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Falling in Love: Allowed in Islam?

Posted on: May 25, 2011


In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Falling in Love: Allowed in Islam?

Question :What does Islam say about falling in love? Is that allowed in Islam? If it is yes, how could we show that to the person we love without causing fitnah?

Answer: Islam teaches us to be truthful and realistic. Usually, we love for the sake of Allah and we hate for the sake of Allah. Islam teaches us that a male and female can build up a good relationship founded on marriage.

We do not say love is halal or haram because it is a feeling. Maybe it is not under control. You can judge what is under control. But people who fall in love are in many episodes away from the cleansed and pure atmosphere.

Marriages that are usually good and lasting marriages are those that start at the least affection. That affection grows after marriage and maybe it will grow until the couples continue their companionship at the Jannah.

If you have any affection towards a person, you should ask yourself: why do you like that person? If you have good Islamic, reasonable justification, then you need not tell that person of what you feel. However, you can make a serious plan to make him ask for your hand. If you want to know the meaning of fitna, a great part of it is what people nowadays call love or romance.

In this context, we’d like to cite the following fatwa that clarifies the Islamic ruling on falling in love:

“If we are speaking about the emotion which we call “love” then we are simply speaking of a feeling. What we feel toward a particular person is not of great importance, until our feeling is expressed in a particular action. Now if that action is permissible, then well and good. If it is forbidden, then we have incurred something that Allah does not approve of. If it is love between a man and a woman, the emotion itself is not the subject of questioning on the Day of Judgment. If you feel you love someone, then you cannot control your feeling. If that love prompts you to try to see that person in secret and to give expression to your feelings in actions permissible only within the bond of marriage then what you are doing is forbidden.”

Shedding more light on the issue in point we’d like to cite the words of Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He states:

In Islam, it is not a sin if you feel a special affinity or inclination towards a certain individual since human beings have no control on such natural inclinations. We are, however, definitely responsible and accountable if we get carried away by such feelings and take specific actions or steps that might be deemed as haram (forbidden).

As far as male and female interaction is concerned, Islam dictates strict rules: It forbids all forms of ‘dating’ and isolating oneself with a member of the opposite sex, as well indiscriminate mingling and mixing.

If, however, one does none of the above, and all that he or she wants is to seriously consider marrying someone, such a thing itself is not considered haram. In fact, Islam encourages us to marry persons for whom we have special feelings and affinity. Thus, Islam recommends that potential marriage partners see one another before proposing marriage. Explaining the reason for such a recommendation, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “That would enhance/foster the bonding.”

This permission notwithstanding, we are advised against getting carried away by merely the outward appearances of a person; these may be quite misleading. Marriage is a life-long partnership and a person’s real worth is determined not by his or her physical looks, but more so by the inner person or character. Hence, after having mentioned that people ordinarily look for beauty, wealth and family in a marriage partner, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to consider primarily “the religious or character factor” over and above all other considerations.

Islam does not allow any illicit relationship between a man and a woman. Allaah has established marriage as the legitimate means for satisfying sexual desire, and through marriage a man and woman form a family based on the laws of Allaah, and their children are legitimate. In Islam, there is no such thing as a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. You are either married or you are not. To have a boyfriend or girlfriend, no matter the level of interaction and involvement, is completely haraam!

Contact between the sexes is one of the doors that lead to fitnah (temptation). Sharee’ah is filled with evidence which indicates that it is essential to beware of falling into the traps of the shaytaan in this matter. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw a young man merely looking at a young woman, he turned his head so as to make him look away, then he said:

“I saw a young man and a young woman, and I did not trust the shaytaan not to tempt them.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (885) and classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

This does not mean that it is haraam for a man or woman to like a specific person whom he or she chooses to be a spouse, and feel love for that person and want to marry them if possible. Love has to do with the heart, and it may appear in a person’s heart for reasons known or unknown. But if it is because of mixing or looking or haraam conversations, then it is also haraam. If it is because of previous acquaintance, being related or because of hearing about that person, and one cannot ward it off, then there is nothing wrong with that love, so long as one adheres to the sacred limits set by Allaah.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

A person may hear that a woman is of good character and virtuous and knowledgeable, so he may want to marry her. Or a woman may hear that a man is of good character and virtuous and knowledgeable and religiously committed, so she may want to marry him. But contact between the two who admire one another in ways that are not Islamically acceptable is the problem, which leads to disastrous consequences. In this case it is not permissible for the man to get in touch with the woman or for the woman to get in touch with the man, and say that he wants to marry her. Rather he should tell her wali (guardian) that he wants to marry her, or she should tell her wali that she wants to marry him, as ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) did when he offered his daughter Hafsah in marriage to Abu Bakr and ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with them both). But if the woman contacts the man directly or if the man contacts woman directly, this is may leads to fitnah (temptation).

Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh

The permissible ways to get the one whom you loves are sufficient i.e

contact the wali or the gaurdian of the person whom you desire to marry, there is no need for haraam means, but we make it hard for ourselves and the shaytaan takes advantage of that.

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