Archive for the Love Category

The Five Languages of Love

Posted in Love, Marriage Coaching, The Prophet and his Wives, Tips for a Happy Marriage on February 19, 2010 by Shaz

By Maria Zain

Marriage and family life expert Dr. Gary Chapman explains that each one of us speaks one or more of five different languages of love. The “Love Languages”, he says, refer to how we perceive that we are loved by the people around us.

Chapman categorizes the five languages into: 1) quality time, 2) services, 3) gifts, 4) positive affirmations, and 5) touch. He explains that every person speaks one dominant language, but also speaks one or two other languages of love at the same time. Tuning into one’s spouse, child, or family in general, and understanding their needs would be more effective when one is able to identify each person’s love language.

For example, a mother may identify that one of her children is acting out mainly because she is neglecting his love language of “quality time”. By identifying his love language, she will be able to tune into his needs more effectively by allocating more quality time with that one child.

Similarly, a husband may find that a rift in his marriage is being caused by him not understanding his wife’s language of love. If he realizes that her love language is, for example, services, he can then show appreciation and affection towards her by helping out with the housework, groceries, and chores.

Islam speaks of love in the highest regard. Allah (God) is known as the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful, and through those traits, showers His Grace upon human beings. Thus, it is no wonder that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a person of compassion and empathy like no other. He was continuously surrounded by people whom he loved dearly and who shared that mutual affection.

By reading through his biography, especially concerning his relationships with his loved ones, we can see that he spoke each of Chapman’s five languages of love, depending on who he was dealing with. This article will be looking at each of the five languages of love by providing a few examples of how this was shown throughout Prophet Muhammad’s life.

Spending Quality Time Together

Prophet Muhammad used to spend time with his comrades, laughing and joking. He made light of difficult situations and reminded his friends that it was also important to indulge in leisurely activities, as long as they did not contradict Islamic practices.

He was known to have played games with his wife Aishah, including racing her around open compounds, and watching performances together, such as an Ethiopian traditional dance during Eid. Besides this, he was always surrounded by Muslims in the mosque, wishing to ask questions about Islam.

Unlike other religious men who have been perceived as hermits, Prophet Muhammad was incredibly sociable, and welcomed many strangers to ask questions and participate in the Muslim community’s activities. They, in turn, became very attached to Prophet Muhammad and were further honored to spend even more time with him in attempts to emulate his practices and behavior.

He also made it a point to spend time with the Muslim youth, including his own children, grandchildren and other relatives. His relationship with his daughters such as Fatimah and Zainab was punctuated with special moments together. He also spent a lot of his time, even during congregational prayers, with his grandchildren: Al-Hassan, Al-Hussein, and Umamah, amongst others.

Providing Sincere Acts of Services

Islam’s recognition of leadership does not only involve making good decisions for the followers, but also to provide services for them. Much like a politician is required to serve his people, the husband and the father, as leader of a household, is also required to take care of his wife and his children by meeting their needs and sharing their burden of duties.

Prophet Muhammad used to busy himself in helping out with the household chores and even mended his own sandals and garments to avoid inflicting burdens upon his wives and daughters. (Al-Bukhari)

Men need to be reminded that although many women generally take care of the home, there are many rewards for helping out around the house too.

Services towards children in Islam can be seen as raising them with good manners, character, and providing them with the best, most well-rounded education possible. This is, of course, in addition to providing for their daily multiple needs.

Giving Gifts to Loved Ones

Islam praises the giving of gifts to each other, as long as they are not lewd in nature, or considered wasteful. Even before marriage, prospective bridegrooms are reminded that it is obligatory to give a marriage gift to the bride as a sign of appreciation for her and the relationship she is committing to. Additionally, the couple is encouraged to buy presents for each other as part of the wedding ceremony, and to pursue joy in doing so well into the marriage.

Prophet Muhammad also encouraged parents to be fair when presenting gifts to their children. At one instance, he refused to witness a father giving a gift only to one son and not to his other children. He was also seen to have presented an onyx necklace to Umamah, his beloved granddaughter.

He would often accept gifts himself and share them amongst his friends, and he was also known to give gifts to non-Muslim friends and neighbors to instill the good values of tolerance and respect between religions.

Sharing Positive Affirmations

Lying is generally forbidden in Islam. However, because of Islam’s strong emphasis on practicality, lying is allowed in three very specific circumstances. One of those circumstances is when spouses are expressing love to one another. This means that a husband and wife can express undying love towards each other — even if they don’t necessarily mean it — as long as it is with the intention of strengthening the relationship.

For example, a husband may tell his wife that he loves her more than anyone on earth, where in actual fact this is untrue for Muslims, as Allah and Prophet Muhammad always come first for Muslims. However, this positive affirmation towards a spouse is permissible and, in fact, encouraged in Islam.

Positive affirmations provide a support system and encouragement for spouses to pursue what is in their best interest according to Islamic principles. Unwavering support and encouragement was a strength of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Prophet Muhammad’s first wife.

A popular quote by Prophet Muhammad that lived on many years after her death was: “She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was no one else to lend me a helping hand.” (Al-Bukhari)

It was very much through Khadijah’s support that Islam spread so strongly within the first decade of its introduction and from there the strongest bond of love was formed.

Showing Love Through Touch

The importance of showing love through touch is relayed by a Quranic verse that says what means:

{They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them.} (Al-Baqarah 2:187)

In this verse, spouses are likened to something as close to oneself as the clothes that one wears. This verse conveys many meanings, but one of them is the importance of touch in a relationship. Garments lie immediately on our skin, providing warmth and protection. This is very much like a spouse’s touch.

Prophet Muhammad often talked about the importance of intimacy and gestures of affection between husband and wife. He himself was known to rest his head on Lady Aishah’s lap when he felt tired, and in fact, he was in that position when he passed away.

Touch is also an important way to show affection towards children. Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Fatimah, relayed that her father would hold her hands and kiss her, and always welcome her into the room when she visited him. Fatimah would reciprocate the gesture for him too. Her sons were no less familiar to their grandfather’s embrace as they would snuggle on his lap while he supplicated to Allah to shower and bless them with His love.

Love God and Love Your Spouse

Loving one’s spouse is an important tenet in Islam, as the family unit represents an important cornerstone of the faith. Each family begins with a husband and wife, who then later become parents. In order for a marriage to flourish, it is important to remind each other about the importance of loving Allah. From then on, it becomes natural to love each other, to tune into each other’s unique needs and expectations.

Understanding the five languages of love is a great way to do this.

When spouses tune into each other, they are able to develop healthier relationships with each other, their children, their extended family, friends, neighbors, and the whole community. Learn of each other’s love languages, communicate using them, and let the love for Allah flourish even more.

What is “love”?

Posted in Love on February 11, 2010 by Shaz
Answer by Hwaa Irfan

As salamu `alaykum to you.

I think you have asked the million dollar question here. As short as your question is, it is not very easy to answer and many spend much of their lives trying to seek something that is other than what it is. I suppose I could say it is a feeling, but how many feelings do we have each day that are correct and have a healthy or unhealthy longevity when the next day comes?
I am assuming here that you mean ‘love’ as in the love between a man and a woman.
Romantic Love

This kind of love we are most familiar with because we have been nurtured on it through songs and the media in general. It is also a kind of addiction/obssession that can drive one to do haram acts. This is the nature of any addiction after all!

It is a desire that eminates from our lower desires and so is therefore rooted in the nafs an-ammarah bi`s-su (the self-comanding soul) (12: 53), which is dominated by the earthly senses and thus selfish. Romantic love is never happy unless it is being attended to by the object of that love, and is jealous when the person ‘loved’ has his attention elsewhere. This attention might be work, friends, family or another.

Recent studies in neuroscience, support the precautions called upon in Islam. Helen Fisher’s team at Rutgers University scanned the brains of couples who were newly in love while they gazed at photo’s of their sweethearts. Activity soars in the brain’s reward system. That result, Fisher says, in “fierce energy, concentrated motivation to attain a reward, and feelings of elation, even mania – the core feelings of romantic love”. Other areas linked with negative emotions and assessing other people’s intentions switched off. Romantic love also included activation of the hypothalamus, where the sex hormone testosterone is produced. Lust, the sexual part of love, is unsurprisingly, switched on in romantic love. – Scientific America

So, given the above results, if one becomes so engrossed with the person ‘loved’, one is unaware other people’s intentions, including the one who is ‘loved’. This where much emotional damage can be done to either party, especially when individuals become prey to the feelings of ‘romantic love’ which lead to pre-marital relationships. If the relationship moves towards marriage, the doors of reality flies open and there might be not so pleasant surprises. One of those surprises is boredom with each other, because the relationship was not based on anything more than emotions.

Islamic scholar and philosopher abu Hamid al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote any man whose daughter had many suitors asked Prophet Muhammed on how he should decide. Prophet Muhammed said: “To the one who fears God; because if he loves her, he will be kind to her, and if he hates her, he will not wrong her” and “Whoever gives his daughter in marriage to a licentious man has betrayed her womb”.

We underestimate the level of bio-chemical reactions that are taking place in our bodies when it come to emotion, but mostly, it does not even occur to us that it is anything other than emotions, but even thought as a bio-chemical base. The point of this is, we should realize that when we allow a certain negative emotion to occur, that we not necessarily in full control of ourselves ones the hormones react to those emotions.

Neuroscience has found that:

Higher levels of testosterone and estrogen are present when one feels lust.
Levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin increase when attracted

Unconditional Love

{“And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!”} (Rum 30:21).

Unaware as to wether you are a Muslim or not, the above quotation is from our book of guidance, the Qur`an. Much advice is given, including the relationship between a wife and husband. It does not merely speak of a physical intimacy, but most importantly, emotional intimacy which is an essential ingredient in unconditional love. It is a process of getting to know the other person as he is (not as you want him to be), to share in duties and responsibilities and to always be there as a friend. This is more important than any physical intimacy because it is the basis, of intimacy and the key to a bonding relationship that provides a buoyancy through the difficult times. It is a process of building trust, the kind of trust whereby the couple can get to know each other’s weaknesses and strengths without taking advantage or wanting to. The husband is an open book to the wife and vice versa with both respecting and sharing in each others needs, aspirations, time. There is:

Mutual trust
Tenderness
Acceptance is unconditional approval in a relationship. No one is perfect.
Open communication is the ability to discuss anything with your spouse.
Caring is genuine concern for your spouse’s well-being. If you do things you know hurt your spouse, you cannot have healthy intimacy.
Apologies are the remedy for mistakes that spouses inevitably make. Recognizing mistakes, taking responsibility for them, expressing remorse for any hurt caused, and making a commitment to change the hurtful behavior are all essential to mending the relationship after a mistake
Forgiveness is the process of letting go of anger, desire for revenge, and obsessive thinking about times your spouse has hurt you. It includes giving your spouse permission to have weaknesses, make mistakes, and change.
Appropriate boundaries are the limits you place on a relationship. The limits can be created individually or as a couple. These limits include saying “no” when your spouse asks you to do something that goes against your values or is more than you can handle.
Friendship is the ingredient that lines a loving relationship. True friendship means that you will be there for one another and is the boat that takes you through rough times.
Neuroscience has found that the hormone Oxcytocin also boosts trust, which is an important step in developing a loving relationship

Oxcytocin and vasopressin levels are higher in marriage = long term relationships signaled by the deep level of trust and bonding between spouses.
Spiritual Love

Loving for the sake of Allah takes a a good healthy marriage even further, because there is a love greater than the both of you and includes family, relatives, friends and all creation. This is what unites humanity in our Creator and as a marrired couple pray and worship together, it adds an unbreakable dimension the the marital relationship. In Islam this is referred to as tawhid, where there is a self-respect, modesty and remiss of arrogance or pride. Loving for the sake of Allah means loving others (including ones spouse) regardless of their flaws. When this aspect is strong within a marital relationship, physical intimacy becomes less important. Jealousy and possessiveness dwindles because the level of emotional bonding is so great.

Sheikh Muhammad Maulad tells us:

“The actual physical heart in our breast beats at about 100,000 times a day, pumping two gallons of blood per minute, 100 gallons per hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for an entire life time! The vascular system that sends this life-giving blood is over 60,000 miles long: it is more than two times the circumference of the earth. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating before the brain is formed; the heart begins to beat without any central nervous system. The dominant theory was that the central nervous system is what is controlling the entire human being from the brain, yet we know now that in fact the nervous system does not initiate the heartbeat. It is actually self-initiated; we would say, it is initiated by Allah subhanahu wa T’ala”.

With this level of connection, the strong bond between a couple will extend to the family, relatives, neighbors and in turn heal society as a whole.

True Romance

Posted in Love on October 27, 2009 by Shaz

True Romance

Is in Love With All Creation

 

By Maryam Bachmeier

Psychologist, Counselor, Writer – U.S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is in the air all across theUS and Canada. February is a time when husbands and wives, family and friends express their deep feelings of appreciation and devotion to each other. It is also a special time for married couples to remember ‘romance’. Yet, in the mist of all this celebration and good will toward one another, so many have not been able to capture the connections that they long for in their life. This sometimes leads people to feel depressed, forlorn and lonely.

Why is this so?

What are we missing?

I propose that perhaps we are somewhat misguided on what love is, where it comes from, and how it is sustained.

 

Like worshiping idols, and hoping that inanimate objects can guide us toward the heavens, we have often looked to a mere human for love.

But what is Love?

Love is an Attribute of Allah. The only way we can experience authentic love, is to experience the love of Allah. If we put our relationship with Allah first, we will fall in love with all His creation. Allah first, then His creations. If we follow this “formula” we will have an opportunity to experience love in all its expressions. It is the inspiration that leads us to feel love, and those feelings invite us to know the Beloved.

 

When one operates according to this paradigm, one can experience authentic Romance. There is a reason why the sunset on a warm breezy night captures the heart of lovers… it gets the love struck creatures in touch with something much greater than themselves, and this is exactly what romance is. The sensuousness we feel from the expressions of nature and the touch of a loved one increases the oxcytocin in our brains, and it changes our mood and consciousness, so that we can be open to something Divine. It is for us to differentiate between a lasting and authentic love, and a fleeting moment. If we can commit to a life in submission to Allah, and the life of Islam, then we might be able to make the kind of commitment that will sustain a lasting devoted love.

 

Post-Tech Love

 

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With this model in mind, while in the post tech-space age universe we live in, we can ask… what model of relationship is most likely to increase the probability of creating a stable and lasting relationship? We have the past model of the arranged marriage. This works well when this occurs in the context of a culture that still values certain norms. And these actually have the best statistics for success. But in these marriages, the spouses are young, committed to the ideals of marriage and family, and they are in a stage of life where identity formation is very active, but not complete. These marriages survive lifetimes because the identity is formed simultaneously. So what about marriages of older people, who have already completed some of the stages of identity formation? The “modern” marriage that occurs later in life has become a necessity for many people in the modern world, due to the fact that one needs to make a certain amount of money, etc., before one can even dream of creating a stable marriage and have children. So, with all this, the issues of the division of labor have developed into an argument for equality. But this model has failed.

 

People date, feel the hormones, call that love, commit to each other (forgetting about Allah) get married, and then go to work to become financially able to start a family. Then they begin to argue when things become stressful. They each have their own individual identities, and are determined to “grow”…seeking “support” from each other. Yet, over half of these marriages fail. Is it possible to gain the mindset that makes it possible for the arranged marriage to work, by using the formula of putting Allah first, committing to the path of marriage as a way to complete one’s deen (religion), and enter into awareness that the two identities will merge as each begins to know more about the other?

 

Is it possible to follow the principles of the “complimentary” model, using “roles” and “functions” as a means to support the overall institution of marriage?

 

Can our modern society even think of such a notion?

I propose that if we consider this “old fashioned” model, we might find our way back to the original purpose and intent of marriage, and enjoy the benefits of marriage that

 

Allah wanted us to have.

 

The Only Love There Is

 

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Love Allah first. Let this love be your real compassion. The Greek define three types of love…love for humanity, love for God and Romantic love…but in fact there is only one source of Love and that is Allah. If you want to feel REAL love, then you must understand this. No one can love another truly, without the awareness, acceptance, and expression of the Love of Allah. This is what the individual must embrace first, before embracing another. It is the only love that exists, the only love that can be embraced. Let your love of Allah (the source from which all love flows, be your passion) If you do this, you will love your spouse. If your spouse cannot “tune” in to this divine aspect of Allah, then he or she cannot truly love in the deepest way…and sadly this is the state of affairs for so many, but your happiness does not depend on this. If you “tune in” to this genuine and eternal love, you will be sustained by it.

 

But what is even more remarkable is that when a man and his wife first embrace Allah and allow the Love of Allah to permeate them; each individually, they will both then truly feel genuine love for each other. This is the beginning of the True Romance. And in case you are worried about the sex…if you authentically follow this formula you will be so inspired, that this aspect will be just fine.

 

The Ties that Last

 

And that is why, we don’t need to use the failed model of Western dating to “fall in love” with our marriage partners and to have a successful marriage. Why have the traditional arranged marriages worked so much better in terms of longevity compared to the modern Western marriage? A combination of reasons, but a lot of it has to do with the fact the each partner has been pre-screened for their character. And, if both partners are committed to a joint value system, and they both love Allah, then love can grow. The journey of discovering each other and themselves as a result can be an enjoyable one. It is the commitment to this journey and to Allah and the Path that develops deep love. The more you know someone, the more you love them. Allah is the source of all, we learn about Allah as we go on this Islamic journey… we learn about Allah, we learn about our spouses, we learn about our family, our children, our friends… and then we can develop the kind of love that helps people, a family, a community to survive through the ups and downs of the journey. Instead of making a commitment to each other, make a commitment to Allah. Make a commitment to live according to His Guidance. Love, the feeling is nothing, unless it is translated into action… Love one another. That is something that you must do. And it is an action that you must take with Faith in Allah and with Commitment to serve Him.

 

So, if it is that simple, what do you do when the marriage gets dull and boring? The truth is, it is this simple. Inspiration comes from Allah. If you want romance in your life, and you have been married for 20 years, then you know enough about your spouse to know what will bring an inspiration to him or her. You know how to create a mood and an environment that will foster “love feelings”….it is something that you consciously take action to achieve…. if you have journeyed together in honesty and authenticity. I could take this time to write about many clever ways to get the romance going here in this article, but there are so many articles and books on the “how to’” that I suggest you simply read those. The key aspect is communication.

Know what your spouse who is your beloved likes, sexually, physically, emotionally, mentally…and share a spiritual life together.

Explore communication techniques and find the ones that work with both of you.

The miracle is, all this can be done without costing a penny! Well, maybe the massage oil, and the candles will cost a few pennies, but not much…the rest is the joy of learning and the pleasure in using that knowledge which you have of each other for each other’s needs. If you love, you will express it. For better, or worse, rich or poor, good times, and hard times.. you will go hand in hand from this day forward and together into Paradise. This can only become a reality when one first makes a genuine and authentic commitment to Allah, then to your spouse as an expression of that commitment.

Don’t give up, don’t walk out.

No matter what it take, take the time to learn your partner’s communication style, and develop a communication system that works for you both. And above all…Pray together. Let Love Light the Way…. And All Praise be to Allah from Whom love flows.

 

Is this love that I’m feeling?

Posted in Love on October 26, 2009 by Shaz

 

Is this love that I’m feeling?
By: Yasmin Mogahed

“Love is a serious mental disease.” At least that’s how Plato put it. And while anyone who’s ever been ‘in love’ might see some truth to this statement, there is a critical mistake made here. Love is not a mental disease. Desire is.

If being ‘in love’ means our lives are in pieces and we are completely broken, miserable, utterly consumed, hardly able to function, and willing to sacrifice everything, chances are it’s not love. Despite what we are taught in popular culture, true love is not supposed to make us like drug addicts.

And so, contrary to what we’ve grown up watching in movies, that type of all-consuming obsession is not love. It goes by a different name. It is hawa—the word used in the Quran to refer to one’s lower, vain desires and lusts. Allah describes the people who blindly follow these desires as those who are most astray: “But if they answer you not, then know that they only follow their own lusts (hawa). And who is more astray than the one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allah?” (28: 50)

By choosing to submit to our hawa over the guidance of Allah, we are choosing to worship those desires. When our love for what we crave is stronger than our love for Allah, we have taken that which we crave as a lord. Allah says: “Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.” (2:165)

If our ‘love’ for something makes us willing to give up our family, our dignity, our self-respect, our bodies, our sanity, our peace of mind, our deen, and even our Lord who created us from nothing, know that we are not ‘in love’. We are slaves.

Of such a person Allah says: “Do you see such a one as takes his own vain desires (hawa) as his lord? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. (45: 23)

Imagine the severity. To have one’s sight, hearing and heart all sealed. Hawa is not pleasure. It is a prison. It is a slavery of the mind, body and soul. It is an addiction and a worship. Beautiful examples of this reality can be found throughout literature. In Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Pip exemplifies this point. In describing his obsession with Estella, he says: “I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”

Dickens’ Miss Havisham describes this further: “I’ll tell you…what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter – as I did!”

What Miss Havisham describes here is in fact real. But it is not real love. It is hawa. Real love, as Allah intended it, is not a sickness or an addiction. It is affection and mercy. Allah says in His book: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (30: 21)

Real love brings about calm—not inner torment. True love allows you to be at peace with yourself and with God. That is why Allah says: “that you may dwell in tranquility.” Hawa is the opposite. Hawa will make you miserable. And just like a drug, you will crave it always, but never be satisfied. You will chase it to your own detriment, but never reach it. And though you submit your whole self to it, it will never bring you happiness.

So while ultimate happiness is everyone’s goal, it is often difficult to see past the illusions and discern love from hawa. One fail-safe way, is to ask yourself this question: Does getting closer to this person that I ‘love’ bring me closer to—or farther from—Allah? In a sense, has this person replaced Allah in my heart?

True or pure love should never contradict or compete with one’s love for Allah. It should strengthen it. That is why true love is only possible within the boundaries of what Allah has made permissible. Outside of that, it is nothing more than hawa, to which we either submit or reject. We are either slaves to Allah, or slaves to our hawa. It cannot be both.

Only by struggling against false pleasure, can we attain true pleasure. They are by definition mutually exclusive. For that reason, the struggle against our desires is a prerequisite for the attainment of paradise. Allah says: “But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.” (79: 40-41)

The Lost Love

Posted in Love, Tips for a Happy Marriage on September 29, 2008 by Shaz

In the name of Allah[1], the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad (SAWS[2]).

 

Amr Khaled

love is about actions and behavior, not hidden feelings. What happens if relationships between husbands and wives deteriorate? What happens to families? What kind of sins will be committed in society, what will the Shaytan (Satan) do to our homes? Our last hope lies in our homes, and if we lose that our societies will be useless for another 200 years. A major problem faced by husbands and wives is the loss of love. We’re not discussing marital disputes, or the causes of divorce, we’re talking about the lost love. How do we lose love? In the first stage they stop talking to each other. Couples talk for hours while they are engaged, they spend long hours on the phone and when they finally hang up they still have more to say. At the beginning of their marriage they talk even more. Then, a few years down the line there’s less and less to say.

A man may spend 12 hours at work and actually forget to call his wife. The second stage is to avoid spending time at home; some husbands go through a lot of trouble to make up excuses and tell lies to escape spending time at home. The third stage is when both partners stop seeing each other’s good sides and focus on their partner’s faults; and Shaytan plays a major role here. The Prophet (SAWS) said very beautiful words in this regard; he said that a believer should not dislike his wife, because even if he dislikes something about her, he will always find something that he likes. The point is that they both have faults, and they probably were like this since the very first day, but at this stage they can only see each other’s faults. The fourth stage is to lose their intimate relationship for months. Although we’ve discussed four stages of losing love at home, until this stage they are still respectable people, and they haven’t committed any major sins.

However, after this, one may then start looking for love outside his/her home, and this may soon turn into cheating and a series of other major sins that displease Allah (AWJ[3]). Again, Shaytan has an important role to play here. Ibnul-Qayyim said that Shaytan makes you see what you don’t have as more beautiful and attractive that what you have. This is how Shaytan works. The Prophet (SAWS) said that a person who betrays carries a flag on the Day of Judgment saying this is so-and-so’s betrayal, clearly telling people what this person did.

I’m not talking to men only, I’m very sorry to say that women also reach the stage I’m talking about – this was not the case 30 or 40 years ago -.

Can we bring back the love to our homes? Yes! Allah (SWJ) said what can be translated as “…and He has made between you amity and mercy…” (TMQ[4], 30:21). Note that “has made” is past tense, this means that Allah (SWT[5]) creates this amity and mercy deep in the hearts of husbands and their wives on the day they are married. Take an example for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) on the day he conquered Makkah, 15 years after Lady Khadijah Bint-Khuwaylid’s death; his companions were urging him to stay at one of their homes, yet he asked them to set up a tent for him near her grave. A year after Khadija’s death a lady companion met Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and suggested that he gets married for he had 5 children and it would be difficult for him to bring them up on his own; the Prophet shed tears on Khadijah’s memory and said that no woman could resemble her. The lady later said she regretted having reminded him.

You may say that this is the Prophet (SAWS) and no one else is like this. So let me tell you the story of a man who I met in England when I was 20 years old. This man, a scholar from al-Azhar, was in his sixties or seventies at that time, while his wife was in her fifties and they had been married for nearly 35 years. He had gone to England to give some lectures and his wife accompanied him. I could not imagine how this man loved his wife to the extent that he woke me up one day at 8:00 o’clock in the morning and asked me to go with him to Oxford to buy her a present while she was sleeping. I was surprised that after all those years of marriage he was thinking of buying his wife a present and he was also very keen on choosing something that will please her. After some time I traveled back to Egypt and went to visit him, he welcomed me but told me that he was busy at that time and asked me to wait for him in the guest room. He left me waiting for half an hour and I was upset, when he returned he apologized and explained that he and his wife spend an hour every Friday after al-Asr (afternoon) prayer to read Qur’an and talk to each other. I did not think it was possible at that time for a couple to love each other so much after so many years of marriage.

The Prophet (SAWS) was talking to one of his companions called Jaber Ibn-Abdullah on their way back from Zat-Arika’ battle. We all know Jaber’s story whose wife died and he married a lady who could take care of his nine daughters. So, on their way back from the battle the Prophet (SAWS) told him that when they reach Madinah the army will wait outside its borders so that Jaber’s wife would know that the army is back and prepare herself to welcome her husband. The thing is, The Prophet (SAWS) understood that the army had been away for a long time, and their wives do not know when they will be back, and, being busy taking care of their children and houses they may not be ready to welcome their husbands, so he wanted to give them time to prepare themselves. This is very important for women today who do not appreciate how important it is for them to look presentable in front of their husbands.

What does all this have to do with Ramadan? This is the essence of Ramadan, and we want to emerge from Ramadan with husbands who are determined to strengthen their homes by taking their wives’ hands and starting to walk through life together. The Prophet (SAWS) used to walk with Lady Zainab Bint-Jahsh and hold her hand in front of his companions without feeling embarrassed about that like most men do.

Sometimes we only appreciate someone close to us when they die, although we never appreciated them during their lives. I will tell you the story of a girl who studied fine arts and used to paint pictures and portraits and things like that. She decided to paint a picture of her parents and give it to them as a gift on their wedding anniversary. She worked in her room and hid her work from her parents to make it a surprise, until one night her father walked into her room and caught her when she was almost done with the picture. She says she really felt like showing it to him, and when he saw it he marveled at how beautiful his wife is and asked if he could buy a frame for the picture and attach a small card for her mother. So she agreed and they kept the picture a secret from her mother. Unfortunately, her father died before the anniversary day and the girl hesitated before showing the picture to her mother. She finally showed it to her and the mother read her husband’s card in which he said “My daughter reminded me of how lucky I am to have married you – I’ll always look into your eyes.”. The girl’s mother was touched by those words and regretted that she had not heard such sweet words from him during his life.

Moreover, Abu-Bakr asked that his wife Asmaa Bint-Omayr would be the one to wash him and prepare him for burial after his death – this is very strange especially at that time – and when someone inquired about the reason, he replied that she was the closest to his heart, and so she did.

Also, Lady Aisha teaches women how to treat their husbands. She says she once went to bed with the Prophet (SAWS) and when he was covered with her quilt, he asked her permission to let him get up and pray for an hour to his Lord (Allah), she replied that she loves to be near him yet prefers what pleases him, that is, she prefers what he likes over what she likes.

On the other hand, Ali Ibn-Abi-Taleb teaches men how to treat their wives: When he was asked to describe his relationship with his wife Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter, Ali replied with poetry; saying that Muhammad’s daughter is his wife and peace, and that her body and soul are entwined with his. Once Ali found his wife Fatimah brushing her teeth with a sewak (part of a tree bark that people use to clean their teeth), again, he came up with some funny poetry about the sewak to make her laugh.

Fatimah too joked with her husband. The Prophet (SAWS) walked in and heard her and Ali laughing out loud, they stopped when he came in, so he asked them about what made them laugh. They had been married for six or seven years then. Ali replied that she insisted that she was older than him although that was not true. Fatimah replied that she was older. So the prophet told his daughter that Ali was right. He thought she was being serious. She replied that she knew that but was only joking with her husband.

There is also Abdullah Ibnul-Mubarak, he was a great companion of the Prophet (SAWS) who fought for one year and went for hajj[6] the next; once he was on hajj and missed his wife, so he sent her a message with someone, nowadays we can send text messages to each other in seconds, he had to send a message with a messenger. His message said “My soul missed your soul, did you feel it?” 

The Prophet (SAWS) was sitting in his house one day and heard a knocking on the door and when asked who it was he heard a voice similar to lady Khadijah’s voice – that was long after her death. He wished it would be Hala, Khadijah’s sister, as he missed Khadijah and wanted to see one of her relatives. It turned out to be Hala, and he was very happy to see her.

Can this really happen? Of course it can! Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as “Say, ‘in case you (really) love Allah, then closely follow me, (and) Allah will love you and forgive you your guilty (deeds)…’” (TMQ, 3:31). Allah (SWT) also says what can be translated as “Indeed you have already had a fair example, in the Messenger of Allah …” TMQ( 33:21). Let’s apply the social aspect of the Prophet’s (SAWS) life.

The important question now is why do we lose love, didn’t Allah (SWT) create amity and mercy deep in our hearts? We lose love when we neglect it. A general rule in life is that anything that is neglected and not taken care of withers up and dies. Love is about actions, not hidden feelings. It’s like a bank account. When you were engaged you had a huge balance of love to rely on, but over the days you keep drawing from that account until you can draw no more – that’s when you can’t tolerate a small argument that you could have tolerated a few years ago. You have to deposit in your wife’s or your husband’s love account, deposit small actions like a smile, a hug, a call to their family members, to protect your love against disputes and hard times. Let’s take advantage of Ramadan, pray together, supplicate together, hold each other’s hands. Again, love is about actions, about effort.

Allah (SWT) said “amity and mercy”, not “love”, what’s the difference? Love is an inner feeling, but amity is a manifestation of love, amity is an action. Love is an invisible feeling, but a smile is an action, that’s amity. That’s why one of Allah’s Most Beautiful Names is Al-Wadud, The Ever-Affectionate, because when Allah (SWT) loves someone an action results; The Prophet (SAWS) said “when Allah loves a person, He calls Jibril (Angel “Gabriel”) and says (to him): ‘I love so-and-so, therefore you should also love him.’ So Jibril loves him. Then he makes an announcement in the heaven saying ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should also love him.’ Then the inhabitants of heaven (the angels) would love him, and acceptance is established for him on earth”. So start depositing in your spouses’ emotion accounts, work together to bring the love back. How long would it take? I would say about a month, from experience, Allah willing. Allah (SWT) assures us that the love is there.

Do not be miserly with your feelings; do not let your spouses look for love outside your homes. Express your feelings and do not be shy. Salman al-Faresi saw Abul-Dardaa’s wife in a bad state, neglecting her appearance and when asked for the reason, she told him that her husband neglected her, as he was busy with worship day and night. This was during the time of the companions, and she was a pious woman, but nowadays, many women in the same situation would start looking for love outside their homes, it is not justifiable, but men should not drive their wives to that. May Allah forgive us all and bring all those husbands and wives who hear us today closer together.
 


 

[1] The word Allah is the Arabic term for God. Although the use of the word “Allah” is most often associated with Islam, it is not used exclusively by Muslims; Arab Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also use it to refer to the One God. The Arabic word expresses the unique characteristics of the One God more precisely than the English term. Whereas the word “Allah” has no plural form in Arabic, the English form does. Allah is the God worshipped by all Prophets, from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

[2] SAAWS= Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him].

[3]  AWJ= Aza-Wa-Jal [Glorified and Sublime be He].

[4]  TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an.  This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah: Ayah)  of the Qur’an.  Reading the translated meaning of the Qur’an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

[6] Hajj: The pilgrimage to Makkah during the first half of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, and is the fifth pillar of Islam.

Fiqh Of Love

Posted in Audio, Love, Marriage Coaching, Tips for a Happy Marriage on September 25, 2008 by Shaz

Fiqh of Love – The Fiqh of Marriage in Islam is the official recording of an AIMaghrib Institute seminar. What you hold in your hands is a detailed look at the process and rites of marriage in Islam as explained by Shaykh Yaser Birjas. The seminar begins with a discussion of the various concepts of love as defined by Islam and other competing theories. It then presents the flqh of marriage beginning with the search for a suitable spouse, following the entire process including the details of the marriage contract and then concluding with advice for marriage life. This amazing seminar is a testament to the comprehensive nature of Islam as well as to the mercy and sensitivity of Allah that He should make clear to us the right way even in our most intimate affairs. Insha’Allah, you’ll witness your Eman growing stronger as your understanding of the wisdom of the Qur’an and Sunnah comes alive in your mind, in your soul, and in your heart. We call it an EmanRush! Visit EmanRush.com for a complete list of available single CD’s and other available seminars.

Love and Islam

Posted in Love on September 16, 2008 by Shaz

http://islamicink.wordpress.com/2007/03/01/verily-i-was-filled-with-love-for-her/

 

So you’ve known this sister/brother for a while now, and you’ve realized that you’ve come to love them and would like to get married to them. However, you’re stumped on what to do next. You feel guilty for feeling this way and think that you’re sinning. You have this feeling of sincere love inside you for them. You are not sure what their reaction will be. You do not know what to do, tell them how you feel or just conceal your love? You’ve realized that in all your days, every lecture you’ve attended, every book you’ve read, you haven’t been told about what to do when you feel like this. You begin to wonder what is the proper thing for me to do? You feel embarrassed to admit this feeling and feel scared to tell your friends much less your parents.
You aren’t the only out there who feels like this! Read on..
One of the most taboo subjects these days among our families and among ourselves generally, at least from what I’ve noticed is to speak about love. It has become quite a taboo where one who mentions it is seen in a different light (usually not a good one). There is this feeling of guilt when one feels this emotion and usually we are led to believe it is haram.

So the question comes, how do we deal with this feeling?

I know personally that I wouldn’t have the guts to go to my parents and tell them, “Mom, Dad, I want to get married to this sister, because I love her”. Or even if I did, I would go in wearing a helmet or something fearing the notorious backhand of doom. But this doesn’t mean that they are wrong, it is only that in our cultures this subject has become one which is not spoken about.

The fact is that we don’t hear about love in the Masajid and neither in our Halaqas. But love is something that was written books about by earlier scholars such as Ibn Hazm Al Andulusi (who is actually referred to as the Faqi of Love) who wrote Tawq Al Hamamah (Ring of the Dove) and Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah wrote Rawdatul Muhibbeen (The Garden of the Lovers). So why are we shy to ask about this today and learn the Islamic viewpoint on this subject? Why do we not ask about what Allah has said about this and what Allaah’s Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam said about this?

Frankly, for some people when the word love is used, it is but a substitute for lust. Others think of it only in a universal sense as Love of Allaah and Love of the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam. But love is something that is broader than that. No doubt Love for Allaah and Love of the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam is something that, without it, we won’t have Iman.

However the love referred to here is the love between a man and a woman and it is something that if you are in it, it’s signs will show up on you.

Al Bousseeri said in his poetry:

 

“Does not the lover think that his love can be concealed? While his eyes are shedding tears and his heart is glowing, Had it not been for love, you would not have shed tears at the ruins (of your beloved),
Nor would you become restless at the remembrance of the cypress (tree) at the high mountain,
How do you deny love after the testimony,
Borne against you by (such) reliable witnesses
as your tears and your illness.
Love indeed transforms pleasure into pain.”

> So What Does Allaah Say About Love?

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”
[Ar Room 30:21]

The key words in the verse are – Mawaddatan wa Rahmah – which translates as Love and Mercy. The interesting thing to note about this verse is to notice the location of this verse along with the verses that precede it and those that come after. Allah mentions His Signs (Night/Day, Heaven/Earth, Man/Woman) and He puts the feeling of Love and Mercy between spouses in the same value as the creation of Heaven & Earth. Now then how can we ignore such a great Sign of Allaah?

> What is Love?

Ibn Hazm says describing the nature of love:

Of Love-may God exalt you! -the first part is jesting, and the last part is right earnestness. So majestic are its diverse aspects, they are too subtle to be described; their reality can only be apprehended by personal experience. Love is neither disapproved by Religion, nor prohibited by the Law; for every heart is in God’s hands.
[Tawq Al Hamamah]

Love is of two types as the scholars have defined.

Hubb
Ishq
Hubb is the arabic word for love and it is made up of the letters Ha (ح) and Ba (ب). On a side note, to recognize the beauty of the arabic language, when one says Hubb, the Ha comes from deep inside the throat which almost chokes you (as love does) and when you end the word with Ba, the lips come together as if it were a kiss.

Ibn Qayyim differentiated between Hubb and Ishq. He said Hubb was pure and noble love whilst Ishq was a forbidden, beyond the limits type of love. He meant this was when someone would go to Haram measures to be with the one they love.

There are many reasons for falling in love. Ibn Hazm proceeds to describe the reasons of love:

If the cause of Love were physical beauty, the consequence would be that no body defective in any shape or form would attract admiration; yet we know of many a man actually preferring the inferior article, though well aware that another is superior, and quite unable to turn his heart away from it. Again, if Love were due to a harmony of characters, no man would love a person who was not of like purpose and in concord with him. We therefore conclude that Love is something within the soul itself. Sometimes, it is true, Love comes as a result of a definite cause outside the soul, but then it passes away when the cause itself disappears: one who is fond of you because of a certain circumstance will turn his back on you when that motive no longer exists.
[Tawq Al Hamamah]

Physical beauty is not the main cause of love, though yes it does help in falling in love and is a reason for love to grow between spouses. However, it is to be understood that Love cannot be limited to such, because if it were then there are many people that can never hope of getting married. In fact love is something deeper which comes from inside, a mercy that Allaah has placed into the hearts of His creation.

It is necessary for us who live in an environment surrounded by Haram to check our reasons for our love, whether we are loving them in a pure sense for the sake of Allaah (yes even for our spouses) or is it merely based on our desires and lusts. Lets make sure that our reason is the former.

> An Example of Love

The Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam when speaking about his wife Khadija said: “Verily, I was filled with love for her.”

However, today we find that many of us are shy to express our love. In fact, many consider it a sign of weakness to say “I love so and so” and they consider it a blow to their pride to tell their spouse, “I love you”. But here and in other narrations (will be mentioned later) that the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam was not shy to express his love of his wife. And notice that he didn’t simply say, “I love her” and leave it at that, but he said, “I was filled with love for her” and this means that it was a true real love that he had for Khadija (Radiallahu Anha) and that he was not shy to express it.

> So What is the Islamic Ruling on Love?

Love is not something forbidden. Ibn Hazm says in his awesome book, Tawq Al Hamamah:

“And yet, when was loving banned?
Did Muhammad so command,
Or is man forbidden it
By the words of Holy Writ?”

Meaning that niether did the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam forbid love nor was it forbidden by Allaah in the Qur’an.

Secondly, love in and of itself is not in our control. It is mentioned that the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam said when he used to allocate between his wives “O Allah, this is my distribution for what I have control of, but please don’t hold me accountable for something I cannot control (his love for A’isha.)”

This proves that even the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam loved some of his wives more than others and his love for one was something he could not control at times. Ibn Hazm mentions that someone said, “O ameer ul mu’mineen…I’m in love with her.” So then Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) replied, “It’s not in your hands, what can I do for you?”

Ibn Qayyim said in Al Jawab Al Kafi:
“As for loving women, there is no blame on a person who has love for them. On the contrary, it is part of his perfection (as a human being) for Allah says “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put Love and mercy between you”

Ibn Jawzi says in his Dhaamul Hawaa:

“If you haven’t loved passionately or known the meaning of desire then get up and eat hay for you are nothing but a donkey.” & “You and the hard rock are equal.”

These quotes from Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Jawzi show that they not only considered love as something that occurs, but rather it is a sign of perfection. So when you feel love for someone, do not consider it as a flaw in yourself, rather it is a sign that you have a heart and it is a sign of your humanity. This emotion that is felt shows that there is mercy in you and that your heart is soft.

Ibn Qayyim also says:
“When we speak of rulings of love, we must describe two things. One is optional and one is not. The optional love is what leads to love (eyesight, association, etc.) and this is the love that you have to beware of (for it may lead to unlawful acts.) The non optional love, if it happens by the sudden look, or natural passions that develop, you cannot be blamed for it, but it’s how you react to it that Allah will hold you to accountable for.”

Be careful when you are in contact with the one you love for it may lead to that which is forbidden and be mindful of Allaah.

Imam Muhammad Ibn Shaab az Zuhri said,
“The first love that was ever recognized and known is the love between Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and A’isha (r.a.)”

Masrouq (a narrator) would refer to A’isha (Radiallahu Anha) in the following way:

“And on the authority of the Love of the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam” (Meaning A’isha (Radiallahu Anha))

Nowadays when we think of love stories, the first that pops up in our minds in Romeo and Juliet. But what happened with them? They committed suicide. Their love was nothing more than Zina and had they lived on to get married they would have ended in a divorce due to the fact that their love never went any test such as marriage and it wasn’t for the sake of Allaah. The Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam said: “For those who love each other, nothing has proven as good as marriage.” (Sunan Ibn Majah) What sets apart the love of the Messenger and Aisha is the fact that they were married and in their marriage their love grew for each other.

Mentioned in Bukhari, narrated Abu Uthman:

Allah’s Apostle sent ‘Amr bin Al As as the commander of the troops of Dhat-us-Salasil. ‘Amr bin Al-’As said, “(On my return) I came to the Prophet and said, ‘Which people do you love most?’ He replied, ‘Aisha.’ I said, ‘From amongst the men?’ He replied, ‘Her father (Abu Bakr)’.

Two things about this Hadith strike me the most. The first is that the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam is not shy to admit that the person that he loves the most is his wife Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) And secondly when asked about from the men, he doesn’t simply say ‘Abu Bakr’ (Radiallahu Anhu), but he still attributes it to Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) by saying, ‘Her Father”. Indeed the love of the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam to Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) was an example to us.

Other such narrations occur which show the Messenger’s salalahu alaihiwassalam love for his wife. One that shows his humility to his wives is this one that is narrated in Sahih Al Bukhari on the authority of Anas ibn Malik (Radiallahu Anhu) who said,

“I saw the Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), making for her (Safiya) a kind of cushion with his cloak behind him (on his camel). He then sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiya to put her foot on, in order to ride (on the camel).”
> What is the Correct Thing To Do if You’re in Love?

Love usually starts from the eye, and this is why Allaah has commanded

{“Tell the believers to lower their eyes and protect their private parts…”}
[an-Nur; 30]

Love at first sight is a fact and it does occur. The Messenger said

“The glance is a poisoned arrow of shaytaan. Whoever lowers his gaze for Allah, He will bestow upon him a refreshing sweetness, which he will find in his heart on the day he meets Him.” [Al Hakim]

Ironically we find in our times a representation of falling in love the little cupids that shoot arrows into hearts thus causing the stricken to have ‘fallen in love’.

There are many ways to fall in love, (Ibn Hazm even mentions that one can even fall in love whilst asleep!) but the key fact to remember is that, yes love is not forbidden and you won’t be held accountable for loving someone, but disobeying Allaah in expression of your love is Haram and it something we must be mindful of.

When you are in love, it’s signs will show up on you regardless of how much you try to hide them. Believe it or not, the scholars have actually written out a list about them (these are general):

Eyes are wide open, they are smiling, looking towards the sky, not paying attention. Lost in Thought.
The person talks too much about his beloved.
When they are in presence of each other, full attention is given to each other.
Lover usually hurries up to meet loved one.
Sudden confusion/excitement at mere sighting of loved one.
Everything else blanks out but the beloved.
Stop sleeping at night and start daydreaming.
Wasting the day.
Weeping – Getting very emotional.
For two that love each other, the best thing is marriage as the Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam said: “For those who love each other, nothing has proven as good as marriage.” (Sunan ibn Majah) And marriage should not be put off by mere issues that conflict with a person’s preference if the preference is in matters that are the type that can be overlooked. The Messenger salalahu alaihiwassalam said “If a man whose practice of the religion satisfies you, asks you for your daughter in marriage, you should marry them; otherwise there will be corruption in the land.” (Hasan – at-Tirmidhee)

And marriage is what is encouraged (and it’s the best option) because marriage is a test and within it there come many issues that put the love at test and it is also a cause for love to grow stronger. So it is said that real love begins after the ‘in love’ phase is over. Usually when two go in to marriage all is well for the first few months and then it starts to break down. Why? Because they fail to continue to keep this love up. The love becomes conditional and the value is lost. So they start worrying about their rights yet they forget their own responsibilities. The husband demands his rights and the wife hers and in the middle of this tug of war they lose their love for each other.

Here’s a tip to a successful marriage: Look towards your obligations, and do your utmost to fulfill them. Don’t look towards your rights – in fact, forget about them; and this is for both the brothers and the sisters. Go into marriage with a mindset that’s saying: “I’m going to fulfill the obligations that my Lord has obligated me to fulfill for His pleasure”. I can guarantee, Insha’Allaah, that if you were to enter into marriage with this attitude, anything that your spouse does for you (a gift, or roses, or cooks you your favorite dish etc.) will seem like a big deal and you’ll appreciate it a whole lot more. Why? Because you weren’t expecting it. A Muslim is always seeking from Allaah, and not from the creation. And if they don’t do anything special for you, you won’t feel put down. So seek from Allaah and expect from Him alone, you’ll never be disappointed.

Ibn Abbas said, “I verily adorn myself for my wife the same as she adorns herself for me. Also I would not ask her to fulfill all the rights which she owes me, so that it would become binding upon me to fulfill all the rights which I owe her”
[Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Hasan]

But marriage is different topic, it is mentioned here only because it is the proper way to go for two who love each other.

>What if it’s a No?

Yes. This is the worst part about love. When your beloved does not want to return the feelings that you have for them.

Imam Shafiee has written a poem on this matter:

و من الشَقاوة أن تحبَ
و من تحبُ يحبُ غيرك
أو أن تريد الخير للأن
سان و هو يريد ضيرك

“And from misery is that you love,
and (the one) who you love, loves other than you,
or that you want good for a person,
and he wants to hurt you”.

Yeah this is the worst part of it, but there is not much that can be done at this state. Ibn Hazm (yes him again) has written regarding this:

And among the accidents of love is the violent anxiety and silencing intensity of feeling which overcome the lover when he sees the beloved avoiding him and eschewing him; and the sign of that is sighing, and lack of vivacity, and sobbing, and having deep sighs: and on that subject I have made a poem, from which I quote:

The beautiful patience is imprisoned,
And tears are bursting forth from the eyes!
The best that can be done at this state is patience for not everyone who has loved has been blessed with a return of the same emotion from the beloved. It’s tough, yes, very and if you were sincere in your love then it will give you many a sleepless nights and restless days but try and move on. Ask Allaah to replace this loss with something better.

> In Conclusion

I end this here with some advice for the brothers and sisters:

Brothers – If you love a sister, let her know (don’t go up to her when there’s a chance that you two will end up alone – in fact, in my humble opinion don’t go up to her at all. Send in a reconnaissance, i.e. your sister or someone likewise). If she’s understanding, she’ll appreciate it. Go to your parents and ask them to get you married (no matter how hard that is) and go about it the Halal way. Also as a side note, know that it is pointless to debate with women, they’ll end up winning. And don’t give her a hard time if she can’t cook. Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) couldn’t cook either.

Sisters – If you love a brother, let him know (again as above, not when there is a chance that you two will end up alone). Insha’Allah he’ll understand. Tell your parents about it (its even harder for you, I’m sure). If you have a brother try to get him to talk to the one you love. Keep it Halal. And lastly, know that the way to a man’s heart is through good food.
To end this I quote Ibn Hazm:

“The finest quality that a man can display in Love is continence: to abstain from sin and all indecency. For so he will prove himself to be not indifferent to the heavenly reward, that eternal bliss reserved by God for those who dwell in His everlasting kingdom, neither will he disobey his Master Who has been so gracious to him, in appointing him to be a creature worthy to receive His commandments and prohibitions, Who sent unto him His Messengers, and caused His Word to be immovably established with him-all this as a mark of His care for us, and His benevolence towards us.”
[Tawq Al Hamamah]

Seasons of Love- Spring and Summer

Posted in Love on July 22, 2007 by Shaz

Dina Rashid

The  relationship between men and women in Islam is addressed in the Qur’an and further in the Sunnah. Islam explains to us how to achieve tranquility in marriage and how to reach the highest potential in all other aspects of life.
[ And one of His [Allah's] signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find tranquillity in them, and He put between you love and mercy; most surely there are signs in this for people who reflect.) (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Inspired by our belief that better communication within Muslim families, especially between husbands and wives, is the cornerstone for building a strong, actively involved family, we wanted to shed some light on what we believe happens often in many marriage stories.

A relationship between a husband and a wife is like a garden; if it’s to thrive, it must be watered regularly, with “weather hazards” taken into account, such as any unpredictable draught or storm. New seeds must be sown, and weeds must be pulled out (Gray).

Love’s Springtime

The Prophet said, “Nothing is better for those in love than marriage.”
(Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani)

One fatwa of Shiekh Al-Qaradawi, the prominent Muslim scholar, states what means that love is lawful in Islam as long as that love comes in spite of the person, that person doesn’t go out of the way especially to seek these emotions, and that all Islamic guidelines are kept in mind. However, there is a suggestion that the traditional route for marriage usually has better results.

The beginning of love is its springtime; this is when you feel that you will stay happy forever. This corresponds to the Islamic engagement and `aqd (official documentation of marriage) time and may last for a few months before marriage! During that time, you always find excuses to your partner’s mistakes; you may even become unable to see the mistakes or differences. But this fire of emotions in many cases does not stay forever. Marriage and family therapist Glenn Lutjens suggests that this change takes place in every relationship because of three factors:time, distance, and desire.

Time. When you get married, you have more time to observe your spouse’s behavior. You see things that weren’t so noticeable at “springtime.”
Distance. You now see him up close. There’s no “see you next week.” You now see him when he’s hungry and tired. Women may have their “time of the month,” and men have their “time of the day”! When his stomach is empty, you may see a whole new side of your man you never knew existed.
Desire. Some of the behavior during those days probably wasn’t so deliberate. That type of romantic fire shapes one’s actions; loving deeds come easily to one so smitten by romance. You probably felt the same excitement, with your reactions being affected as well. We tend to construct a person in our minds to match the excitement we want to feel. We mentally vision that person in a way that will make us happiest.

Love’s Summertime

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Eventually we realize that our partner is not as perfect as we thought and that we have to work on our relationship. Plants need to be watered even more frequently under a hot sun; this is how the relationship between a husband and a wife should be enriched when it’s no longer easy to give or to get love. Therefore, always remember Prophet Muhammad’s advice:

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: A believing man [husband] should not hate a believing woman [his wife]; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another. (Sahih Muslim. Book 8, Number 3469)

Many couples become disillusioned after a few of months in wedlock. They give up working on the relationship and blame one another. They forget that it cannot be “springtime” all the time. Yet, no one wants to live in summer forever. So hold your breath and gather all the wisdom that Allah gave you to go through this stage and reach the tranquility, mercy, and love mentioned in the verse. These will be the lasting, calm, and warm emotions of love between a husband and wife who are living for the sake of Allah.

You can think that way: Is this the person I want to continue the rest of my life with? If the answer is “no,” then you will not be willing to invest much in this relation anyway, you will give it a weak try and then give up. If the answer is “yes,” then the question becomes “What do I do now that I found out my partner in not what I thought?” Debating whether your partner misrepresented himself or herself or you misread your partner won’t solve anything. Here are some things you may consider doing:

Choose to love your partner. Remember that it’s Allah Who makes the “love and mercy happen between the husband and the wife.
Seek Allah’s help and ask Him to make that “chemistry” happen. Also, open your heart and give your partner the benefit of doubt; stand in your partner’s shoes and try to see things from his or her perspective.
Look at how you may have changed as well after marriage.
You will not be able to actually change someone. All you can do is provide a different and favorable environment for your partner to want to change.
Realize that you may have legitimate concerns.Voice them to your partner in a constructive way with the hope that he or she will be willing to work toward change or at least understand your concerns.
Express with respect. Use “I-messages”: “I” feel and “I” think, not “you” did such and such.
Invest in this family. Paradise is worth your best effort. A little whisper in the wife’s ear is, “Allah made one important mission in this life which is to make this family happy.” The motive is wonderful. The Prophet said,
“If a woman prayed the five prayers, fasted in Ramadan, protected her honor, and obeyed her husband, then she will be told (on the Day of Judgment): Enter Paradise from any of its (eight) doors”. (Ibn Hibban)

Do not listen to voices like “He is no better than you are! Why do you have to listen?” The Prophet mentioned the advice for a reason, so do not ruin your life. Instead, invite love to your house and be patient. It is love and happiness in this life and Paradise in the hereafter.

Love in Islam

Posted in Love, Tips for a Happy Marriage on June 9, 2007 by Shaz

Aisha Tahira Stacey

Coming from a Western or European background, we often equate love with the stereotypical images that we see in all forms of media. The pouting woman waiting breathlessly at home for husband to appear to “love her,” alternatively the career woman who throws off the shackles of the workforce to return breathlessly home to her waiting husband. Sex sells, and the print and visual media take advantage of this fact. Sex sells, and businesses in all corners of the world will do anything to make an extra dollar. Sex is not love, and the word ‘love’ has, unfortunately, lost much of its true meaning.
We drive to work past the giant billboards selling cars and clothes and laundry detergent. The billboards all have one thing in common a pouting woman who says with smoldering eyes “drive this car and attract women like me”; “wear this brand of clothes and women will want you more then the clothes.” We open the newspaper to see advertisements for exotic destinations; the people appear to be happy and “in love.” The television and movie screens tell us that if you consume this product you will be desirable, your husband or wife will “love you.” Drink brand X and fall in love, wear brand Y and have all fall in love with you.
This is not love, this is an advertising ploy. Marriages fall by the wayside because husbands and wives find that they cannot live up to the expectations that they impose on themselves and each other. The images are impossible to emulate simply because they are not real; they come from the minds of advertising executives, not from the natural order of our lives. Our senses are assaulted almost every waking moment by images of what the media feeds to us as a normal lifestyle. These images are not normal, and the lifestyles that they portray are in no way a reflection of how men and woman should live together in a normal, healthy relationship.

Islam, on the other hand, being the natural way for human beings to live, employs no trickery or gimmicks. Love in Islam brings men and woman together with strong bonds that tie couples together with the rope of Islam. [And hold fast all of you together, to the rope of Allah (i.e., this Qur'an), and be not divided among your selves, and remember Allahs favour on you ] (Aal `Imran 3:103). A marriage based firmly and soundly on the Qur’an and the Sunnah should suffer none of the pangs of insecurity and subterfuge that abound in marriages whose role models are the pouting woman and muscle bound man found in all forms of media. Marriage in Islam is a contract between two people, a man and a woman, by which they agree to enter into a [halal ] relationship for the sake of Allah Most High.

It is a relationship that binds them to each other through all the tests and trials of this life, through hardship and ease. [Verily along with every hardship is relief] (Ash-Sharh 94:6). It should be a relationship whose sole purpose is to worship, praise, and thank Allah Most High. If love-the tender blissful feeling of being in love-is present in this relationship, then it is an extra blessing from Allah.

Marriage in Islam is not based on whether we find our partner desirable or whether he or she contributes a great deal of money to the family. Marriage in Islam is a partnership. Two people, working as one unit. One unit striving for Jannah, longing to secure themselves a place in the shade of Allah. Love in Islam is a [halal ] marriage secure in the knowledge that the wealth and adornments of this world are but illusions and that it is in the Hereafter that our real lives will begin.

[And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But far better is the house in the hereafter for those that are al-muttaqun (the pious). Will you not then understand?] (Al-An`Am 6:32)

If we examine our thoughts on love and marriage and endeavor to renew our intentions to have a marriage for the sake of Allah Most High, we will, (in sha’ Allah), find that we are no longer blinded by the subtle advertising that invades our lives and eats away at our iman. Shaytan (Satan) works in devious and treacherous ways and loves nothing more then to put enmity between a husband and wife. His work is made easier by the fact that we are so easily deceived. Before we realize what is happening, the seeds of destruction have grown into an evil tree.

We begin to think and worry because our marriages are not what we see on the television or read about in the latest release novels. Our minds are invaded with thoughts that are contrary to the natural order of Islam and the universe, and our insecurities lead us to long for unattainable and unnecessary ideals in our lives and marriages. We have grown complacent in our commitment to our marriages and to our Islam, where as Shaytan is ever watchful and eager to guide us to the path that leads to nowhere but eternal Hellfire.

A marriage in Islam is about more than “love”; love in Islam is about more than tender feelings and smoldering sexual desires.
Through our commitment to Islam we should be able to return to an era where love and marriage are synonymous. Where a marriage is a partnership, a bonding of two people that, like ripples on water, moves ever steadily outwards to encompass the ideals of an Islamic community. The bonds of marriage should tie us to each other, to our families and children, to our brothers and sisters in Islam, to the worldwide Ummah. If we put our love for Allah first and our own desires last, then we should find ourselves in a relationship that no longer falls prey to the subterfuge of Shaytan. We should cling tightly to the rope of Islam and recognize the fact that life is not always sunshine and roses but that this (dunya) is a place of testing and tribulations. [Do people think they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested] (Al-`Ankabut 29:2). We should bear our tests with patience and gratitude, take refuge with Allah, and take comfort in the arms of our spouses.

[And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient, Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall surely return. Those are they on whom are blessings and mercy from their Lord, and those are the followers of the right course.] (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

Four Kinds of Love

Posted in Love on June 7, 2007 by Shaz

Ibn Al-Qayyim al Jawziyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said regarding this matter:
There are four kinds of love, which we must differentiate between, and those who go astray do so because they do not make this distinction. The first of them is love of Allaah, but this alone is not sufficient to save a person from the punishment of Allaah and to earn him His reward. The Mushrikeen, worshippers of the cross, Jews and others all love Allaah. The second is love of that which Allaah loves. This is what brings a person into Islam and out of Kufr. The most beloved of people to Allaah is the one who is most correct and most devoted in this kind of love. The third kind is love for the sake of Allaah, which is one of the essentials of loving that which Allaah loves. A person’s love of that which Allaah loves cannot be complete until he also loves for the sake of Allaah. The fourth is love for something alongside Allaah, and this love has to do with shirk. Everyone who loves things alongside Allaah but not for the sake of Allaah has taken that thing as a rival to Allaah. This is the love of the Mushrikeen. There remains a fifth kind of love which has nothing to do with our topic; this is the natural love which is a person’s inclination towards that which suits his nature, such as the love of a thirsty person for water or of a hungry person for food, or the love of sleep, or of one’s wife and children. There is nothing wrong with this unless it distracts a person from remembering Allaah and keeps him from loving Him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):
“O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah”
[al-Munaafiqoon 63:9]
“Men whom neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the remembrance of Allaah” [al-Noor 24:37]
(Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, 1/134)
And he said (may Allaah have mercy on him):
The difference between loving for the sake of Allaah and loving something alongside Allaah is one of the most important distinctions. Everyone needs to make this distinction and is indeed obliged to do so. Loving for the sake of Allaah is a sign of the perfection of faith, but loving something alongside Allaah is the essence of shirk. The difference between them is that a person’s love for the sake of Allaah is connected to his love of Allaah; if this love becomes strong in his heart, this love dictates that he will love that which Allaah loves. If he loves that which his Lord loves and he loves those who are the friends of Allaah, this is love for the sake of Allaah. So he loves His Messengers, Prophets, angels and close friends because Allaah loves them, and he hates those who hate them because Allaah hates those people. The sign of the love and hatred for the sake of Allaah is that his hatred for the one whom Allaah hates will not turn into love merely because that person treats him kindly, does him a service or meets some need he has; and his love for those whom Allaah loves will not turn to hatred simply because that person does something that upsets or hurts him, whether it is done by mistake or deliberately, in obedience to Allaah or because the person feels that he has a duty to do it for some reason, or because the person is a wrongdoer who may yet give up his wrongdoing and repent. The entire religion revolves around four principles: love and hatred, and stemming from them, action and abstinence. The person whose love and hatred, action and abstinence, are all for the sake of Allaah, has perfected his faith so that when he loves, he loves for the sake of Allaah, when he hates, he hates for the sake of Allaah, when he does something, he does it for the sake of Allaah, and when he abstains from something, he abstains for the sake of Allaah. To the extent that he is lacking in these four categories, he is lacking in faith and commitment to religion. This is in contrast to the love of things alongside Allaah, which is of two types. One is diametrically opposed to the principle of Tawheed and is shirk; the other is opposed to perfection of sincerity and love towards Allaah, but does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam.
The first kind is like the love of the Mushrikeen for their idols and gods. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah” [al-Baqarah 2:165]
These Mushrikeen love their idols and gods alongside Allaah as they love Allaah. This love and devotion is accompanied by fear, hope, worship and supplication. This love is pure Shirk which Allaah does not forgive. Faith cannot be perfected unless a person regards these idols as enemies and hates them intensely, and hates the people who worship them, and regards them as enemies and strives against them. This is the message with which Allaah sent all His Messengers and revealed all His Books. He created Hell for the people of shirk who love these rivals, and He created Paradise for those who strive against them and take them as enemies for His sake and to earn His Pleasure. Anybody who worships anything from the vicinity of the Throne to the lowest depths of the earth and takes a god and a supporter besides Allaah and associates another beings in worship with Him, will be disowned by the object of his worship when he is most in need of it [i.e., on the Day of Judgement].
The second kind is love for the things which Allaah has made attractive to people, such as women, children, gold, silver, branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. People love them with a kind of desire, like the love of the hungry person for food and the thirsty person for water. This love is of three kinds. If a person loves them for the sake of Allaah and as a means of obeying Allaah, he will be rewarded for that; it will be counted as a part of love for the sake of Allaah and a means of reaching Him, and he will still find enjoyment in them. This is how the best of creation [i.e. the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] was, to whom women and perfume were made dear in this world, and his love for them helped him to love Allaah more and to convey His Message and fulfil His commands. If a person loves them because they suit his nature and his own desires, but he does not give them preference over that which Allaah loves and is pleased with, and he gets them because of his natural inclination, then they come under the heading of things which are permissible, and he will not be punished for that, but his love of Allaah and for the sake of Allaah will be lacking somewhat. If his sole purpose in life is to get these things, and he gives priority to that over that which Allaah loves and is pleased with, then he is wronging himself and following his own desires.
The first is the love of al-Saabiqoon (those who are foremost in Islam); the second is the love of al-muqtasidoon (those who are average) and the third is the love of al-zaalimoon (the wrongdoers).
Al-Rooh by Ibn al-Qayyim, 1/254.
May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

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