By the present introduction, it has been my wish to contribute to our dear architect Mesut KAYNAK's sincere and laudable work about love in the Qur'an. I hope that God Almighty will favorably receive this work and be lenient in assessing its shortcomings, if any, and merciful in evaluating its merits.
According to the Qu'ran, the incipient stage of the vital communion between the All-Merciful and man is love; it is with love that this contact evolves, eventually endowing man with wisdom, perfection, serenity and bliss. The said communion serves to purify a man's heart, leading him to a spiritual re-birth by inspiring him self-restraint. It serves to cleanse away the defilements of the soul and guide him toward a better stage in which he will be able to predict the consequences of his acts. Fascinated attachment to God by observing and studying the signs and mysteries of creation, both within oneself and in the outside world, by pondering and meditating upon them, will finally endow him with wisdom opening the eye of his heart. “Whoever believes in God is guided by Him towards the true path” says the 64th surah of the Qur'an. “A person perceives the reality with the eye of his heart, what is essential is to be able to see it without recourse to eyesight,” says Antoine de Saint-Exupéry”. Conscience sometimes overpowers potentialities in certain individuals, while it enfolds them in others. Conscience undergoes transformation through self-restraint, by acquisitions from one's milieu, culture and knowledge; it expands or scales down according to a man's acts. The most powerful factor that fosters the development of one's essence and conscience, that curbs the individual's frailties and that has insight into his mysteries is faith in the Almighty. A thinker who tries to describe conscience that governs one's impulses and acts says: “A conscience who does not believe in God, would be like a court without a judge.”
The Muslim is lit by a divine light that enlightens his heart and finds encompassed by the mercy of the Almighty. God befriends him and accompanies him everywhere; He keeps him always fit and powerful. He reinforces his soul and increases the freedom of his will. He sees to it that his reason and intelligence govern consistently all his actions and passions. The believer will henceforth follow the true path, the path trodden by the honest, virtuous and righteous servants of God. “The person whose faith is absolute is the one whose honesty is of the highest order” says our Prophet.
The beauty that belief in God bestows upon our soul is love. The more we love each other the more our belief in God is enhanced. Love develops as we convey our inner peace, equanimity and contentment to our neighbor. Love is the most beautiful sentiment that fosters the life of a Muslim who is in communion with God. Love between the All-Merciful and man has a paramount place in the Qur'an and every now and then is made explicit. Life experiences of the true and faithful friends of God are beautifully rendered in the literature of Islam. Esteemed Mesut KAYNAK has interpreted the verses of the Qur'an that have reference to love in the light of our Prophet's traditions, with quotations from the Turkish mystic poets, Mawlana and Yunus Emre. In our today's world in which materialism is gaining ground, wherein commisseration has lost all its conventional sense and men, deprived of genuine faith in a supreme being, have indulged in various fanaticisms, to remind people of the still abiding existence of love and of its intrinsic power has become an indispensable task for us. If we profess to be real believers willing to endear ourselves to God, we must do our utmost to exercise this tender feeling in all our transactions. Faith without love is unthinkable; and tolerance and forbearance no longer have any sway in our relations. I congratulate KAYNAK on his valuable study. It has been my intention to contribute to his work by a few words and share the love he has exhibited. I owe to the Qur'an the clemency and ardor with which I view the creation. I have always remembered the Prophet with due love and respect.
Love of God is a symbol of faith experienced by true believers. Our esteemed Prophet often makes it clear that faith breeds love, and love faith. Love of God is the basis of honesty and virtuous life. The person who has had the privilege of being endowed with the sense of being the true servant of God becomes, radiant, saintly, gentle, delicate, tolerant and commendable. He is no longer a prey to evil and hostile feelings, hardness of heart, hatred and vengeance. The entire universe and the creatures on it will appear to him as the work of the Creator. The eye imbued with love will be blind to his neighbor's faults and misdemeanors. Life becomes fascinating.
God's love for his creatures is the other pole. An individual who truly believes and resigns to God's Will, shall enjoy His favor. God will love those who love his fellow beings and are lenient and kind to him and who do good deeds. KAYNAK has listed in detail the persons with whom God is displeased. We observe that love has no absolute existence but is dependent on the individual. A person in whom love has found a fertile ground will be free from rancor and ill feelings. A person who loves God will of necessity love human beings and shun all evil actions. The Self imbued with love of God, will be immune against all evil. A Muslim enamored with love will abhor all hostile feelings. A person favored by God is a source of bliss and serenity. God will protect that man and foster his doings. A tradition of our Prophet runs as follows: “If God loves his servant, he will command Gabriel to act affectionately toward him. Gabriel, in turn, will announce to the celestial beings that that particular servant is loved by God, which will earn him the veneration of the entire universe." In the Qur'anic jargon, a person in adoration of the Supreme Being will always be under aegis.
Paradise on earth is experienced by love. Come back thou to thy Lord, - well-pleased (thyself) and well pleasing unto Him! Ye enter thou my Heaven!' (Surah 89/28).
My God bless you and the persons you love!