Feeling so shy and nervous on the day of my niqah (wedding), I thought to myself: ‘Why am I so nervous? This is not my first niqah, I was married before so why am I feeling like this is my first’ My husband later told me : ‘My love, it’s because this is your first halal love, your first marriage done completely the Sunnah way and so therefore you are like a virgin in this marriage’. SubhannAllah, this statement made by my husband really made me pause and reflect on the concept of Halal love.
Love is a word that is often defined by most dictionaries as a profoundly tender passionate affection for another. It is a natural feeling that arises between men and women as per the following ayah in the Qur’an:
“Of His signs is this: that He created for you spouses that you might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy.” (Surah Room 30:21)
However, this powerful feeling between men and women created by Allah, must be contained within the limits of marriage. Islamic law asks men and women who are not close family members to maintain a certain distance so that this powerful emotion is protected and contained within marriage. The hijab is this barrier, this distance that protects men and women from engaging in haram (forbidden) love and committing adultery.
Unlike the common belief, hijab is not just the veil worn by the sisters, rather, it is the way we interact with the opposite sex in order to preserve our chastity. For instance, hijab also includes lowering the gaze and avoiding close contact with the opposite sex especially those that we cannot reveal ourselves to as stated in the following verse of the Qur’an:
‘And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts
and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof
and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women,
that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire,
or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women.
And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment.
And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.’
(Surah Noor 24:31)
After reading this, one might wonder, ‘How do I go about seeking a spouse with all these barriers?’ ‘How is Halal love to be obtained?’
Indeed, some sisters feel that by wearing hijab they would not be able to find a spouse. This train of thought is part of Sheytan’s tricks to make us feel that the only way we can find happiness is by disobeying Allah when in fact, it is the total opposite. It is only when we put our trust in Allah, fearing HIM in our way of life, in our decision making that we will get to experience happiness and tranquility as per the following passage in the Qur’an:
‘Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.’ (Surah Ar-Rad 13:28)
When we obey Allah by practicing hijab, we automatically attract men who are also concerned with obeying the commands of Allah. Furthermore, with halal love, the very first step of the marriage process is made with dua’a (supplication) by making the dua’a of istikhara in which we seek Allah’s guidance.
Once we have asked for references, asked the questions we need to know to make such a commitment, made dua’a for the right person for our life in this world and the next, all which is left is for us to put our trust in Allah and accept HIS choice for us. Indeed:
“It is He who created you from one soul and created from it its mate that he might dwell in security with her…” (Surah Al-Araf 7:189)
Masha’Allah that is what halal love is all about. It is a balanced love in which the focus still remains on making sure we please Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala every step of the way. Haram love on the other end is a love that we seek ourselves selfishly without following the limits set by Allah Subhannahu wa ta’ala.
“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. And if only they who have wronged would consider [that] when they see the punishment,
[they will be certain] that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is severe in punishment.” (Surah Baqarah 2:165)
Furthermore, we are strictly reminded in another passage of the Qur’an that Allah and His Messenger Sallahu alayhi wa salaam should always come first:
“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.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:24)
To the believers, the cause of Allah is what matters the most, the way of life that is prescribed for them in the Qur’an, they do not make any compromises with anyone against that way of life, even to their much loved ones.
Thus we should always keep in mind that obeying Allah is the ultimate goal. As soon as we engage in haram while seeking a spouse, Sheytan takes control and Allah’s baraka (blessing) vanishes because Shaitan’s work and Allah’s baraka do not coexist, just as truth and falsehood, halal and haram do not coexist. A good example of this fact is when the companions were told how they would get rewarded for engaging in sexual acts with their spouses. The Messenger of Allah, Sallahu alayhi wa salaam explained the fact that had they engaged in haram sexual acts, they would have been punished. The difference between halal and haram love is clear. One brings us rewards in this life and the next, while the other one brings us doom in this life and the next.
“In the sexual act of each of you there is a sadaqa.” The Companions replied: “O Messenger of Allah! When one of us fulfils his sexual desire, will he be given a reward for that?”
And he said, “Do you not think that were he to act upon it unlawfully, he would be sinning? Likewise, if he acts upon it lawfully he will be rewarded.” (Sahih Muslim Book #5 Hadith #2198)
May Allah forgive all of us who have unfortunately experienced haram love. What I know now for sure is that halal love is worth the wait, it is worth the sacrifices; it is worth persevering in the obedience of Allah. May Allah help all our single brothers and sisters seek only halal love. Ameen.
….Where Practice Makes Perfect
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