Allah calls Himself Al-Wadood— The Affectionate, The Most-Loving, The Beloved— twice in the Quran. Al-Wadood is the One who is the source of all affection, love, and kindness. Even though He does not need us in any way Al-Wadood wishes the best for us. He has a special form of love for His righteous servants who love Him because of their knowledge of His perfection and His readiness to forgive. Al-Wadood is the Affectionate and the Beloved!
The Most Loving, the Ever-Affectionate, and the Beloved
Wadood comes from the root waw-daal-daal, which carries three main meanings: to love, to be affectionate and to long, wish or desire for.
This root appears 29 times in the Quran in five derived forms. Examples of these forms are yawaddu (like, will wish), al mawaddata (the love), and wuddan (affection).
The concept of love in the Arabic language is decribed by different words, hubb and wudd are examples of them. Hubb is the inner-feeling of love for someone whereas Wudd is an intense, consistent affection as it is expressed in actions and conduct.
Wadood is from the fa’ool pattern which in Arabic grammar points to intensity and continuity. Allah is Al-Wadood; His love is intense, continuous and translates into the blessings, favours, mercy, guidance and forgiveness He gives to His slaves.
Al-Wadood Himself says: . . . Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds, The Most Merciful will appoint for them affection. [Quran, 19:96] ..And ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is Merciful and Affectionate. [Quran, 11:90] . . . And He is the Forgiving, the Affectionate [Quran, 85:14]
How Do We Gain the Love of Allah?
In a beautiful, comprehensive hadith you will find the formula on how to gain the love of Al-Wadood. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: … 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 acts of worship until I love him.. Most beloved to Al-Wadood are you doing your obligatory acts of worship, then by doing your voluntary acts of worship you come closer and closer to Him.
Then what happens next? The Prophet continued about the amazing reward: …(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 leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me something, I will surely give him, and if he seeks My Protection (refuge), I will surely protect him. [Al-Bukharee]
Al-Wadood then becomes your special Helper, protecting your limbs and organs by not letting them work for anything He dislikes and a heart-melting seal: Al-Wadood will grant your wishes and keep you safe. Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi!
How Can We Live By This Name?
1. Have a close relationship with Al-Wadood.
Telling Al-Wadood about your concerns is a beautiful type of ‘ibaadah (worship) in itself. He wants you to turn to Him and tell him about your problems while remembering how close He is to you and how much you love Him. The mother of Maryam ‘alayha sallam said: ..My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing..[Quran, 3:35] This pious woman is a beautiful example of someone with a close relationship with Allah and Al-Wadood answered her dua’.
2. Love Al-Wadood above everything and anyone.
Al-Wadood says: Say, [O Muhammad], If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people. This ayah is a great reminder pinpointing all the things we tend to love over Allah and His messenger.
3. Let your love be for the sake of Al-Wadood.
Ask yourself for what reasons you love people? Love people for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala so Al-Wadood, His angels and the people of the earth love you! What an amazing deal. The Prophet sallallahu ’alayhi wa sallam said, When Allah loves a slave, calls out Jibril and says: `I love so-and-so; so love him’. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him. [Al-Bukharee, Muslim] So mind who you love and love those who fear Allah, love Him and who strive for the good and forbid evil. This is the most beautiful kind of love you can have for another human being, even if you don’t know them.
4. Follow the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Proof your love for Al-Wadood by sticking to the sunnah of His messenger. The reward: Allah will love and forgive you your sins. Another lucrative deal! Say: If you love Allah then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Quran, 3:31]
5. Love to recite Suratul Ikhlaas.
If you want Allah’s love, love talking about Him. Surah Al-Ikhlaas is one of the most comprehensive surahs describing Allah. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed a man in charge of an army unit who led them in prayer. He always concluded his recitation with Surah Al-Ikhlaas. Upon their return to Al-Madinah, they mentioned this to Messenger of Allah who said, “Ask him why he does so?” He was asked and he said, “This Surah contains the Attributes of Allah, the Gracious, and I love to recite it. Messenger of Allah then told them, “Tell him that Allah loves him”. [Al-Bukharee , Muslim]. So increase in reciting Surah Al-Ikhlaas with love!
6. Love for others what you love for yourself.
The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi said: None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself. [Al-Bukharee, Muslim] If someone just got married and you can’t find someone, someone got that new job and you didn’t, even though it might be hard, be happy for them. Strive to control your nafs (ego) and know it is Al-Wadood Who gives and takes. You will notice the peace it gives you inside when you love for others what you love for yourself, in stead of being jealous and anxious over others’ happiness. Live by this golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated!
Wallahu ta’alaa ‘alem.
O Allah, Al-Wadood, we know that You are the One Who is Most Affectionate. Make us of those who love You and Your Messenger above all, bless us with Your love and protection. Bring righteous people on our path and make us love them and them love us for Your sake only. Guide us in following the sunnah and in fulfilling our obligations towards You and give us the tawfeeq to perform many voluntary deeds of worship, ameen!