The Qur’an refers to love that stems from faith and has a profound impact on the soul. It takes hard work to possess that love. The concept of love in the Qur’an encapsulates the concepts of self-sacrifice, patience, generosity, care and protection. Our Lord reveals in the Qur’an that responding to evil and evil words in the finest possible manner and treating people well represents the basis of love.
If you ask people across the world, the majority will probably say they “know all about love and loving” and that they “love a great many people.” But the fact is that only very, very few people know love and how to love. What people imagine to be “love” is actually a feeling rather more like infatuation. The passage of time makes it quite clear that this feeling is not love at all. True love is an emotion based on the love and approval of Allah, that never diminishes no matter how much time goes by, that can withstand time, difficulties, flaws and errors and that is always growing.
Responding to Evil in the Finest Way Is Proof of Love
In the Qur’an, Allah commands people to respond to evil with good:
“A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend.” (Surat al-Fussilat, 34)
Allah has promised believers an auspicious outcome when they respond to evil with good. He notes that even if there is a state of enmity between them and the other person, a warm friendship can still emerge. This is also a requirement of believers’ conception of love and compassion. When they see that the other party is behaving badly and in a manner displeasing to Allah, they first think that this behavior is a danger to that person in terms of the hereafter and approach that person with tolerance and modesty, avoiding pride and arrogance, and adopt a humble way of speaking. They never adopt the logic of “The person in error or who does wrong must be the first to apologize” or “To hell with them,” an attitude common among people who do not live by Qur’anic moral values. They know that Allah will approve of the behavior of whoever behaves well, and that to respond to evil with good is the behavior most compatible with the moral values of the Qur’an. For that reason, they regard humility as gaining them something rather than a source of loss.
Believers may encounter all kinds of people during their lives. But they never alter their moral conception on the basis of other people’s behavior. Other people may speak mocking or ugly words, become angry or behave badly. But the believer never changes his good manners, modesty, compassionate affection and loving behavior. He never replies to bad words with bad words of his own. He never responds to mockery or anger with mockery or anger of his own. He always responds to offensive behavior with a tolerance, compassion and love that serves to embarrass the other party and make them want to behave better. He is always calm and moderate in the face of anger.
Of course, this behavior on the part of a believer has an entirely rational dimension; it never puts him in a position whereby he can come to harm. He never allows himself or other believers to come to any harm or to suffer any wrong. But with his good behavior he also preaches the moral virtues commanded by the faith. And by adopting the moral values beloved of Allah, he tries to attract the other party toward religious moral values.
However, we must also not forget that someone else behaving badly is no excuse for exhibiting poor moral values oneself. Everyone is individually and ultimately responsible to Allah for his actions. Being able to respond to bad behavior with affection, compassion, moral virtue and love is, according to the Qur’an, a sign of superior morality because this proper attitude on the part of the believer shows the power and intensity of his devotion to Allah. That person is patient solely because that value will be pleasing to Allah. Allah reveals that He will twice reward this superior patience people exhibit regarding living by the moral values of the Qur’an:
“They will be given their reward twice over because they have been steadfast and because they ward off the bad with the good and give from what we have provided for them.” (Surat al-Qasas, 54)
Treating People Well Is Proof of Love
“We did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming, so turn away graciously.” (Surat al-Hijr, 85)
Allah commands believers to behave well and treat others with love. This is a solid moral conception stemming from fear of Allah and devotion to the Qur’an. The believer never, therefore, makes the slightest concession on those values throughout his life, and treats others well and lovingly within the framework of earning Allah’s approval.
Whether the other person is rich or poor, old or young, man or woman make no difference in terms of a believer’s moral values. The believer never considers such characteristics, since he expects no worldly gain or benefit in return for his behavior. Indeed, Allah has specified the measure involved here:
“Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him. Be good to your parents and relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to neighbors who are related to you and neighbors who are not related to you, and to companions and travelers and your slaves. Allah does not love anyone vain or boastful.” (Surat an-Nisa’, 36)
The believer exhibits the same behavior commanded by Allah to everyone. However, this is not a conception of good that approves of other people’s false ideas nor turns a blind eye to wrongful behavior. The believer never makes any concessions from the path shown by Allah on matters concerning the truth. If the other party behaves badly, he tries to make this clear through his own compassion and love, and thus to set out the proper way of behaving.
Seeing the Other Party’s Point of View Is an Important Sign of Love
There are generally two sides to every story in the great majority of events that people who live far removed from religious moral values encounter in their daily lives. It is almost impossible for one person to be completely in the right and the other completely in the wrong. Right may sometimes be divided 80% to 20%, and at other times 50% to 50%. People generally look at matters in which they are involved from their own perspective, and to the extent permitted by that perspective. Therefore, one person will regard himself as being completely in the right, while the other person regards himself in exactly the same way. One of the two expects the other party to apologize and see the error of his ways, while the other person expects exactly the same thing from him.
This approach, which is widespread in societies that do not live by religious moral values, leads to permanent unease and coolness between people in the event of the slightest misunderstanding or disagreement. The difference between them and believers comes out under such conditions. One important characteristic of the believer is that he knows love and how to love. Being a believer means possessing superior moral values when it comes to friendship, loyalty, affection and compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and winning people’s hearts. The believer is highly altruistic in his love. He never prefers his own desires over the person he loves. He never abandons the person he loves for the sake of his own ease and comfort. He will never try to blame the person he loves in order to exculpate himself. On the contrary, he will still assume the blame even if the person he loves is completely in the wrong. He will assume the responsibility for all error and flaws and deficiencies, and will never allow a shred of blame to be attached to the person he loves. And his sole aim in all of this is to earn Allah’s approval because the believer’s love is based solely on love of Allah. His loyalty stems from his loyalty to Allah. And that is the sole source of his devotion to the person he loves.
Love Is an Important Sign of a Believer
Almost everyone will come across loveless and ruthless people in their lives. These people are unaffected by almost everything that goes on or is said around them and use a harsh form of language. There is no doubt that it is none other than satan who leads these people to lovelessness and ruthlessness. Satan does not want people to have good conscience or to be rational, submissive, grateful, tolerant, pleased with Allah’s creation, full of love and showing moral virtue to those around them. Yet Almighty Allah has created human nature to make things easy and put others at their ease, so people will sacrifice themselves if necessary, do this without letting the other party know, to adapt to all legitimate things and to be full of love. Believers, who use this attribute created by Allah very well, calm down the environment they find themselves in and always have a positive impact. This harmonious, calming, positive, warm and relaxing character that believers exhibit to those around them out of their love of Allah is an excellent sign of a believer. Allah reveals in the Qur’an how He has created the blessing of love for believers:
“As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love on them.” (Surah Maryam, 96)
The true source of the love for other people that believers feel in their hearts is their love of Allah. Knowing that Allah created the joy they feel in their hearts and that Allah is manifested in all things is the true source of profound human love.
In true love, one can always express these emotions to the people one loves with breathtaking and effective words one has never used before. Each one is different to all those that have gone before because one experiences that joy in the most vibrant form and at every moment in one’s heart.
Allah has created human beings with “souls,” in contrast to all other living things. Therefore, and again in contrast to all other living things, the effect that the riches in one’s soul will have on another person will also be different. The love that everyone experiences is directly proportional to the beauty in one’s soul. The more traits deserving of love and respect one has, the more people will love and respect them. In the same way, the more sensitive one is to the traits deserving of love and respect in other people, the more one will see such beauties in others and love and respect them in proportion.
Mr. Adnan Oktar Speaks of the Love Described in the Qur’an:
The Qur’an describes the foundation of love. It does not tell us simply to love. Love requires patience, for instance, loyalty, generosity, care, protectiveness and consideration, doesn’t it? An egotistical, selfish person cannot know love. An egotistical, selfish person inevitably loses love. People who are not forgiving lose love. In other words, love does not form spontaneously. It calls for work and care. You have to protect love in the same way you tend a flower. Love does not just appear spontaneously. One does not love a person’s eyes and eyebrows; they can grow old or become diseased. Wealth can also disappear, but faith and virtue, the moral values stemming from faith, are permanent and have a profound effect on the soul. That is why we love other people. One cannot just love a person made of flesh and bone because lift the skin up by just a millimeter and flesh is bright red, and all you have is blood and fat and nothing else. So there is nothing left to love about a person. (14 June 2011, A9 TV)
Adnan Oktar's piece in The Gulf Today: