The concept of love is clearly expressed in the Quran. God has specifically and precisely used the word "love" in the Quran along with twenty two of its different Arabic derivatives to teach us that love is a normal, logical, and realistic feeling which coincides with our God-given gift of freedom (18:29, 2:148, 33:72). With our freedom of choice, we are to prefer certain things, people, morals, talents, etc. Favoring, preferring, and making certain choices demonstrates our freedom to love.
Our Creator has expressed for us that He, too, has His own preferences. He has cited for us His favorite traits and detailed for us who exactly is worthy of earning His love and mercy. Within the Quran, God has clearly stated what He loves and doesn't love, likes and dislikes. His wisdom behind this is to set for us the basic guidelines for an ideal and righteous community, and to help us realize what constitutes evil and what leads to corruption.
Also, by stating what He loves and what He doesn't, who is worthy of His love and who is not, God has made it clear for us that His love is conditional when adhering to certain commands. By our own volition, we end up either close or favored by God (Heaven), or far from Him (Hell). We either follow His criteria of love or face the consequences of our own criteria. This system is clearly spelled out in the following verses:
[3:30] The day will come when each soul will find all the good works it had done brought forth. As for the evil works, it will wish that they were far, far removed. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. GOD is Compassionate towards the people.
[3:31] Proclaim: "If you love GOD, you should follow me." GOD will then love you, and forgive your sins. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[3:32] Proclaim: "You shall obey GOD and the messenger."If they turn away, GOD does not love the disbelievers.
If God's love was unconditional, this would defeat the whole purpose of our existence on earth - a final chance to choose Him over Satan.. His love would serve as permission to commit all kinds of evil. There would be no straight or crooked path, no point behind any clear commands, because God's love would be awaiting at the end of the road to save us all. This is a myth about God that is based on conjecture and ignorance.
It is our duty as believers and submitters to seriously study the boundaries set for us in the Quran in order to pursue love in a safe and constructive manner - the manner that would please God alone within His guidelines and make us earn His love and compassion:
- God loves those who repent when they make a wrong choice and transgress the limits of God set in the Quran ( 2:222). He even reward them by transforming their sins into credit ( 25:70).
- He loves the good doers (3:148) and he dislikes the evil doers (5:64). He loves the righteous (3:76), and righteousness is defined only by God through His teachings and commands in the scripture (2:189).
- God advocates justice and loves those who are just (49:9) and equitable (5:42). He doesn't love the unjust (3:57).
- He loves the steadfast (3:146) and He loves those who put their trust in Him (3:159).
- God loves the charitable (2:195) and doesn't love the transgressors (7:55, 5:87), the corruptors (28:77) or any betrayer, unappreciative ( 4:107, 22:38).
- He doesn't love those who are arrogant (16:23, 4:36, 31:18) nor does He love those who are boastful, proud (57:23).
- God loves those who are clean (2:222) and doesn't love the gluttons (7:31).
- God loves those who strive in His cause (61:4), with no fear of any blame (5:54), united on His word (3:103). The kind of believers God loves are the ones who are kind among one another and stern with the disbelievers (5:54). These three verses, together, explain the concept of unity loved and dictated by God.
[61:4] GOD loves those who fight in His cause united in one column, like the bricks in one wall.
[5:54] O you who believe, if you revert from your religion, then GOD will substitute in your place people whom He loves and who love Him. They will be kind with the believers, stern with the disbelievers, and will strive in the cause of GOD without fear of any blame. Such is GOD's blessing; He bestows it upon whomever He wills. GOD is Bounteous, Omniscient.
Believers are United [3:103] You shall hold fast to the rope of GOD, all of you, and do not be divided. Recall GOD's blessings upon you - you used to be enemies and He reconciled your hearts. By His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you therefrom. GOD thus explains His revelations for you, that you may be guided.
In the light of the Quran, we learn that God's love is always a consequence of our choice of loving Him the most and upholding His commands. He is in no need of our love. We are the desperate ones who need to earn His love. This, in return, leads to earning His redemption and Support:
Believe For Your Own Good [39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
[61:11] Believe in GOD and His messenger and strive in the cause of GOD with your money and your lives. This is the best deal for you, if you only knew.
[61:12] In return, He forgives your sins, and admits you into gardens with flowing streams, with beautiful mansions in the gardens of Eden. This is the greatest triumph.
[61:13] Additionally, you get something you truly love: support from GOD and guaranteed victory. Give good news to the believers.
This temporary life is very short and we get wrapped up in it too easily. We need to always remember that the end of our lives could be in the blink of an eye. We experience death and resurrection through our sleep everyday of our lives (6:60, 39:42). This should serve as a lesson to learn how easy our life span and our only chance of salvation can be over, quickly and unexpectedly, at any second. When our life span is terminated, those who have not wasted their chances of earning God's love will surely be His loved, favorite, close, and chosen ones. Those are the ultimate winners.
[56:88] If he is one of those close to Me -
[56:89] then joy, flowers, and gardens of bliss.
[56:90] And if he is one of the right -
[56:91] peace is the lot of those on the right.
[56:10] Then there is the elite of the elite.
[56:11] They are those who will be closest (to God).
[56:12] In the gardens of bliss.
[56:13] Many from the first generations.
[56:14] Few from the later generations.
[83:19] Do you know what `Elleyyeen is?
[83:20] A numerically structured book.
[83:21] To be witnessed by those close to Me.
[83:22] The righteous have deserved bliss.
[83:23] On luxurious furnishings they watch.
[83:24] You recognize in their faces the joy of bliss.
[83:25] Their drinks will be spiced with nectar.
[83:26] Its spice is like musk. This is what the competitors should compete for.
[83:27] Mixed into it will be special flavors.
[83:28] From a spring that is reserved for those close to Me.