Certainly, in Islam, the pre-dominant motive for
people to come closer to God is love. There is certitude of
His Love, Mercy and Kindness that is always there for humans
to experience and benefit from, should they reflect.
The Qur’ān itself begins by the expression: Bismillāh al-rahmān
al-rahīm. al-rahmān and al-rahīm, being the attributes of God
Almighty, convey belief in a God who is Extremely Merciful,
whose Mercy is Ever-Lasting. Verse 2:165 of the Qur’ān says:
“hose (who are) of Faith are overflowing in their love for
Allah” – that as human beings, despite being equally capable
of loving others as much, their strongest love is
unquestionably reserved for God. Given the context of the
passage, this is because when an intelligent human being looks
around him, he finds that every creation is for his benefit,
put at his disposal by none other than the Master Designer,
who keeps providing out of love. An intelligent observer
inevitably finds himself over-whelmed by this extreme display
of kindness and compassion.
In short, yes, the Islamic spirit is pre-dominantly the
spirit of love from God, and for Him. But the love that the
Almighty reciprocates is far stronger than all the love that
we can all manage to ever put together. The Qur’ān says, for
And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Full of Loving-Kindness.
These attributes are mentioned all throughout the Qur’ān.
His Mercy pre-dominates all other virtues that belong to Him.
However, one thing needs to be mentioned. The Qur’ān gives a
complete understanding of God, which is not exaggerated
towards any one particular attribute/understanding of His, at
the expense of others. God is a complete and perfect Being,
and therefore, has attributes that are all complete and good.
And what is important is that by understanding God through His
attributes as mentioned in the Qur’ān, one can relate them to
our living lives, day in and day out. You do not end up having
a utopian understanding of God, which although is very
romantic, is far from reality and brings disappointments as a
result. Because when you have an understanding that is
primarily and singularly of a Caring and Loving God, you will
be at a loss to understand the sufferings and pain one finds
in this world. How would you, for instance, comprehend the
fact that He allows some people to unleash their desires and
ambitions of greed and terror upon others?
It is when you understand God in the complete sense that
you are able to accept the goings-on in the world today.
Although love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and sympathy are
His most significant attributes, yet, He is much more than
that. He is simultaneously Loving, Fair, Wise, Strong... All
His attributes put together make a complete picture; emphasis
on one distorts the image. Love alone may help you when in
need of a utopian understanding, but it will cater to a
disability in reconciling it with the world around us. It is
Islam that will tell us that His Love and His Sympathy results
in providence and forgiveness, and at the same time, His
Strength, Wisdom and Forgiveness, renders forgiveness
available to only those who seek it with utmost sincerity.
Here lies the difference between the Christian God and the
In Christianity, belief in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is
enough to enable access to the Love of God; in Islam, God is
most certainly Loving and Caring, but His Love is available to
only those who seek it - if you don’t, you miss it; if you do,
it overwhelms you.