Love in Islam

Imam Khamenei's remarks: the status of love and kindness in Islam

The following is a collection of excerpts from Imam Khamenei's statements on the position of kindness and love in Islam. Does the love for spouse and children have any status in Islam? Is a Muslim gentle or serious? What is the driving force of education and edification in Islam? How are love and kindness related to faith in God? You can find the answers to the aforementioned questions in the following text.


The importance of being amiable and sympathetic towards others in Islam


Among quotes narrated from Imam Ali (p.b.u.h) are [the hadith that states]: "The best thing that creates bonds in the hearts of the people and removes animosity from the hearts of enemies, is treating them affably when meeting them, asking about their wellbeing in their absence, and showing contentment in their presence."


Being pleasant and affable creates affection and bonds between the hearts. There is a hadith that asserts: "friendliness towards others is a sign of wisdom." This saying is very important for all officials in the Islamic system of governance, and especially the clerics from among the officials. Because people who refer to them do not come from the same levels of faith. It may be that a cold reception or a slight ignoring of a person makes that person weary of religion or weak in their faith. On the other hand, a warm-hearted encounter makes one hopeful about Islam and religion and attracts [people] to it. [Another hadith says:] "A believer’s happiness is seen on their face, and their sorrow is buried in their heart."

January 17, 2000

It has been narrated in our hadiths that believers are kind and compassionate towards each other. That is, they show mercy are caring towards one another. This is a moral responsibility and it is effective in our progress and social construction. Show compassion towards one another. People should show compassion to one another, in order to receive God's compassion. When there is compassion, kindness, and goodwill in people's hearts towards each other, society turns into a paradise. When there is animosity, grudge, and mistrust in people's hearts, personally or politically motivated, the atmosphere in the society becomes dark and bitter. Let's cooperate, help each other, and be forgiving. Political brawls are harmful to the country. Not just today, when we are threatened by the enemy, but it is always harmful. It is harmful to the efforts of building, and running the engine of the economy. If some make a new problem in one way or another every day and turn people's attention to a superficial problem, this is harmful to the country.

April 5, 2002


Love: the main component of Shia Islam

Since the beginning of the history of Shia Islam up until today, this emotional bond has been a crucial element in Shia Islam and the Shia movement. Of course, this emotional bond is one that is based on logic and the truth, not empty emotions. Therefore, you see in the Holy Quran that the reward of a mission, love, and friendship is in closeness to God. "Say: I ask of you nothing in return for it but love for relatives." [The Holy Quran, 42: 23] This is a very important point which should be taken into consideration. Any effort to damage this love in any way is a betrayal of the great love for the Holy Prophet's (s.w.a.) household and the enthusiasm to follow their teachings. You should preserve this love. You see that during the time of the infallible Imams (a.s.), all those hadith experts and all those knowledgeable students and great religious scholars - who were studying under Imam Sadiq (a.s.), Imam Baqir and other infallible Imams - narrated and recorded the teachings, rules of sharia and ethical principles. However, when you take a closer look, you see that the focus is on such people as Da'bal-e Khazai, Seyyed Homeiri, and Komayt ibn Zayd al-Asadi. While there were people like Zarrarah, Mohammad ibn Moslem, and other such luminaries among the infallible Imams' companions, Imam Reza (a.s.) decided to pay attention to Da'bal and Imam Sadiq decided to pay special attention to Seyyed Homeiri. This is because the emotional aspect is sufficiently represented in the poems of poets and the eulogy of eulogists, but it is missing in other areas. And when this emotional aspect is present, it is normally weak - or maybe I should better say it is less effective. This is the role that poetry, eulogy, and dhikr have in the history of Shia Islam.

June 3, 2010


Love of family and kindness towards Muslim brethren strongly recommended by Islam


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) established a system with a number of main lines. Among those, I found four major principles: ...Fourth, ever increasing love and compassion. This is also a main characteristic of the Islamic society. Love of God, and God’s love for the people: "God loves them and they love Him; Quran [5:54]." "Allah loves those who turn to Him in repentance and He loves those who cleanse themselves; Quran [2:222]." "Say: 'If you love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you; Quran [3:31]." Kindness, love, affection for the spouse and the children is advised. We are advised to kiss our children and to be kind to them. It is advised to love your spouse and be kind to him/her. It is advised to be kind to Muslim brothers and sisters. Love of the prophet, love of Ahlulbayt. "Say: 'For this, I ask of you no wage except the love of the (Prophet's) relatives; Quran [42:23]."

May 8, 1998

Without love, believing in God won’t work

Basically, when belief is not accompanied by tenderness, deep love and compassion, it loses its proper function. It is love—in practice and in action— that makes faith effective: and it does so in very high levels. Without love, we could never advance our causes [that led to the revolution]. We enjoy the highest level of love in the Islamic school of thought:  love for the Ahlulbait [the progeny of the Prophet Muhammad]. The climax of this love is [reflected] in the event of Karbala and Ashura and maintaining the valuable memory of sacrifice made by divine men on that day-- reminiscent for the Shia history and culture. 

During the days the Islamic matters were expressed through new perspectives—which were attractive even to those who were not familiar with Islam and religion, and innovative trends in Islamic school of thought were not considered bad; rather, they were regarded as assets for the Muslim world, in particular, the youth—a new quasi-intellectualistic trend rose that advocated for separation of faith in Islam from emotional matters, including the matters related to Ashura, mourning ceremonies and cryings!!

Maybe, this was acceptable and desirable for many at that time, because of the distortions which had changed the original [message of] event of Ashura; so this trend was spreading. However, till this matter was not addressed by Imam Khomeini officially, publically and within the framework of the event of Ashura, we clearly observed no serious and real action taken on this matter.

In two chapters [of his movement], Imam Khomeini (r.a.) attached the [revolutionary] movement with the event of Ashura. First, in the first chapter of the movement-- i.e., in 1963 during the days of Muharram-- when the tribune for promoting the movement was the hussayniehs, mourning ceremonies, and religious gatherings. Second, during the final phase of the movement, in 1978 during the days of Muharram, when Imam [Khomeini] stated: "The Month of Muharram should be respected and the people should organize ceremonies on this month." He named this month, the month of 'victory of blood over swords' and henceforth, the great, extensive popular movement was created. That is, the revolutionary movement that had a Hussaini spirit and direction, was attached to the mourning ceremonies and remembrance of Imam Hussain (a.s.).

August 2, 1989


Divine love, love for God

My dear audience, 

Adorn your inner selves with a scene of relation with God the Exalted. This is going to be useful for you in your personal life, in your political life, in governing the country, at the time of death, when you are present before God on the judgment day, in meeting with God's friends (walis), and God willing, in the heaven. Strengthen your relationship with God, the Exalted. Speak with God and make your requests to God. Purely and sincerely make promises to God and keep to your promises. You are young. It is a pity if the pure, lighted and ready hearts get contaminated with anything; [or get filled with anything rather than] remembrance of God, and love for God. Take this world as only a means. This world's money, facilities, house, and life are only instruments. Therefore, they do not deserve dependence. Only God's sacred essence and those in the realm of His love deserve to be depended on:

"O, God! Please grant us with your love, love of those who love you, and love for any action that make us closer to you." Do not let go of this precious blessing. This is what only you own. If the Muslim youth, from all around the world, own this precious asset, the path to success unfolds ahead of them. This is what kept a personality like Imam Khomeini (r.a.) since he was young till the age of 90 on the divine straight path. He never changed his direction, despite all the changes that happened in life around him.



Loving and caring are the motivating engine of education and uprising

In order to strengthen morality in society, we need to do two things. First, we should engage in self-education and second, we should provide all the people - at all levels - with moral education. This duty should be carried out by our schools and other centers that are responsible for education. These organizations are responsible for carrying out this duty. This is one of the necessary tasks in "The Year of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.)". That is to say, we should be faithful and we should be true Muslims and followers of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) by observing moral virtues. We should make a list of negative and evil qualities and we should try to eliminate these qualities from our hearts and souls if we have any of them.

We should also make a list of moral virtues and try to develop them in our hearts and souls. Of course, what makes us progress on this path is love, love for God Almighty, love for the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), love for this path, love for the teachers of morality - that is to say, the Prophets and infallible Imams (a.s.). This is love which helps us move forward on this path. We should strengthen this love in ourselves on a daily basis. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) says, "Oh God, make me love You and love those who love You and make me love doing things which bring me closer to You". We should nurture in our hearts and souls love for God and love for His saints. God Almighty approves. This is one of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), one that we should pay attention to in "The Year of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.)".

March 26, 2006


The loftiest joys in life in this world

Then, we come to the topic of being morally and practically pure— which is achieved by practicing the religion-- a world in itself. There are joys in life that cannot be expressed by words and are not reached by any material means. The joy you gain when you speak to God, the joy of the moment when you feel that while saying prayers, or reciting Arafa and Kumayl supplications, you are actually speaking with the center of beauties, and benevolence, and the Creator of all of these --although you are among a crowd, you feel you are alone with God: this is a very joyful feeling. It does not happen early and often. But it is an extraordinary feeling. You have probably experienced it. All humans experience this feeling at one time or another; they might, for a moment or an hour, feel this joy. The problem is that we cannot safeguard the feeling of that moment, due to troubles and impurities around us. However, in that moment, even if you are offered the best material things, you have no desire for them. You prefer to spend time speaking to God and exchange loving words.

Meeting with members of the Students' Islamic Society; February 3, 2005 

What are the best requests to make to God?

All kinds of requests - even small ones - can and should be made to God during these prayers, supplications, and dhikrs. However, you should not confine your requests to minor needs. There are greater needs and requests which should not be forgotten. The greatest request is divine forgiveness. You should ask God to remove signs of sin and violation from your hearts and souls. You should ask God to smooth the path of repentance for you. Another great request is divine kindness. You should ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His kindness on you. Another great request is correcting the affairs of the Islamic Ummah. You should ask Allah the Exalted to correct the affairs of all Muslims - not only the people of Iran and all Islamic countries; [but also] You should ask Him to guide humanity towards the straight path. These prayers have a good chance of being answered. They are the ones which are answered. They open the path and prepare the ground. They help us to reach great goals.

October 24, 2006

Is praying exclusive to times of difficulties and sufferings?

My dear ones, you should pray. Praying is not particular to the time when we have a problem. We should pray all the time. Some people assume that they should pray only when they have a problem and when a disaster befalls them. This is not the case. Even when you are living your ordinary life, you should pray and preserve your relationship with God. As a narration puts it, you should familiarize your voice for angels in heavens. Praying is always necessary.

You should ask God to grant your requests and the requests of believing brothers and all Muslims throughout the world, to resolve the issues and the problems of the country, and to facilitate the path of outstanding achievements for the country and the Islamic Republic. The greatest advantage of praying is the one that reaches you performers of prayers and that is: establishing a relationship with Allah the Exalted and having a feeling of kindness and enthusiasm about getting close to the God of the world. This is the most available achievement of praying that belongs to you performers of prayers. The issue of the fulfillment of one’s prayers is another issue.

October 21, 2005



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