In Islam, الودود (al-Wadud) is one of the 99 names of God. It means the Most Loving. It was mentioned twice in the Quran, first in Surah Hud, which stated “Seek forgiveness from your Lord, then turn towards Him in repentance. Surely, my Lord is very merciful, most loving.” (90)
The name was mentioned once again in Surah Al-Burooj, which stated, “And He is the Most-Forgiving, the Most-Loving.”(14)
For the people who know how to speak and write Arabic, love is recognized as الحب (al-Hub); however, الودود (al-Wadud) is derived from the word الود (al-Wud), which means love and an expression of love through the act of giving.
As you can see الود (al-Wud) is a much stronger word than الحب (al-Hub). It does not only mean to love but to love with expression.
For Instance, الحب (al-Hub) is an emotion that is settled in the heart, while الود(al-Wud) is your expression of that feeling, which is reflected in your behavior. If you love a person, what you feel towards them is love; however, the smile on your face, for example – that behavior is الود(al-Wud). If you give them a gift, it is الود(al-Wud). Internal sentiment is love, while actions upon this love defines الود(al-Wud).
So, by defining the meaning of one name of God among 99 in Islam, it makes you think. God does not only love you but He shows it as well. Hence, the name الودود (al-Wadud).
How does God love you?
God loves you in infinite ways – He created you, didn’t He? He gave you the senses of feel, sight, hearing, smell and taste. Think about your health, think about your family and friends, think about the opportunities He has laid in your path. Just take a look around you and contemplate; the skies, the stars, the sun and the moon, all of the creations on this earth – they were created to serve you.
The entire universe and everything in it is proof of God’s love for all of mankind. Surah Al-Jathiya states, “He has subjugated for you whatever there is in the heavens and whatever there is in the earth, all on His own. Surely in this there are signs for a people who reflect.” (13)
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sharaawi; Islamic scholar, and a well-known interpreter of the Quran, tells us of a Hadith that shows us a great deal of God’s ود(Wud) to mankind.
In the Hadith Qudsi, Allah Almighty says:
O son of Adam, do not fear those who have authority over you as long as My Authority is enduring, and My Authority never runs out.
O son of Adam, do not be afraid of a tight livelihood when My Treasuries are full and My Treasuries never run out.
O son of Adam, do not ask anybody else except Me and I am yours, and when you ask Me you find Me; but if you ignore Me, I will turn away from you, and you will miss the whole good.
O son of Adam, I have created you to worship Me, not to play, and I ensured your sustenance so that you do not torment yourself (by worrying about it – let the physical parts of your body work but your heart and mind be in peace by putting your trust in God). I swear in My Power and Might, if you’re satisfied with what I apportioned for you, I will give your mind and body peace, but if you will not be satisfied with what I apportioned for you, I swear in My Power and Might, I will make you run after the world like the beasts run in the wild, then you will have nothing except what I had apportioned to you, and you have been disgraced.
O son of Adam, the creation of the seven heavens and the earth did not fatigue Me, will passing you a loaf of bread cause Me to tire.
O son of Adam, I did not forget whoever disobeys Me; how will I forget whoever obeys Me, and I am a Merciful Lord, and I have power over all things?
O son of Adam, do not ask Me the sustenance of tomorrow as I did not ask you the work of tomorrow.
O son of Adam, I am loving you so it is My Right that you love Me.
Thank him for His Affection
The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to say: “O Allah, I ask You for Your love, and the love of whoever loves You, and the love of deeds that will bring me closer to Your love.”
May this be a small reminder of God’s love to you, and may it lead you to give thanks for His love, and love Him back before the end.