I wrote the title but I didn't write anything. This is an idea in progress, so I'll write something here now, but I'll be editing as more ideas become clear in my head.
Once, a girl asked me a question, "Does your God love you?" I said yes, but in the back of my mind I knew what she was trying to do, there was no verse in the Quran that states "Allah loves man kind", or at least to my knowledge. While in Christian literature there are many such quotes of love.
Usually when I encounter conundrums like this, I don't seek out the answer, I just sort of wait for Allah swt to show me the way.
So far (it's been 4 years so far) This is what I've come up with (with a little help from Jamal Badawi, JazakAllah Mr J)
LOVE: is an emotional feeling, we hear it a lot in music, in books and movies and everyday life about loving and falling in love and and even making love (heheh(
Most of the meanings of these terms are to do with such feelings as attraction, physical pleasure, obsession, possessiveness etc...
In my opinion, we have been lately flooded with the term "love" in the current media, left right and center, I guess coz it sells, but I digress.
Ruling out the physical and sexual elements, we concentrate on the rest, the emotional elements, is that the love of God expressed in the Christian theology ? Allahu A3lam, I don't know I've never gone in that stuff.
So what about Islam ? doesn't God love us ? if I was to read some of the current islamophobic crap out there, I'd come to believe that Allah is cruel, narrow minded, unjust and unyielding (Astaghfiruallah, may Allah forgive me).
In the 99 names of Allah (120something names according to some), is there a name such as "The lover" Almuhib ? no there isn't ...
There is the term, Alwadood الودود, The loving.
The interesting thing about this word is that it doesn't just mean Love, it also comes to mean intimacy.
This word can also describe the relationship between a mother and her child, or that of a an old married couple towards each other.
It's not just emotional love, that you love someone or something without logic, but to know why you love, to appreciate them, to want to be close to them.
A mother would love her child even though the first feelings that child gave her were morning sickness, 9 months of pain, and a horrendous 15 hours delivery.
And she would take care of him, and love him, and protect him with her life.
And the child would grow, so accustomed to his mother's love that he no longer feels it.
and he hurts him mother, and forgets her, and he finds a job and buys a house, and moves on with his life.
Later in his life he would remember his mother, in the bitter reality of life he finds nothing but pain and intolerance and selfishness, he remembers the one person who loved him no matter what, and returns to her, his head cast down in disgrace, his face wet with tears of shame.
And she would take him in her arms, and kiss him and forgive him and give him that unconditional love, that motherly intimacy that he found in no one.
The love of Allah swt is like the love of that mother towards her son. Allah doesn't need us, and if we forget Him, it's only us that get hurt.
But if we remember him, he'll take us in his arms, if we walk towards him he'll run towards us. He is patient with us, he forgives us no matter what we did, if you ask.
He sent us the greatest and kindest man in creation, the prophet pbuh to show us the mercy of Islam on our lives.
So, in Islam there is no explicit "God loves you" verse anywhere, but more than any other religion, Allah loves us.
That's all I can think of writing for now, I should probably add some ayat or ahadeeth, oh well, all in good time inshallah.