What is Love?

It is not very easy to answer and many spend much of their lives trying to seek something that is other than what it is. I suppose I could say it is a feeling, but how many feelings do we have each day that are correct and have a healthy or unhealthy longevity when the next day comes?I am assuming here that you mean ‘love’ as in the love between a man and a woman.

Romantic Love

This kind of love we are most familiar with because we have been nurtured on it through songs and the media in general. It is also a kind of addiction/obssession that can drive one to do haram acts. This is the nature of any addiction after all!

It is a desire that eminates from our lower desires and so is therefore rooted in the nafs an-ammarah bi`s-su (the self-comanding soul) (12: 53), which is dominated by the earthly senses and thus selfish. Romantic love is never happy unless it is being attended to by the object of that love, and is jealous when the person ‘loved’ has his attention elsewhere. This attention might be work, friends, family or another.

Recent studies in neuroscience, support the precautions called upon in Islam. Helen Fisher’s team at Rutgers University scanned the brains of couples who were newly in love while they gazed at photo’s of their sweethearts. Activity soars in the brain’s reward system. That result, Fisher says,

“fierce energy, concentrated motivation to attain a reward, and feelings of elation, even mania – the core feelings of romantic love”. Other areas linked with negative emotions and assessing other people’s intentions switched off. Romantic love also included activation of the hypothalamus, where the sex hormone testosterone is produced. Lust, the sexual part of love, is unsurprisingly, switched on in romantic love." – Scientific America

So, given the above results, if one becomes so engrossed with the person ‘loved’, one is unaware other people’s intentions, including the one who is ‘loved’. This where much emotional damage can be done to either party, especially when individuals become prey to the feelings of ‘romantic love’ which lead to pre-marital relationships. If the relationship moves towards marriage, the doors of reality flies open and there might be not so pleasant surprises. One of those surprises is boredom with each other, because the relationship was not based on anything more than emotions.

Islamic scholar and philosopher abu Hamid al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote any man whose daughter had many suitors asked Prophet Muhammed on how he should decide. Prophet Muhammed said:

“To the one who fears God; because if he loves her, he will be kind to her, and if he hates her, he will not wrong her” and “Whoever gives his daughter in marriage to a licentious man has betrayed her womb”.

We underestimate the level of bio-chemical reactions that are taking place in our bodies when it come to emotion, but mostly, it does not even occur to us that it is anything other than emotions, but even thought as a bio-chemical base. The point of this is, we should realize that when we allow a certain negative emotion to occur, that we not necessarily in full control of ourselves ones the hormones react to those emotions.

Neuroscience has found that:

Higher levels of testosterone and estrogen are present when one feels lust.
Levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin increase when attracted

Unconditional Love

{“And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!”} (Rum 30:21).

Unaware as to wether you are a Muslim or not, the above quotation is from our book of guidance, the Qur`an. Much advice is given, including the relationship between a wife and husband. It does not merely speak of a physical intimacy, but most importantly, emotional intimacy which is an essential ingredient in unconditional love. It is a process of getting to know the other person as he is (not as you want him to be), to share in duties and responsibilities and to always be there as a friend. This is more important than any physical intimacy because it is the basis, of intimacy and the key to a bonding relationship that provides a buoyancy through the difficult times. It is a process of building trust, the kind of trust whereby the couple can get to know each other’s weaknesses and strengths without taking advantage or wanting to. The husband is an open book to the wife and vice versa with both respecting and sharing in each others needs, aspirations, time. There is:

  • Mutual trust
  • Tenderness
  • Acceptance is unconditional approval in a relationship. No one is perfect.
  • Open communication is the ability to discuss anything with your spouse.
  • Caring is genuine concern for your spouse’s well-being. If you do things you know hurt your spouse, you cannot have healthy intimacy.
  • Apologies are the remedy for mistakes that spouses inevitably make. Recognizing mistakes, taking responsibility for them, expressing remorse for any hurt caused, and making a commitment to change the hurtful behavior are all essential to mending the relationship after a mistake
  • Forgiveness is the process of letting go of anger, desire for revenge, and obsessive thinking about times your spouse has hurt you. It includes giving your spouse permission to have weaknesses, make mistakes, and change.
  • Appropriate boundaries are the limits you place on a relationship. The limits can be created individually or as a couple. These limits include saying “no” when your spouse asks you to do something that goes against your values or is more than you can handle.
  • Friendship is the ingredient that lines a loving relationship. True friendship means that you will be there for one another and is the boat that takes you through rough times.

Neuroscience has found that the hormone Oxcytocin also boosts trust, which is an important step in developing a loving relationship

Oxcytocin and vasopressin levels are higher in marriage = long term relationships signaled by the deep level of trust and bonding between spouses.
Spiritual Love

Loving for the sake of Allah takes a a good healthy marriage even further, because there is a love greater than the both of you and includes family, relatives, friends and all creation. This is what unites humanity in our Creator and as a marrired couple pray and worship together, it adds an unbreakable dimension the the marital relationship. In Islam this is referred to as tawhid, where there is a self-respect, modesty and remiss of arrogance or pride. Loving for the sake of Allah means loving others (including ones spouse) regardless of their flaws. When this aspect is strong within a marital relationship, physical intimacy becomes less important. Jealousy and possessiveness dwindles because the level of emotional bonding is so great.

Sheikh Muhammad Maulad tells us:

“The actual physical heart in our breast beats at about 100,000 times a day, pumping two gallons of blood per minute, 100 gallons per hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for an entire life time! The vascular system that sends this life-giving blood is over 60,000 miles long: it is more than two times the circumference of the earth. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating before the brain is formed; the heart begins to beat without any central nervous system. The dominant theory was that the central nervous system is what is controlling the entire human being from the brain, yet we know now that in fact the nervous system does not initiate the heartbeat. It is actually self-initiated; we would say, it is initiated by Allah subhanahu wa T’ala”.

With this level of connection, the strong bond between a couple will extend to the family, relatives, neighbors and in turn heal society as a whole.

Source: https://muslimmarriages.wordpress.com/

23 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

South African Match! #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.

He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.

We did our Nikah last month (March 9th 2019).

About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.

I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.

My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.

It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,

I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".

I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.

Wintery iPhone Flat Lay Mock Up
Photo by Emma Matthews / Unsplash

I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.

We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.

We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.

Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.

Photo by Ross Parmly / Unsplash

We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.

Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.

His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.

Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.

The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.

We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.

Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).

I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.

Halima & Arshad

4 days ago

Egyptian Romance #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.

The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.  

We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.  

Influences of the past —
Stories, desire and a vivid imagination
attract people to this place.
Photo by Simon Matzinger / Unsplash

I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.

I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside.  He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!

I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.

After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.

I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.  

Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.

It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.

I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.  

5 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

Close Call #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.  

We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!    

I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.

The next day he replied to me and the is history.  Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  

Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.  

One last thing to everyone using the  muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!  

5 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.



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