Deepening The Meaning Of The Endless Love
Love, a word which has thousands mysteries. It cannot be defined clearly, even if defined, it doesn’t show any result, but more blurred and unclear which means the definition of love is the existence of love itself. Islam encourages people to show and express their affection and love towards each other all the time. The Prophet, Muhammad said:
قال رسول الله ص. م.
والذي نفسي بيده لاتدخلون الجنة حتي تومنوا ولاتومنوا حتي تحابوااولاادلكم علي شيء اذا فعلتموه تحاببتم افشواالسلام بينكم (رواه مسلم)
“By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, you will not enter Paradise unless you believe, and you will not believe, unless you love each other. Should I direct you to something that if you constantly did it, you would love each other? Spread the greetings of peace among you.” [Muslim]
There are four categories of love that is compulsory to differentiate each other, for verily one will deviated for not differentiating them.
1. Love of Allah, Love what Allah Loves, Love for the Sake of Allah
It means loving Allah and loving what Allah loves. But this alone is not sufficient to save a person from the punishment of Allah. Love what Allah loves can bring someone into Islam and out of Kufr. The most beloved of people to Allah are those who are the most upright and strong in this kind of love. And love for the sake of Allah means love will not upright except loving for His sake.
2. Loving alongside Allah
This is what we usually call the shirk of love. Anyone who loves something alongside Allah, not for His sake, not because of Him, verily he has taken something besides Allah as equal as Him. And this is the love of Polytheists or the Mushrikeen.
3. Love of ‘Maksiat’
This is also called sayyi’ah, khathi’ah, dzanbun, or itsmun. ‘Maksiat’ makes someone does what is forbidden (haram) by Allah. As a Muslim, avoiding everything which Allah forbids is compulsory to do to save us from the punishment of Allah.
4. The Natural Love
This is the inclination of man towards whatever he is naturally inclined to. For instance, the love of the thirsty towards water, or the hungry towards food, companionships, marriage, children, etc. There is nothing wrong with this unless it can distract a person from remembering Allah.
So, what is the nature of love?
Rather than being restricted to one form only, that is love between a man and a woman, love in Islam is all-encompassing, comprehensive, and also sublime. There is love for Allah The Almighty, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad , the Companions, and love of good and righteous people.
The true love is a deed of the heart that will be proven by actions. What does it mean? Return everything to Allah The Almighty. When you fall in love towards something, it must be based on the intention because of Allah Ta’ala. As an example, a successful marital and family life is based on love and compassion. But what should be emphasized is that, it is all because of Allah Ta’ala.
In Islam, any illicit relationship between a man and a woman is not allowed. There is no such thing as a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. This is why Allah The Almighty has established marriage as the legitimate to form a family based on the laws of Allah, and their children are legitimate. The affection which grows after the marriage, which means there is no girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, will possibly grow until the couples continue their companionship at the Jannah. And of course, this is such love and compassion which come because of Allah Ta’ala. Love will not be upright except loving for His sake.
The Prophet, Muhammad said:
هُمْ قَوْمٌ تَحَابُّوا بِرُوحِ اللَّهِ عَلَى غَيْرِ أَرْحَامٍ بَيْنَهُمْ وَلَا أَمْوَالٍ يَتَعَاطَوْنَهَا فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّ وُجُوهَهُمْ لَنُورٌ وَإِنَّهُمْ عَلَى نُورٍ لَا يَخَافُونَ إِذَا خَافَ النَّاسُ وَلَا يَحْزَنُونَ إِذَا حَزِنَ النَّاسُ
“They are people who love each other with the spirit of Allah, not because of family relations or wealth. By Allah, there will be light on their faces and they will be upon light. They will have no fear when the people are afraid and they will not be sad when the people are grieved.” [Sunan Abu Dawud 3527]
If you love, just prove it!
When love comes to us, what should we do as a Muslim? The answer is, keep it on the track that Allah is pleased with. Everything happens because of Allah, so does with love. Now, we are talking about marriage.
We, as a Muslimah, can be said as a good future wife for a man if we have some criteria. The most essential is a good woman is those who obey the husband, and those who please the husband with their appearances. The Prophet, Muhammad said:
“The woman that is obedient and subservient to her husband; the birds in the air, fish in the sea, angels in the sky and animals in the jungles seek forgiveness for her”
He also said:
“The best of women is one that pleases her husband when he glances at her; obeys him when he commands her and does not oppose him and displease him in matters regarding her body and wealth.”
Then, how to prove our love to our prospective wife/husband so that it is still on the right track?
1. Straighten your intention up. Dedicate our life only to Allah, so that your marriage is must because of Allah. Love and get closer to Allah. Never love anything nor anyone else more than you love Allah.
2. Ta’aruf. If you are ready to build a marriage, this is the best way to get a prospective wife/husband without dating process. It aims to get to know each other usually by giving Ta’aruf proposal which contains personal data and photo.
3. The criteria of characters and religion is a must-consideration in the process of Ta’aruf. If you feel match, then you can meet each other accompanied by a family or a mahram. You cannot go somewhere together without a mahram to avoid haram relationship.
4. Nazhar. In this process, we (with family) may look or observe our prospective wife/husband which aims to get the proof of point number 3 above.
5. Istiqomah (steadfastness). After doing 4 points, the next process is istiqomah. It means going straight into the proper route, performing rightly, permitting no deviation. Every time, Muslim will face challenges or hardships which needs steadfastness. Such steadfastness emanates from strong faith and unshakable trust in Allah. Istiqomah will lead us to great reward and blessings from Allah.
6. Khitbah. This is a marriage proposal from a man to a woman and a woman may ask for a certain time to think about it. She has the right either to accept or reject the khitbah. If we, as women accept the marriage proposal, then we should be ready for it, to become a wife.
The first and foremost remember that your purpose to marry is supposedly to based solely on Allah Ta’ala. You know well when you are ready and sure that your intention for marriage is to improve your deen and get closer to Allah SWT. Keep bettering yourself, then Allah will prepare a good one for you. Allah Ta’ala had guaranteed this.
وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ
Just as good women are for good men, and good men, for good women (Surah An Nuur 24 : 26)