myth: Allah (swt) is not loving

I’m continuously flabbergasted every time I see this claim in assorted forms:

My priest made a good point that in Islam they say their god is merciful and just, but never loving. The do not have any concept of God being love, as we do. Love is the highest good. It is the reason that our God is merciful and just. These latter two virtues are secondary virtues, that only exist because of the reality that God is love. Allah is lacking that fundamental characteristic of the true living God–only copying mercy and justice to some degree, but not existing as love itself.

I mean, how hard is it to read through the 99 names of Allah (swt) and come upon this:

And He alone is truly forgiving, all-embracing in his love. (85:14)

And in case they need to read further:

Now I’ll also often have christians say, “ah ha, but God loves everyone, no matter what they do!  In Islam, your God does not necessarily love everyone all the time.

To this I ask, “what good is the love of your God if at the end of the day, you burn in hell because you reject Jesus’ (as) supposed sacrifice?  Yes, God is our loving friend and buddy and He’s throwing us into hell, big woopdeedo.”

In Islam, the attributes of Allah (swt) are balanced.  He is Allah (swt) first and foremost, not “Love.”  He is the Loving, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Just, the Forgiver, amongst dozens of other names.

We are encouraged to seek the pleasure and love of Allah (swt), and in every action increase our love for Him.  If there isn’t love in Islam, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing everyday.

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6 thoughts on “myth: Allah (swt) is not loving

  1. Interesting post. I looked up all the links you provided and read through everything. I found it fascinating that in Islam God’s love appears to be contingent on man’s love or obedience to him. This is opposite to the Biblical view of God’s love as summed up by the Prophet Jeremiah in the OT and the Apostle John in the NT.

    “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    Therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”

    “We love Him because He first loved us.”

    Therefore, as a Christian, I would not say that God loves everyone, rather God’s love is unconditional, i.e. not requiring any action by us the creatures. Essentially, I love God because He has given me the heart to love him, and though I will sin as I am still in this fallen body, His love does not cease.

    Reading the texts and commentary linked to above, I don’t think you can draw the same conclusion from the Qur’an.

  2. Assalam Alaikum,

    To the poster above, perhaps it would be advisable for you to read some of the links again since when I read through them it is not that Allah’s love is contingent on man’s action, but that Allah’s love can be recognized through Allah’s actions of Mercy and Compassion towards man.

    A parent loves their child unconditionally, whether they are obedient or whether they are unruly, but regardless when the child has behaved badly they are punished and must say they are sorry. Just like how we must repent for when we are disobedient towards Allah…He still loves us, he might even forgive us, but we might also have to stomach some punishment for our actions.

    So when people change their actions from wrong to right then Allah also gives us more mercy and compassion, if he did not love us then we would never even be given the chance to change our actions to ones more pleasing to him. If he only loved those who were obedient to him then people who do evil things would not be in power, would not be rich, etc, etc.

    Allah’s love isn’t a free pass to do whatever you want willy-nilly just because he loves you though. Sometimes taking away your child’s toy is how you get them to return to being obedient. I, myself at least, believe the same principal would work for gifts from Allah.

    Say: O My slaves (mankind) who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgives all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful…” (39:53-58).

    Allahu Alim

    Wassalam,
    -Sabiha

  3. OumAmir, the vision of Love in Christianity and Islam certainly are different. That’s not really my point. The point is that time and time again, I’ve had christians tell me point blank, God does not love in Islam.

    However, is there really an important difference between unconditional love and God loving everybody (both of which were taught in the church I attended prior to Islam), if in the end, that loving God will still send you to hell if you don’t believe Jesus (as) died for your sins?

    In Islam, if we fail and return in sincere repentance, Allah (swt) will continue to love us. If we don’t, then we’re probably bound for hell, so it doesn’t matter if Allah (swt) loves us or not.

  4. “However, is there really an important difference between unconditional love and God loving everybody (both of which were taught in the church I attended prior to Islam), if in the end, that loving God will still send you to hell if you don’t believe Jesus (as) died for your sins?”

    Hmmmm. . . well, for the first part of the question- yes. There is a difference; loving all people and loving unconditionally are not the same thing even within a secular realm. The second part of the question isn’t framed in a biblical manner. At first blush it looks are if you’re asserting that God is putting perfectly righteous people in hell for just a little issue of not accepting Jesus. God doesn’t necessarily send you to hell for not trusting in the sacrificial death of Jesus. God does justly send a person to hell for their sins. (And from what I’ve read in the Qur’an and the ahadith, I believe you’d agree.) Genesis records the fall of humanity into sin. Paul writes, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” and that man is guilty because “they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” The books of Proverbs and the Psalter record numerous verses of the foolish wickedness of humanity. Ergo, if God punishes a person in hell, he does so justly. His love is manifest in his drawing us toward him, removing hearts of stone, giving hearts of flesh, and writing His law on our hearts as the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied.

    An interesting story from the OT-

    Jonah, a prophet, was chosen by God to preach to the Assyrians in Nineveh. The Assyrians were not particularly righteous people. A Biblical scholar once commented that the Assyrians made the Nazis look like chumps. God commented to Jonah that they were so wicked they didn’t know their left hands from their right hands. Jonah preached to the Ninevites and they repented.

    Is the love of God described by the Qur’an truly love if there is a contingency of human obedience?

    Jesus addressed this issue of love between people this way, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and( pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46(For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48(You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

    That said, I do definitely fault the poster for not looking into the situation and relying on a third party.

  5. That fine. I typed up my post between calls at work and it wasn’t until I reread my writings that I realized how incredibly choppy it was. Oy.

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