As innocent as this emotion sounds, love can sometimes prove truly fatal – both to our spiritual and physical well being. What exactly does it mean to be in love; where are we going wrong with it, what is it by definition and why are we confusing it with other emotions, what are its dangers and repercussions and how do we deal with them – find out the answers below.
1. Who is to blame?
Islam came to close the doors that lead to evil and sin, and is keen to block all means that may lead to corruption of hearts and minds. Love and infatuation between the sexes (outside marriage) are among the worst of problems. Now look at this piece of sincere advice, which for the most part can be related to, by everyone:
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (10/129):
“Love is a psychological sickness, and if it grows strong, it affects the body, and becomes a physical sickness, either as diseases of the brain, which are said to be diseases caused by waswaas, or diseases of the body such as weakness, emaciation and so on.”
But, if a person strives to keep away from the things that lead to this serious sickness by lowering his gaze and not looking at haraam things, not listening to haraam things and averting the passing thoughts that the shaytaan casts into his mind, then there is no sin on him if his heart becomes attached to a woman just because of a passing glance or a transaction that is basically permissible in sha Allah. That’s because Allah says He doesn’t burden a person beyond his scope. 1
If he is tested with love but he remains chaste and is patient, then he will be rewarded for fearing Allah. It is known from shari’ah that if a person remains chaste and avoids haraam things with respect to his words, deeds and actions; and continues to remain patient and obeys Allah by avoiding sin, even though he feels the pain of love in his heart, he will be rewarded tremendously, just like the person who, when afflicted with a calamity bears the pain with patience, since Allah says,
“Verily, he who fears Allaah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the Muhsinoon (good‑doers) to be lost” [Yoosuf 12:90].
2. The Islamic stance – understand the danger:
Taking a girlfriend or a boyfriend does not only destroy the family but also destroys the society, and those who do this are threatened with the punishment and wrath of Allah There are many forbidden matters associated with this, such as transgressing against the honor of others, betraying trust, being alone with a member of the opposite sex, touching, kissing, speaking immoral words, then the greater evil which occurs at the end, which is the sin of zina.
“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allah Forgives him)” [al-Isra’ 17:32]
Keyword: DON’T EVEN GO NEAR IT!
“The zina of the eye is looking and the zina of the tongue is speaking. The heart wishes and longs and the private part confirms that or denies it.” (Saheeh Bukharee)
Having boyfriends/girlfriends is not “cool”, it’s a sin!
3. Nuclear destruction to your faith – either with just a spark or with obsession:
For most of the part, what we mistakenly assume as “true love” is just a fleeting passion, a spark, which we feel because we are attracted to the opposite gender and the hormones have already set in. Or we convert that “passing phase” into a hazardous obsession. Either way, it’s not love.
True love is neither “fleeting” nor “obsession” by definition.
And so if it turns into obsession, like the one we are taught in the famous Twilight series, it’s even less healthier. This is a type of a relationship where at first, two people like each other. Then the friendship grows. And then, you don’t realize when, but soon it grows into obsession. And you can no longer live without that person. You want to spend each second with him/her. And anyone who does not let you is immediately seen as a hindrance, a rival. Envy grows. And you can do anything and everything for your beloved. Every second spent apart is agony. And this is no exaggeration! You even forget to keep in mind the Islamic limits when this beloved comes around; all you can literally see is this one person and his/her benefits! Your happiness and sadness becomes tied with this person and revolves around him/her. It’s dependent like in a math equation. This beloved says something, you do it. In short, literally, this beloved becomes your new ‘ilaah’ (God)!
And this can qualify as shirk muhabbah. Because Shirk occurs when we humans love, trust or fear the creation more than the Creator. You seek steady love from people. Perfect loyalty. Love that does not diminish, does not die, does not change. In essence, you are looking for Allah’s love.
4. How to deal with this passion then?
The greatest means of protecting one’s chastity is by directing one’s desire in the way in which Allah has permitted, which is by getting married if possible. If a person is attracted to a specific individual, then he can marry that person, as it was narrated that the Prophet said:
“There is nothing like marriage for two who love one another.” Narrated by Ibn Majah (1847) and classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah.
Until you can afford to do that, keep yourself busy mentally and physically, by immersing yourself in acts of worship and obedience. Do not give shaytaan any opportunity to reach your heart or distract you. The Prophet said:
“O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, for it will be a shield for him.” Narrated by al-Bukharee (1905) and Muslim (1400).
The Prophet said: “ … whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent, and whoever is patient, Allah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience.” Narrated by al-Bukharee (6470) and Muslim (1053).”
Know the reward: “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His: …a man who is called by a woman of rank and beauty and says ‘I fear Allah’’’ (Saheeh Bukharee)
Therefore folks, we need to lower our gaze so as not to fall in love the wrong way.
Bottom line: If you want happiness, follow Islam 100%, not just parts of it. If blind passion drives you forward, let reasoned faith hold you back.
- al-Baqarah 2:286 ↩