The Real Romance

loveforallahsakeFor love, there have been wars. For love, people have harboured feelings of anger, jealousy, and hatred to the extent of committing murder and heinous crimes thereafter. Without doubt, the emotion of love is a strong emotion which is seemingly represented by red hearts, red roses, red ribbons, etc. Love is commonly expressed in a manner expressed best in stories, novels, movies, and so on. We have come to understand the emotion of ‘love’ the way it is described and portrayed in the mass media.

The moment we think about love, a picture of a couple in love springs up in our minds. We consider the ‘drama’ in their lives, which leads to marriage or yearning. Then there is some more drama, followed by suspense, and in the end, we have a standard ‘happily ever after’.

At first glance, Islam and love seem total antonyms of each other. Although all the elements of love are present in the Quran and Ahadeeth, we do not understand the concept of romance or love in Islam. Muhabbah (love) comes from the root word Hubb, which means a seed that Allah (swt) has sown in our hearts. Ibn Abbas (rta) narrated that the Prophet (sa) said:

 Muhabbah (love) comes from the root word Hubb, which means a seed that Allah (swt) has sown in our hearts.

“Allah brought all the offspring of Adam from Adam’s back, in Arafah, and He took the oath from the people. Then Allah said (and the Prophet [sa] recited): ‘Am I not your Lord?’ (Al-Araf 7:172)” (An-Nasai and Ahmad)

On that day, Allah (swt) bestowed us with His love in our hearts. Allah (swt) further guides us in the Quran. He says He loves those who constantly repent, those who are pure inwardly and outwardly, those who do good deeds beautifully, those who have Taqwa, are conscious of Allah (swt) and abstain from sins, and those who are patient during trials and do not lose their temper. Allah (swt) does not love those who create mischief, those who betray others, and those who are arrogant and two-faced. Hence, we get a clear picture that those whom Allah (swt) loves will love humanity and leave a progeny full of goodness.

Today’s common ‘objects’ of love are spouses, children, wealth, and Dunya. However, Allah (swt) says that those who have Iman love Allah (swt) the most, as the Quran mentions that the believers love Allah (swt) more intensely. (Al-Baqarah 2:165) We know how much the Sahabah (ra) loved the Prophet (sa) and how they loved Allah (swt), too. Consider also the Hadeeth that specifies seven categories of people who will be given Allah’s Shade on the Day of Resurrection. In one category will be those whose love is for the sake of Allah (swt) alone.

The youth are full of emotions and emotions can make us lose control. Decisions taken on the basis of emotions are usually wrong and result in regret. These days, through pop culture and mass media, Muslim youth tend to destroy their lives by indulging in Haram relationships which have no place in Islam. A relationship whose base is either love at first sight, or beauty, or expensive gifts, or fun will always be flimsy with a weak foundation. It will not last for long as a Hadeeth says: “Your love for something blinds and deafens.” (Abu Dawood and Ahmad)

Love based on a strong foundation is love for the sake of Allah (swt). Love is to want to be with your spouse in this world and the hereafter as well. This love has commitment and is not based merely on physical or emotional factors. Spouses are garments to each other and both are enjoined to have mercy on one another. Every moment spent with each other is rewarded.

reserve all smileys, roses and hearts for what is Halal and judge for yourself what true love is. Love what Allah (swt) loves and leave what angers Allah (swt).

It was reported from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “In the (sexual act) of each one of you there is a charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, when one of us fulfils his carnal desire will he have some reward for that?” He (sa) said: “Do you not see that if he were to act upon it (his desire) in an unlawful manner, then he would be deserving of punishment? Likewise, if he were to act upon it in a lawful manner, he will be deserving of a reward.” (Muslim)

If we try to emulate virtual love or love depicted in movies, it will kill our spiritual heart. The person will be deprived of Allah’s love and mercy in this world, unless he sincerely repents. Hence, reserve all smileys, roses and hearts for what is Halal and judge for yourself what true love is. Love what Allah (swt) loves and leave what angers Allah (swt).

Love is when Prophet Muhammad (sa) took the glass from which Aisha (rta) had drunk. He put his lips on the exact same place she had put hers and then drank. (An-Nasai)

Love is when Prophet Muhammad (sa) raced with Aisha (rta) and teased her when she lost! (Abu Dawood)

Love is when Fatimah (rta) immediately smiled and never complained when her father (sa) told her that her Nikah has been made to Ali (rta).

Love is when Zainab (rta) sent a necklace given to her by her mother Khadeejah as a ransom for her husband!

Love is when Khadeejah (rta) spent her entire wealth on the Deen for the man she loved!

That is real love, Subhan’Allah!

Romance in Islam

Romance in Islam

By Shaikh Abdur-Raheem Green

Why do we find the subject of romance fascinating? The reasons are psychological, biological and cultural. As humans, we move towards pleasure. We tend to escape pain. We are looking for certainty in life. However, sometimes we are in search of variety to avoid boredom, too. We all wish to be significant in some way, and we all are in the quest to find true love. Romance encompasses all the six aforementioned needs, which humans wish to fulfill in varied degrees.

Allah (swt) gifted Islam to us in order to fulfill our needs. Our beautiful Deen recognizes and understands our innate nature. Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and some sects of Judaism, Islam is not monastic. Marriage is a confirmed Sunnah of the Prophet (sa), and he has declared it to be half of our faith. Marriage is the means to fulfill our desire to love and be physically intimate in a permissible manner. And if we follow the Sunnah, romancing our spouse becomes a means of worship, too.

The problem has occurred as we have moved away from the real teachings. In Asian communities, culture is infused in the minds of many. Thus, it has affected our understanding of marriage and romance. We are exposed to western cultural values like never before. Western culture today is based on capitalism, materialism, secularism and consumerism. Their way of dealing with people is to create desires in them to follow their passions and encourage them to buy. They appeal to the biological/psychological need of their consumers, as they believe that sex sells. Naturally, the end product is nudity and immorality. They call it love and romance. However, in reality, the dimensions and nature of romance are linked to the Hollywood and Bollywood culture.

Today, many Muslim lands are not occupied physically, but their minds have been occupied psychologically. This is the worst form of occupation – it is called mind control. This is how we have gone astray and this is how we have become extremely unhappy. In Islam, romance is embedded within marriage. When marriages fail, societies crumble. What we saw in the UK riots in 2011 were disturbed youth hailing from loveless homes. They were greedy for Duniya because their souls were hollow. Their parents’ marriages had not worked out, and, hence, they were deprived of familial upbringing and belonging.

Culturally, some common ills are marriages based on duty, loveless marriages, children not being able to relate to the ideals of the marriages of older generations, mental coercion by parents to marry cousins or relatives, marriages to mates who are physically unattractive, forced marriages, etc. (A forced marriage is invalid in the Shariah in any case. Mutual consent of both partners is a pre-requisite for a Nikah to be valid.)

The West has been through a similar myriad of issues, and, hence, they evolved romantic idealism. Early Europe was pre-dominantly Christian, but their faulty approach to marriages forced them to find love outside Halal relationships. This is how fantasy stories like Romeo and Juliet were born. This is how romantic poetries, plays, movies and songs came into being.

Shaitan attacks through Shahwat (desires) and Shubuhat (doubts). When Shaitan discovered this void in married relations, he filled it with extremism. In some cases, he converted people towards monasticism, which means to become cold fish and have no sex. Naturally, that would square marriages and societies. On the other extreme, he led them to become obsessed and envious, form romantic liaisons and behave like Casanovas. Whenever an imbalance is created, Shaitan wins. And Islam exhorts to tread only the middle path.

Today, what should be encouraged is not paid attention to – for example, early marriages. Quite often, parents themselves are the problem. They wait so long for their kid’s education to finish that appropriate suitors are not interested anymore. Doors are left wide open for dating, inter-mixing, non-observance of Hijab and segregation, physical touching, even if that means casual handshakes (human touch is where sexual desires arise), roaming gazes, casual sex, fornication, etc.

Haste is from Shaitan, except in terms of arranging marriages for your daughters. The Prophet (sa) stated: “If somebody comes to you, and you are pleased with his character and religion, marry him. If you do not, there will be discord on earth and widespread corruption.” (Ibn Majah)

Another aspect is that men and women have been created differently on purpose. Every husband and wife should understand each other’s basic behaviour, especially for marriages to prosper. For instance, when women talk out their troubles, they do not necessarily seek solutions. They want to receive empathy/ sympathy. But when men discuss their problems, they are searching for solutions.

The Prophet (sa) was beyond par excellence in understanding the intrinsic nature of his wives. In order to benefit the Ummah (especially women, who were widowed, divorced or left single), he exercised polygamy and encouraged multiple spouses for others, if one could do justice among them, as he did. All nine wives were immensely in love with him, as he treated them all uniquely.

When he entered his home, he didn’t treat his wives like slaves. Instead, he happily served them as well as his other family members. He would milk the goats, mend his clothes and help clean the house. While travelling for an expedition, as he realized how monotonous and long the journeys were back then, he would go up to his wife’s Hodaw (carriers on camels) for a chit chat. Twice he asked the caravan to march forward, just to be alone with Aisha (rta) for racing with her out of play and fun. He would take Ghusl with her in the same bath tub and drink from the spot of cup, where she had drunk from. When her father Abu Bakr (rta) once raised his hand on Aisha (rta), because she was arguing with the Prophet (sa), he intervened and playfully reminded her about it later, when they were alone.

The Messenger of Allah (sa) cared for his spouses’ emotional well-being with gentleness and kindness. He approved of physical attraction and the closeness it generated. Hence, they all loved him dearly, willing to make any kind of sacrifices. However, he did not surrender where the Shariah or materialistic issues were under consideration. Today, many couples make a grave mistake – they ignore the aspects of physical intimacy and emotional empathy; instead, they try to please each other with Haram substitutes and materialistic endeavours that are not sustainable. Hence, romance dies.

Even after Prophet’s (sa) very first soul mate Khadijah (rta) was long gone, he would reminisce about her. This is true love that transcends time, a deep romance between the most remarkable man in history who changed the fate of the world, and his loving companion who stood by him like a rock, and the memories of which never evaded the Messenger (sa) as long as he lived.

Transcribed from a Lectureshop organized by Live Deen; compiled for hiba by Rana Rais Khan.