The Arabic word al-mawaddah (المودّة) refers to an intensified level of love, or al-maḥabbah. Al-Mawaddah means affectionate love, and it is showing your compassionate sympathy in your actions.
This term is derived from the root word widd (ودّ), which is a form of constant love. For ḥub, it could just be in the heart, and not reflect in what you do, but with mawaddah you manifest it in what you do. That’s why when Almighty God made reference to the kin of the holy Prophet (s.a.w.), the word mawaddah was used, which means that we have to “show” our love:
قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ Say, I do not ask you any reward for it except love of [my] relatives’
Meanings of Mawaddah: Pure love, affection, apparent love, friendliness, caring.
One of the Divine Names of Almighty God is al-Wadūd, which means the All-affectionate. We learn this attribute from God and we must manifest it in our actions.
Loving is our nature, and we are born to love. As religious people, we are taught to love God, love others and love ourselves, in this sequence. In the Shi’I doctrine, our fifth and sixth Imams, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) have both said “Is religion anything but love?” Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:
اَلدِّينُ هُوَ اَلْحُبُّ وَ اَلْحُبُّ هُوَ اَلدِّينُ . Religion is love and love is religion
[al-Mahasin, v. 1, p. 262]
The term mawaddah teaches us to be affectionate to others, and to remember the struggles and difficulties of those who might be less fortunate than us. We have to appreciate our God-given bounties, by not only being thankful to Him, but by showing it. Our human, moral and religious duty is to express our affection towards. Mawaddah is the act of love through giving.
The Mawaddah Foundation wishes to actively express our love for humanity and society by helping others. Their goal is to spread love by extending our hand of help whoever they can around the world, beyond nationality, race or religion. Please donate to their cause!