Love, Medieval Islamic Style

Michelle M Hamilton (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site


The celebration of love as an ennobling sentiment worthy of celebration, as commemorated on St. Valentine's Day, is not restricted to the Christian tradition. One of the most important scholars of the medieval Islamic world, Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm (994-1064), an Andalusi legal scholar and philosopher dedicated an entire book-length study, Ṭawq al-Ḥamāmah, to the nature of love. It was translated into English as The Ring of the Dove in 1953 by the British scholar A. J. Arberry. According to Ibn Ḥazm, the ideal love is a spiritual force that derives from God and that can unite the lovers’ very souls. Everyone has a soul mate in the world, whom they must find to be happy and healthy. Ibn Ḥazm compares the attraction one feels toward their soul mate to that of a magnet.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherHuffington Post
EditionBooks blog
StatePublished - Feb 13 2016


  • Valentine's Day
  • Ibn Hazm


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