48. Al-Wadood الودود

The Most Glorified and Exalted One has said,

“And He is the Forgiving, the Loving” (Qur’an, 85:14).

“Al-Wadood” is an Attribute derived from the Arabic word ”wudd” which conveys the meaning of love and friendship, and it applies to all avenues of goodness. Allah (SwT) is”al-Wadood” because He loves His servants and they love Him; He says the following in Surah al-Ma’ida:

“O you who believe! Whoever among you turns back from his religion, Allah will bring people whom He loves and who love Him, who are humble before the believers and mighty against the unbelievers....” (Qur’an, 5:54).

The condition of true love is that it does not increase on account of loyalty, nor does it decrease on account of aversion. Al-Wadood ever tries to show His love for His friends by manifesting His knowledge to them. The ”wadood” person is one who prefers you over all others, who removes from your heart any desire to notice or to love anyone else but him.

Al-Wadood very much loves His servants, Who tries to be loved even by the sinners through His forgiveness, and by all His creation by sustaining them and granting them sufficiently. Allah (SwT)’s righteous servants love Him due to their knowledge of His perfection and the perfection of His qualities, and due to His readiness to forgive.

For all these reasons, al-Wadood is the Loving and the Beloved One. If a servant of Allah (SwT) dives deeply into the depths of the knowledge of Allah (SwT)’s perfection, the perfection which causes a servant of Allah (SwT) to love his Lord more and more, his knowledge will be crystallized, and he will find a great deal of contentment while worshipping Him accordingly. His knowledge of Him will then bear good fruits, and he, the servant of Allah (SwT), will turn to be the one who loves Him.

He may also be understood to be the One Who loves His servants and the love for Whom bears good fruits according to the degree of love in the heart of each one of those who love Him. If someone sees through his heart his Lord to be self-Sufficient, Gracious, Honored, Omnipotent, everyone is in need of Him while He does not need anyone or anything, yet He loves His servants and wishes the best for them and even tries to get closer to them by granting them His favors..., such a person will surely have been blessed with true vision and a clear sight.

One who tries to fashion his conduct according to the inspiration of this Attribute ought to know that he should love all those whom Allah (SwT) loves such as the prophets, successors of prophets and scholars. He should love everything Allah (SwT) loves and with which He is pleased such as acts of righteousness, piety, good deeds and exemplary conduct with others.

Such a person should be compassionate towards all people: He loves to see the disobedient returning to their Lord obediently, the righteous remaining firm in their righteousness. He becomes compassionate towards all servants of Allah (SwT), forgiving those who abuse them, being kind to all people especially his family and kin. It is recorded that the holy Prophet (S) said to Imam Ali (‘a) once,”If you wish to surpass those who are close to Allah (SwT), then join your ties with those who have cut them off from you, grant those who deprived you, and forgive those who wrong you.” The attribute”al-Wadood” deserves from the servants of Allah (SwT) that they wish one another what they wish for their own selves, and even more so! They should prefer others over their own selves. A righteous man once said,”I wish to be a bridge over the fire whereupon people pass [to heaven] unharmed.”

The perfection of such following is that anger, grudge, or harm received do not stop anyone who exemplifies this Attribute in his conduct from favoring others over himself and from being good to them; thus are we taught by our master the Messenger of Allah (S); have you been taught differently?! Four of his teeth were once broken, and his face was bleeding, yet all of that uncalled for abuse to which he was exposed at the hands of the infidels did not stop him from praying for them or from wishing them good.

Ibn ‘Abbas‎ is quoted as saying that he had heard the Messenger of Allah (S), who had just finished his prayers, supplicating thus:”Lord! I plead to You for mercy from You whereby You guide my heart, manage my affairs, unite my kinsfolk, and bring reform to those who are absent from among my kin. I plead to You for security on the Promised Day, for Paradise on the Day of Eternity, in the company of the witnesses who are near to You, those who bow down and prostrate, who fulfill their promise..., for surely You are the Most Merciful One, the Compassionate.”

Regarding the explanation of the verse saying,

“... for them will Allah bring about love” (Qur’an, 19:96),

The”love” referred to here means that Allah (SwT) will make His creation love them, that is, He will make His servants experience love and affection on their own account. Supporting this explanation is a tradition wherein the Messenger of Allah (S) says,”If Allah (SwT) loves one of His servants, He calls on Gabriel to tell him so, whereupon Gabriel loves that person, so he calls on the residents of the heavens saying, ‘Allah (SwT) loves so-and-so; therefore, you, too, should love him, whereupon the residents of the heavens respond to him in the affirmative. Love for him will thus be disseminated among the residents of the earth.”