ʻIshq (Arabic: عشق), Modern Persian eshgh, Turkish aşk, Azerbaijani (eşq), means "love". 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. 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.
This word 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, Turkish, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Sindhi, Siraiki, Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi.
ʻIshq literally means love with no lust. In Arabic, which is its language of origin, it is a noun. However, in Urdu and Hindi it is used as both verb and noun. ‘Āshiq (male) and ‘Āshiqah (female) are its subjective forms. Māshūq (male) and Māshūqah (female) are its objective forms. In addition to Arabic, these forms are used in Persian, Urdu and sometimes in Hindi also.
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 God), Ishq-e majāzi (love of God's creation i.e. a human), and ishq-e rasūl or ishq-e Muhammadi (love of Muhammad). Other than these, in non-religious context, ‘ishq is a synonym for obsessive love.
In Turkish, Aşk is commonly used to express love, passion or adoration. Clearly derived from the original Ishq, the Turkish version replaces the 'q' with a 'k' (because Turkish lacks voiceless uvular plosive) and the letter 'ş' with the cedilla denotes the "sh" sound. In comparison to Arabic, Urdu or Hindi, 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.
In religious context, Ishq, divided into three kinds, is a very important but rather complex concept of Sufi tradition of Islam.
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 (عشق مجازی) literally means "metaphorical love". It refers to the love for God's creation i.e. love of a man for a woman 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.
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 Hadis it is necessary, in order for a Muslim to be true Muslim, to love his Prophet more than mere human beings; even more than his own life. The love of the Prophet is Imaan according to Muslim belief.
Ishq both as a word and a concept has been extensively used in 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.
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.
Ishq is also the artist name of the uks most famous ambient music composers, .