The Key to True Love – An Islamic Perspective


Despite the appreciation we all have for the feelings of love……and even though love mostly becomes the idol of this age to which incense is burnt and sacrifices are offered by youths’ blood and from men’s reputations….despite the chants that are recited, and the drums that are beaten and the pipes that are blown for love….and the cinema and television that are devoted to glorify and raise it to the throne to be the first idol, the primary aim, the sole concern, the sole object and the necessary purpose of life without which life is not life………..

Although we all are either perpetrators or victims of love, and there is none of us except he is afflicted by a wound or an arrow or a burning from love, or he hurt others by an arrow, or a wound or a burning.

In spite of that extreme importance and absolute precedence of love, I ask for your permission to think again and to contemplate for a while in an effort to understand that maze in which we all wander.

I ask myself first, and then I ask you: Do you know why love is always associated with pain, and why it ends up with tears and disappointments?
Let me try to answer this question: love is always coupled with desire. You can not love a woman without desiring her. For this the compassionate and gentle breezes of love soon intermix with flesh, blood and human nature to turn into wind, storm and hurricane. That is when flesh and bones melt in a kiln of overwhelming desire and temporary pleasure which almost ignites to extinguish. 
Should I say that love implies a hidden cruelty and veiled aggression? Yes, it does; if it is tinted with lust, and it must be according to human nature.

Moreover, when a woman feels that a man seizes (takes over) her soul, she, in turn, tries to take away his soul and seize it. Here there is a hidden mutual aggression although it takes the form of love. 

The only time that love is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an is in the story of the Aziz’s wife, (the wife of a minister or a great man in old Egypt), when she felt violent love for her slave (Prophet Joseph PBUH). When Prophet Joseph abstained from committing adultery with her and would not give in to her seduction, she asked her husband to imprison and torture him when he entered suddenly while she was trying to seduce Joseph. 
“She said: “What is the (fitting) punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife, but prison or a grievous chastisement?” (Yusuf, 12: 25)

Moreover, while relating her love story to her friends, she said, “I did seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless!….and now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is more) be of the company of the vilest!” (Yousuf: 12:32)

The violence of her love was accompanied with cruelty, imprisonment and torture. On the other hand, Yousuf said, “O my Lord! The prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me…” (12:33)

That is because he realized by his insight that love is a prison, and lust is a shackle which grabs the man’s neck until death if he surrenders to it. Joseph believed that staying in prison for some years is more merciful than submitting to lust which is a lifetime of imprisonment.

Love cannot remain pure, fluttering and transparent; it soon, due to human nature, turns to be a part of a trinity which is: love, sex and cruelty. It is a cohesive trinity which sticks together forever. 

The story of love mixed with lust soon comes to an end in few minutes; that is after the two parties have sexual satisfaction. After that, they both feel weariness, boredom and the desire for a new lover to reignite the lust and curiosity again. That is why love soon crumbles to be doubt; when this occurs, each party then suspects the treachery of the other. This in turn leads to more doubt, suspicion, cruelty and jealousy. Thus love turns out to be misery, pains, tears and hurting.

Love is hardly ever detached from this trinity; (love, sex and cruelty). That is why it is always destined to frustration and disappointment, and doomed to fluctuate from one extreme to the opposite. Thus love apostatizes to be enmity and hatred, passions suffer hundred times a day and that is the essence of agony.

That is why this trinity can never be the basis of marriage nor building a family. It is not valid to establish the constant close ties between the two sexes.
It is from the signs of the greatness and the miraculous nature of the Noble Qur’an that when it speaks about marriage, love was not mentioned; instead it mentioned cordiality and mercy. That is the tranquillity and comfort that souls of married couples feel with each others. That is when marriage is established on mercy instead of love, and cordiality instead of lust.

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put cordiality and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”(30:21) 

It is cordiality and mercy which are the keys of marital life. 
Mercy necessarily contains love, but love does not have mercy. Love may turn, with lust, to be aggression.
Mercy is more profound, purer and clearer than love. It is a sublime and compound human sense as it includes love, sacrifice, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and generosity.

We all, due to human nature, are able to love; however, only very few people can have true mercy. And among thousands of granules, there may be only one who has mercy, while the rest are seekers of love, euphoria and pleasure.

That is why the book of eternal wisdom which descended to us from Allah (SWT) reminded us that marriage is about mercy, cordiality and tranquility. With no mention of one word about love, thus The Noble Qur’an destroyed the idol of this era such as it had destroyed the idols of al-Ka’ba in the old days. 

Those who have vast experience of life and women know the depth and truthfulness of those words descended in the Qur’an.
There is neither confiscation of love in those Quranic words nor cancellation of lust, but they are to confirm that making love and lust without a frame of mercy, cordiality and legitimacy is just futility that must end to frustration. 

Animals can make love and practice lust and courtship. Man alone is distinguished by this frame of cordiality, mercy and compassion. That is because man can overcome his desires; that is when he fasts and resists hunger and sticks to chastity while he has strong desire.

Mercy and compassion is not weakness, but rather is the utmost power because it is overcoming animalism and the darkness of lust.

Mercy is the light and lust is the fire. People of mercy are those who have light, serenity and magnificence, and they are truly dignified.

Moreover, cruelty is cowardice while mercy is courage. Mercy and compassion are the characters of every courageous, generous and noble person. Moreover, those who are possessed by retaliation have nothing but trivia, shabbiness and wretchedness.

Mercy and compassion are the seal of paradise on the foreheads of the happy elite from the people of Earth. You can know them by their mark, their character and their light. 

Signs of a merciful person are calmness, serenity, tolerance, open-mindedness, patience, gentleness, self-examination before rushing into reactions, abstaining from fighting for immediate gains and self benefit, refraining from bearing a grudge, controlling desire, pensiveness, love of silence and enjoying solitude. That is because the merciful person has light inside himself that makes him feel comfortable despite being alone; that is because he is in constant dialogue with Allah, and permanent ease with creation.

Merciful people are few; they are the pillars of universe and its stakes by which Allah saves the Earth and what is on it. 

The Day of Judgment will come only when hearts run out of mercy, when grudges and undignified materialism prevail; when desires control people, then the structure of the Earth will collapse and be demolished completely. 

O, my Lord, I ask for your mercy
I ask for everlasting cordiality
I ask for a compassionate partner and a kind heart
O, my Lord, there is no mercy except with You, from You and towards You

Dr. Mustafe Mahmoud
Translated by: Amany el-Morshidy
Edited by: Catherine Gallgher

21 thoughts on “The Key to True Love – An Islamic Perspective”

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  5. Being alive as a muslim is never by chance,not even by right but by Allah’s wishes and His Rahmah (mercy). Alhamdu l-Lahi ala ni’matil-Islam. ❗

  6. This is so true! Allah the merciful keep every Muslim on the right track instead of wasting time on “running” after love that does not exist in the first place! Jazak-Allah for this entry!


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