Meaning of love in Islam
IT is so common that the meaning of love has been restricted in the modern age to the love relationship between a man and a woman. This is a very narrow-minded view of love. Islam has is own comprehensive view of love.
The fist type of love that Islam calls for is the Love of Allah, praise be to Him. This love makes you avoid committing sins in order not to make whom you love, Allah, get angry with you. This love also urges you to contemplate all the different aspect of nature that usually lead you to have a deeper faith in the Creator who created all this beauty round us.
The second type of love is the love of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This love also makes you follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in all his dealings and manners. Also this love is an indication of the love of Allah as stated in the Noble Qur'an, "Say: 'If you do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'" Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger: But if they turn back, Allah loves not those who reject Faith." (Qur'an, 3:31-32)
The third type of love is human love. It means that the Muslim has to love his other fellow men regardless of their ethnic, linguistic or cultural background. This includes love of neighbors, colleagues, relatives and even strangers. This type of love persuades the Muslim to help anybody whenever he can. There are numerous of Ahadith that exhort Muslims to help anybody who really needs help because such an altruistic act takes the Muslim one step closer to Allah.
The fourth type of love is the love between a man and a woman, but Islam organizes and regulates these lofty feelings within the framework of marriage because Islam views that marital love leads the couple to have a peaceful and happy family life, which is the core of the Muslim society.
In other words, this love is acceptable as long as it is within the framework of marriage and this is encouraged in a number of verses in the Noble Qur'an, "And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put affection and mercy between you: verily in that are indeed signs for those who reflect: (Qur'an, 30:21).