A talk given by Sh Yasir Qadhi on June 14 2016 at the Memphis Islamic Center
Allah’s Magestic Name of al-Wadud (وَدُودٌ)
Regarding the beautiful and majestic names of our Creator and of the names that are mentioned in the Quran is the name al-Wadud.
The name al-Wadud comes from the verb ‘Wadda’ (وَدَّ). And the verb Wadda means ‘to love’ but it is not just any type of love.
All of us we know the main word for love in arabic ‘Mahabbah’ (الْمَحَبَّة) and ‘Hubb’ (حُبّ) but al-Wadudd is not from this verb : ‘Habbah’, ‘Yuhibbuh’.
It is from another verb : ‘Wadda’
So of the names of Allah, is a name that deals with love but it is not the primary verb for love. It is another verb.
So what is the difference between ‘Mahabbah’ and ‘Wudd’ ?
What is the difference between the primary verb of love in Arabic which is ‘Mahabbah’ and this verb that Allah uses to derive his name from.
Our scholars have mentioned that the arabic word ‘Hubb’ or ‘Muhabbah’ can be used for any type of love. It is the most generic verb for love but ‘Wudd’ is a specific subset of love. Wudd is a special type of love and of these specialties of wudd is that when you have this type of love you want to benefit the person whom you have this Wudd for.
As well, it is a nurturing love and that is why it’s very common to have this verb to describe the love that a mother has for her child.
It’s a nurturing love. As well, one of the unique things, the verb Wadda, yawaddu and mawadda never has a romantic or sensual connotation.
Whereas the word Mahabbah is very common to have a romantic connotation but the word Mawadda has no romantic connotation.
It is a noble love. It is a love where you want to genuinely benefit the other. Also, some of our linguists have said that one of the characteristics of the word Mawadda is that you actually want to
be with the other person or you have a desire or yearning to be with that person either in thought or in proximity. So Allah Azzawajal is al-Wadudd.
Of the differences between Wudd and Mahabbah, our scholars have said Mahabbah is what is in the heart and Wudd is what is shown in your actions of love.
So Allah’s love is demonstrated and not just abstract.
Whereas Mahabbah could be in the heart but never demonstrated. So Wudd, al-Wadudd is a special type of love. That Allah’s love is manifested in action.
Whereas Mahabbah is not necessarily manifested in action and when it comes to Allah Subahnawata’ala, the name of al-Wadudd has two meanings :
number one : the one who shows love and
number two : the one upon whom love is shown
So number one, the one who shows love and number two the one who is beloved.
So Allah is al-Wadudd. That he shows love to the creation and that Allah is al-Wadudd in that the creation or at least the righteous creation loves Him.
This is also an interesting name as well because there is unfortunately a common misunderstanding especially amongst some non muslims that the Quranic God is not a God of love, that your God, the God of Muslims is not God of love.
This is absolutely incorrect because of the names of Allah. Of the 99 majestic names of Allah, is the name that translates as the love, the one who loves, and the one who is beloved. al-Wadudd, the one who shows love and al-Wadudd, one who is the most beloved.
So the first meaning, the one who shows love for his servants.
This means that a Allah Subhanawata’ala desires good for them.
Ibn al-Quayyim (rahimallah), comments that it is not strange for the servant to love the master. It is not strange for any created being to love that which is taking care of it because the servant is taken care of by the master or the animal is taken care of by the owner.
That’s not strange. What is amazing is when the Creator who has no need of the creation, chooses to love the creation, eventhough there’s no benefit that the creation can give back to the Creator.
And this is the meaning of al-Wadudd, that Allah loves the creation even though there’s no selfish reason for that love. We love because there’s always something coming back to us. We love money, we love comfort, we love water, we love food, we love our children .. (and so on).
We love things that will benefit us. There’s a selfish element in each and every love. But Allah’s love is unselfish because Allah doesn’t need us, we need him. Allah created us, we need Him, He does not need us at all.
So al-Wadudd is the one who shows love and Allah Azzawajal mentions in the Quran that He created us to show us this love and mercy.
This is a Quranic concept that Allah says in the Quran :
إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ ۚ وَلِذَٰلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ
“except those whom Allah has shown mercy to” (11:119)
And to show mercy is why Allah created the creation.
So Allah created the creation, the default is that Allah will love and show mercy to the creation but some of the creation choose to reject that mercy.
Some of the creation choose to reject Allah. Some of the creation choose to live sinful lives, that is their business and they will be dealt with accordingly.
But the default, I created them for what ?
to show them Rahmah, to show them My beneficience and my generosity
So Allah Azzawajal is al-Wadud. And every single facet of our creation demonstrates this. Our khalq, our entire body; Allah says in the quraan, that He is the one who created you and He perfected your creation.
Allah fashioned you, and He fashioned you in the best of forms
صَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ
(formed you and perfected your forms) 64:3
We are in the best fashions, the best mold.
Allah says in the Quran
Don’t you look at yourselves,
Didn’t We give you eyes
اَلَمۡ نَجۡعَلۡ لَّهٗ عَيۡنَيۡنِۙ
Have We not made for him two eyes? 90:8
And a tongue and two lips? 90:9
We gave you this, We gave you that, We gave you intelligence..
Allah Azzawhjal’s blessings are mentioned as a manifestation of His love and Allah Azzawajal mentions in the Quran,
Didnt We create for you the heavens and the earth
Didn’t We alternate the night and the day for you so that you can rest in the night and work in the day
So every facet of creation is a manifestation of Allah’s love. So much so that Allah says in the Quran that of his blessings
وَّ جَعَلَ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡ اَزۡوَاجِكُمۡ بَنِيۡنَ
and has granted you through your spouses, sons and grandsons Quran 16:72
And every parent knows the greatest love in our hearts, is what ? It is the love of our children
وَّ جَعَلَ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡ اَزۡوَاجِكُمۡ بَنِيۡنَ وَحَفَدَةً وَّرَزَقَكُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبٰتِ
and has granted you through your spouses, sons and grandsons, and has provided you wholesome things as sustenance. Quran 16:72
He gave you every blessing.
So this demonstrates the name of Allah, al-Wadud : one who shows love
The second meaning of al-Wadudd was : the one who is shown love by the creation.
So al-Wadudd, the one who shows love, also al-Wadudd means the one upon whom love is shown. IE the object of love, the beloved and of course Allah Subhanawata’ala mentions in the quraan, that we know this, loving Him is the primary element of worship.
Our love for Allah is the most important manifestation of our belief in Him. Allah says in the quran, there are those who worship false gods and they love them along with loving Allah :
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ
Those who believe are stauncher in their love for Allah. Quran 2:165
So loving Allah is a primary concept of believing in Allah Subhanawata’ala
Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimallah) mentions that the love of Allah Subhanawata’ala is a unique love because only Allah is loved for who He is.
Every other object that you love, and I mentioned this before, there is an element of selfishness involved. But Allah Azzawajal is loved for His perfection. Love of Allah will never come and hurt and harm us. Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimallah) mentions there is no love that you have for any created object except that, that very love will end up hurting you as well.
Now pause here, this is so true, it’s so true. Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimallah) as an amazing psychologist. Think about it. What hurts the most ?
It’s what you love when it’s taken away or when it causes you pain, right ?
The fact of the matter is, jokes aside, the worst problems come from within the family, right ?
The most painful problems are spousal problems, children problems, parental problems. Why ?
Because you love them and Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimallah) mentions, there is no love that is a worldly love except that you will also be stung by that very love
But there is one love that you will never be stung by and that is the love of Allah Subhanawata’ala. As well he mentions that every love that you have, if you do not link it with Allah’s love, it is going to cause you harm in the long run.
Every love that exists must be linked with Allah’s love
So you love your children you link it with the love of Allah. I’m going to be good to my children because that’s my responsibility. You love your parents, you link it to love of Allah. You love money so you link it to the love of Allah. I will only earn halal money and spend it on that which Allah wants me to spend it and i’ll be generous with my money and so on.
So Allah is the one who is the most beloved. And to show love to Allah means to obey His commandments and to praise Him.
Now, the name of al-Wadudd occurs with two other names in the Quran. It occurs twice in the Quran, only twice. The first time it occurs, it occurs with the name ‘Raheem’…. Raheemun-Wadudd
Allah is merciful. So Allah says I am Raheem, I show you Rahmah. I show you mercy and Allah says He is Wadudd. So He is loving and He is merciful and the two obviously corolate because the one who loves also shows mercy, the one who is merciful shows love.
and the second pairing that occurs with the name Wadudd .. is al-Gafoor
اِنَّهٗ هُوَ يُبۡدِئُ وَيُعِيۡدُ
وَهُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الۡوَدُوۡدُۙ
He it is Who creates for the first time and He it is Who will create again,
and He is the Ever Forgiving, the Most Loving Quran 85:13,14
He is the one who forgives and He’s the loving. So Allah Azzawajal links the name Wadudd to the name of forgiveness and this demonstrates for us when we should use the name al-Wadudd.
Number one, when we need some blessing from Allah. Raheemun-Wadudd ; when we want Allah’s Rahmah. So we need a job. We are tired or hungry or we are sick, we can use the name “ya-Wadudd, we need your help, you’re the one who shows love”
Number two, for forgiveness. When we need to be forgiven we raise our hands and we ask Allah :
“ya – Wadudd, ya – Gafoor, forgive us ”
As well, of the manifestations of Allah’s Wudd, is that he has placed love in our hearts for other creatures. This Wudd that we have, it comes from up there (Allah) because Allah is the Wadudd.
So he places Wudd in my heart and your heart. If Allah was not al-Wadudd, we would not have this love.
Where does this love come from ? It comes from al-Waddud and Allah mentions this in the quran explicitly multiple times.
For example, when it comes to spouses and the spousal love is a very special love.
What does Allah say ?
“Of his miracles is that He has created for you, spouses from amongst yourselves and He has placed between you two…….”
what words are used ?
Allah who is the Wadudd, has placed Mawadda, in the hearts of the spouses and that is the miracle of marriage.
Otherwise, marriage will never last. It would not last but Allah the Wadudd has placed the Wudd of the two parties between each other.
The Wudd also exists between the family members. In another verse in the Quran :
قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ
Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): “I do not ask you for this message any payment [but] only good will through kinship.” Quran 42:23
some ulama have interpreted
مَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ
That Allah is asking us to have Wudd for our family members.
And of course the famous verse in the Quran, that it was the miracle of Allah that those two parties became brothers together :
لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَّا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ
Even if you had spent everything on the earth, you could not have unified their hearts. Quran 8:63
This is about something in the seerah about the groups that were having friction between them
Allah brought their hearts together and Allah says, if you were to spend all the money in the world you would not have brought about that camaraderie between them but Allah, who is the Wadudd. Allah is the one who brought that camaraderie and love between them.
So final point brothers and sisters, how then do we get to love Allah ?
How do we increase that love of Allah ?
Number one : studying Allah’s names and attributes. We increase our love of Allah by studying His names and attributes.
Number two : we increase our love of Allah by loving his Rasool (pbuh)
it’s explicit :
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me [Allah’s Rasool], [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” Quran 3:31
So by reading about the Prophet(s), and by loving the Prophet(s), by following the Prophet(s), we will increase our love for Him
Number three : a love of good deeds, reading quraan, dhikr, charity, sponsoring orphans :
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وُدًّا
Lo! those who believe and do good works, the Beneficent will appoint for them love. Quran 19:96
what does this mean ? Allah will give them Wudd ?
Our scholars say those who believe and do good deeds Allah will love them, and the angels will love them, and mankind will love them.
The love that we have for particular people, especially the righteous.
And I gave the example of a person who passed away last week : Mohammad Ali (rahimallah), and we hope that he is in the highest place in Jannah. Where did that love come from ? How did so many people love him ? Inshallah, we hope and we pray that, that love is a sign of divine love; those who believe and do good deeds Allah will write for them love.
سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وُدًّا
so by doing good deeds we will increase our love and the final point that will increase our love :
Literally we raise our hands up to Allah and we ask Him like the Prophet(s) did.
We ask Allah :
اللَّهُمَّ اِنِّىْ اَسْئَلُكَ حُبَّكَ وَ حُبَّ مَنْ يُّحِبُّكَ وحُبَّ عَمَلٍ يُّقَرِّبُ اِلى حُبِّكَ
“O Allah! I ask You for Your love and the love of those who love You, and for the love of every action which will bring me closer to Your love.”
What a beautiful duaa. Let’s memorize it.
May Allah Azzawajal grant us His love.
May He place in our hearts a love for Him and a love for the Prophet(s)