Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Love, Lust & The Heart

In recent time it appears as though the entire concept of cherishing someone has been eradicated from the religion of Muhammad salalallahu alayhi wa salam. Many people consider the concept of ‘Love’ and ‘Lust’ as something that Islam forbids in its entirety, whether it be felt inside or outside of wedlock. As Muslims have begun to adopt non Muslim customs in their weddings and marriage, we find a great loss in the etiquette of treasuring a partner as if he or she were the most prized possession in the world. However, there are narrations of the Prophet salalallahu alayhi wa salam showing an intimate and compassionate side to his wives for a reason. These narrations could have been left hidden by Allah Ta’ala but in the Prophet salalallahu alayhi wa salam there is a man of exalted examples and in the various transmissions that are slightly private, we discover the most perfect morals and etiquettes to treat our partners with.

The feeling of love and lust is not one that is unknown to Islam. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an,

وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦۤ أَنۡ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا لِّتَسۡكُنُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيۡنَڪُم مَّوَدَّةً۬ وَرَحۡمَةً‌ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“And it is among His signs that He has created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquillity in them, and He has created love and kindness between you. Surely in this there are signs for a people who reflect.”

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi rahimahullah mentions in his commentary to this verse mentions:

“The wisdom behind the creation of this particular sex (women) is said to be لِّتَسۡكُنُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهَا (so that you may find tranquillity in them). If one ponders, it becomes evident that all the requirements of men from women end up in drawing peace of mind, tranquillity and comfort.”

In this verse of the Qur’an, Allah refers to the relationship which emits from the relationship of marriage as something that brings love and tranquillity. On the contrary, a person who leaves the Shariah aspect of love and opts for lust finds his heart very heavy and tainted. By living like animals may provide some minor pleasure for a short period of time but it will not provide the solace and harmony created through marriage. The very foundation of fruitful love rests on a lawful marriage and without the bond of marriage; one will surely find life to be free from serenity. Cherry Norton writes as the Social Affairs Editor of ‘The Independent’ newspaper in 2000,

“Feeling guilty about indulging in life's pleasures can damage your health - so if you want to stay in peak condition you should adopt a more hedonistic approach, psychologists said yesterday.Research presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Winchester showed that those who feel guilty about eating, drinking, smoking, watching television or having sex - suffered from a poorer immune system, making them more vulnerable to colds and flu. The findings also suggested that women felt more guilty about their indulgences and were more likely to fall ill than men."

Islam does not negate the feelings of the heart, rather it negates the feelings which lead one into rebellion and that which causes huge problems. There is no ban on having fun as long as it coincides with the restrictions placed by the Shariat. It is perfectly fine for a person to play football with his friends or go to the gym. However this becomes problematic when Prayer is missed for the sake of a football match. Likewise, to love somebody from deep within your heart is emphasised on as long as the two lovers are permitted to love each other (i.e. through matrimony).

The heart itself is a very important part of the Muslim’s body. From this heart emits the feelings of love, anger, joy and many other emotions. However these feelings are determined Halal or Haraam by the actions that emanate from them. For example, a person can be angry but in his anger he has hit his Muslim brother, thus his actions have rendered his anger Haraam. If he had suppressed his anger and recited Tawwuz he would be from among those people whom Allah Ta’ala loves. In the same way, love is not wrong if it is for Allah or for family etc. But this love becomes Haraam when it targeted at a boyfriend or girlfriend, a partner outside wedlock, a ‘fling’ with no repercussions. This is why the Prophet salalallahu alayhi wa salam has mentioned,

“Surely, in the body there is a lump of flesh which when it is sound the whole body is sound and when it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt. Truly, it is the heart.”

Similarly it is mentioned in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad on the authority of Anas radiallahu anhu that the Prophet salalallahu alayhi wa salam said,

“The belief of a slave will not be straight until his heart is straight.”

What is meant here is that the bodily actions will not be in accordance with Islam until the heart is. For whatever becomes a bodily action is the output of the heart. Therefore, if the heart is in accordance with Islam, ones belief and bodily actions will be too and a core which is filled with affection for Allah Ta’ala will always want to obey Him and never disobey Him.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahimahullah mentions,

“If his heart is sound and there is nothing in it but love of Allah Ta’ala and love of what Allah loves and fear of Allah Ta’ala and fear of falling into that which He dislikes, then all of the actions of the limbs will be right, and there will arise from that his avoidance of all forbidden things and his guarding himself against ambiguities in case he should fall into things which are forbidden. If the heart is corrupt and it is overcome by following desires and his seeking what he loves even if Allah Ta’ala dislikes it, then all of the limbs; movements will be corrupt and will give rise to every act of disobedience and (engagement in every) ambiguous matter according to the extent of his following the hearts’ desire... For this reason it is said that the heart is the king of the limbs and organs and the other limbs and organs are its troops.”

It is for this reason the Prophet salalallahu alayhi wa salam would say in his supplication,

“O Allah, I ask You for a sound heart.”

This is why it is imperative for us as Muslims to fight our desires in the various societies we enter. Many of us in the Western world are working in places which are of mixed genders and we find that we have to interact with the other sex on regular basis. This is not just for people who work but this also applies to students who go to colleges and universities. Society has advocated that we find ourselves partners to become intimate with, every popular soap encourages having companions in order to celebrate the theme of love. This type of ideology has found its way into the lives of young and old Muslims alike and now we find many Muslims engaged in relationships from young ages. Recent culture has subconsciously given people an incentive to imitate the sweet, romantic relationships that they see on their televisions in their own lives. Through this influence, the lives of many Muslims are being corrupted.

It is imperative that we protect ourselves and our children from the huge rush to gather boyfriends and girlfriends. Many of these relationships happen in secret to prevent parents from finding out but at the same time there is guilt which settles in the heart and after a few months, a God conscious Muslim will realise that it is time to give up the Haram and will do it despite the sadness and the ‘emotional rollercoaster’.


Anonymous said...

i have a question. islamically how would u deal with a friend or someone close lying to u and u cant confront them because it will cause greater problems?

Abdul Baasit said...

Wa Alaykumus Salaam,

Well firstly, the answer to this question depends on the relationship of the person with you. Is it your friend? Brother? Sister? Husband? Wife? Mother? Father? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Then you got to look at what your friend is lying about. Is it about money, or a possession? Or is it about a thing like how your friend is talking to a girl you don't like and when you ask him or her they say they aren't speaking to that person. If your friend owes you money like £250 and when you ask them to pay you back they say they don't have the money, but two days later that same person is out shopping in selfridges, then obviously there's something fishy going on and then you can go to the person and state what you know and ask them in a polite way to pay off the money.

If the issue your talking about is to do with something like your mate is talking to a girl you don't like it and when you ask that friend do you talk to that girl they say "no", when really they are speaking to that person. Then issues like these are abit petty and should just be ignored. If you don't like it that your best friend is talking to your worst enemy then just say you don't like what's happening and if they still persist in speaking to each other then let them be. State your message and leave. If it bugs you still and you cant take it anymore, adopt solitude where you're your own friend. I'm not saying to cut off your relation with that person, because muslims have rights over each other, so fulfill them. If it's your husband and you think hes cheating on you or having an affair then that is a topic of it's own.
Remember to becareful because if your friend has a legitimate reason of doing what he's doing then you are putting unnecessary suspicion on your friend. Before you do accuse or confront your friend of doing something make sure you ask your friend if it's true what you've heard. Remember, there's always two sides to every story...

Anonymous said...

MashAllah, that was a really good question and a very good answer was given.

Anonymous said...

Jazakallah khair for the article, MashAllah, well written. Keep it up brothers.

Anonymous said...

Aslm.i will inshallah do nikkah nxt year and now am finding out that ,the person who i will inshallah do nikkah is lying to me.. ha is about little little thing so can you please my brother in islam help..i make duas dat allah will surly reward u ameen

Abdul Baasit said...

Wa Alaykumus Salaam,

Im sorry but I think you should consult an Alim about this matter.


Anonymous said...


mashallah very good article but, the problem with our scholars is that they are very good to tell us what is bad but they do not tell us how to prevent ourself from doing bad.

you have said mentioned really good points regarding having a haram relationship, but you need to assess the problem from a different angle, asking yourself "why people go into such relation?" "how to stop them from going down this road?" etc

Anonymous said...

seeing as you noticed this.. I think you should give the solution =)