No, this is not a dumb question. The only dumb thing is not to ask when you have a question.
As Christians would say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin and it is true in Islam too.
Indeed, "The Loving" is one of Allah's names as He said about Himself: "And He is the Forgiving and Loving" (Qur'an 85:14). Love is just a word which must be translated in action and it becomes obedience in the case of His creation, human beings, and mercy in case of the Creator, Allah. You can see that when love is translated into action it is mercy and His mercy is unconditional. You receive Allah's mercy whether you are an obedient servant of Allah or you are a mushrik (pagan, idolater) and a sinner; they all receive equal treatment in this life. Let us take a few examples:
Love must be translated in action, attitude and behavior, otherwise it is just a word without meaning. Similarly Allah's love is translated in His attributes of forgiving, compassion and mercy. Look around and you will find that Allah's mercy is spread all around. "Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Raheem" means "In the name of Allah the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate." The words are AR-RaHMan and AR-RaHeeM. AR represents the article AL, meaning "the". The root word is RHM, which may be read as RaHiMa or RaHaMa, means mercy. Allah does not use two identical words next to each other unless there is a difference in their meaning.
Allah is Ar-Raheem for all humankind irrespective of their belief in Allah and their character whether they believe in Allah or not; whether they are good-doers or evil-doers; they all obtain their sustenance from Allah. Many evil people are very rich because Allah decided to give them all the wealth and good things of this life; this is because Allah is Ar-Raheem. Allah is also Ar-Rahman for the believers in Him; they are good-doers. They receive special blessings from Allah, that is, happiness and contentment in this life and reward in the hereafter.
As for the life hereafter, or the next life, the matter is different. The Christian concept of God is a merciless God. He punishes the sinless, Jesus, for the wrong done by others. The Christian God is powerless to forgive sins and accept repentance. He makes the entire mankind sinners for the sin of one couple, Adam and Eve. The Christian God is incapable of forgiving the sin of one couple but makes their entire progeny sinners. For forgiving their sins he has to concoct a charade of bringing "his son" who is sinless and kills him for no fault of his own. This is a cruel god and a pagan-assumed god, not the One True God.
The Bible says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 NKJV). The converse of this statement is that the rest of humanity will perish, that is, will go to hell without any other way of receiving His forgiveness for the sin they did not commit. What happens to the people who were born and died before God decide to concoct this charade only 2000 years ago? It seems that the Christian God is a poor planner and a late thinker because it took him thousands if not millions of years to find a way of forgiving "the sins" of mankind. What happens to those who never received the message of Jesus until it was thoroughly corrupted by the "Christians" and it became illogical and unacceptable?
In the Qur'an Allah says that He does not love those who reject Him (3:32), does not love those who are transgressors (2:57, 140, 5:87, 7:55), does not love those who are evil-livers (5:64), does not love evil talk (4:148) and others. In all these cases love is connected to the deeds of a person. At the same time Allah does not deprive them of anything in this life. You will not find that all good people are rich and all sinners are living in poverty and a wretched life. Allah gives a person life-long opportunity to turn away from the life of sin and disobedience and receive His forgiveness. Conversely, Allah says, "Say, if you love Allah, obey me (Muhammad), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful" (3:31). If you love Allah show it in your conduct and obey Allah and His Messenger, for obedience of His Messenger is the obedience of Allah (4:80). It means our expression of love is in obedience.
See what Allah also says in the Qur'an, "Say: O My slaves (mankind) who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgives all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful..." (39:53-58). Here the message is that those who commit evil are doing wrong and hurting themselves in this life and the next, however, Allah's forgiveness has no limits and the only condition is asking for forgiveness and repentance (not committing wrongs again knowingly).
Dr. M. Amir Ali, Ph.D.