Monthly Archives: April 2007


al-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh,

Updates to the site may be slow for a little while, due to travelling.

Jazaakum Allaahu khayran for your patience.

Love, oh love.

heart_instant_hot_pack.jpgal-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh,

The word ‘love’ appeared as a noun in the Qur’an ten times – of those ten, nine were using the word hubb حبّ, as in the verse,

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ أَندَاداً يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللّهِ

And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah.

and once was using the word mahabbah, محبّة in the verse concerning Prophet Musa (peace be upon him),

أَنِ اقْذِفِيهِ فِي التَّابُوتِ فَاقْذِفِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّي وَعَدُوٌّ لَّهُ وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّي وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَى عَيْنِي

Saying: ‘Put him (the child) into the Tabut (a box or a case or a chest) and put it into the river (Nile), then the river shall cast it up on the bank, and there, an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his shall take him.’ And I endued you with love from Me, in order that you may be brought up under My Eye,

The word hubb is the original verbal noun of the verb habba حبَّ, while the word mahabbah is what is known as the ‘masdar meemi‘ (verbal noun begining with a letter meem‘) of the same verb. As it is the original verb, it is the origin, the asl, and thus it appeared 9 times. But mahabbah only appeared once. The reason for this lies in the difference between these two words, which can be summed up in the following three points:


  1. In the nine times in which the word hubb appeared, it was mentioned with regards the actions of man towards Allaah, or with regards instances related to life. When Allaah the Exalted used the word in reference to Himself towards one of His Creation – Musa (peace be upon him) – He used a different word (mahabbah), that was only ever used to describe His own actions, as is most befitting of His majesty.

    Thus, when the love stems from mankind, the word hubb was used, but when it stems from Allaah, the word mahabbah was used.

  2. The love that was bestowed upon Musa from Allaah settled in the soul of Musa and began to emanate from him just as light emanates from the sun, and its beautiful fragrance would attract the people to him and make them love him. Thus, Aasiyah, the wife of Fir’awn (among many others), immediately fell in love with him and requested from her husband that he not kill the baby Musa (see al-Qasas, verse 9).

    But when humans show love to one another, it does not penetrate the beloved such that others then begin to love them also. This only occurs when Allaah loves His servant. Thus, it was only right to use different words to express these different types of love.

  3. The word hubb is much more widely used than the word mahabbah. Thus, the more common word was used with a subject that is great in number (i.e. mankind), while the rare word was used with a Subject that is not (i.e. Allaah).


Submit and obey.

phpe73upogreyam.jpgal-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāh,

Sometimes there appear mushtarak lafdhee words in the Qur’an, that sound and are written the same as one another, but appear to be somewhat different in meaning, and it is sometimes difficult to make a link between the various meanings or draw them back to an original meaning. An example of this the word دينdeen‘ in the following verses:


مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاءَ اللّهُ

He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allah willed it. [12:76]


مَالِكِ يَوْمِالدين

Sovereign of the Day of Judgment [1:4]

The word ‘deen‘ comes from the root daal-yaa’-noon د – ي – ن, and the basic meaning of the word is submissiveness and obedience.

Thus, the word ‘deen دين in its most well-known meaning of ‘creed’ is so called because one submits to the tenets of the creed and obeys them.

And if you look at Surah Yusuf, verse 76 (above), the word ‘deen‘ is being used in its original meaning of obedience, for to follow the law of the king necessarily implies obedience to the king.

It is also possible to take the etymological process one step further and looked for a shared meaning between derivates of the mushtarak lafdhee. For example, the word ‘Madeenah مدينة (meaning ‘city’) comes from the same root as deen, and is so called because the concept of a city is based around obedience to its ruler, or person in charge.