Excerpts from
Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) has said, “I’ve heard Gabriel saying that God
has said, “ Whoever despises any of My friends has declared war
against Me. I do not hesitate in anything as I hesitate to seize the soul
of My faithful servant who dislikes death and whom I dislike to hurt,
but he cannot escape therefrom; and no means whereby My servant
seeks My favor is more pleasing to Me than the performance of the
obligations which I have laid upon him; and my servant continuously
seeks My favor by works of supererogation until I love him, and when I
love him I am his hearing and his sight and his hand and his helper.”
God Loves His People
Allah The Almighty has said, “O believers! Whosoever among you
apostatize from their religion, God will assuredly bring in their stead a
people whom He will love and who will love Him.”
(Qur'an: 5:59)
He has also said, “Some men take idols beside God and love them as
they love God, but the believers love God best”
(Qur'an: 2: 160)
Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) has also said, “God loves to meet those who love to meet Him, and
dislikes to meet those who dislike to meet Him”. When God loves a Man, He says to Gabriel,
“O Gabriel, I Love such and such one, so do thou love him”; then Gabriel loves him and says
to the dwellers in Heaven,
“God loves such and such a one,” and they love him too; then he
bestows favors on him in the earth, so that he is loved by the inhabitants of the earth; and
as it happens with regard to Love, so does it happen with regard to hate.”
Spiritual Meaning of
Love: Mahabbat
Mahabbat (love) is said to be derived from (hibbat), which are seeds that fall to the earth in
desert. The name
(hubb) love was given to such seeds (hibb), because love is the sources of
life just as seeds are the origin of plants. As seeds hidden in earth are not corrupted by the
change or severity of season, but grow up to give life and beauty to earth, so does love, when
it takes dwelling in the heart, is not corrupted by presence or absence, by pleasure or pain, by
separation or union.
Others say that Mahabbat is derived from hubb, meaning “a jar full of stagnant water”, except
for the beloved, as Shibli says,
“Love is called Mahabbat because it obliterates (tamhu) from
heart everything except the beloved.”

Others say that Mahabbat is derived from hubb, meaning “the four conjoined pieces of wood
on which a water-jug is placed, because a lover lightly bears whatever his beloved metes to
him – honor or disgrace, pain or pleasure, fair treatment or foul”.

Some others say that Mahabbat is derived from habb, plural of habbat, meaning core of the
heart where love resides. In this case, Mahabbat is called by the name of its dwelling place.
Others derive it from habab,
“bubbles of water and the effervescence thereof in heavy
, because love is the effervescence of heart in longing for union with the beloved.
As the body subsists through the spirit, so the heart subsists through love, and love subsists
through vision of, and union of beloved. Others again declare that hubb is name applied to
pure love, because Arabs call the pure white of the human eye habbat al insan, just as they call
pure black (core) of the heart habbat al qalb: the latter is the seat of Love, the former of
vision. Hence the heart and eye are rivals in love, as the poet says:
“My heart envies mine eye the pleasure of seeing,
And my eye envies my heart the pleasure of meditating.”
Secret Doctrine of Divine Love
Sumnun al Muhibb holds a peculiar doctrine concerning Love. He has asserted that all “states”
“stations” are stages of Love, and that every stage and abode, which the seeker may
destruct, except the abode of Love, which is not destructible in any circumstances so long as the
way itself remains in existence. Other shaykhs agree with him on this matter and to keep the
doctrine of Divine Love hidden, they have named it
“purity” or (safawat), and the lover they
called Sufi; and they use the word
“poverty” (faqr) to denote the renunciation of the lover’s
personal will in His affirmation of the Beloved’s will, and they call the lover
“poor” (faqir).
God's Love for Man
Man's Love for God
It is reflected in His good will towards
him and His having mercy on him.
Love is one of the names of His will
(iradat) like
“satisfaction”, “anger”,
“mercy” etc. His will is an eternal
attribute whereby He wills His actions.
Restless desire for the object of Love, and
inclination and passion mainly in reference
to created beings and their mutual
affectation towards one another, but cannot
be applied to God.
God’s beneficence and His conferment of
special privileges on those whom He chooses
and causes to attain the perfection of
sainthood and peculiarly distinguishes by
diverse kinds of His miraculous grace.
Praise, which God bestows on a man for a
good action.
It is a quality, which manifests itself in
form of a veneration and magnification,
so that he seeks to satisfy his Beloved
It is a quality, which manifests itself in
and becomes impatient and restless in
the heart of a pious believer, in the his
desire for vision of Him, and cannot rest
with anyone except Him, and grows
familiar with the remembrance
of Him. And abjures the remembrance
of everything besides. The lovers of
God are those people who devote
themselves to death in nearness to him,
not those who seek His nature
Use of term – LOVE –
in spiritual context
Kinds of Love
Love – Mahabbat is used by
theologians in three significations:
The love of like towards like, which is a
desire instigated by lower soul and which
seeks the essence of the beloved object
through sex.

Love which is unlike the object of its love,
seeks to become intimately attached to an
attribute of that object, e.g. hearing without
speech or seeing without an eye.
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