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This article is about the word Ishq. For other uses, see Ishq (disambiguation).

ʻIshq is an Arabic word used in Arabic as well as many other languages. (Arabic: عشق‎; in Somali: caashaq or (cishqi) in Persian: eshgh; in Urdu: ‎ ishq; in Dari: eshq; in Pashto: eshq; in Turkish: aşk and in Azerbaijani: eşq), means "love".[1] The word is derived from ‘ashiqah, a vine: the common belief is that when love takes its root in the heart of a lover, everything other than God is effaced.[2] In Islam's Sufi and mystic doctrine it is a concept which refers to "divine love" or "a creature's love for its creator"; i.e. man's love for God.

As a word in different languages[edit]

The word ishq is originally Arabic and has made its way to many other languages which were influenced by Arabic in one way or another. Some of the most notable languages which have borrowed it are Persian, Urdu, Pashto, Turkish, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Sindhi, Saraiki and Punjabi, and it is also sometimes used in Hindi ʻIshq has a meaning of lustless love.[3] In Arabic, which is its language of origin, it is a noun. However, in Urdu it is used as both verb and noun. ‘Āshiq (male) and ‘Āshiqah (female) are its subjective forms. Mā'shūq (male) and Mā'shūqah (female) are its objective forms. In addition to Arabic, these forms are used in Persian and Urdu. In Urdu, Ishq (عشق) is used to refer to fervent love for any object, person or God. However, it is mostly used in its religious context. In Urdu, three very common religious terminologies have been derived from Ishq. These terminologies are Ishq-e-Haqīqi (love of Truth), Ishq-e majāzi (love of God's creation i.e. a human), and ishq-e rasūl / ishq-e Muhammadi (love of the Messenger / love of Muhammad). Other than these, in non-religious context, ‘ishq is a synonym for obsessive love. In Hindi, ishq (इश्क़) is mostly used to refer to romantic love in its extreme passionate form. This interpretation of Ishq is mostly popularised by Bollywood movies and Indian filmi music. In Turkish, Aşk is commonly used to express love, passion or adoration. The Turkish version replaces the 'q' with a 'k', as Turkish lacks voiceless uvular plosive, and the letter 'ş' with the cedilla denotes the "sh" sound, /ʃ/. In comparison to Arabic or Urdu, the word is less restricted and can be applied to many forms of love, or simply romance. It is common in lyrics of Turkish songs.

As an Islamic concept[edit]

In religious context, Ishq, divided into three kinds, is a very important but rather complex concept of Sufi tradition of Islam.

Ishq-e Haqīqi[edit]

Ishq-e Haqīqi (عشق حقیقی) literally means "the real love" but metaphorically it means "the love of God". It refers to the belief that only God is worth loving and He is the only one who can return His creature's love for Him.

Ishq-e Majāzi[edit]

Ishq-e Majāzi (عشق مجازی) literally means "metaphorical love". It refers to the love for God's creation i.e. love of a man for a woman or another man and vice versa. It is said to be generated by beloved person's external beauty. According to some schools of thought in Sufism, Ishq-e Majāzi can eventually lead to Ishq-e Haqiqi while others believe it can't. When the "real love" of God is attained, His Love is seen as the source of all "metaphorical love."

Ishq-e Rasūl or Ishq-e Muhammadi[edit]

Ishq-e Rasūl (عشق رسول; in Arabic: ʻIshq ar-Rasūl, Arabic: عشق الرسول‎) ' means "love of Muhammad," an important part of being a Muslim. According to hadith[which?] it is necessary for a Muslim to love Muhammad more than mere human beings; even more than their own life. The love of Muhammad is Iman according to Muslim belief.

Use in music culture[edit]

Ishq both as a word and a concept has been extensively used in Arab pop culture. Pakistani pop culture, with its roots in Islamic society, has used its religious context and used it in mystic Qawwalis, music, poetry and literature. Ashfaq Ahmed wrote many short stories and TV dramas about mysticism involving ishq. The world famous Lebanese singer, Najwa Karam used "Ishq" from its derived form of "ashiqah," (as stated above). Her song 'Aaskah' (Falling in love) was an enormous hit, hitting number one all over the Middle East, and was also popular abroad. Bollywood movies have mostly promoted romantic context of ishq by many romantic movies with titles containing the word ishq. Countless film songs have used this word in a purely romantic context with male/female duets. Related words that are used in Bollywood movies are Mohabbat (मुहब्बत), Prem (प्रेम) and Pyaar (प्यार). The term has also been applied in various popular-culture contexts, including the name of a record company[4] and the title of a music CD by Abida Parveen. Ishq is also the name of an ambient music band from the UK.[5] Additionally, Manish Vyas,a unique phenomenon in the world of music-who is a talented multi–instrumentalist and singer-recorded a song entitled "Ishq" on a CD entitled "Sattva-The Essence of Being," which was released on 13 May 2003.

See also[edit]