated in the Holy Quran:

"The likeness of those who expend their wealth in the way of God is as the likeness of a grain (habb) that spouts seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains; so God multiplies for whom He will; God is Embracing, Knowing." (Al-Baqarah, 2:261 cited in: Ghazi, 2012, p. 13)

Love is spoken of many times in the Holy Quran. For example it is stated as follows: "And when you are resolved, rely on God; for God loves those who rely [upon Him]." (Aal 'Imran, 3:159) The love of God is not simply an act of God but instead is "one of God's very own Divine Qualities or Names." (2012, p. 14) The Divine Names in the Holy Quran which designate the qualities of God to be loving qualities include: "the Gentle -- 'Al-Latif'; the Kind -- 'Al-Raouf'; the Generous -- 'Al-Kareem'; the Forebearing -- 'Al-Haleem'; the Absolutely Reliable -- 'Al-Wakil'; the Friend -- 'Al-Wali'; the Good -- 'Al-Barr'; the Forgiving -- 'Al-Ghafur; 'the Forgiver -- 'Al-Ghaffar'; the Granter and Accepter of Repentance -- 'Al-Tawwab', and the Pardoner -- 'Al-Afu'; and specifically by God's Name, the Loving -- 'Al-Wadud'." (2012, p. 14) occurring twice in the Holy Quran. The link that exists between love and mercy is clear and it is stated that the Quaranic verses indicate that "God's Love is inseparable from His Mercy. Thus Love comes with Mercy, and Mercy comes with Love." (Ghazi, 2012, p. 14)

II. Defining Love

Love in the English language means in the verb form of the word to "Have a deep tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward (a person); to have a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person; to have an intense emotional attachment to something or someone." (On Islam, 2014, p. 1) It is reported that the same verb in Arabic "carries more than just the simple emotional meanings illustrated above, as Arabic is a very rich and complex language." (On Islam, 2014, p. 1) The manifestations of love as well as the requirements and obligations that go along with "compassion, care esteem, respect, self-sacrifice, humbleness, forgiveness" are expressed in Arabic as love in the Holy Quran. (On Islam, 2014, p. 1) The Quran is reported to have a plentiful collection of verses that manifest God's love for those he created in a practice way and that speaks of the individual's love for God. Both love and faith are practical in the view of the Quran rather than just emotions. For example faith, when referenced in the Quran is "always…coupled with 'doing good deeds'." (On Islam, 2014, p. 1) Likewise, in the Quran, when the love of God is mentioned "it's coupled with the practice gifts this love will bestow on believers, as the practical application of their love for God brings them closer to Him." (On Islam, 2014, p.1)

III. The Manner in Which the Quran Approaches the Nature of Human Beings

The approach of the Quran to the nature of human beings is one that is reported as balanced in that "it recognizes that emotions sway between positive and negative and people are not expected to be angels who do not know weakness or negative feelings." (On Islam, 2014, p. 1) The Quran is reported to be such that serves in regulation of emotions and disciplines of manners while providing the individual "with amazing tenderness, hope and soft emotions interwoven into the text." (On Islam, 2014, p. 1)

IV. The Five Uses of Love in the Quran

Mahally (nd) writes that the word love or 'hubb' occurs in its use 69 times in the Quran and can be divided into five categories including those of: (1) Man's love of things; (2) human love; (3) Man's love for God; (4) God's love in the negative sense; and (5) God's love for man. (p.1) Man's love of things is reported to be used 15 times including the following stated uses:

(1) 14:3 "Those who love the life of this world more than the Hereafter, who hinder [men] form the Path of Allah and seek therein something crooked: They are astray by a long distance." (Cited in: Mahally, nd, p.1)

(2) 16:107 "This because they love the life of this world better than the Hereafter: An Allah will not guide those who reject Faith." (Cited in:: Mahally, nd, p.1)

V. Human Love in the Quran

Human love is reported to be used 15 times in the Quran including the following examples of human love:

(1) 3:119 "Ah! Ye are those who love [hubb] them, but they love [hubb] you not, -- though ye believe in the whole of the Book. When they meet you they say, "We believe": But when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say: "Perish in your rage; Allah knoweth well all the secrets of the heart." (cited in: Mahally, nd, p.1)

(2) 12:30 "Ladies said in the City: "The wife of the (great) Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave from his (true) self: Truly hath he inspired her with violent love [Hubb n.]: We see she is evidently going astray [shghfaha hubban anan]." (Cited in: Mahally, nd, p.1) This is reported to refer to Potipher's wife and to be an example that describes love as "erotic by emphasizing that it was violent or intense." (: Mahally, nd, p.1)

VI. Man's Love for God in the Quran

Man's love for God is used seven times in the Quran including the following use reported to show how man is motivated to love others by God:

38:32 "And he said, "Truly do I love [hubb] the love [hubb n.] of Good, with a view to the glory of my Lord," -- Until (the sun) was hidden in the veil (of Night)." (Cited in:: Mahally, nd, p.1)

VII. God's Love for Man in the Quran

God's love for man is used 20 times in the Quran. The use of love in terms of God's love for man is evident in the following verses:

(1) God's love for those who do good deed: "2:195 And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allahloveth [hubb] those who do good. [al-muhasneen]." (cited in:: Mahally, nd, p.1)

(2) God's love for those who are pure: 2:222 They ask thee concerning women's courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah. For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves [hubb] those who keep themselves pure and clean. [al-mutdhreen]

(3) God's love…[continue]

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