The concept of love is explained in Quran. God has precisely used the word "love" in Quran along with twenty two of its different Arabic derivatives to teach us that love is a logical and realistic feeling that conforms with our God-given gift of freedom (18:29, 2:148, 33:72). Because of our freedom of choice, we are to prefer certain things, people, morals, ideologies, talents, etc. In other words, favoring, liking, loving, preferring and making certain choices based on that demonstrate our freedom.
Our Creator has expressed for us that He, too, has His own preferences. He has cited for us His favorite traits and detailed for us who exactly is worthy of earning His love or His condemnation. Within Quran, God has stated who He loves or abhors, what He likes or dislikes.
His wisdom behind this is to set for us the basic guidelines for an ideal and righteous community and to help us realize what constitutes evil and what leads to corruption. Also, by stating what He loves and what He doesn't, who is worthy of His love and who is deserving His wrath, God has made it explicit that His law of love is based on condition; God's love is conditional and has its rules. By our own volition, we end up either close to or favored by God (in the bliss of Paradise), or far from Him (in Hell). We either follow His criteria of love or face the consequences of our own man-made criteria of love. This system is clearly spelled out in the following verses:
[3:30] The day will come when each soul will find all the good works it had done brought forth. As for the evil works, it will wish that they were far, far removed. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. GOD is Compassionate towards the people.
[3:31] Proclaim: "If you love GOD, you should follow me." GOD will then love you, and forgive your sins. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[3:32] Proclaim: "You shall obey GOD and the messenger."If they turn away, GOD does not love the disbelievers.
It is a myth to believe that God has ever sent messages through any of His messengers or prophets to promote unconditional love as this would imply loving everything and every being including whatever and whoever God has decreed He abhors. God doesn't love His enemies and He sets for us the highest example of all traits (16:60). True believers love what God loves and disown what He disowns and abhors. We have issued and straightforward rules to deal with enemies of God. There is no general rule in Quran to love everyone or be kind to everyone or turn the other cheek for our enemies (9:123, 9:73, 5:54). Unconditional love is a man-made standard and weakness that ironically goes against the human nature and commonsense. More important, it opposes certain ethics and commands in Quran and it doesn't follow the highest, most superior example of love set by the Almighty. It is a flawed, personal wish to promote that God has ever advocated unconditional love in any of His scriptures through any of His prophets.
Hypothetically, if God's love was unconditional, this would defeat the whole purpose of our existence on earth - the final chance to choose Him over Satan.. His love would serve as a permission to violate His established laws. There would be no straight or crooked path, no point behind any ethics or commands, because God's "unconditional love" would be awaiting at the end of the road to save us all. This is a myth about God that is based on conjecture and/or lack of knowledge.
It is our duty as believers and submitters to carefully study the boundaries set for us in Quran in order to pursue love in a safe and constructive manner - the manner that would please God alone, within His guidelines, to earn His love and compassion:
- God loves those who repent after they make a wrong choice and transgress His limits (2:222). He rewards them by transforming their sins into credit ( 25:70).
- He loves the good doers (3:148) and he dislikes the evil doers (5:64). He loves the righteous (3:76), and righteousness is defined only by God through His teachings and commands in the scripture (2:189).
- God advocates justice and loves those who are just (49:9) and equitable (5:42). He doesn't love the unjust (3:57).
- He loves the steadfast (3:146) and He loves those who put their trust in Him (3:159).
- God loves the charitable (2:195) and doesn't love the transgressors (7:55, 5:87), the corrupt (28:77), the betrayers or the unappreciative ( 4:107, 22:38).
- He doesn't love those who are arrogant (16:23, 4:36, 31:18) nor does He love those who are boastful, proud (57:23).
- He has assigned Hell for His enemies (41:19,28) and called them the worst creatures (8:55, 98:6). He doesn't love those who extend love to them or take them as allies while they are actively fighting God and His Truth (60:1, 58:22, 9:16).
- God loves those who are clean (2:222) and doesn't love the gluttons (7:31).
- God loves those who strive in His cause (61:4), with no fear of any blame (5:54), united on His word (3:103).
In the light of Quran, we learn that God's love for us is always a consequence of our choice of loving Him the most and upholding His commands. He is in no need of our love. We are the desperate ones who need to earn His approval. This, in return, leads to earning our redemption and His support:
Believe For Your Own Good [39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
[61:11] Believe in GOD and His messenger and strive in the cause of GOD with your money and your lives. This is the best deal for you, if you only knew.
[61:12] In return, He forgives your sins, and admits you into gardens with flowing streams, with beautiful mansions in the gardens of Eden. This is the greatest triumph.
[61:13] Additionally, you get something you truly love: support from GOD and guaranteed victory. Give good news to the believers.
This temporary phase on earth is so short. May God help us to always remember that the end of our lives is like a blink of an eye and our only chance of redemption could end unexpectedly at any moment. Then, those who have not wasted their chance of earning God's love will surely be His favored ones. Those are the ultimate winners.
[56:88] If he is one of those close to Me -
[56:89] then joy, flowers, and gardens of bliss.
[56:90] And if he is one of the right -
[56:91] peace is the lot of those on the right.
[56:10] Then there is the elite of the elite.
[56:11] They are those who will be closest (to God).
[56:12] In the gardens of bliss.
[56:13] Many from the first generations.
[56:14] Few from the later generations.
[83:19] Do you know what `Elleyyeen is?
[83:20] A numerically structured book.
[83:21] To be witnessed by those close to Me.
[83:22] The righteous have deserved bliss.
[83:23] On luxurious furnishings they watch.
[83:24] You recognize in their faces the joy of bliss.
[83:25] Their drinks will be spiced with nectar.
[83:26] Its spice is like musk. This is what the competitors should compete for.
[83:27] Mixed into it will be special flavors.
[83:28] From a spring that is reserved for those close to Me.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.