Posted by: Sharique | June 5, 2006

Falling in Love

 

We’re In Love, Now What?

 

Question:

As-salamu `alaykum.

I thank you all for the wonderful services being provided. I am a single guy who is totally in love with this girl. We have known each other for three years now, but have only spoken on the phone and exchanged e-mails. We have not met in private. We got to know each other quite well and we really love each other. The main reason I love her is that she is a nice person, religious, good hearted, etc., and has all the good qualities which a Muslim wife should possess.

Within the first year of our relationship she became engaged to someone else. But she does not like the engagement as she really loves me. Since she got engaged I began to pull back, but she could not forget me. Now we communicate by phone. She told her parents that she does not want to get married to her fiancé as she does not have feelings towards him, but they are forcing her.

I know that a person should not be forced to marry someone and Islam does not allow it. I spoke to my mom but my mom feels worried to talk to my dad because the girl is engaged. I really love her and I feel that she is the one I want to be with. I do not know how my dad would accept it. I want him to know that I really want her but I am worried that he might not consent.

What can I do to get her? This problem is worrying me a lot. Can I talk to her fiancé? What would happen if my parents do not agree? She has told me many times that she will not be able to live happily with this guy. What can she do on her part? Please Advise. I am awaiting your response, please do help me

Answer:

 

As-salamu `alaykum.

We thank you for your kind words regarding the IslamOnline.net services. Please make du`aa' (supplication) that Allah Most High continues to guide us to offer the highest quality services online. You find yourself in a situation that is at best complicated. We strongly suggest that you take into consideration several critical factors:

 

First, realize that once she became engaged there should have been no more contact between you and this young woman. No matter who was in love with whom, or who had feelings for whom, once the engagement was announced, there should have been no further contact between you two.

 

A marriage is a very serious matter in Islam and the engagement is perhaps the most critical step in proceeding with the actual marriage. We want to be sure that we are not misunderstanding you in any way. We trust that when you say the young woman is engaged, you mean to say that the two parties have reached a formal agreement that she will marry her fiancé. We want to be sure that no contract has actually been signed, since in some cultures, the word engagement is misused to mean that a contract has been signed but that the marriage has not yet been consummated. We are going to err on the side of the engagement without a signed contract. Even in that case, we begin with this reminder about the seriousness of the engagement and why it is so important that there be no further contact with the young woman.

 

Second, there is nothing you can or should do in order to break off her engagement; the entire burden of that decision falls upon the shoulders of the young woman and her parents. The matter of whether or not the young woman really wants to marry her fiancé and whether or not the marriage will work out etc. is none of your business. That is as frank as we can be about this matter. You have no authority within Islamic guidelines to advocate for or speak on behalf of this young woman, no matter how much or how often she says she is in love with you. If she feels truly put-off by the engagement, then she is the one that must initiate the break-up. You should have no part in that process.

 

Third, talking to your parents about this matter is very sensitive, because in a sense it becomes official that you and your parents desire that the engagement does not go through. Imagine if, for whatever reason, the young woman’s engagement is called off and you approach her parents, it is quite possible that her parents will have little or no respect for your parents if they find out that you have been in love with her all along and that your parents were also aware of your relationship with an engaged woman!

Seek refuge in Allah from Satan and do everything possible not to involve your parents in this matter. Have no further contact with the young woman until you hear from a reliable third party that the engagement has been called off. After a suitable time has passed (preferably not less than one month), then, and only then, should you send forth an inquiry for marriage, again through a reliable third party.

 

Finally, never ever talk to her fiancé. You have no business talking to him. What would you say to him? “I realize you are very excited about getting married, but I wanted to let you know that your fiancé not only does not want to marry you, but she has been in love with me for the past three years.” What else could you tell him?
Please exercise restraint and stay away from both this young woman and from her fiancé. Make du`aa' (supplication) to Allah to guide you and to grant you a pious wife who is a blessing for your faith, family and future. It is not appropriate to be praying for her engagement to be called off. But, if Allah wills that she is the one you will marry, then Allah is the Best of Planners and it is possible you will marry her.

 

We do not suggest putting your life on hold waiting to see what happens. Prepare yourself for marriage and make the Istikharah Prayer (supplication for guidance in making a decision) before making your final choice, in sha’ Allah.

Allah knows best.

When I See A Girl, I Fall in Love

Question:

 

As-salamu `alaykum.

When I see a girl, I fall in love with her. Then when I see another girl, I fall in love with the second girl. So I fall in love with every girl I see. I want to stop this action. What should I do?

 

Answer:

 

As-salamu `alaykum.

 

Thank you for writing to us. We understand how challenging it must be for you to be dealing with an overly active heart! Are you sure you actually “fall in love” with every girl you see? What does “falling in love” mean to you? We want you to stop and think about what is really happening.

 

First, we want to acquaint you with the physiological changes that a person experiences as they go through adolescence. You have marked your age as being between 15-20 years old. Starting with puberty, your body begins to produce new hormones, which then cause you to experience emotional and physical changes. One of those changes is that you feel sexually stimulated upon seeing a member of the opposite sex whose physical features are pleasing to you.

 

This is a normal and quite natural feeling. However, by no means does being sexually stimulated upon looking at someone equate with “falling in love” with them. Feeling stimulated by just looking at a girl means that you are merely excited by her physical appearance. While physical attraction is one of the components of falling in love, it is a shallow and short-lived assessment. Looks are not everything; what is more important is a person’s heart and character.

 

Second, we urge you to be more careful in choosing what your eyes see. Allah Most High tells us to lower our gaze, because it is often with our eyes that we commit sins by looking at someone or something that is not permissible for us. A woman who is not mahram(a husband or close relative forbidden in marriage) to you, is not to be looked at according to Islamic teachings.

 

Sure, you might find yourself having to look up as you walk and you might spot a woman, but that first look is pardonable and all intentional looks after that are disliked in the eyes of Allah Most High. So one way to stop falling in love with every girl you see is to make sure that you do not look with desire at another woman. You are the only one who can control what your eyes see. No one else can tell you what to look at and what not to look at. You must exercise control.

 

Finally, remind yourself that,in sha’ Allah, by being patient and chaste, you are gaining the pleasure of Allah. The reward for obeying Allah could well be that Allah grants you a woman who is truly beautiful in your eyes and pious and,in sha’ Allah, a blessing for your faith, family, and future. However, you can risk losing all of that by continuing to follow your lower desires and looking at women. Surely you want what is more lasting and pleasing to Allah.

 

Turn to Allah and seek His forgiveness for any past sins you might have committed with your eyes. Control what your eyes see.

Allah knows best.

Young and in love for how long?

 

Question:

 

I am deeply involved with a guy for 3 years now, we are both very serious about each other and have plans of marrying each other, but we can not tell our parents at this stage as it is too early and we are still too young for marriage…and we cannot live without each other too…if we tell our parents now they will not listen to us and simply take us away from each other…what should I do? am I doing wrong?

 

Answer:

 

As-salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh sister.

 

Love is a wonderful experience and a precious gift to have especially when it is shared with family, friends and neighbors. It can help to overcome those everyday or occasional obstacles and one can feel secure and emotionally nourished and able to deal with any situation. It is a gift from Allah s.w.t. that can nuture a sense of humanity and therefore the feeling of being responsible for one another. Love feeds love and there is an abundane that can even be shared with a stranger making him or her never feeling the sense of being alone.

 

When it is between two people the emotions are stronger particularly when young and is only nourishing and sustaining if both give and receive in a balanced way. When one loves someone to the point that one feels that you can not ‘do without each other’ it takes on a different form. It becomes possessive and fearful and can in fact stop each other from growing. You stop listening to your will and sense of reason and everything you do comes under the control of this ‘love’. It's an extremely strong emotion that can only sustain itself for a period of time. The fact that you have ‘loved’ each other for three years without your parents knowing adds to your fear as you seek to cling onto each other. It would be interesting to see what would happen if your relationship was not so private and how long it would in fact survive. In private the relationship is actually unreal for there are no daily challenges or responsibilities to face as in marriage.

 

Of course you know that you can not continue like this otherwise you would not be asking the question. Both of you need to talk to your parents in terms of marriage. You have no choice at the end of the day. The procedure should be carried out as formally as possible to add balance – therefore reason to the situation. His family should contact your family and together they should discuss the marriage. It does not mean that the marriage will take place automatically but at least to create the situation so that the possibility of marriage can take place at a later date. If both families accept this still makes you non-Mahram i.e. not related by blood or marriage and therefore there is no contact or being alone together. This is how it should have been in the first place. Communications should remain between your families and if they so choose, then maybe you can both meet in the company of a family member or guardian. If the parents decide that marriage is inappropriate then if you both really love each other you can try again when you are old enough to bring up the issue again.

 

It is better this way for love is a powerful emotion that can get out of hand if not balanced by reason and you could end up compromising yourself and in fact undoing any possbility of marriage in the future. Jazak Allah Khayr.


Perpetually falling in love

 

 

Question:

 

As-salaamu alaykum.

 

I am a 20-year-old university student living in Turkey. I am attending an American-styled university. We learn in English which is compulsory in this university. We do not have our own rich Ottoman-Turkish language).

Anyway, since the age of 10, but especially since the age of 13, I have always been falling in- love with a girl in my immediate surroundings, that is to say in my class at school. I have always been a painfully shy boy who has not had many friends outside the class. I am again falling in love, the first time with a girl in hijab. As a shy person should I attempt to talk to her to get to know her? Or should I abstain from speaking with girls or just abstain from speaking to that specific girl whom I am beginning to fall in love with, so as to distance myself from her?

The other details I must include in my question are:


I have obsessive compulsive syndrome and for the past few months have been receiving both medical treatment and psychotherapy which are not Islamic counseling. I shared this problem with both the therapist and the psychiatrist; but I could not receive a satisfactory and Islamic answer. The psychiatrist gave me a medicine (anti-psychotic) saying that it would decrease my tendency to fall in love easily.


Due to my psychological problems, I am at least one and a half years behind the grades that I should have had. I am 20 and restarting my first semester in the university. According to my calculations, I have to wait for at least 8 years before marriage. Oh, very difficult to endure! As to what kind of a Muslim I am. I am practicing all my five salaats (prayers) regularly but do not go to the mosque usually just due to laziness.

Answer:

As-salaamu alaykum, brother:

It is good to see that even after seeking help with your problem from healthcare professionals, that you recognize there are components in Islam that are beneficial and provide guidance that may not be included in the industry of healthcare.

There are two issues here; one is the attraction to females around you and the other is one of your diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Syndrome) [OCD]. Let us deal with you ‘falling in love’ first.

 

Falling in love has a great deal of sexual attraction to it, as opposed to loving someone. Many people confuse the two. When one asks is it appropriate to fall in love with a sibling or parent; the answer is usually ‘No. because loving someone means to nurture the well-being of a person(s) physical, spiritual and mental well-being, among other things. You seem to be ‘in-love,’ as you appropriately put it. There are many things that arouse these feelings.

 

First of all, you happen to be at an age where your sexual peak, your tendency to desire more sex, is greater than what it is expected to be at any other time in your life. Based on science, this has already been proven. Therefore, your attraction to others will have physical and mental responses with a greater sense of focus towards whatever you are attracted to. In your case, it is girls/ladies who happen to be within your immediate area and whom you at least see. In this case, since it is your class, it may be that you also are attracted to what she is saying or other parts of her intellect as well. This is natural. This is something that many, if not most young men, go through during this stage of their life. This is actually one of the many reasons why many administrators, imams and others find it Islamically prudent to separate the genders in situations like school. Other examples of cautioning us, as Muslims, include females praying behind and not in front of the men. Another more basic example is the reason for the hijab. These directives for us are designed to help minimize the feelings and possibly premature actions of two people who are not yet married. So your feelings for the girls around you, in a mixed-gender environment seem to be in line with your age, gender and your closeness to the ladies.

 

A solution to this becomes difficult at times, because men are told to lower their gaze – try not to stare or focus your sight on the female. But this is more difficult when the women are not doing their part, which is to cover their hair and their bodies. Since you live in a secular society, it is my imagination that there are many women who are not wearing hijab, therefore making it more difficult for you NOT to focus on them.

 

The reason why I am stressing this is because I want you to understand that if you did not have OCD, I presume that you would still have similar struggles in trying to control yourself from ‘falling in love.’

 

Other things that I can suggest for you to do is to fast regularly. We are instructed to do so under conditions such as these, whereby we cannot afford to get married. Based on what you’re saying about your health and student status, I am assuming that you are saying you are not financially prepared to get married. Forgive me if I am wrong. Fasting helps to reduce the sex drive.

Another suggestion, to help with fasting, is to try and go to the mosque. For whatever reason Allah (swt) has in mind and the benefits that we may yet understand, the issue of brotherhood is important. Going to the mosque encourages this level of brotherhood. I bring this up because if you are a loner, then it becomes easier for you to give in to your desires. In addition to this, there is a reinforcement from other brothers who may have similar struggles and at least your company can encourage each other to re-focus on something else. Try to include a focus on your prayer on gaining control of yourself.

 

Other daily and practical things you might be able to do are to ensure that you have a daily or weekly planner and include realistic things in there that need to be done on a timely basis. This will help you to stay more focused on completing things, like your schoolwork. Time and personal management books and/or classes can help with this.

 

While I know very little about your personal sufferings, I am a bit confused with your level of ‘laziness’ and having the illness. The two normally don’t go together. Although, I recognize that the medication may be playing a role in this. It is not clear what other areas you seem to be obsessive about. If it is primarily with the ladies, then I recommend asking your doctor(s) as to why it is not directly affecting other areas in your life.

 

Ensha’Allah, you will continue to progress, as you are well under way. You have sought help, and you continue to seek help. This is a sign of a strong character.

 

As-salaamu alaykum.

The illusion of love on the internet

 

Question:

 

As- salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

I have got two questions.

 

First, I met a girl through the net. She was cute but wasn't living the right way. I knew from her that this was her family style because she was never taught right or wrong. I tried to help her and she was progressively changing. I saw her only once, but our main contact was through the ‘phone. I liked her and she loved me. I told her that I liked her and I asked her for marriage. After I finished college, she accepted.

 

My love grew, but she started to reverse back. Her love for me, as she said, became much stronger. When I graduated, she asked me about my promise. I know I have all what is needed to marry her, but her character had reversed back becoming non-Islamic as we can see in a lot of girls these days. When I told her that, she started making me feel guilty about making her hold her heart to me. She promised again to change after marriage when I “would become her ruler, ” as she said. What really hurts is that I like her and I don't know what to do or how to answer her !!! I was a man of my words and I don't want to feel guilty about her. I need a true Muslim girl to love and be my wife. I tried to look for a wife so as to complete my religion but I work in a foreign petroleum company where I can’t find the right one for me. My family isn't of a great help to me in this matter.

 

The second question is how and where I can find a true Muslim girl to marry as a single man with this problem. I'm really lost in this and I'm in need for some help. Thanks a lot and God bless you.

 

Answer:

 

As-salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

 

The general perception today is that the young are more selfish and have the world at their feet, but as you have shown us, this is not always the case. We are not really in a position to comment on the girl concerned and as much as you have done your part to try and guide her into the right direction, it was not your ‘job’ in the first place. This was the role of the parents, and regardless of how carefree a young person gets at the end of the day, they do subconsciously expect this from their parents. This has probably added to the emotions that this girl feels towards you. Therefore subconsciously, she has made practicing Islam a condition of marriage to you.

 

To add fuel to the fire, you have begun a dialog (internet, phone etc) with a girl who Islamically, you can marry – non-Mahrem ( a person to whom it is not possible to marry). As you know this is not allowed in Islam and as you have shown the inevitable has happened. It was irresponsible to have encouraged her to see you in this way and regardless of your feelings towards her, as you have stated you want to marry someone who is a practicing Muslim. You are strongly urged to apologize to this girl and end communications. You are only hurting both of you in the long run. If you truly have a strong preference for a girl who is a practicing Muslim then you will do more damage by allowing the situation to continue. Looking at it another way, if you were to pursue this relationship and marry her, then you have to ask yourself if you would ever be satisfied with her if at the moment you have difficulties over the situation. If you married her are you willing to accept her as she is and through your care of her allow her to grow into leading a more Islamic life? That is what it will take, for Islam gave us a choice meaning Allah s.w.t. wants us to go to Him of our own free will. As ‘Ali ibn abu Talib once said: ‘Surely there are people who worship Allah out of desire for reward, and this is the worship of traders. And surely there are people who worship Allah out of fear of punishment, and this is the worship of slaves. And surely there are people who worship Allah out of gratitude, and this is the worship of the free”.

 

Besides, the nature of your second question shows that you have already decided to not continue with her. Intentions are weights that we are measured by in Islam. Hence, this is where you must begin, by being sincere in the desire to seek a marriage partner who is a practicing Muslim. Once you are sure about this, then you must remain committed to your intentions followed up by du’as and strengthening your own knowledge and understanding of Islam. These efforts combine is what will help Allah s.w.t. to answer your prayers as long as you are ready for such a request. Living Islam is not just about the marital home but it is also about the world outside your home which as we know can be very testing. In this sense you are correct to want a practicing Muslim as a wife for then together many daily challenges can be handled with more ease.

 

In the meantime impress on your family and friends of your needs, so that they may help you solve this problem. Also, try to avoid any unnecessary contact with girls for this also reflects on your character and your desire to find a suitable partner in life. One is aware that work for a petroleum company can be very demanding and time consuming and leaves people with no time to act on personal needs. Just try to be patient and give time for your prayers to be answered and we pray for the best outcome for your future – fi-aman-Allah.

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