As humans, many of us need or want love, and that is natural – it is one thing that can make or break us. Some people even liken love as facing a major mental health crisis – not that love is entirely bad for you, but it does have the ability to change you.
Scientific research has found its effects on individuals. Brain studies have shown that being in love can trigger some changes in the brain that are similar to health problems, like drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Love plays a role in our health whether that is mental, physical or spiritual. Therefore, as believers what we do with our love or desire is what counts. We shouldn’t aimlessly follow all our human desires for food, drink, wealth and intimacy.
In Islam, love isn’t confined to just the relationship between a man and a woman, but many other forms such as: love for Allah, His messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his companions, love for the Deen (religion), righteousness and your family. Additionally, it’s not forbidden to love – there are many narrations in the Sunnah that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi w sallam) was loving towards his wives, children and those around him.
However, what is forbidden is the wrong means to and of love. Why? We aren’t here just to fulfil our desires (which can also lead to greater desires and sins) but to control ourselves within reason and live in accordance to the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Zinaa (fornication/adultery) is a major sin. As believers, we have to remember that Islam is timeless in its application, so it isn’t about fitting with the times because “everyone else does”, but we should adhere to the limits set by Allah with His Wisdom.
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).”
There’s nothing wrong with love, unless it distracts a person from remembering Allah and keeps the individual from loving Him. We shouldn’t love anything or anyone more than God i.e. Allah.
It’s very easy to get caught up in your feelings for another, trying to catch that love train regardless of it being mutual or not. Love can be consuming, if you let it.
The whole world revolves around this person whom you cherish, and you’re stuck trying to get any acknowledgement and reward you can from them, which is not healthy or right. The very thing that is meant to ‘free’ you has taken a hold of your heart and sanity, where you’d go to great lengths just for that one individual; whatever else that may have been important or demanded priority is relegated as meaningless due to this intense focus.
This in turn can make you forget. Forget to eat, sleep and even pray because you just have to send that one more text to keep up the buzz you get when you contact them. It can overwhelm you to the point that you forget your own self and importance; but we should work on ourselves and not waste too much time spending it on something that won’t truly benefit us for this life and the hereafter. Forgetting that we should love for the sake of Allah, as this can be a means of obeying Allah, and therefore being rewarded for it.
“Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight? Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?”
Essentially it can become easy to turn away from and replace Allah, which can be a form of shirk (worship of anyone or anything other than Allah). Blindly and excessively following our desires can develop into a destructive sin, and can corrupt our Imaan (belief/faith in Islam, with your heart, tongue and in action) as well as leading to disobeying Allah.
“But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.”
Short-term fulfilments of desire may be brief and sweet, but your long-term goals of Jannah (Paradise) shouldn’t be thrown away when embarking in a relationship. Excessive lust can do that to you and shaytaan loves to tempt.
Check yourself and your intentions carefully before you wreck yourself.
The question which then arises is does this mean we shouldn’t love passionately?