What Is The Meaning Of Love – The Islamic Conception

To begin with, The Qur’an, the Holy Book of the Muslims which was revealed to the unlettered Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) hinted more than fourteen hundred years ago the intensity of love existing between ants. The twenty-seventh chapter of the Holy Qur’an, called Surah An- Naml (The chapter of The Ants), gives us a clue as to what the meaning of love is from an Islamic viewpoint. In this chapter, and in verse 18, we read the following:

“At length, when they came

To a valley of ants,

One of the ants said:

‘O ye ants, get into

Your habitations, lest Sulaiman (Solomon)

And his hosts crush you

(under foot) without knowing it. (Qur’an, 27:18)

Love Lessons From The Ants

The ant, to outward appearance is a very small and humble creature. In the great pomp and circumstances of the world of lovers, she (generic feminine in Arabic), may be neglected or even trampled upon by lovers who mean no harm. Yet, by her sincere love and wisdom, she carries on her own life full of love within her own sphere (habitations), with unalloyed enthusiasm. From this we learn that,

  • For love to occur between two people they both have to be present.
  • Lovers have to live within the same vicinity or surroundings.
  • They also have to care for each other – removing each other from harms’s way.
  • They have to be forgiving and considerate to each other – as well as to others. One of the ants said – ” O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you without knowing“.

The biological and physical facts of the universe could not have been known before modern technological break-through. How could Muhammad (peace be upon him), an unlettered Prophet describe what goes on between ants? It’s rather so unfortunate that many true lovers are unaware of the intense love between ants and, as such treat their partners as if they were chattels. The rising divorce rate around the world in general, and in many Muslim countries in particular, are unacceptable – and stands as a betrayal of the teachings of their Holy Book, The Holy Qur’an.

Beware of people who would tell you after having fallen head over heels in love: ” I love you more than the love ants have for one another. ” This expression of love could be a hyperbole – indeed, it could just turn out to be a meretricious expression with no real feelings behind it. Their expression of love must be shown in words and in deeds. It has been recently found out by scientist that every interaction between ants springs forth from their lofty and very sincere love for each other. In effect ants have a love for each other that can’t be found by any other creature on earth.

An Eloquent Description Of True Love

Now what is the meaning of love actually? The Muslims learned the true meaning of love through Qur’anic verses like this:

“…They are your garments

And ye are their garments…” (Qur’an, 2:187)

This is an eloquent definition of true love. The fabric used in making this “garment” is love. According to this definition of love, men and women (in love) are each other’s “garments”. In love, there is mutual support; in love there is mutual comfort; in love there is mutual protection. Lovers fitting into each other as a garment fits the body.

Let’s bear in mind that the garments mentioned above are supposed to be custom-made. They are to be made as the buyer specifies. To be sure, you would not purchase a garment you don’t like. You would also not become the “garment” for someone you don’t love. This is a clear indictment against those Muslims who would force their young girls to marry men they would otherwise not consider as bedfellows. There should never be a marriage that is devoid of mutual love. Much to this writer’s indignation, this practice is still prevalent in some Muslim communities in Africa (and even in some parts of the Middle East and South Asia).

The Prophet of Islam. Muhammad (peace be upon him) made a famous description about love when he said:

” We have not seen anything better for lovers other than marriage.” (related by Ibn Majah).

This means that, every romantic relationship should end in marriage. In other words, marriage is what is to found at the top of the “love mountain”. Therefore, according to Islam, love is said to be deficient if either (or both of the lovers) aren’t interested in tying the knot.

God Is The Source Of Every Love

In accordance with Muslim belief, the source of all love is the only true God. The God of Islam is neither remote nor abstract. He is the Real Lord of the universe, whose love swells the hearts and intoxicates the souls. Those who seek Him do not have to depend on the vicarious conviction of the priest, or the arguments in the books to assure them that He exists. They can feel His existence in themselves, as well as in both animate and inanimate objects around them. This is not the prerogative of the “spiritualists”. Any layman who follows His guidance and seeks his presence will find Him close to themselves.

In Islam, lovers find a God who responds to their call. But how did the Muslims get to know God – the true source of every conceivable love? It was through the chain of Prophets, starting with Adam – who was the first true lover to his wife – Eve, and ended with Muhammad – God’s final messenger to all mankind. Some prominent prophets who came between Adam and Muhammad were Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus), God’s peace and mercy be upon them all. These prophets were all humans, they ate, slept and had wives (except Jesus), who will marry at his second coming. These great prophets were all true lovers.

How Is God Connected To Love and Mercy?

Someone might ask: How is God connected to love? And how is He the source of every love? The answer is provided in the following Qur’anic verse:

” And among His signs

Is this, which He created

For you mates from among

Yourselves, that ye may

Dwell in tranquility with them,

And He has put love and Mercy

Between your (hearts): Verily

In those are signs for those who reflect.” (Qur’an, 30:21)

If God has put love and mercy between our hearts, then He is the source of every love and mercy that we can conceive of. It also means that God is the owner of both love and mercy. This is true because, you can’t give out something you don’t own. You have to own it first before giving it out to someone else.

In The Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

True Love Is Based Upon Kindness And Friendliness

The type of love and mercy stated above should be based on truth. It has to settle in the innermost core of the hearts. It has to generate a longing for one another. It is that sort of love that has fallen upon the soul, the senses, the entire body. In this manner, lovers find in each other, a peace of mind, a reassurance, and a deep-rooted sense of security.

With God in mind, the love between lovers continue to grow every day – defying time and place. It indeed compares favorably with a waterfall whose water increase – rather than decreases – all because this is a type of love that has been built upon the purity of purpose – not upon deception by sophistry – but directly connected to God.


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