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Books Section > by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian > Four Question Answered (Siraaj-ud-Deen Eesaee Kay Chaar Swaalon Kay Jawaab) > Question # 3: The Concept of Love for God and God's Love


Question # 3: The Concept of Love for God and God's Love:

 


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Question: What verses of the Quran deal especially with the love of man and God, and the love of God for man?


The Answer:

The essence of the Quranic teaching is that just as God is One and without partners, so also must our love for Him be unique and exclusive. The Muslim confession of faith, "There is no God but Allah," which is constantly on the lips of the Muslims is an indication of this fact. The word ilah in it is derived from walah which means a beloved that is worshipped. This statement of faith is taught neither by the Torah nor by the Gospels, but only by the Quran. Its close association with Islam has made it the distinctive piece of this religion. Five times a day, this statement of faith is called out loudly from the minarets of the mosques -- a practice that is often resented by the Christians and Hindus, making it appear that it is a sin with them to remember God with love. It is only in Islam that the break of dawn each day is greeted by the caller to the prayer calling out, la ilaha ill-allah -- I bear witness that there is no God -- dear and beloved -- except Allah. The same cry issues forth from the Islamic mosques and floats skyward at the time of the afternoon, late afternoon, sunset and night prayers. Does any other religion show a comparable demonstration of the love of God?


The Sense of the Word Islam also Indicates Love:

The meaning of the word islam indicates that its source is love. The real meaning of the word islam is to submit to Allah and be genuinely ready to sacrifice everything for Him. This is a practical state that is born out of love. This goes to show that the Quran has not confined love to mere lip service but has also taught the practical aspects of love and sacrifice. Is there any other religion in the world whose founder has named it islam (submission)? Islam is a lovely word that is loaded with the sense of sincerity, affection, and love. Blessed is the religion that is named Islam.


Quranic Teachings about Man's Love of God and His Creation:

Allah states about the love of man for God, "And those who believe are stronger in (their) love for Allah" (2:165). In another place God says, "laud Allah as you lauded your fathers, rather a more hearty lauding" (2:200). In yet another place, God says, "Say: My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are surely for Allah, the Lord of the worlds" (6:162). The Prophet here is commanded to say to those who seek to follow him that they too must make the same sacrifices as the Prophet had made. Again, God says:

"If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your wives and your kinsfolk and the wealth you have acquired, and trade whose dullness you fear, and dwellings you love, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command to pass." (9:24)

In another place God says:

"And they give food, out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive: 'We feed you, for Allah's pleasure only -- We desire from you neither reward nor thanks'." (76:8,9)

There is, however, a second part to this question that inquires whether, according to the Quran, God loves man? The fact is that the Quran is replete with verses that state, Allah loves those who oft return to Him [God's love of man is not like the love of human beings, where separation from the beloved causes pain and sorrow. The real meaning of God's love is that He deals with those who do good in the manner of a lover towards the beloved.], Allah loves those who do good, and Allah loves those who are patient. But the Quran does not state anywhere that God also loves those who love disbelief, evil and cruelty. Instead, the Quran puts forward the concept of having conferred a favour on them. For instance, the Quran says: "And We have not sent thee but as a mercy to the whole world" (21:107), where the word 'alamin (whole world) includes disbelievers, transgressors and sinners. Mercy for them is the holding open of the doors to salvation if they follow the prescriptions of the Quran.


Trade of Son for Sinners not Found in Quran:

I admit that the Quran does not speak of the kind of God's love for man where He puts the curse of all the sinners on His own dear son and then kills him on the Cross in redemption for these sins. A curse on the Son of God is, God forbid, a curse on God Himself because the Father and the Son are not separate identities. It is obvious that an accursed God is a contradiction in terms. Reflect, also, on the manner in which God showed His love for the sinners. He killed the good for the love of the bad. No righteous being can pursue such a conduct.


Quran Reserves the Use of the Word 'Love' Only with God:

The third facet of this question, is directed at finding out the Quran's teaching about the love of man for man. The words in which the Quran has chosen to describe this relationship are mercy and kindness because the pinnacle of love is worship and so the word 'love' is appropriate for God alone. Hence, for human beings the words mercy and goodness are used instead of love because just as the perfection of love requires worship, the perfection of mercy requires kindness [Even if the word 'love' has been used, in some places, to describe the relationship between men, the use of the word is to be interpreted in an allegorical sense. According to the Islamic teachings, real love is particular to God alone and all other loves are metaphorical and not real.]. This distinction has not been appreciated by other nations, and so they have given over the right of God to others. I do not believe that Jesus could have uttered a word with such polytheistic connotations. It is my opinion that these odious words were introduced into the Gospels later and ascribed to Jesus.

In short, the holy word of God has used the word mercy for describing the relationships between mankind. For instance, God says that believers are those who "exhort one another to truth" (103:3) and "exhort one another to mercy" (90:17). In another place, He says: "Surely Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred." Thus it is the command of Allah that men be just to others; of still greater virtue is that they do good to others; and an even greater virtue is that they show kindness to men like they would to someone near and dear to them.

Can there be a better moral teaching in the whole world? The command to do good has not been confined to merely conferring favours on others, but has been taken to the next higher stage where the doing of good becomes an instinctive urge, described in the verse by the term 'giving to the kindred'. Although a person who does a good deed as a favour performs a virtuous act, there is some motivation of recompense and reward. Such a person may get annoyed if the favour is denied or not acknowledged, and sometimes, in the heat of emotions, he may remind others of favours conferred. However, doing goodness out of an instinctive urge, which the Quran has compared to goodness done to the kindred, is the highest stage of performing virtuous acts, and there is no stage of virtue after it. Examples of this stage are the acts of goodness performed by a mother in caring for her child for which she seeks no recompense and gratitude.


Torah and Gospel Devoid of these Stages of Man's Duty to Man:

These are the three stages of man's duty to man (i.e., to do justice, to do good, and instinctive goodness) that the Quran has commanded. When we compare this with the Torah and the Gospel, we have to say, in all honesty, that they are devoid of this morally high level of teaching about the rights of man. How can we expect them to preach goodness, which is at the third level, when they do not even fully explain the first two stages?

Since the Torah was revealed only for the Israelites, and Jesus was sent only for the sheep of Israel, it is understandable that the Torah and the Gospel did not deal with justice and goodness toward outsiders. Instead, their commands were limited in scope to the Israelites. If these teachings were not constrained only to the Israelites, then why was it that when a gentile woman pleaded with Jesus and made her humble and sincere submissions, Jesus did not act mercifully toward her, but said that he was sent only for the Israelites [Matthew, 15:24.]. When Jesus did not set an example of mercy and good treatment toward the gentiles, how can it be expected that his teachings would command acts of goodness toward non-Israelite nations. Jesus said very clearly that his ministry was not for other nations, and it would be futile to expect his teachings to contain instructions of merciful dealings toward other nations. Accordingly, the thrust of Jesus' teaching is toward the Israelites, as he did not consider himself authorised to give advise to any other. How could he then give a universal message of mercy? If the Gospels contain anything contrary to the teaching of Jesus that his preaching and sympathy were restricted to the Israelites, then such a statement has to be a later addition because of the obvious contradiction with the former statement.


Unlike the Torah, Teachings of the Quran are Universal:

Similarly, the Torah was directed toward the Israelites and its teachings also are directed only to the Jews. However, it was only the Quran that brought the universal message of justice, goodness and sympathy. God states: "Say: O mankind, surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you all" (7:158), and: "And we have not sent thee but as a mercy to the whole world" (21:107).

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Books Section > by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian > Four Question Answered (Siraaj-ud-Deen Eesaee Kay Chaar Swaalon Kay Jawaab) > Question # 3: The Concept of Love for God and God's Love

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