We use them to understand the nature of God, to ponder His majesty, and to call attention to our needs and desires. And we also use them to worship God in the way that He has deemed most suitable.
God, none has the right to be worshiped but Him! To Him belong the Best Names. (Quran 20:8)
Some of God’s names are very familiar to us. We use them often in our prayers and supplications; names such as the Most Merciful, the Most Forgiving and the Most Generous.
In this article, we are going to look at a name that we often overlook, the Most Loving, Al Wadud.
Although not a day goes past that we do not experience manifestations of God’s love for us, we often fail to define the blessings and bounties as love.
One reason might be that the words Al Wadud, the Most Loving, are not found in the Quran as often as many of the other names of God. Al Wadud is mentioned only twice; once in chapter eleven and once in chapter eighty five.
And ask forgiveness from your Lord and turn to Him in repentance, Verily my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving. (Quran 11:90)
He is oft Forgiving and full of Loving Kindness. (Quran 85:14)
The Arabic words, Al Wadud means the Affectionate, or the Most Loving. However, it goes beyond what we usually think of as love. It comes from the root word wud which means love through the act of giving. It is the active expression of love rather than the emotion.
God is Al Wadud because He is actively showing us that He loves us through the manifestations of all His names and His attributes. His affection is with us through all of our trials, tribulations, triumphs and blessings. Every day we are surrounded by reminders of our Creator and His love for us.
Prophet Muhammad taught us about some of the ways God shows His love for us that might not be otherwise apparent.
He told us that God declares His love to the angels and that the love does not stay with the angels but descends to earth.
When God loves someone he calls to the angel Gabriel saying, ‘Oh Gabriel, I love so and so, (the name of a person) so love him.’ Then Gabriel will call to the angels in the heavens, ‘God loves so and so, so love him.’ And the angels will love that person and God will place acceptance on earth for that believer. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad explains more about God’s love when he tells us what God explained to him about His love for us.
And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing voluntary prayers and extra deeds apart from what is obligatory, until I love him, (so much so that) I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his legs with which he walks; and if he asks Me something, I will surely give (it to) him, and if he seeks refuge with Me I will surely protect him. (Al-Bukhari)
Ponder & Reflect
If we take a break from our busy lives and ponder the miracles we see around us every day, it is easy to see that they are expressions of God’s love. It is in the air we breathe and the food we eat.
Although that sounds clichéd and somewhat trite, if we reflect we will see that without God’s love we would not exist here for even a nanosecond.
When God is Merciful, it is because He loves us; when He is Generous it is because He is demonstrating His affection through His Generosity.
And when He forgives us, which He does over and over again, it is because He loves us. And God in turn loves it when we turn to Him in repentance. It is one way that we can reciprocate His love.
Prophet Muhammad tells us that:
God Almighty stretches out His hand during the night, turning towards the one who did wrong during the day, and stretches out His hand during the day, turning towards the one who did wrong during the night, until the day the sun rises from the place it set. (Muslim)
His Door is Always Open
God makes it easy for us to go to Him and be close to Him. His door is always open and He will continue to demonstrate His love for us no matter how far away we wander. He is Al Wadud, the One who loves and is the source of all love and loving-kindness.
God is the Most Affectionate and the source of all affection. He is also the One who is deserving of all our love and affection.
When we reflect on the love God shows to us, we should try to think of other ways of reciprocating that love. God is not in need of our kindness and affection, He does not need our love but He is also the Most Appreciative and loves it when we demonstrate our love for Him and our love for others.
Remember always that the believer should love for everyone else exactly what he loves for himself, and to that end, love and respect for others is of paramount importance.
Love and respect for God should be part of our everyday routine and going beyond our obligatory deeds will strengthen the bond between us and God.
The following words from God, repeated to us by Prophet Muhammad, give us a very profound definition of the love God has for us.
I am as my servant thinks (expects) of me. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (Al-Bukhari)
(From Discovering Islam’s archive)