Impermissible to describe one's love for Allaah as 'infatuation' (‘ishq)
Fatwa No: 267511

  • Fatwa Date:7-10-2014 - Thul-Hijjah 13, 1435
  • Rating:

Question

What does the word Ishq (عشق) mean? Is it permissible to use this word (عشق) for God and His Messenger? Is it permissible to use this word (عشق) for our father, mother, brother, sister, daughter etc.? Is it lawful to say I have Ishq (عشق) with my sister? Jazaak ALLAHU Khair.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

The Arabic term ‘ishq refers to an infatuation or passionate love for women. It denotes excess in love, as underlined in Al-Misbaah on the authority of Ibn Faaris.

It is impermissible to use the term ‘ishq about Allaah, The Exalted. Instead, Muslims should confine themselves to the term hubb or mahabbah, translated as love, used in the Quran and Sunnah. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means):

·    {…But those who believe are stronger in love for Allaah...} [Quran 2:165]

·    {…Allaah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him…} [Quran 2:54]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There are three qualities whoever attains them will relish the sweetness of faith: To love Allaah and His Messenger more than anyone else…” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is not permissible to use the term ‘ishq when describing love for one’s father, mother, brother, sister, or daughter; Ibn Al-Jawzi may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “The term ‘ishq, according to Arabic linguists, is only used with relation to someone with whom a person may engage in sexual intercourse.

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Since there are many words in the Arabic language that carry the meaning of love denoting different degrees and description, the ones that are used with Allaah are only those that befit Him such as ‘ibaadah (worship), inaabah (turning to Allaah in repentance), and ikhbaat (humble submission). This is why the following words are not used in this context: ‘ishq, gharaam (ardent desire, infatuation), sabaabah (ardent love, fervent longing), shaghaf (can best be thought of as “passion”), and hawa (i.e. another concept of love, often used in the sense of “longing” or “desire”). Allaah, The Exalted, uses the word hubb (love) in reference to Himself; He says (what means): {… Allaah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him…} [Quran 5:54]” [Ighaathat Al-Lahfaan]

Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “The word ‘ishq is defined as excessive love that may incur harm on the person. It cannot be used to describe the love of Allaah for His slaves or their love for Him. It should be noted that some did use it. Scholars held different opinions regarding the reason for that prohibition; some argued that it is because the word ‘ishq is not used in this sense in the Quran and Sunnah and others mentioned other reasons as well. Perhaps the reason for it is that the word ‘ishq has specific connotations of earthly lust.” [Sharh Al-‘Aqeedah At-Tahaawiyyah]

Ibn Al-Jawzi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “The Qaadhi Abu Ya‘la held that the followers of pantheism use the word ‘ishq about Allaah. Ibn Al-Jawzi commented, ‘This reflects ignorance in three aspects:

Firstly, the word ‘ishq, according to Arabic linguists, is only used in a sexual context.

Secondly, the attributes of Allaah, The Almighty, are only those reported in the Quran or Sunnah. The word hubb, meaning love, is to be used with Allaah and not ‘ishq. This is the same as the Arabic verbs ya‘rif (to learn) and ya‘lam (to know). The verb ya‘lam can be used to describe Allaah, but not ya‘rif.

Thirdly, how does a person know that Allaah loves him? This is a mere claim that is not supported by evidence.” [Talbees Iblees]

The Fatwa of the Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Fatwa reads, “It is improper to describe a person as having ‘ishq for or from Allaah.”

Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote,

It is impermissible to call a person ‘aashiq of Allaah because it is improper; the word ‘ishq is not to be used to describe the love of the created beings for their Creator as synonymous with hubb (love)…” [Mu‘jam Al-Manaahi Al-Lafthiyyah]

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa