Advice to young Muslims who have fallen in love
It is interesting that Islam does not invalidate the concept of love nor does it reject it entirely.
In the following article, I address all the Muslims around the world who are hopelessly in love with someone. We all make mistakes and we are fortunate to have Allah as our Rabb for He is Al-Ghaffoor, The Most Forgiving.
Through this article, I hope to help you make sense of how you feel regarding the person you are in love with. Hopefully, by the end of it, you will have an idea of who the Khadeejah (May Allah be pleased with her) in your life may be.
Love, as we know it and the Shari’ah
If you have ever wondered why the Shari’ah prohibits pre-marital relationships, it’s because of the risk it puts the couple in. In Fiqh, we have a concept called “Maqaasid-us-Shari’ah” which means “The goals of the Shari’ah”. There are five such Maqsads, which are:
- the protection of the deen
- protection of life
- protection of dignity
- protection of wealth
- protection of intellect
For the purpose of protecting one’s dignity, we are forbidden from engaging in any pre-marital relationships. A lot of people foolishly try to overrule this by claiming that “they are not like the rest” or that “they know their limits”.
The truth is, nobody knows us better than Allah.
Allah knows that when a non-mahram man and woman come together, Shaytaan is the third person. Shaytaan lights a fire that can only be put out through sexual intimacy. Even if things don’t go that far, relationships are filled with insecurity and a lack of commitment. How many hearts have been broken by unfaithful lovers and how many teenagers have resorted to alcohol and drugs just to get over the pain of a breakup? Out of His wisdom and His divine love, Allah forbade us from opposite-gender relationships, except through marriage. Unlike a non-marital relationship, marriage is built on commitment, trust, and loyalty. In a marriage, the couple knows that the only way out is divorce, so they try really hard to make things work out.
Love, as we don’t know it
It is interesting that Islam does not invalidate the concept of love nor does it reject it entirely.
To prove my point, let’s take a trip back in time, all the way back to Adam (Peace be upon him). He was in Jannah, but even Jannah was not enough, without a partner to share it with. So Allah created a miracle for mankind – the woman.
Fast forward thousands of years from then, to the story of the greatest of mankind – Muhammad Ibn Abdullah ﷺ. His first marriage was surprisingly a love-marriage.
Khadeejah (May Allah be pleased with her) fell in love with this young man who was so honest, upright and had a sense of identity and purpose in his life. Although she was a widow, she was in love once again. She knew that this was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, even though he wasn’t as wealthy or even as old as her.
I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, ‘Mary, the daughter of `Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadija is the best amongst the women (of this nation).’
These are just two out of hundreds of stories that reflect love in Islam. What is haram is a relationship, but not love. Love is halal, but it has to be within the limits of the Shari’ah. Love is a gift for mankind. It the single most powerful emotion that can both make and break a person.
Even if you look at your Ibadah, you will only be able to worship Allah ﷻ to your full potential when you love Him. You learn to appreciate your identity as a Muslim when you realize how much He loves you. You care for and protect the Ummah when you love one another for Allah’s sake. You try to imitate the Prophet ﷺ in his speech, his actions, and his preferences only when you truly love him.
Love is woven into every day, every moment of our life. Even the love that people try to avoid discussing – the love between a man and a woman. Now I’m not encouraging you to go out an fall in love. In fact, I want you to fall out of love for a few minutes so you can re-assess your circumstances. Love isn’t how poets define it. There is more to love than magical words and companionship. Love can either be extremely beautiful or unbearably painful, and it is up to us which one we choose.
The truth about love
When you are in love, you only see the nice things about that person. This is because the bad side isn’t revealed to you. But when you are married, you spend every second of your life together. You will be exposed to the good and the bad. It isn’t as pretty as it is in movies.
I request you to put your life in perspective. It’s easy to rebel and defy Allah when you cannot see Him. It’s easy to choose someone you can see, assume that you have found the best part about life and tread on the borders of haram. The problem is that when you slip, no one will come to rescue you. No one except yourself. You’ll have to carry yourself and go to Allah because you will have nowhere left to go.
It isn’t too late. You think you are in love right now. But ask yourself, how can something that doesn’t please Allah ever bring any good to your life? The time has come to understand this relationship you share with the person you think of as your lover. Here are some things you can consider.
Why are you afraid to commit?
When Khadeejah (May Allah be pleased with her) witnessed the Prophet ﷺ’s behavior, she knew instantly that he is the one. Isn’t that what true love is like? If your love in insecure and you’re afraid to commit to the person you love through marriage then what is the point in saying “I love you” every night?
Like I mentioned above, real love is like the sun. When it shines, there is no denial of its existence. If you really do love the person you are with, the time has come for you to proceed with marriage. If you are hesitant, then know that you are not in love. If you cannot see the two of you sharing a future together, then you are not in love. If you cannot imagine waking up next to them every morning, then you are not in love. If you cannot think of spending every second of your day, putting up with their flaws and embracing the perfections, then you are not in love. Finally, if there is a soft voice at the back of your head that is wondering if you have the energy it takes to tolerate that person on a daily basis, then you are not in love. You are only wasting your time and their time. You’re only making a fool out of yourself and them.
Are you sure your preferences won’t change over time?
This one is especially for teenagers…
Growing up, a lot of us thought that we want that “beautiful” girl or that “tall, dark and handsome” guy. But with time, our experiences in life change what we perceive as ideal. I don’t just mean looks. Even with personality, your preferences as a teenager will not be the same when you are 21.
Right now for example, you might think you want that bad boy who will change just for your sake. But when you’re older and you’ve had to put up with so much in life already, you’ll just wish to have someone who is good and easy-going. Someone who is able to love without any restrictions. Someone who isn’t overly complicated and knows what is right and what is wrong. Someone who can be a part of your life, and yet give you your own space. Most importantly, someone who has realized their purpose in life and can grow with you, together. This is because you won’t always have the time to figure a person out. There will come failure, death, trauma and so many things as you grow and you just don’t want to deal with more of that, even after marriage.
Do you see your partner as a parent to your child one day?
It isn’t wrong to fall for a gorgeous smile. But, that smile isn’t going to raise and educate a child one day. Your children are an Amanah from Allah.If they go astray because of poor upbringing, they will testify against you on the day of Judgement. If, on the other hand, they are raised well and given the right amount of spiritual guidance, they will take you into Jannah along with them.
A lot of the times, couples see children as the far future when in fact, raising children is one of the fundamental purposes of marriage. The joy you experience when your child is born is unimaginable. Every time your toddler runs around crying “Ummi” or “Abi” your heart will drown in love for them. In their eyes, you will find a new purpose for your life. Their happiness will become your happiness.
But with poor upbringing, they will become a burden on you. As they grow, they will transform based on their associates. Some may rebel, some may become quiet, some may develop a temper. For all these reasons, a good father and a good mother are essential. At the end of the day, your child needs a home to come back to, and that home lies only with the parents.
If you reflect on Khadeeja’s (May Allah be pleased with her) and Muhammad ﷺ’s lives, they had children and they lost children. Despite all of that, they were pillars in each other’s lives. Khadeeja (May Allah be pleased with her) did such a great job at raising Muhammad ﷺ’s children that when she left him in this world, her daughter Fatima was able to take care of her father. She did just like her mother would. This is what a good marriage can create.
Love is like the sun. When it shines, there is no denying it. It shone in the life of the Prophet ﷺ. Through the love of his life, he found the strength he needed to become the best of mankind. His mission was tough but he had a home to come back to every day. As for you, if you are willing to play with your lover’s Akhirah by defying the commands of Allah and adding to their sins, do you really love them? Or are you just trying to fill the void in your heart by claiming to have a lover?
For everyone, there is a soul mate. Yours will find you when the time is right. If you think you have found yours already, commit to them and speak to the elders. Solidify your commitment in the form of marriage because there will come a day when life will overwhelm you. You will come back running to your better half on that day.
It is in your hands whether you want them to embrace you or to call you a madman, just like the rest of the world.
It’s alright to fall in love. Khadeeja (May Allah be pleased with her) did too. Just make sure you take your love in the right direction.