An-Nahj al-Asma Fii Sharh Asma Allahu al-Husna by Shaikh Muhammad an-Najdi

The Name Al-Wadood is mentioned twice in the Noble Qur’an.

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said in Surat Hud (11:90):

“And ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn unto Him in repentance. Verily, my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving.”

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  also said in Surat al-Buruj (85:13-14):

 “Verily, He it is Who begins (punishment) and repeats (punishment in the Hereafter) (or originates the creation of everything and then repeats it on the Day of Resurrection). And He is Oft-Forgiving, Full of Love (towards the pious, who are real true believers of Islamic Monotheism).”

The meaning of the Name:

Ibn Jarir said, “Al-Wadood is the One Full of love towards those who return to Him in repentance.” [Jami’ul Bayan]

Ibn Jarir also said regarding Allaah’s Statement, “He is Oft-Forgiving, Full of love,“ that He (Allaah), the Exalted, is the “Owner of Forgiveness“ for whoever repents from his sins, and He Who is Full of love towards him (the repentant).” [Jami’ul-Bayan]

Az-Zajjaj said, “Al-Wadood has two meanings:

One meaning is that it is He Who loves His righteous believing slaves. The other meaning is that He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  is the most beloved to His slaves.

The Attribute of “Loving” in case of Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  and in case of the slave is like the Attribute of “Shukr” (appreciation); the slave is shakur (grateful) to Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) , i.e. thanks Him for His Bounties and Blessings, Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  is Shakur for His slave, i.e. All-Appreciative, appreciates him for his deeds and recompenses him for it. Similarly, the attribute of “Tawbah” (repentance); the slave is tawwab to Allaah from his sins, and Allaah is Tawwab (by accepting his repentance and pardoning him).” [Ishtigag Asma’ullaah]

Al-Khattabi said something similar to the statement of Az-Zajjaj but added: “He Who puts their (the beleivers) love in the hearts of His creation,” as He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said in Surat Maryam (19:96):

 “Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Beneficent (Allaah) will bestow love for them (in the hearts of the believers).” [Sha’n ad-Du’a]

Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said, “The One Who loves His Prophets, Messengers and those who follow them and they in turn love Him. He is more beloved to them than anything else. Their hearts have been filled with love of Him, their tongues are constantly moist with praising Him and their hearts are always drawn to Him in love, sincerity and returning unto Him in all cases.” [Tayseer al-Kareem]

The impact of believing in this Name:  

  1. Al-Qurtubi said, “It is incumbent upon every adult to know that Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  is the absolute Most Loving One, Who loves His creation, praises them and is good to them.” [Al-Kitab al-Asna]

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  loves whoever obeys Him and hates whoever disobeys Him. He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  loves those who return to Him in repentance, those who purify themselves, those who are patient, those who put their trust in Him, those who are just, the believers, the pious, the good-doers and all the obedient ones.

On the other hand, He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  hates and detests the transgressors, the makers of mischief, the extravagant, the betrayers, the arrogant, the rebellious, the oppressors, and the disbelievers. He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  also does not love every proud and boastful, and hates every treacherous ingrate (to Him); all those are mentioned in His Noble Book.

 Accordingly, it is a must on the slave to follow what Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  loves and is pleased with and to avoid what He hates and does not like.

Al Qurtubi also said in addition to his previous statement:

“Then the slave should seek his Lord’s love by acting upon His Commands and prohibitions as He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  shows him love by constantly bestowing His Blessings and Grace upon him. The slave should love Him (his Lord) as He loves him. Amongst the signs of love of the slave for his Lord are:

  • His pleasure with what He (Allaah) pre-ordained and decreed.
  • His love for the Qur’an and acting upon it.
  • His love for the Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), love of his Sunnah and acting upon it, and calling people to it.

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said in Surat Aal-Imran (3:31):

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Whoever follows Allaah’s Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in all what he has brought and is truthful, he is the one who loves Allaah and Allaah loves him.

Bear in mind the love for Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  is shown by abstaining from the prohibitions more than by performing the good deeds, because both the righteous and the wicked may perform good deeds; while refraining from the prohibitions cannot be done except by a truthful believer and Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  knows best. According to that, the love of Allaah will be for His slave and the love of them for Him.

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported that Abu Hurairah (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “When Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  loves a slave, He calls Jibreel (Gabriel) and says, ‘I love so-and-so, you should also love him.’ And then Jibreel begins to love him. Then he (Jibreel) makes an announcement in the heavens saying, ‘Allaah loves so-and-so and you should also love him; then the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also begin to love him; and then there is conferred love upon him in the earth, and when Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  hates a slave, He calls Jibreel and says, ‘I hate so-and-so, and you also should hate him.’ Then Jibreel also begins hating him. He (Jibreel) then makes an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the heavens, ‘Verily Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  hates so-and-so, so you should also hate him.’ Thus, they also start to hate him. Then he becomes the object of hatred on the earth also.” [Al-Kitab al-Asna]

Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) said, “He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  loves those of His slaves who love Him. If we love something for the sake of Allaah, in fact that is because Allaah is the beloved One and our love for anything is subsequent to His love. Therefore, we love those who love Allaah because they love Allaah, and Allaah loves those who love Him. He is the One Who deserves to be loved most, and to be worshipped and to be the utmost of every love.” [Dar’ Ta’arud al-‘Aql wan-Naql]

  1. Only Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  deserves to be loved for His Essence, and every love should be for the sake of Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) . If one loves, he should love for the sake of Allaah, and if he hates, he should hate for the sake of Allaah. If he gives, he should give for the sake of Allaah, and if he withholds, he should withhold for the sake of Allaah, and his loyalty and enmity should be for the sake of Allaah and so forth. All his deeds should be according to what Allaah loves and is pleased with.

Therefore, it is not permissible to hate whomever Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  loves from among the Prophets, Messengers and the pious ones. Also one should not love whomever Allaah hates from among the rebellious, the disbelievers, the sinners and those who fight Allaah with their selves and wealth, no matter how close are they.

An example for the first attitude, which is hating whomever Allaah loves: The Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allaah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and, My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, then I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.” [Al-Bukhaari]

  • The hadeeth indicates that showing hostility to Allaah’s devoted worshippers (the Awliya’) is in fact contracting enmity with Allaah. Who can bear fighting against Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) ?
  • The hadeeth emphasizes that the obligatory acts are the most beloved matters through which one can draw closer to Allaah, and next comes the voluntary acts.

An example for the second attitude, which is loving whomever disobeys Allaah:

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said in Surat al-Mujaadilah (58:22):

“You (O Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)) will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred (people).”

Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) said, “Nothing deserves to be loved for its being, seeking its being, worshipping for its being, except Allaah. Also, there is no Greater Originator except Allaah, as there is no lord except Him, Laa ilaha illa Allaah (none deserves to be worshipped except Allaah).

There is none among the creation who creates or originates something independently such that he can be its lord; there should be a means and a creator of the means who brought it into existence and activated it.

Also, there is none among the creation who deserves to be independently  worshipped or to be sought with all the deeds, rather it would be sought or loved for other’s sake, and there are others who share with him the love, and both should love for the sake of Allaah. No one is loved for his being.

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  created His slaves with this instinct (Fitrah, loving Him) and it is greater than creating them loving food which fulfills desire (craving), and He made other kinds (of food) for their nourishment. But to have the instinct to worship other than Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  is totally refused (impossible or not accepted) as it is impossible to have other than Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  as a Creator for this world.

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said in Surat Ar-Rum (30:30):

“So set you (O Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifan (i.e. worship none but Allaah Alone) Allaah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allaah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq-illaah (i.e. the Religion of Allaah-Islam) that is the Straight Religion, but most of men know not.”

It is narrated by Abu Hurairah (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu)in the two Saheehs, that the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Every child is born on al-Fitrah [true faith of Islamic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allaah Alone] but his parents convert him to Judaism, Christianity or Magianism; similar to an animal that delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?”

It is reported in Saheeh Muslim that ‘Iyaadh ibn Himaar (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu)narrated that the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allaah says, ‘I created My slaves Hunafaa’ (declined from Shirk) (all of them), then the Satans overpowered them and took them away from what they were on. They (Satans) forbade them from what I have made lawful for them and they ordered them to associate others in worship with Me, for which I had sent no authority.” [Muslim]

The natural instinct knows this more than knowing what suits them of food and drink, but sometimes distortion (corruption) could happen to the Fitrah, such that it loses its realization (understanding), as it happens when it loses the taste for food and finds the sweet bitter.

This is the most known Ma’ruf (the Tawheed) which Allaah ordered His Messenger with and the Shirk is the worst evil which Allaah forbade and will not forgive, because it is mischief which does not accept reformation.

Therefore, it is obligatory to distinguish between love (of others) besides Allaah and love for the sake of Allaah. The first one is Shirk (association) and the second one is Iman (faith).

Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:165):

“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah. But those who believe, love Allaah more (than anything else).”

In Surat at-Tawbah (9:24), Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  said:

“Are dearer to you than Allaah and His Messenger.”

It is not allowed for anyone to love something besides Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) . As for the love for the sake of Allaah, the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whoever possesses the following three (qualities) will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:

  1. The one to whom Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  and His Messenger (Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)) become dearer than anything else.
  2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allaah’s Sake.
  3. Who hates to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire. [Al-Bukhaari]
  4. The love for Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  and His Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is strengthened by religious knowledge. As the Muslim increases in knowledge about Allaah’s Religion and His Laws and acts upon them accordingly, his love will be stronger than the ignorance, even though the love of Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  exists already in the Fitrah but it is strengthened with acquiring knowledge and is weakened and diminished by doubts and evil desires (lusts).

Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah) said, “Every believer loves Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  and His Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and this love appears clearly when he is given the chance to choose between his family and Allaah and His Messenger. He chooses Allaah and His Messenger (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).

The believers are different as regard this love, whereas the hypocrites – who show Islam but Iman did not enter their hearts – are not of those.

There is no believer but when meeting with Allaah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)  and sighting Him is mentioned his heart longs and yearns for that to an extent that no other longing is compared to.”

Al-Hasan al-Basri said, “If the worshippers know that they will not see their Lord in the Hereafter, their selves would melt because of it in this life.” [Reported by ‘Abdullah (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu)in as-Sunnah and al-Ajurri in Ash-Shari’ah]

Love for Allaah increases and is strengthened due to strong knowledge and correct Fitrah (instinct), and its deficiency or decrease is due to decrease in knowledge and corrupted Fitrah (or distorted Fitrah) because of corrupted desires.

Undoubtedly the self loves enjoyment of food, drink and marriage, and could be occupied with the least beloved matters due to his urge (strong need) for it like the need of the hungry person for food. His feeling hungry could occupy him from the enjoyment of secret counsel with Allaah and talking to Him in the Salah.

Therefore, the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “No Salah (prayer) can be (rightly offered) when food is brought (before the worshipper) or when he is resisting the urge to relieve himself of the filths (i.e. urine and feces).” [Muslim]

If the Salah is the comfort of the eye for those who know, and man may long for what he loves, (but) if he does not feel that, then he will not long for it because if he felt it, his longing would be stronger (for it) than anything else.” [Dar’ Ta’arud al-Aql wan-Naql]


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