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Love vs Lust in Islam

Lust in Islam

In recent time it appears as though the entire idea of cherishing someone has been cast out from the religion of Islam – 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 marriages, 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 showing an intimate and compassionate side to his wives for a reason. These narrations could have been left hidden by Allah, but in the Prophet, we discover the perfect morals and etiquettes to treat our partners with.

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

“And it is among His signs that He has created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquility in them, and He has created love and kindness between you. Surely in this there are signs for a people who reflect.” – Quran 30:21

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 tranquility. On the contrary, a person who leaves the Sharia aspect of love and opts for lust finds his heart very heavy and tainted. Animalistic and hedonistic behavior may provide some minor pleasure for a short period of time but it will not provide the solace and harmony created through marriage.

see Also:

How to lower your gaze

How to overcome any sin

How to date in Islam

For single Muslims, How to lead a happy lifestyle

Such negative attributes of haram love are not unknown to Islam and are mentioned in detail in the Qur’an, in Surah Yusuf.

Haram love was also seen in the time of the Prophet and the blessed periods that succeeded his time; there are narrations of individuals who had carried out some improper action but it was their specialty that they would repent abundantly.

In one narration mentioned in Mishkatul Masabih, a woman who committed fornication in the time of Rasulullah made such repentance that Rasulullah himself stated:

“Verily, she has repented in such a great manner that if her repentance was to be shared upon the people of Madina, it would be enough for them (to attain salvation).”

The issue of forbidden love is a problem that we face today and this was also a matter that was prevalent in the periods which were rendered to be immensely blessed by the Prophet.

Quite simply, for as long as man and women will remain on the face of this earth, the issue will remain. The reason for this is that out of all the modes of worship made accessible to mankind, only two have existed from the beginning of time and will continue to do so in the hereafter. The first is Iman (belief in Allah) and the second is marriage.

Thus for marriage to be continued, attraction to one another must also continue and those who shun the bond of wedlock will fall into the trap of such unwanted love.

Sheikh ‘Abdullah Ibn Mubarak was a man who became a great scholar of Islam. He was truly a friend of Allah so much so that once his mother went out searching for him and found him sleeping in an orchard near a rose tree. To her astonishment, she found that a snake was fanning him with a branch from a Narcissus tree.

Nevertheless, prior to him becoming a great saint, Sheikh ‘Abdullah was intensely in love with a beautiful slave-girl. His love for her grew as time would pass and once during a winter night, he stood near her home in hope of seeing her.

His love for her was so strong that he stood the entire night until the morning waiting to see her but she had not left her house once. His efforts were in vain and he became so upset and regretful that he wasted his night that he said, “If I had spent the night in worshipping Allah, it would have been a thousand times better than what I have done.

His regret was so huge that Allah had opened up his heart and his false love was replaced with Divine love. Sheikh ‘Abdullah Ibn Mubarak thereafter rectified himself completely and submitted himself to Allah.

Allah can enjoin sincere and loyal companionship upon a person if he abandons the pull of haram relationships and diverts his life prior to marriage towards the obedience of his Creator.

Islam does not negate the feelings of the heart, rather it negates the feelings which lead one to rebellion and that which causes vast problems. There is no ban on having fun as long as it coincides with the restrictions placed by the Sharia.

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 emphasized 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 haram by the actions that emanate from them.

For example, a person can be angry but if in his anger he has hit his Muslim brother, his actions have rendered his anger haram. If he had suppressed his anger and recited T’awwuz (a ‘udhu billahi minash shaytaanir rajim) he would be from among those people whom Allah loves.

In the same way, love is not wrong if it is for Allah or for family. But this love becomes haram when it targeted at a boyfriend or girlfriend, a partner outside wedlock, a ‘fling’ with no repercussions.

This is why the Prophet 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 that the Prophet said:

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

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, one’s belief and bodily actions will be too and a core which is filled with affection for Allah will always want to obey Him and never disobey Him.

lbn Rajab mentions:

“If his heart is sound and there is nothing in it but love of Allah and love of what Allah loves and fear of Allah 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 seeking what he loves even if Allah 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; the other limbs and organs are its troops.”

It is for this reason the Prophet 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 are working in places which are of mixed genders and we find that we have to interact with the other sex on a 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. 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 realize that it is time to give up the haram and will do it despite the sadness and the ’emotional rollercoaster’.

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Dating In Islam

dating in Islam

Despite the fact that dating is a new practice in the history of humanity, Quran and Sunnah do talk a lot specifically about it. Yes, Islam was sent for the whole of humanity and thus addresses all matters under all situations at any time in considerable details, (Thanks to Allah for his unique excellence).

As an Islamic blogger, I normally come across questions relating to dating and relationships like boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, physical intimacy, and a whole lot of relationship questions.

Well, that’s completely OK by me since I am glad you’re looking for Quran and Hadith guidance to these doubts rather than figuring out the whole dating thing all by yourself or depending on what the world tells you to do (Quran 7:52).

If it is answers you want, believe me, you are about to find out how Allah and His Messenger wants you to deal with relationships with others of the opposite gender.

In order that seekers may fully understand the topic clearly (By Allah’s Permission), I will cover this issue under different questions relating to different aspects and then go through the answers to get things clarified (Insha-Allah).

Compiled below are some of the most common dating questions and I will be adding more if Allah wills.

But wait, if you have a personal and specific questions about relationships and situations in your life, please feel at ease to send us your questions through the contact page, or just comment it below if you don’t mine. Be sure to read what is here though; your question might have already been answered (Insha-Allah).

  1. Am I ready to start dating or courting?

Well, Islam encourages marriage at a young age, that’s to avoid the temptation of Zina, therefore, it is completely normal to start a relationship at the age of puberty, however, it is not compulsory. Thus, reaching the age of puberty should not be considered as the only criteria for deciding the right age to start a relationship.

There are other important factors such as the overall maturity of a person plus his or her ability to anticipate what is good or bad, such that his or her ability to personal agreement and disagreements in important decisions of life becomes valid. Therefore, How young is too early to start a relationship depends on the individual’s level of maturity, goals, and beliefs.

As for the holiest and greatest Prophet (peace be upon him), he said (Makaarimul Akhlaq):

“Oh youths, whosoever among you can marry, he should do so because marriage protects your eyes (from indulging in sin by looking lustfully at others in privacy).

Therefore, as a Muslim youth, you should remember that no matter when you decide to begin a romantic relationship, that’s exactly the right time to build upon the foundation of faith you’ve been taught, that’s growing and figuring out what Allah wants for you.

Always remember that you are never too young to begin this exciting process as long as you can bear the responsibility involved. Stay focused and not let anyone look down on you because you are young, however, do it with divine guidance, which I will clarify later.

  1. Are Muslims allowed to date at all?

     

 

dating in Islam

This is indeed a very common question among Muslim youth today. In fact, prior to publishing this article, I have also spent a reasonable amount of time racking my brain trying to figure this one out for myself. Well, you see, the answer everyone had after asking this question is the old fashioned NO answer.

Why is the answer always NO but not the interesting answer we desire to hear? Why does Islam hate dating among unmarried people so much? Well, before I can tell you this, tell me why you want to date?

  • Is it take away some of the personal loneliness? (very Common)
  • Is it to get you to be seen by your peers as someone who is modern and cool?
  • Is it to get you out of restrictions imposed on you by a religion and culture that you didn’t choose for yourself?
  • Is it to make you feel not left out if many others around you are doing the same thing?
  • Is it to make you feel better about yourself knowing someone ‘really’ likes you?
  • Or maybe do you think it’s obviously fun?

Well, the list still can continue but I just don’t have time for that. If it happens your reason to date a girl or boy fall within these cheap desires, then am afraid, Islam can’t tolerate it and you really deserve the old fashioned NO answer. All these intentions have been conditioned in to people’s mind against their will through the influences of societies outside the Muslim Ummah.

If you want a yes answer to this question then you have to change your intentions because our actions are judged by our intentions. This then brings us to the next question.

  1. Why should Muslims Date?

This particular commentary will not only answer why Muslims should date, but will also answer all those who wonder how they can get married without dating. And yes! I wanted to tell you earlier, but I decided to wait until now. That’s to tell you the real meaning of dating and why Islam prefers the word courtship but not dating.

Most of the time, this is the reason why scholars say no to dating in Islam, because they knew what it means and the dangers that comes hand in hand with it that Islam is protecting us from. Yes, courtship is allowed unlike the dating we know today. Many people may call it dating, but we Muslims prefer the word “courting” because, while a date by definition usually contains “New encounters”, “Good times” and “Sex”(the worse thing), courtship have different priorities altogether.

To make it simple for my readers, courtship prepares you for marriage but dating doesn’t and the reason is simple, when two people say they are dating, they have no marriage intention order than to fulfill each other’s cheap desires which is a sin in Islam.

There are those who will always say they will do all means to avoid Zina/fornication during the process of dating. This is my question for them. Can you make a guarantee about future? Even if it is a little chance of events that can lead to Zina, would you be honest with yourself to say it would never happen?

We all know that it’s only Allah who knows the future; that is why we don’t take risks in our life. Our ears and eyes are limited so is our knowledge which gives a very convincing reason why we can’t be certain about the future.

It’s sometimes very easy to say certain things while we are at peace and full of content. The real test comes when the situation unfolds itself. So my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, lets shrink away from the dating thing in praise of courtship because that’s how we can become save from its temptations.

Let’s embrace dating for marriage and do away from dating for fun, but how can we do that, what are the steps one can follow in the courting process. This brings us to the next point.

  1. How should Muslims Date/Court?

Exploring the principles for halal dating from Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet will set men and women on a course towards Islamic centered Marriages. We are in the era, we already found ourselves in this dark journey in the time of darkness. We only need the best guidance that ever existed in the history of mankind, that’s the Sunnah.

Explaining the guidelines for dating for the righteous Muslims will alter lives keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships that Islam forbid. Most importantly, these principles and guidelines will transform many lives of our Muslim youth as dating is one of the common weapon Satan uses to encourage Zina, which is one of the major sins in Islam that easily lure people away from the mercy of Allah. This is therefore incredibly an important matter.

I will like to make it so clear that these principles and guidelines need more attention and research which I am yet to see through. For this reason, I will briefly state these principles and then develop them later in a completely new article on its own so that seekers may understand the concept well.

  • Start with a good intention

In fact, everything including even performing ablution needs to begin with an intention, not just an intention but a good one. As for the Holiest and Greatest, He mentioned in a hadith that:

(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it (Sahih Muslim, Book 20, Number 4692)

If you are a Muslim, there is no valid reason to engage in a relationship without trajectory towards marriage. And it simply means that dating with a purpose. That’s dating someone who meets the values and goals you have for a future spouse, that’s in order to avoid many relationships before getting marriage and to avoid the temptation of sin (more on that in the new post yet to be published).

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  • Don’t choose a non-Christian to date

I intentionally bring this point because of my dear ladies. For men there seem not to be any problem on that. You want to know why? Well, “Islam is to prevail and not to be prevailed over,” as the Prophet said.

It simply means that the man is in a position of leadership over the woman, and it is not permissible for a non-Muslim to be in a position of leadership over a Muslim woman, because Islam is the true religion and all other religions are false. Marriage is an act of worship not only for loving sake but also for pleasing Allah.

  • Guard your heart

Our hearts influences everything in our life, that’s why it needs special attention in this kind of situation (more on this later).

  • Don’t spend time alone together with the other person for long

You are not yet married, and we all know that spending time alone with a friend of the opposite gender isn’t wise at all. I know you maybe old friends even with the intention of getting married soon, but the point is, it’s not just worth the risk so always be careful. Always make sure that the date does not occur unless there is a Mahram present, I will cover all these rules in my later articles.

  • Make the decision if both of you really like each other (Marriage)

Wow! It’s time for me to wrap up as I have left with nothing to write again. But take this advice for good. Dating or courting (or whatever you desire to call it) can be a wonderful way to solidify an already super strong friendship if your parents have given the go ahead or blessings.

Allah is at the center that’s why you are both ready to step it up though. If you want to make it a long lasting and God honoring union with your best friend, then that is when you know it’s time to come out bold (marry) and start romance.

Ask Allah for guidance when you are in doubt and be prepared to trust and obey Him. Allah loves us and He does not want our downfall in life. Meaning he may not give us what we seek for because He knows the negative and positive results of our truest desire. Sometimes it could be a “No” or “Not now”; keep that in mind with patience as you seek guidance from Him alone in your friendships and other relationships.

Don’t forget Quran chapter 3 verse 159 which says, “…when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).