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Picking up the Pieces: The Love-Drug Syndrome and Dealing With Lost Love

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By Hira Amin

Love is a powerful, compelling emotion. It can make you laugh and it can make you cry. It can lift you up to the clouds and it can hurl you into an abyss. One of the dilemmas Muslims face, especially Muslim sisters, is the situation in which they get to know a prospective spouse and for some reason it does not work out.

This article is not discussing the fiqh behind getting to know your prospective spouse, as it is common for a couple to have a few “halaal” meetings and still fall deeply in love. Rather, this article deals with how to get over someone and moving on after the falling in love stage. After you have decided that this person is the one for you and then due to circumstances – be it parents, finances, etc., the two of you cannot get married. Insha Allah this article will be a guide on how to get over that person and move on with your life.

Step 1: Accepting Allah’s Qadr

This has got to be one of the toughest tests of qadr. Love muddles your mind and when all you see are the good characteristics of someone it is difficult to see why it is not working out, especially if this is your first real love. How can this brother who is practicing his deen, has a nice beard, soft and caring be wrong for me? How can this sister who is attractive, fun and religious not be my perfect partner?

The key concept to remember here is: you do not know someone until you have lived with them for a substantial time. Even that person does not know what they are like and how they will react in certain situations. Just because you have these elated feelings of love does not necessarily mean this is the right person. Marriage is a struggle and people develop themselves and change with the experience. Only Allah knows your compatibility, only Allah knows what situations you will face and your reactions. Only Allah knows whether or not this marriage will bring you closer to Him or distract you from the real purpose in life. It is only Allah who knows. Have trust in Allah that He has made the right choice for you. For no matter how much this person claims their love for you or vice versa, know that no one can love you as much as Allah.

So firstly, make dua to Allah to ease your pain and help you be content with His qadr. The following is my favorite Hadith regarding qadr as it really fills you with the awe of Allah and His infinite wisdom.

“Allah `azza wa jall said: ‘Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self-amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’.” [Tabarani]

Step 2: Awareness of the love-drug syndrome

An interesting study was conducted comparing drug users to people who claimed to be “madly in love”. They found that brain scans showed people who are in the first stages of love and people who are high on cocaine have the same areas of the brain stimulated while looking at a picture of their “beloved”. In other words, being in the first stage of love is similar to being high on drugs! With drugs, you are not in love with the powder itself – you are in love with the feelings that it gives you.

Similarly, the thing that we love is the special attention, the butterflies in the stomach, the acknowledgment that someone cares about us in a special way, looks at us in a special way, thinks about us in a special way – the constant day dreaming about the future and daily scenarios. So it is not that this person is perfect, it is that this person allows us to feel all these emotions which are addictive. In reality we are not in love with the person, we are in love with Love itself.

Being in love with Love explains how some people overlook major faults in their prospective spouse. I knew a practicing sister who wanted to marry someone who had a drug and alcohol problem. This was because in both cases these “faults” were discovered during the first butterfly phase of love and not before. Alhamdulilah, by the qadr of Allah the marriage did not take place, but it was due to circumstances, not because the sister had realised that they were not a suited match.

Awareness of this love-drug syndrome has two major benefits. Firstly, awareness is power and it breeds hope. Once you are aware that it is the feelings you are attached to, realise you can actually get them elsewhere.

These feelings are not specific to this one person; you will get these feelings with your new, more suitable prospective partner – the one that Allah will put into your life at the right time insha Allah. Love clouds your mind and makes you think that you will not find this strong love and passion with anyone else. But this is simply not true. You will find this love to be even stronger and more passionate with the right person (the one that is written for you in the Lahw al Mahfooz).

The second benefit is knowing that just like a drug-user naturally has withdrawal symptoms when they stop, you too will naturally have withdrawal symptoms, and it will be difficult. Getting over someone is emotionally painful so don’t be too hard on yourself, validate your feelings and allow yourself time to heal. Know that this is common – nearly everyone goes through heartache at some point in their lives, and eventually recover with time.

As a side point: It is not a sin to fall in love; it is a natural emotion which the human species depends on! If you did sin in the process then repent to Allah, He is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. Love is a powerful emotion, which is why there are boundaries in Islam. If you have fallen outside those boundaries, repent and move on.

Step 3: Be proactive

Allow yourself time but also get proactive! Marriage is just one of the many aspects of your life; it is not the be all and end all of things. What are your aspirations? What do you want to achieve in your life? Write down a list of goals you want to achieve by the end of the month and get started on them right away. As Muslims, our continuous goal is striving to get closer to Allah, so working on your eman and your relationship with Allah must be included in some way. Focus your attention on moving forward rather than wasting time with something that “could have been”.

Step 4: Move on

In the spirit of being proactive, the last stage is to actively open your heart and mind to someone else. This could be difficult, as naturally comparisons will creep in, but again realise the fact that it has not worked out means that Allah has someone better suited for you. As illustrated in the famous Hadith of the birds:

“If you depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it the birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with a full belly at dusk.” [Tirmidhi]

Allah will provide for you but you have to get up and get moving again. Just like the birds, go out and seek. Make the effort on your part and leave the rest to Allah and His infinite wisdom.

Hira Amin is a British muslimah of Pakistani descent. Despite originally being a mathematics graduate, after a few years inside the corporate world, she decided to change paths drastically to studying history. She completed her Masters in the History of International Relations and is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Cambridge. Her focus areas are South Asian Muslims and their migration to the UK, Islam’s interaction with Western imperialism and modernity, feminism and 20th century international history.

54 Comments

54 Comments

  1. Avatar

    abu Abdullah

    January 25, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Thank you MM. Subahan Allah, Suhaibwebb.com (In law interference, Being Thankful and divorce under duress) and MM (this some what relevant article) are writing excellent reminders to cope up with a similar tragedy in my personal life. Jazak Allah khayr

    I remember last exactly one year ago, when we lost our baby ( a still birth, inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon) first email next morning was Muhammad Al Shareef’s lecture, Mama I am waiting for you in Jannah. It tried to heal some of the wounds the mother of Abdullah, our son.

    Guys be grateful to Allaah that he gave you patient wives that put up with you. Respect your in laws even if you do not like them. Take so many things ( read crap ) from you. Learn to say Sorry and Thank you at proper times and mean it, when you say ‘ I love you’ to your spouse with some action. take reminder from my example and be Grateful.

    I am not drawing any comparison except to learn that Allaah gave me many many opportunities, which I failed to realize and lost my loved one. Hope people forgive each other. may Allaah have mercy on Umm Abdullah and reunite us inshallah. Allahumma ameen.

    • Avatar

      Memsaab Gidhoogo

      January 27, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      May Allah ease your pain.

    • Avatar

      Lipz

      July 11, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      I just separated from my husband we still have not divorced i know thats the only option we have left but i cant get myself to let him go i love him very much but we just want diffenrent things now he wants to stay living with his mum and i want my own home which he is not willing to do for the sake of our marriage i left his home due to an argument i didnt think it would get to the point where we would be divorcing i tried to save our marriage for the sake of our daughter! Didnt realise how hard it is to let someone go please make dua for me to have sabr.

  2. Avatar

    Ibrahim Shareef

    January 25, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    About that study you mentioned (the one about cocaine users), could you link me to an article about it? I’m interested and I want to read more about it. Jazakallah khair.

    • Avatar

      Hira

      January 25, 2011 at 2:50 PM

      Salaam- the study was taken from the book “Why men want sex and women need love” By Allan and Barbara Pease. It says in the book that the study was by English neurobiologists Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki of University College London in 2002. Maybe you can google it to find the original paper.
      jzk

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Abdullah

    January 25, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    What if the person were to be a colleague with who you just have to interact? Has marrying someone else helped in getting over that feeling (when there’s not been any Haram relationship as such)?

    • Avatar

      Hira

      January 25, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Salaam

      Jazak Allah khair for your comment. I think finding someone else definitely helps you to move on. Sometimes I think its the case of boredom or the need to direct this energy towards someone and your “ex” always comes to mind as that was the most recent.

    • Avatar

      heart abdullah

      February 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      To me no if you love someone getting marry to some else wont help those feelings you have for that other person.

  4. Avatar

    sonia siddiqua

    January 25, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    Asslamualikum

    JAZAKALLAHUKHAIRAN for this wonderful article many of our youth do suffer with this.
    The hadith in the article,”verily from…..” is it sahih?please confirm thanx

    • Avatar

      Dwight Schrute

      January 25, 2011 at 7:06 AM

      [Edited]

      • Avatar

        Bushra

        January 25, 2011 at 7:59 AM

        I agree with this article in that individuals should not be trusted when it comes to picking their suitors. That goes especially for the women. Their minds are often clouded with their emotions. Hence, falling in love with a cocaine user. They have to listen to their Father, Mother and the rest of the community, the religious ones.

        I could call completely and utterly sexist for that comment. But I won’t. I do believe, however, that this rule doesn’t apply to women, but men too. I have seen men who are so blinded by their ‘love’ that they declare that they will leave their parents for this girl if he is not allowed to marry her. There is no ‘especially women’ or ‘especially men’ here. Men are just as susceptible to falling irrationally in love with women who have drug problems – and I don’t mean just coke addicts, but say, a woman addicted to medically prescribed drugs.

        Women may be more emotional, but men suffer from infatuation which is equally as bad as having a mind that is ’emotionally clouded’.
        Also, sometimes parents are irrational in their choice of spouses for their children. But that’s a conversation best left for another day.

        Even if it is not the truth, it is better safe than sorry.

        Islam does not allow lies to be spread, even if it is supposed to be a deterrent. And what you are advocating is clearly slander. If you were to commit slander against a celebrity, you’d be sued for millions, but if you commit slander in Islam, you’re incurring the wrath of Allah(swt) as Surah al-Humaza will tell us:

        Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.

        This is a major, major sin. Therefore, I would refrain from suggesting such things if I was you.

        Let the impure men take the filthy Christian and Jewish women as their wives.

        It is that attitude that causes bad interfaith discourse. Muslim men are allowed to marry CHASTE and PRACTICING Christian and Jewish women. It is, of course, preferable to marry a Muslim woman, but a marriage between a Muslim man and Christian or Jewish woman is Islamically valid.

        Youths are always rebellious, so it’s important to back them up against the wall and not allow them any breathing space. Keep the pressure, always. Don’t allow breathing space for the haram. Just keep blasting away at them. That’s the best way to educate.

        I respectfully disagree, as will many other people here who are parents. By treating the youth in this way, not only are you alienating them from yourself, but also from Islam. Do remember that in the case of everything NOT related to worship, everything is halal unless proven haraam. Therefore think before you are harsh with the youth.

        And Allah knows best.

        • Avatar

          Sabour Al-Kandari

          January 25, 2011 at 5:08 PM

          Relax Sister it’s a trick, the audacity of his statements and his name’s reference to a character who does the same leads me to believe he’s a trolling you lol.

          Trolling can mean a lot of things, but for this case it’s intentionally poking at people for fun to get the desired annoyed response and frustrate people into writing long replies.

  5. Avatar

    abu abdullah

    January 25, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    Salam.
    Unfortunately during courtship our relations are not based on Islaamic principles/ Unlike a job interview where a candidate prefers to study hard and makes his/her resume good and apply for the dream job and finally ends up not getting it so the company or the candidate, don’t have anything against each other so that he/she can apply again. In case of marriages, once a person has proposed to a family and subahan Allah if the proposal is rejected at any stage of courtship or if marriage breaks ( like in laws stealing your wife), the relation between the two families becomes bitter so much so that they don’t want to see each other and they don’t want to talk to each other, as if they are following the isolated sunnah of prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam when he refused to have habashi around ( even after accepting Islam) who killed his dear Uncle in Uhud,.

    Should’nt we manage our expectations to remain happy. Shouldnt we have them only with Allaah?

  6. Avatar

    loveSICK

    January 25, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    this is a good write. Liked it.

    This is my story.
    I was a not-so-religious guy though I come from a religious family. That was when I had to go to a far place for my studies. There I happened to undergo many changes. I started going to masjid for prayers, first it was just the compulsory ones then I started praying nawafils too. I was so much into philosophizing things and viewed everything in life with a very different perspective. Whenever i used to write, I had always given importance to all sorts of Love in life. I had always been in search of true Love. My nearing to Allah made me ask Him to show me my true Love. That’s when a girl whom I knew came to my head. I just had met her once, but had contacts. And all my interactions with her never gave me any idea that she is gonna be the girl. I even had my intuition praying, Oh Lord, not this girl, she’s very beautiful and can’t be mine. But things went that way. I even remember my (kinda quarrel)argument with a christian bro about Allah answering my prayer to show me my true Love. It was just the beginning of an enormous change in me. I cud keep away from all the bad habits I had. I didn’t drink or smoke. But being a youth in this ruined world, I could never control my glances. And Some bad habits followed these glances. I had tried and failed in controlling these habits. But this answer had it all. I became a very good man. I used to do good deeds and many more nawafils and all. I never had plans to present my Love. But she read me and then on we’d never talked and heard from many other sources that she was not interested at all. All the affection she showed were brotherly. All of a sudden I had a feeling of being lost. My bad habits are surging in again… I’m trying my best… I do keep the habits of praying… but still, I can’t convince myself that the answer I got wasn’t from Allah.

    I really fear, I would go back to the bad person I used to be. I fear, the whole word of changes I made is shattering.

    pray for me…

    • Avatar

      Dwight Schrute

      January 25, 2011 at 7:10 AM

      [Edited]

      • Avatar

        loveSICK

        January 25, 2011 at 8:03 AM

        My eman might have been weak.
        In a place like that of ours in India, marriage webs is the last preference.
        I even now believe, my knowledge that she’s the one and my talking with her had nothing haram in it. I’d never crossed my religious bounds. If Islam means to boost our eman and keep us away from common sexual mistakes through marriage, I believe I was almost at the right door. I kept myself away from all those. I never used to meet her. Just had some texts and some phone calls. So nothing like haram in it. Everything I got was religiously good. My belief and eman was all developing.

        and btw it’s not time yet for me to marry. I need to look after all my loved ones, and for that I need a job first. I’m still a student of 24 yeras of age.
        And just because a girl is in my mind, if I cud keep away from all mistakes and wait for my marriage peacefully and boost my eman, that’s indeed better than not having anyone in mind and unknowingly getting addicted to mistakes and getting enslaved by them. Right?

        Allah knows the best…. Alhamdu lillah for guiding me to the right path.

        • Avatar

          Bushra

          January 25, 2011 at 8:41 AM

          Also, before posting such a story online, keep in mind that the admins of this site can track your IP, just like mine. Your story sounds stupid and hilarious. You’re running a very high risk of turning your “heartbreak” into community news, so I would keep my emotions under control if I were you.

          Brother Dwight, please assume the best of MM admins. We are Muslims, and therefore we endeavour to keep everyone’s secrets whoever these people are.

          Secondly, this story is not ‘stupid and hilarious’. It is quite a commonplace occurrence all over the world.

          Thirdly, I have been observing your comments on this post. Please keep your words kind and gentle for good manners are a part of good imaan. The Prophet (saw) always had the best of manners, therefore we should try to follow his example as best as possible.

    • Avatar

      loveSICK

      January 25, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Thank you sister Bushra and brother Dwight for the comments…

      Also, before posting such a story online, keep in mind that the admins of this site can track your IP, just like mine. Your story sounds stupid and hilarious. You’re running a very high risk of turning your “heartbreak” into community news, so I would keep my emotions under control if I were you. Next time, just talk to your parents and let them find you a girl. Or, again, go use one of those marriage websites and find your pure match. You will never get any benefit from the haram.

      And brother Dwight, I didn’t expect such a comment from you. All Muslims are brothers and sisters. So they are to help each other. And my story may sound stupid and hilarious for you… but not for me bro. I’m really down with this.

      • Avatar

        Hira

        January 25, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Salaam

        Your story is not hilarious at all, it is very common. It was exactly what I was thinking when I wrote this article. So many times in lectures during open Q&A, the shaykh gets asked the question “I have a broken heart and now my eman is just plummeting” as all your thoughts are consumed by that person rather than Allah.

        I think you have got it into your head that this girl was “the one” because of your dua. But the very fact that you are not together means that she was not “the one” and someone else out there is better suited insha Allah. Allah put her in your life for a reason, she was a test of your faith and insha Allah through this test you will emerge a stronger muslim.

        You say you are not ready for marriage, so work on accepting Allah’s qadr and setting small goals for yourself and achieving them like the nafl prayers you used to do.

        ws

        • Avatar

          loveSICK

          January 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM

          Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmathullah.

          Thank you sister Hira.
          And we’re not together now… but can’t it be that we can be together later in life, I mean after some years, as we are not yet socially old enough to marry?
          My thoughts are not consumed by her instead of Allah and that, we in good terms had positive results like, she and I stared praying Fajr on time and Thahajjud some nights. I used to wake her up for night prayers, by giving missed calls.
          I believed in the power of prayer and one day this belief was enforced by a miracle in my life, when the Khateeb recited the aayath “Wa iza sa’laka ibadee annee fa innee qareebun ujeebu da’wath ad-ddha’ee………….” I just wanted to know which surah it was from. I asked the Khateeb and he said, he was not definite but believe it’s probably from the second juz’. I just went and fetched a qur’an with English meaning and opened it… for my astonishment the aayath was the first one in the opened page. The translation and a related Hadith made tears flow down my eyes.

          From there on I had been asking Allah… So how can be something that appeared in my prayer be wrong??? I can’t convince this myself. My consciousness was always against any relationship with this girl. Still, things were this way.
          even after this heartbreak, I pray to Allah for uniting us. But I fear, this would cause my imaan to disintegrate.. I’m trying not to… Pray for me…

          Jazakallah

          • Avatar

            Hira

            January 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM

            Have you tried asking her again? Sometimes women like the chase! She might reconsider after seeing your enthusiasm??

          • Avatar

            loveSICK

            January 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

            No… I’ve not… But I’ve tried convincing her sister and a friend of her cuz she had asked me to stop all contacts after she knew it. All of them are convinced about it… They get mad convincing me the other way… at last what happened is, both of them have almost stopped talikin to me…
            I never had planned to say her my feelings from the fear of losin her and my plan was to ask her parents once I’m in to a job… She had read it, and one day, all of a sudden asked me to stop all contacts… exactly 2 months for today since we stopped talking… :(

          • Avatar

            loveSICK

            January 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

            Insha Allah… I pray, and wish that she did reconsider me…. I’ve seriously talked about this to my Mom and she had agreed to my plans… It was then all of a sudden she had doubts in the way I talk to her..

    • Avatar

      Asiys

      December 30, 2016 at 10:55 AM

      Allahu akbar may allah help you, and give you a patient to pass this test ameen

  7. Avatar

    abu abdullah

    January 25, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Jazak Allah khayr for the article. barak Allah feek.

    Love, something over rated by Christians, as AE Nia’matullah puts it. I remember YQ hafidhahullah teaching this during LuL in VA that arabic has 60 different words for Love alone. Arabic has many words for the love, indicating different degrees. Hubb, Wudda, Teen, Shagafa, Ishq ( this is the one mentioned & compared with cocaine thing in this article, right?)

    But the word ‘ishq’ (bollywood?) already means, an extreme kind of love and Islaam does prohibit anything extreme, on either sides. I am sure the natural love that sprouts from a mother to son/daughter ( Wudda ) and husband/wife is Wudda. It is natural to have but need not be over emphasized as marriages do work on mercy alone. And they work fine, if we manage expectations and be Grateful to Allaah.

    In fact Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam taught us to ask for the ( hubba) love of Allaah. (Amatullah’s dua series here has that dua in detail with explanations, mashallah)

    Shagafa was the state of lustful love, Yousuf’s landlady had for him. Its disliked of course.

    ps anyone here could explain meaning of Teen, as in arabic word for a degree of love. jazak Allah khayr.
    wassalam.

  8. Avatar

    Reader

    January 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Dwight: Are you for real? You must be joking. Wish there was a “Report Abuse” button on these comments.

  9. Avatar

    Yasir Qadhi

    January 25, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    Great article, ma sha Allah!

    I recently gave a class to a group of teenagers in my local masjid in Memphis, where this same message was given, “A person in love is more in love with love than with the person they think they’re in love with.” This primarily applies to the early stages of love – once a person has been married, the situation (hopefully!) becomes more permanent.

    It is only within a marriage that true love can flourish and exist. That is why Allah mentions love within the context of marriage as being from His miracles – it is only there that the real miracle of love is truly seen.

    Sadly, most teenagers (boys and girls) won’t understand this reality until they have been through a few love-cycles, and until they actually get married. Until that happens, we hope and pray that they remain firm and within the bounds of the religion!

    Yasir

    • Avatar

      Bushra

      January 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      Jazakallahu khair for that insight!

      Where is the ‘Like’ button when you need it??!

      • Avatar

        Masuma

        January 25, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        “Love/Ishq is the Opium of the of the Masses”

  10. Avatar

    Masuma

    January 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Fantastic Article

  11. Avatar

    The Muslim Voice

    January 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Jazakullah khair for the article! MashAllah it was a really nice read and in fact love struck was the issue I was discussing this week with my local Youth Group inshAllah. I really thought it was funny when as I was finishing the post on the bottom I saw the half our deen ad by Br . Baba ali that said Serious about getting married..I found it ironic lol =)

    • Avatar

      Hira

      January 25, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      Yes, subhanallah I found it funny too…perfect advertisement for moving on and finding someone else! lol ;)

  12. Avatar

    Sabour Al-Kandari

    January 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Mash’Allah excellent article.

    Pretty cool that I was just thinking through these same points recently for err..uhh.. no reason in particular lol.

    But yeah it’s pretty important to be super aware of the judgment-clouding during the meeting phases. A lot of times brothers/sisters are very eager to get married, sort of get overwhelmed by the opposite gender and turn down the logical filters (she just SWORE at you – ahh it’s all good).

    And dealing with these issues at a personal or counseling level requires a lot of emotional-intelligence. Just as with drug-addictions logic isn’t always enough.
    (Observation, probability, therefore conclusion < this feeling won't go away!)

  13. Avatar

    Ummi

    January 26, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    This article is welcome for those who have loved and lost.

    But in response to some of the statements… let us remember hadith that the best thing for those who love each other is marriage.

    The prophet saws acknowledged there is love before marriage, and he (saws) did not put it down as sickness, addiction, weakness, fake, etc. — he said best thing is to marry each other.

    Those of us who might be tempted to prevent marriage of those in love by putting up artificial barriers, being contemptuous of love, etc. need to check ourselves. I’ve seen a mom fighting to prevent her son’s marriage plans — and saying she would be okay with the marriage if the woman was prettier!

    We must respect the strong pull of halal pre-marriage love, even if we do not understand it. People are not interchangeable. They are unique. They are not puppets or pieces on a chess board that other people can move around at will. If a man loves a particular woman, she accepts his proposal, messing with it is messing with fire.

    (I’m not talking about loss due to tragedy, or lack of mutuality in the love, or other legitimate prevention of marriage — article is a big help in these cases)

  14. Avatar

    Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal

    January 27, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatoh,

    I don’t think one’s level of Iman is reflected in whether or not one finds themself in this situation. Everyone of us will be tested in this life. Some of us will be tested in this arena.

    Whether you “fall in love” with someone you work closely with, a fellow student, your doctor, someone who posts where you post, someone who helped you during a crisis, or someone your parents refused for marriage, it is kind of irrelevant. The problem remains… what do you do?

    If you can’t marry this person, you MUST cut all contact with them. Even if you have to switch classes, change jobs or move away from a neighbor. It is only through cutting contact that you are able to maintain your hayah, and fight your nafs.

    It is an incredibly powerful force drawing you away from the pleasure of Allah when you find yourself caught in this test. There is no winning this except by submission to Allah and removing yourself from the difficulty.

    It is like an allergy. Everytime you are exposed to this person, you break out in fitna. You do and say stupid things, you daydream about future possibilities, you hope and fuss and cry all over again. And to what avail?

    Treat this as the illness it is. Avoid all exposure to that which you are allergic. It’s much easier and less painful than the medicine.

    • Avatar

      Hira

      January 28, 2011 at 4:41 AM

      Salaam, I totally agree with you-finding yourself in this test does not mean you iman is weak, but how you deal with it determines the level of your iman. Cutting off all ties is difficult but the quickest and most effective method. The problem lies when all communication is cut off but your mind is still hung up on that person which prevents you from moving forward in life.

      • Avatar

        Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal

        January 30, 2011 at 6:47 AM

        Salaam Hira,

        You make a valid point, it does take a long time for this to leave you in peace. It can actually take up to two years to ease off, even with the contact severed.

        It does depend on your Iman at this point. You must trust in Allah to bring you ease after difficulty. Neuropathways have been created from the chemical bath your brain was floating in during the acute stage of infatuation. It takes time for those nerves to become dormant due to lack of use. But that’s the key! Don’t stimulate them by continually thinking about that person.

        It’s not the fault of the person in love that this happens (not always, depending on how they got in that position). Allah will not judge us on the test, but on our actions in regard to it.

        Patience and dua are the weapons of this fitna.

  15. Avatar

    Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal

    January 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    p.s.

    I am assuming that everyone realises I am talking about falling in love with someone whom one cannot marry.

  16. Avatar

    Cheryfa MacAulay Jamal

    January 27, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatoh,

    Sisters, we DO need more protection and obey our parents in marriage choices. It is their right to protect us and our duty to respect them.

    We are overwhelmed by emotion, we are created that way for a reason. We must be able to love beyond the worst tests and tribulations to keep our families stable and safe.

    A mother must love her children so much she is willing to die for them (and stay up all night, and go hungry, and run through fire if necessary).

    A daughter must serve her elderly family members with compassion and patience, when they are as helpless as newborns and in need of the same constant care.

    A wife must be able to be patient with her husband, even when he is wrong. She must love her family enough to carry the weight if he dies or is imprisoned or abandons her.

    With this extraordinary strength comes weakness. Our parents are best suited to hold us up in our weakness. Never reject the barakah of Allah, never reject your parents’ rights.

  17. Avatar

    Hana ahmed

    January 28, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Dwight schrute, after reading your comments, I can understand why you would choose to be known as “Dwight schrute.””

  18. Avatar

    traumatized

    January 28, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    great article!!

    i was rejected by his family due to incompatible family status and background. it doesnt hurt me enough as i expect it would happen. what really hurt me alot was the way he dump me like i hve no pride after giving me hope tht everythig will going to be alright. i accepted him for his eeman n taqwa hoping tht he can bring me closer to our deen.. but things happen. Alhamdulillah He showed me his true color. I’m not perfect thou. It really takes me much to forgive him. Even after trying hard, all those nasty words just wont want get out of my head.

    • Avatar

      Michael Scott

      June 18, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      his true colors revealed! I am happy for you sister that you are free from this evil person.

  19. Avatar

    Secrecy

    January 29, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Salaam,

    Great article mashaAllah.

    I read this article and I learnt:

    1. It made my refusal to get attached to a guy before marriage stronger – standard. May Allah protect me and others, aameen. I think in the meeting phase you need to have a balance, know that it will happen, as this is what you hope – hence feel some type of attraction, but understand that it may not (and this is where you keep your distance) in emotions and actions.
    2. Love before marriage is not real, it’s just lust – real loves comes after marriage once you know who you’re dealing with, and real care and concern comes.
    3. SubhanAllah, I think sometimes (lol, I guess MOST of the time) love is overrated, for sure it’s great and it does happen, but we should learn lessons from others and keep it real.

    Remember your WORTH IT – So don’t allow yourselves to fall, rather if you’re going to hope in someone for true happiness, then hope in Allah, as He is the only person who will never displease you :)

    wAllahu ta’alaa ‘alem.

    • Avatar

      Secrecy

      January 30, 2011 at 6:22 AM

      Edit – Should be: Remember your WORTH IT – So don’t allow yourselves to fall, rather if you’re going to hope in someone for true happiness, then hope in Allah, as He is the only One who will never displease you.

  20. Avatar

    Umm Hamza

    January 31, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Assaalaamu A’alaykum waRahamatullahi waBaraakatuh.

    Sister Hira,

    I just want to say Jazaaki Allah Khyran for this wonderful article. SubhanALLAH this article really help alot especially with people who had heart break. Alhamduillah I went throgh alot with my Consumate Marriage and with Allah wills I got divorced. But I still have the eman inside me that It Allah Qadar and Allah is the one who knows what the best. I just want to say the best thing to help you heal is to know that everything happen is by the Qadar of ALLAH and being patience it make you very strong. I know how hard to go back and am still working on to get heal, but being closer to ALLAH, it help alot. I know that Allah is testing me and every muslim who is going through hardship, they will have easeship after it. I have the eman that every person who is going through hardship and being closer to Allah, Allah will always give them easeship. With the people who had heart broken or got divorced, you have to know that Allah will give you someone better or might get back with the person you loved but later ,after he test you.

    Jazaakum ALLAH Khyran.

  21. Avatar

    NS

    February 3, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    I fell for someone last winter, reason being I had never seen someone religiously committed like him and he thought the same about me but things didn’t work out and I had to go through my extreme’heartache’ phase but Allaah had something sweetest for me in it.My pain drew me closer to Him Almighty,I made duas and asked Allaah sincerely to keep me steadfast and I started loving Him alot,more than anything in this world.I found the way out of this distress and I’m a totally different person now,I do charity work,dawah work,take care of my grandparents,try to love people for the sake of Allaah, and feel so much happiness inside me.Alhumdulillaah.You just need to move on and focus on other important things in life.

  22. Avatar

    Jamshed

    February 3, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    I don’t tend to jump on band-wagons, but in this case I think an exception is well warranted. I just want to echo the majority of the comments, and say masha’Allah, this is a very well written article, and having been unfortunate enough to go through the cycle, I can vouch that this is definitely the best advice, alhumdulillah.

    One thing in particular that struck a cord with me was “Even that person does not know what they are like and how they will react in certain situations.” I think this is something that people who’ve never been married before need to think about very carefully, it’s a life-changing experience and people usually emerge as completely different people (insha’Allah, for the better).

    Well done Hira, your credit is well due :)

  23. Avatar

    Tahira

    April 6, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    The only problem I have with this article is the suggestion at the end that we simply “move on” and find someone else. Living in the west, this isn’t always possible, especially for muslim girls who meet so very few muslim men. If a muslim woman is older, and hasn’t had many proposals, then moving on to the next one isn’t always a reality.

    The article gives an artificial happy ending to heartbreak. I myself have only been “in love” once, and that was when i was nearing 40. I did not have proposals before, and despite my best efforts have not had proposals since. Moving on to someone else is not the answer.

    Please, abandon the Islamic fairy tale that there is a spouse for all muslims. There are so many muslim women over the age of 35 who are not, and who never will, get married.

  24. Avatar

    Hyde

    September 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    As Dr. Richards once said “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you’ll find what you need”

  25. Avatar

    Ana Al Hindi: (Indian Muslim)

    September 28, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    May Allah(swt) reward you for your inspiring words. Aameen

  26. Avatar

    Ihsan Hussain K

    November 15, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    assalam alaikum wa rahmathullah wa barakathuh.

    i really liked this article. masha Allaah. butt???? only step 1???? werz the rest?? im really curiousnto read ….. or is it bcoz i cant find… thn pls do help me.
    jazakAllaah

    • Avatar

      Hira Amin

      November 15, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Salaam – jazak Allah Khair for pointing out the glitch. It should be working now. :)

  27. Pingback: Love on the Net? - MuslimMatters.org

  28. Avatar

    Riaz Khan

    September 12, 2018 at 3:25 AM

    Your Sermon is just based on assumptions, while ignoring the Various Islamic Quotations and powerful effects of DUA (Pray). Your whole Sermon is further increaing our depression and sadness, as it has no solution for the problem. You just want to put the problem under the carpet. You are saying that leave your Dua in this regard and just use your brain by accepting the verdict. The Question is still there that why ALLAH does not give us the person we love ?? If you say ALLAH will give us a better person and was preventing us from the bad’ associated with that person, then let me ask that why ALLAH does not associate all the Good for us in the person whom we love ?? Why? It’s very disappointing and sad to hear from you that in the JANNAH, our mind will be made such that we will forget our beloved , whom we used to love on earth. Again I will ask that instead of doing this why ALLAH just does not unite us with the person in Jannat, whom we loved on earth ?? Why ALLAH is doing all this with us ?? WHY ?? And still He is telling us to pray………… Pray from me ,I will give you all. ALLAH says my Love for humans is equal to the love of 7O moms… And still HE does not associate all the good for us with the person whom we love ?? strange!! WHYYYYYY ??

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#Life

Looking To Get Married? Here Are A Few Tips

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will you marry me?
Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that single young Muslims, despite not being in possession of any fortune, are always in search of a spouse.

However little prepared these people may be to undertake this ordeal is given little thought, and they are thrust out into the world of modern Muslim matchmaking. The generational divide in the community has meant that young people have received little training at home to navigate the process of finding a spouse. These individuals are seeking high-quality relationships, but few have the skills and emotional intelligence needed to find one. They are left to learn on their own through trial-and-error, and often a lot of pain.

With hopes of making this journey a little easier, we’ve compiled a few principles to keep in mind as you tread these cold uncharted waters.

You won’t attract what you want, you’ll attract what you are. Do you find in yourself the qualities that you seek in another?Click To Tweet

1. Work on yourself

You won’t attract what you want, you’ll attract what you are. Do you find in yourself the qualities that you seek in another?

Aspire to be self-fulfilled and complete on your own, rather than hoping for someone else to do that for you. Operationally, this entails refining both your inner and outer self. On the outside this could include basic things like being well-groomed (especially for men), knowing how to cook a healthy diet, exercising regularly and supporting yourself financially. You should also ensure you have good relationships with loved ones – do the people you care about love you back? Admit any wrongs you may have done to them and make amends to improve ties if they are strained. The state of your current relationships can be a good indicator of future ones.

On the inside, you should make a moral inventory and work to address your shortcomings in character. You must work on your selfishness, your anger, your dishonesty, your lust, your pride, your stinginess, your harshness, your resentments, your stubbornness, your fears, your jealousy, your self-righteousness, your vanity. This list is never ending and it’s a lifelong process; the sooner you get started the better off you’ll be.

You must also get help for any serious problems that you fear might affect a relationship – instead of hoping these problems will go away with the ‘right partner’. If you have a pornography problem, seek out help and don’t be deluded into thinking marriage will solve that for you. If you have no control over your desires before marriage, you won’t magically gain control afterward. If you have a substance abuse problem, join a 12-step program. If you feel you are emotionally unhealthy, get help from a professional. Bottom line is, have your house in order before you decide to build a new one.

2. Maintain good mental health throughout the process

Be purposeful in your search but don’t make it the purpose of your life. The process of finding a spouse can become emotionally draining and overwhelming if you don’t do it in a healthy fashion. Understand that this process entails too many factors that are completely out of your control; things won’t always go your way, so don’t be too attached to the outcome.  The only things you control are your responses and actions, so just focus on putting your best foot forward.

A common mistake people make is they give themselves a timeline e.g. ‘I want to be married by X age, or by X year’. This only results in unnecessary pressure that can lead to anxiety and poor mental health; it can also force one to make imprudent choices. Everyone has a different timeline; have trust in God’s plan for you.

Anytime mental health is disturbed, stop and revaluate. Some signs of poor mental health include: obsessive thinking, inability to focus on your everyday affairs, compulsive attachment and clinginess, disturbed sleep, anxiety, difficulty making decisions, inability to multitask, feeling overwhelmed, panic attacks, depression, irritability, changes in eating habits, and a loss of inner serenity. It is best to get help from counselors, such as those at Naseeha, if you feel stuck in this situation.

3. Adopt a mindset of giving

The measure you give is the measure you get back. Instead of worrying so much about what you want, focus on what you have to offer.

While you should certainly express your interest in someone you like, don’t taint it with desperation and neediness. If you’ve implemented the first point mentioned, you are already a confident and self-sufficient person. You will be fine no matter what. Focus on giving without expectation and building a healthy companionship. Be a giver and you’ll be surprised how easily you will attract the right people towards you. The ‘mindset of want’ is a self-defeating mindset: you might not find all the things you want in someone, and even if you did, there is no guarantee they’ll want you back!

4. Don’t overthink it

Living in a capitalist society, we’ve developed the bad habit of picking out people the same way we go shopping for a new product. We like to explore the market, do a cost-benefit analysis of various options, try to make sure the product isn’t damaged and hope to pick out the best possible item. We are careful about how we ‘invest our time’ and we try to ensure we can get an appropriate return on our investment. If we could, we’d ask for a money-back guarantee on people too!

Human hearts, unfortunately, cannot be picked out the way we choose commercial products. Each has its flaws and its strengths, you have to accept both the good and the bad; the pro-con list approach won’t work here. When we start taking this reductionist approach to relationships, we naturally get into overthinking, feel anxious and overwhelmed. With the widespread use of online dating, the choices seem limitless and it can seem impossible to try to figure out how to find the right person.

Marriage is a decision that’s to be taken with the heart; you have to rely on your guts and your instincts to steer you towards the person most suitable for you. This doesn’t mean throwing rational thought out the door, it means looking to your inner-self as the source of motivation for your decision making. It takes emotional intelligence and self-awareness to be able to determine what kind of a person you’ll be able to build a future with; it’s not always someone that looks best on paper. There are very few people with whom you’ll find compatibility and reciprocity, so don’t obsess over exploring as many possible ‘options’ with hopes of marking off all the items on your checklist.

We ultimately find the most fulfillment in caring for and taking responsibility for someone we sincerely love. So, look instead for the ingredients that will act as the foundations of love in your marriage. These could include the fact that you: enjoy someone’s company, find them beautiful, admire their character and kindness, respect them, find reciprocity in your interactions, have shared values and compatible temperaments. You are looking for that certitude, that good feeling in your heart; focusing on these factors will hopefully give you that and will get you out of the common mistake of overthinking and worrying.

One of the unique challenges Western Muslims face when looking for a spouse is finding religious compatibility. The diversity of our community, coupled with the individualized nature of faith in the West, has given rise to a plethora of ‘brands’ of Islam. Click To Tweet

5. Work to bridge religious differences

One of the unique challenges Western Muslims face when looking for a spouse is finding religious compatibility. The diversity of our community, coupled with the individualized nature of faith in the West, has given rise to a plethora of ‘brands’ of Islam. Personal levels of observance can vary vastly, even within members of the same family, so it can be challenging to find the right fit.

You will always find differences in religious observance and views between spouses. It is impossible, and foolish, to try to seek out someone at the exact same level. Some people might be more conservative than you, some might be more liberal. Do you really have to turn someone down because they don’t agree with your views on conventional mortgages? What if you like dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating, and they’re opposed to it? What if they don’t eat zabiha halal like you do? What if they don’t pray all the five prayers on time like you were raised to do so?

Given the unique circumstances we live in, we must be flexible and open-minded about resolving such differences. We ought to be careful when making a judgment about someone’s beliefs; we don’t know what’s in someone’s heart. Some of us were taught to honour God through worship and observing His law, some of us were raised with an emphasis on serving His creation with good character. People have their strengths and their weaknesses in faith; sometimes these are apparent, sometimes hidden. Your relationship with God is not perfect and neither will be your partner’s; we are all a work in progress.

If approached with kindness, mutual respect and a willingness to compromise, these differing religious views could be resolved in many cases. While sometimes people really are on extreme ends, most of us fall somewhere in between and can find a comfortable middle ground. It is often our stubbornness, self-righteousness and a parochial understanding of religion that gets in the way. Good people are hard to find, so don’t let suitable matches go because they don’t follow your exact flavor of religious observance. This is certainly a sensitive topic and needs to be dealt with tact and wisdom; it is advisable to seek counsel of more experienced people.

6. Don’t expose your past and don’t pry about someone else’s

If you have a past you are not proud of and it doesn’t concern your future relationships, you should not feel obliged to expose yourself. In fact, if this relates to sins of the past, it is actually prohibited to reveal your sins to someone else – even in the context of marriage. Shaykh Nuh Keller summarizes this pitfall well, “In Islam, to mention a sin is itself a sin. How many a person has been unable to resist telling a friend or a spouse of the wickedness they did in their previous life, and Allah punished them with disgust and contempt in the other’s heart that could never quite be forgotten! There is no barakah in the haram”.

Similarly, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be prying about someone else’s past and trying to dig up details on their misadventures. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) commanded us to have a good opinion of people; he warned against the destructive nature of suspicion and spying. He told us, “Beware of suspicion for it is the most deceitful of thought. Do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; Rather, be servants of God as brothers”

7. Istikhara is not a solution for indecisiveness

The prayer of seeking guidance, or Istikhara, is oft cited by those considering marriage. The mistake many make, however, is that we are really wishing for someone else to make the decision for us. We are so afraid of making the wrong decision that we find it difficult to make any. We hope for a divine sign or a miracle to happen that tells us that the other person is right for us and that we will live happily ever after with them.

Making big life decisions, emotionally prudent ones, is an important life skill that must be learned. These decisions come with inherent risks, uncertainties, and unknowns; there are no guarantees. If you habitually find yourself having a hard time deciding, it is likely due to external factors. It might have something to do with you, it might have something to do with the person you are considering. It is advisable to seek counsel if you are in this situation.

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Loving Muslim Marriage Episode #5: Male Sexual Entitlement vs. Female Sexual Guilt

Saba Syed (Umm Reem)

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Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Everyone knows that sex in marriage is halal, so why do so many Muslim women struggle with it? From reluctance to guilt, and even shame – Muslim women often carry baggage from cultural teachings related to sex, even when there is nothing to be ashamed of. Our guest in this episode is Dr. Ahmed Basheer, a licensed psychiatrist.

If you have a private question to send the LMM team, email privatequestions at muslimmatters dot org.

Previous episode:

Loving Muslim Marriage Episode #4: Are Men Sexual And Women Emotional?

You can view all episodes in the Loving Muslim Marriage series here:

LMM : Loving Muslim Marriage

 

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#Life

Loving Muslim Marriage Episode #4: Are Men Sexual And Women Emotional?

Saba Syed (Umm Reem)

Published

on

Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

We often hear that men think about sex way more than women, but is that true? And if it’s not true, then what effect does this belief have on Muslim couples? In this episode, we talk to Usman Mughni, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Loving Muslim Marriage aims to clarify misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding marital intimacy and female sexuality. To learn more, visit muslim matters.org/LLMClick To Tweet
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