“I still recall the first time we met in person, it was as if the world around me had ceased to exist and all I could focus on was how incredibly blessed I was to be standing next to the man who loved me unconditionally.”
There is something magical about being in love; your whole life shifts, you start to feel more inspired, focused and are thrilled with the endless possibilities that you can accomplish with your significant other by your side. It empowers you. It brings out the best in you.
Falling in love was the most natural thing for us, it was bound to happen as if our souls had always known each other. Despite there being no guarantee that we’d end up together in the future, I felt secure. Despite a thousand alarms going off in my head, I kept falling deeper in love. Despite the uncertainties, I was certain. And why wouldn’t I be? I was the happiest I had ever been in a very long time. So I gladly threw logic out the window, put on a brand new pair of rose colored glasses, and looked at the world with an unwavering optimism that made me believe that anything could be conquered with love. Little did I know that love can also enslave, deceive and destroy.
It wasn’t long before I found myself trapped in a toxic relationship which was destined to come to an end, despite my frantic efforts to make it work. I was like a ship without an anchor caught in a storm. My heart sank like the titanic in the freezing ocean of regret and misery. I was lost, more lost than I had ever been in my entire life. I didn’t know where I was going wrong, as if the earth had been ripped from under my feet and replaced with thorns, every step that I took seemed to be wrong. But I had done everything right this time, hadn’t I? Then how did I end up here? Confused, angry and hurt, I struggled to make sense of the chaos.
The thing about heartbreak is that you’re never prepared, even if you half expect it. Nobody tells you how bad it can hurt. Or how painfully slow the process of healing can be. Or how difficult it can be to make yourself trust someone again. Whether you’ve been walked out on by someone you trusted, or dealing with emotional pain from a broken marriage, or trying to cope with rejection; know that pain does not last forever. The process of healing can take time, but it’s so worth it.
One of the biggest mistakes that I made after my breakup was to turn to material things in order to heal. I turned to people, things, and entertainment, literally anything that could help me forget my past relationship. But Allah says in the Qur’an,
“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)
After a failed relationship we are filled with tremendous guilt, sadness and despair. As a result we tend to fall into incorrect patterns of thinking, for instance, believing that “life has been unfair to me” or asking “why me?” or (God forbid) being upset with the decree of Allah. Such thoughts have no basis in Islam and put us at a risk of our imaan dropping to dangerously low levels.
To top it off, were we to seek distraction in material things like entertainment, it pushes us further into the dark pit of misery as it gives us only momentary satisfaction, not lasting happiness. Once the euphoria from the distraction subsides we are left feeling depressed and lonely once again; an easy target for Satan.
Remembering Allah is the only guaranteed way of protecting ourselves from sadness and healing from emotional pain. Also surrounding ourselves with friends and people who remind us of Allah and help boost our imaan. If you’re going through a heartbreak right now, do not cut down on your prayers; on the contrary, this is one of the best times to start incorporating nafil prayers, morning and evening adhkar, night prayers, and involuntary fasts in your daily routine so that Allah, out of His infinite mercy, fills the void in your heart with the sweetness of imaan.
Imam ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) said: “In the heart there is a void that cannot be filled except by His love, turning to Him, always remembering Him, and being sincere to Him. Were a person to be given the entire world and everything in it, that would never fill the void.”
It took a while for me to come to terms with my breakup. I was in constant denial of the reality. I spent months waiting on my ex to come back to me. I was dumb, I get it. But at the crux of my inability to face reality was a lack of faith, a fact I was oblivious of. As Muslims, we should never forget that everything that happens to us, whether good or bad, is by the permission of Allah. He is in control of everything. Not a single leaf falls without His knowledge.
Sure your love may have been as true as day, you may have had the most perfect love story, the two of you were just "perfect for each other". Then why did it have to come to an end? Because Allah says:
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not.” (Qur’an 2:216)
Part of our faith is to believe in Qadr, the divine decree of Allah. We must accept that no matter how genuine our love was, Allah knows what we do not. If you get stuck trying to figure out what went wrong, you will only be hurting yourself more and not allowing yourself to heal.
Reflecting on and learning from your past relationships, what worked and what went wrong is very beneficial no doubt about it. But not when you’re trying to heal from a heartbreak. The lesser you think of your past relationship that didn’t work out, the easier it will be for you to move on. I cannot stress enough how liberating it feels to let go of all your worries and trust in Allah's plan for you. Realizing and accepting that we are powerless without the Help of Allah is hands down the most empowering feeling in the world.
Whether you're using online dating/matrimonial apps or looking for a spouse elsewhere, you have to put yourself out there. I'm not telling you to rush into a relationship right after your breakup. You don’t want to be carrying emotional baggage from your past relationship as it can be detrimental to your efforts to find love again. Only after you have fully let go of your past, can you truly be ready for a new relationship.
As Muslims, when getting out there and meeting new people with the intention of marriage, we should always remember that keeping it halal is of utmost importance.
You may most likely have moved on from your past and finally found someone that you really like but then you realize a harsh truth that you still have scars from your past relationship that create doubts in your mind, and don’t let you open up or trust people easily.
It’s true that heartbreak can make us bitter and uncomfortable with the idea of falling in love again to the point that we might want to give up on love altogether. And that’s completely understandable, but hear me out on this. A lot of us tend to be under the misconception that getting our heart broken or suffering a failed marriage means that we’re bad at love, but that is far from the truth.
Your past relationship failed not because you weren’t good enough or failed at love, rather because it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s as simple as that. You are very much capable of loving and being loved again. Do not let your heartbreak discourage you from wanting love.
A true believer is one who remembers Allah at all times. And not just when things go south. No matter how certain you are about a prospect, seek Allah's guidance before proceeding, ask Allah to bless you in your decision and most importantly trust His Plan.
When I say trust His Plan, I don't mean trust His Plan when it’s in your favor, trust His Plan regardless. Things might not go as you planned for a second time, or a third, or a fourth, or even the hundredth time. But that's really not in our hands.
Remember that Allah wishes ease for His servants and not difficulty. Healing from a heartbreak and finding love again is one of the most painful experiences one can go through, but it can make you emotionally and spiritually stronger if you do not let it define who you are. Rather see it as an opportunity to grow closer to Allah.
“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).” (Qur’an 65:2)
Shafa Nasir is an Islamic Studies graduate who loves to write poetry in her free time.
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