Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me….no more. Is that my personal perception of love? No. That’s just a chorus of a 90’s song stuck in my head as I’m writing this. We all have our own perception of love, right?
When we talk about love, most would think about a film we watched about the typical romance between a man and a woman. A love lost and then found about 20 minutes before the film ends. Only some would think about the image of newborn child with a smile beaming across his face as the mother carefully caresses his plump baby cheeks. A love that some may say unconditional. But only a handful, would think about the love for our Creator, Allah SWT. The truest of them all.
As humans, we crave to love and be loved to make us feel somewhat significant and accepted in today’s society
Some spend their whole lives just searching to be included in their personal perception of love, even just to feel it for a fraction of a second.
We always hear about love being a journey. This is a concept easily understood especially when written in a fancy font and posted on Instagram with tens of hashtags written underneath. We tend to seek for a sense of comfort in the idea of love being a journey because being in love is like embarking on an endless adventure with your significant other, and we are heading to the destination with them. We run, we leap and we hasten our pace to reach the end of a long winding road.
We believe that love is a place; a destination at a journey’s end. But is that really what love is?
Some say that love is a complex lesson in itself. A lesson that teaches you about its true nature. A lesson about how we as humans in this temporary world, are imperfect and incomplete. It includes the many failures and successes that we consider as milestones in our life. We shape and sculpt our perception of love into these milestones to fill the void within us. We believe that each milestone translates into love and that love is translated into our destiny, our rights. Each one just lying up ahead but not always within a hand’s reach.
Love is incessantly changing and does not exist solely by itself. Love runs parallel to both and it intertwines within a fabric of hope and faith. Love is just another piece in the puzzle of life. The closer the puzzle reaches to a completion, the closer we get to our Creator, Allah SWT.
One’s faith may be weaken by the strengthening of their love for dunya. As faith weakens, their love for Allah also weakens. A love for the world so great that it takes over their heart almost entirely until there is no room left for the love of Allah. We chase for the love of worldly perfection but we don’t realize that it is the most flawed form of love. This constant chase only leaves us with the smallest trace of love for Allah in our heart, leaving us with nothing to counteract the whispers of urges to sin.
Our religion shows that love is both comprehensive and beautiful. In a Hadith on Uhud, Anas ibn Malik reported that Prophet Muhammad SAW, The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him had said:
Verily, the mountain of Uhud loves us and we love it
We can see that affection in Islam need not to be restricted only between humans. Love in Islam does not limit itself and it is not afraid to extend its affection towards inanimate beings in nature as stated in the Hadith. We are blinded by the depiction of love that is constantly shown on TV and from the books we read, that the default image of love that we go to is the Romeo and Juliet kind of story. We tend to forget that, in Islam, love is all-encompassing.
The notion of love in Islam is quite simple but sometimes easily overlooked. Islam is built on mutual love for one another. It is not exclusively centered on the idea of affection between a man and woman but it comprehensive and ample. It is centered on mutual love between Allah and the rest of His creations. A mutual love that is a fuel driving us even closer to Allah.
So let me ask you again, what is love?