Love is in the Air


3086416179_661625ca94_bLove is in the air!

…Or at least that’s what advertisers want you to think this month. While it’s nice to express your love often, Valentine’s Day comes once a year, leaving you no choice but to do so or risk seeming heartless. For the owners of floral boutiques and chocolate shops, Eid comes in February.

But even amidst such commercialized affections, one can hardly keep from thinking about those they love. And while we do so, we are inevitably faced with some  pivotal questions.

I was reminded of some of those questions when I reflected on something a friend of mine had told me. She described how it felt to be with the person she loved. In her words, the whole world disappeared when they were together. The more I reflected on her statement, the more it affected me, and the more it made me wonder.

As humans, we are made to feel love and attachment towards others. This is part of our human nature.  While we can feel this way about another human being, five times a day we enter into a meeting with our Lord and Creator. I wondered how often we ever felt the whole world disappear while in His presence. Can we really claim that our love for Allah is greater than our love for anyone and anything else?

So often we think that Allah only tests us with hardships, but this isn’t true.  Allah also tests with ease. He tests us with  na`im (blessings) and with the things we love, and it is often in these tests that so many of us fail. We fail because when Allah gives us these blessings, we unwittingly turn them into false idols  in the heart.

When Allah blesses us with money, we depend on the money rather than Allah. We forget that the source of our provision is not and never was the money, but rather it was the giver of that money. Suddenly we’re willing to sell alcohol to avoid losing money in our business, or we need to take out loans with interest to feel secure. In so doing we are foolishly—and ironically—disobeying the Provider in order to protect the provision.

When Allah blesses us with someone that we love, we forget that Allah is the source of that blessing, and we begin to love that person as we should love Allah. That person becomes the center of our world—all our concerns, thoughts, plans, fears, and hopes revolve only around them. If they are not our spouses, we are sometimes even willing to fall into haram just to be with them. And if they were to leave us, our whole world would crumble. So now, we have shifted our worship from the Source of the blessing to the blessing itself.

Allah says of such people:  “And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an 2:165)

It is because of this tendency to lose sight  after Allah has  bestowed His blessings that  He warns us in the Qur’an when He says: “Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.’” (9:24)

It is important to note that all the things listed in the above ayah (verse) are halal (permissible) to love and are, in fact, blessings in and of themselves. In fact, some of those blessings are signs of Allah. On the one hand, Allah says: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Qur’an 30:21)

But on the other hand, Allah warns:  “O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them.” (Qur’an 64:14)

The warning in this ayah is critical. Our spouses and our children are listed here because they are among the blessings we love the most. And it is in  that which you love most that you find the greatest test. So if conquering that test means seeing through a storm of greeting cards and roses to a greater love that awaits, then so be it. And when could that be more relevant?

Because after all, love is in the air.

Originally published by IslamOnline

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10 Comments

  1. Zaufishan says:

    As’salamalaikum,
    A poignant lesson and warning. Muslims love, but love moderately. A bought relationship based on materialistic quantities never succeeds. In clouds of emotional joy we can forget the test that exists in pleasure, in happiness, in love. On the other hand, some of us question Allah’s plans for not giving us that Valentine-ideal-partner-in-crime spouting poetry and professing undying love.

    May we learn to learn how to love! And take it! And Love Allah the most. Ameen to that!

    http://www.zaufishan.co.uk

  2. Bruno DeGourville says:

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاتة

    It might be a little far fetched and only learned scholars could answer this question, but: isn’t this post partaking in some way, albeit indirectly, in that whole St. Valentine celebration intended to anyone but Muslims? Couldn’t those reflections be posted any other time but on the day the non-Muslims celebrate their “love”?

    Everything right and True is from Allah. Any mistake is from myself. May He forgive me for my deviances, and may He manifest the Truth on your tongue, so that I may accept it.

    والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاتة

  3. aj says:

    salaam
    perfect timing, everyone is talkin bout love

    i dont think there is nothing wrong w valentines day . yes its a pagan holiday but today there is no religious connotation and everyone is happy and giving and loving

  4. Bruno DeGourville says:

    aj:

    With all due respect and consideration of your annonimity: what is important is not what you or I think of that pagan holiday, but more what scholars and learned people say about it. Let’s not have the arrogance to think that are own opinion, albeit potentially interesting and worth hearing, is the criterion to any decision in matter of faith and legal ruling.

    Respectfully,

  5. umm yusuf says:

    Today at work I quizzed the non muslims on their views re: valentine’s day

    My nurse said “waste of time..don’t believe in it–what’s the point when you argue half the time …LOL”

    The others said that they gave up sending cards years ago..something you do in youth really

    Then we all had a laugh at how yesterday a big group of men rushed to buy flowers from the local supermarket as soon as the shop doors opened…

    If you really love somebody then everyday should be valentine’s day right????What better display of your love than to buy your other half flowers when they least expect it rather than because society expects it.

    But I totally agree with the above article..make Allah the centre of your devotion then everything insha’Allah will slot into place

    As imam suhaib said once “if you want that which is certain then rely on that which is certain”

  6. Bruno DeGourville says:

    Also, to whomever it may concern (i was not able to find a “contact us” button on the website):

    I would like to suggest the addition of an RSS button for the comment section of your blog. It would come handy in following up any conversation one might deem interesting.

    Respectfully.

  7. Personally I dont celebrate Valentine’s day. But for those who are saying that it is a pagan holiday? Correct me if I am wrong, but wasnt St. Valentine a Christian who was marrying people and was executed for it? I also understand that there is a great deal of mystery and myth surrounding the day as well.

    • Bruno DeGourville says:

      If you look up pagan you will find this definition:

      Main Entry: pa·gan
      Pronunciation: \ˈpā-gən\
      Function: noun
      Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, civilian, country dweller, from pagus country district; akin to Latin pangere to fix — more at pact
      Date: 14th century
      1 : heathen 1; especially : a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)
      2 : one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person
      3 : neo-pagan

      And as a Muslim, I believe that Christianity falls into that category since they associate other deities and intermediaries with Allah تعالى .

      Furthermore, if you look up “Saint Valentine” on Wikipedia, you’ll find that “Historian Jack Oruch has made the case that the traditions associated with “Valentine’s Day”, documented in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules and set in the fictional context of an old tradition, had no such tradition before Chaucer.”

      So either you believe that this celebration has its origin in Christianity or in the fictional context of Geoffrey Chaucer, Saint Valentine still falls in the category of pagan holidays.

      • Suhaib Webb says:

        Akhi:

        Asalamu alaykum and thanks for your comments,

        Perhaps some light can be shined on this topic by asking a few questions?

        1. Is Islam concerned about what something was, or what something is?

        2. If something was initially forbidden, that was not a Nas or Yujm’a alahi, is it possible for it to become permissible?

        Scholars of Usol dealt with this and noted a few important axioms:

        The first is what they called tunusi, implying that the origin of an action was forgotten, or the rhetoric implied by that action had changed. Based on that, a number of scholars, one of my teachers even, considers most holidays that are not explicitly religious as permissible since, according to them, the explicit rhetoric has changed.

        The second is al-Ahkam tajri m’a asbabiha. Meaning, the rulings exist with their causes. Thus, if the cause of a ruling is gone, the actually ruling goes as well, or could change and adopt to another ruling. An example is the person who slept and misses the prayer, while asleep the ruling for prayers is lifted from him until he awakens, upon which it becomes an obligation to pray.

        The same applies to a corrupted marriage contract; that it is valid and the rights of both spouses are observed until proven otherwise. One of my teachers mentioned this in correlation with human activities such as celebrations and the like, noting that if the cause for the holiday has changed, then its ruling does as well.

        Some argue that in many cases, the original intent of such holidays has changed, unlike the time of scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah when holidays were still part of one’s religious identity and done in the reflux of the Crusades, and this demands that the ruling change as well. So, in such cases, the ruling is permissibility.

        These two axioms allow Muslims to function under most societies and distinguish between what is strictly a religious articulation, and something related to the permissible acts of simple cultural expression. Sadly, many are not able to make this distinction.

        Perhaps that will add some stimulating thoughts to this important discussion and allow us to move beyond certain points into a more analytical conversation?

        Allah knows best,
        Suhaib

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