Is Love Failing?


For centuries, people have written about love - romantic love, parental love, humanistic love, and the list goes on. To be able to love is a blessing, one that can't be taken for granted, but really, what does love mean?

Does love mean to adore someone or something to the point of weakening your grasp on reality or is it entirely the opposite and instead a force that brings us clarity? Is it really a "force"? If so, what is its purpose? Where can we find it?

If we say we love humanity, why do we wrong each other? If we say we love our families, why can't we respect each other? If we say that we love goodness, why do we engage in evil? We often blame it on the devil, aka Shaytan/Satan. He gets the blame where we err, and yet he will tell us himself that he can't make us do anything and that our decisions are our own. So do we listen to his suggestions because we love him? Perhaps. Or perhaps we are instead serving our nafs where we need to be serving our Lord.

As Muslims, it seems as though we have rankings of love and dedication. There are, of course, various types of love, but it basically goes like this: love your Creator, love the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and all the Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all), and then love everything that Islam teaches. The second scheme includes that which Islam teaches and goes like this: love your parents, love your kin, love the ummah, love your neighbours, and love humanity. Love is a sophisticated interplay of rights and responsibilities. In each instance, to achieve love requires some work and a focus, essentially the rekindling of a fire within the soul.

I am starting to believe each level of love has to be nurtured in order to have any hope for achieving success at the next level. Have you noticed how often when we speak of great people of the past, we find that these people actually loved their enemies simply as a result of their shared humanity? Today, it is considered praiseworthy to tell another person off -- a glory that at one point was endowed to the one who remained calm. No doubt, accepted cultural norms of today's society need to be challenged with an acute sense of awareness of what it means to be a Muslim.

The Muslim is the one with a patient smile, forgiving words, a compassionate personality, and yet is a lion on the battlefield for the sake of earning His Lord's pleasure.

Love is a tool and force that can be used for both good and evil. It doesn't fail us in bettering this world; we fail because we use it for selfish gains. Ironic, isn't it?

We can only say that we love something or someone if we know what that involves. In order to adorn ourselves with the cloak of love, we need to start from the beginning. For me, this means learning about what it means to be an ama (or 'abd, the masculine word) (servant) of Allah. This is the only type of love that can single-handedly fill the heart. Without it, every other type of love will neither be complete nor everlasting.

Sometimes servants of God try to behave like the Lord, without a doubt. Sometimes servants of God behave like servants.
When they behave like servants, they are truly like the Lord.
When they behave like the Lord, they are in a sorry condition.
- Ibn Arabi


arshad said...

Salam alykum
Excellent blog !!!
We need many more like yours....

Farzeen said...

Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatu Allah

Jazak Allah khayr for visiting and especially so for your kind comment. I appreciate it.

My friend once told me that if someone compliments you and you don't agree, say ameen so that it will, insha'Allah, become a du'a.


"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]