The Concept of Love in Islam
What is love and how does one achieve it? Love is something so complex that no words can define it. There are many meanings and forms and types of "love". The Glorious Qur'an mentions the word 'love' in many verses. Does the love for others mean kindness and affection having moral nobility and human respect, and not a means of satisfying carnal desires and material whims? Is true love for others as that affection which is free on motivation, pollution of thought, selfishness, and material interests? Is love conformant with the loftiness of spirit, the purity of mind, and intensity different for human beings than it is for the remainder of the animal kingdom? Does love remove the quality of animalism and savagery from an individual, give assurance and security, create an environment of peace and joy, and make life attractive and pleasant?
In Islam, love is first for Allah (s.w.t), occupying the heart and conscience in such a way that it overwhelms concealed everything else. It is reported, "I never saw a thing but I saw Allah before it, after it, and along with it". The Glorious Qur'an says: "The believers are stauncher in (their) love for Allah." - 2:165
Second, the faithful harbor of love for His Nabiy Muhammad (s.a.w). This love in manifested by an intense desire to follow and imitate the Nabiy (s.a.w). The Glorious Qur'an says, "Say (O' Our Nabiy Muhammad
If ye do love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; Verily, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." - 3:31
Third, Islam advocates brotherly love in faith. It is reported, "Human beings can live in blessing and kindness so long as they love each other, show trust-worthiness, and behave according to truth and fairness." This brotherly love in faith also established good relations in society when the basis for sincerity and affection, and heartfelt love is simple that of sharing Islam. It is reported that a man was sitting beside the Nabiy Muhammad (s.a.w), and his friend passed by. This man told Nabiy Muhammad (s.a.w), "I love that man for the sake of Allah (s.w.t)." Nabiy Muhammad (s.a.w) asked him if he had told his friend that, and the man answered in the negative. The man stood up, stopped his friend, and told him, "I love you for the sake of Allah (s.w.t)" and his friend replied, "I love you the way you love for His sake." It is reported, "Allah (s.w.t) loves that His servant salute one another clearly and openly."
This is the love in Islam. No words can define it. It's something so enigmatic, that only Allah (s.w.t) could design it and comprehends. Wonder of wonders. Beyond man's conception. And only in Allah, can love find true perfection. For love is enduring and patient and kind. It judges all things with the heart, not the mind. And love can transform the most common place into beauty and splendor and sweetness and grace. For love is unselfish, giving more than it takes, being unconditional and unhampered by environment. Love never forsakes, it's faithful and trusting, truthful. It is guileless and honest and never deceiving. Love is Allah (s.w.t)'s Divine Gift.
On the other hand, there is the love of the world. Love of the world leads the stage where a person man/woman does not see anything but the world before it, after it, and along with it. Every thought and action is for some worldly gain. Such a person cannot devote himself/herself to pious deeds for more than a few days. It is reported, "This world is like sea water. The more one drinks of it, the more one gets thirsty." If this self-love is reinforced, it becomes more intense, exceeds the limit of expediency, and consequently turns into egoism and selfishness, producing great evil, polluting the person with many vices leading to the violation of the rights of others, and promoting anti-human deeds. The only love between a man and a woman that achieves fruition is that between a husband and a wife. The love and compassion between a husband and a wife is a gift from Allah (s.w.t), and a loving wife finds happiness in obeying her husband.
In our world, there can be no value in anything that does not earn Allah (s.w.t)'s good pleasure. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to confine our efforts to seeking the next world, for this world has no value to us.
We ask the Mighty Lord to purify our hearts, and to brighten us with faith. May He turn our mind more towards seeking His pleasure and fill our hearts with His love, His fear, and belief in Him. May He help us according to the teachings of His book, Ameen."