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Married Life

Kinds of Love

Adopted from the Book : "Youth and Spouse Selection" by : "Ali Akbar Mazaheri"

1- LOVES OF LUST AND PASSION

These are on the basis of sexual attractions, lust and passionate desires. Although this kind of love is necessary in spouse selection and joint life and must definitely exist, it is not sufficient alone. Moreover it does not have all those benefits, qualities, and peculiarities, which have been stated about love, and it can not last forever, because with the passage of time of the couple's joint life, lustful desires and passions would subside and the preliminary zest and fervour of sexual attraction would gradually fade away, Following the birth of children, the freshness of youth would decrease and the faces and physiques would lose their previous shapes and forms. After many years pass, the effects of old age would become apparent in the man and the woman and that would be the time when strong and powerful incentives and motives to continue a prosperous life would no more exist.

The combining and adhesive force of life should be so strong that it persists and lasts through all the stages and phases of life and is able to make the skeleton of life stand on a firm footing. This (sexual) kind of love does not alone have such a strength and endurance; its colour being faded and a shame is brought by it.

2- LOFTY LOVE:

In this kind of love, a person's inclinations are toward the lofty values. If this type of love comes to exist in the husband -ife realtionship, the sexual desires, lusts and passions would also be placed under its umbrella and would pick up the colours of lofty and superb values. Both forms of love are essential in marital life and each one in itself is not sufficient.

To say that the inclinations and relations of spouses should only rest upon supreme and lofty values and that sexual love is not necessary would be a mistake. Rather, both must be present to make each other perfect. In this problem, too, like all other marital problems, the middle way should be adopted, not the way of excessiveness or deficiency. The first type of love, when alone, is subversive and damaging, but when accompanies by the other form loses its negative and harmful aspect and having become a part of superb values, turns into a beneficial one.

Here too professor Martyr Mutahhari opens the vista saying:

"Human sentiments and feeling have form and grades. Some of them are from the category of passions, specifically sexual lust, being commonn instincts among man and all the animals. It arises from the sexual origin and is finished right there. its increasing and decreasing is mostly related to the physiological functions of the reproductive system and inevitably is at the time of youth. With the passage of time on one side and its being greatly saturated and satisfied on the other it is used up."

"Man has another form of feeling which are factually and naturally diverse to sexual lust. We had better name them sentiments, and by the Quranic interpretation, 'amiability' and 'compassion'.

"Quran interpret the marital relations between men and women by the words 'amiability' and 'compassion' and it is extremely lofty point. It is and indication of the human aspect and the super-animal dimension of marital life. It is indicative of the fact that lust and passions are not the only linkage in marital life. The real and actual relation is the purity, truth, communion and unity of the two soulds."1

QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q: The first form of love is recongnised and known by all, but the second form is not very clear and vivid. What is the love, which rests upon lofty values and the marital life should be set up according to it and the former one should be placed under its umbrella?

A: The facts described in this chapter about the criteria of spouse selection are a complete and comprehensive response to this question, The standards and values, which have been described cover both forms of love.

LASTING LOVE

As already described, the love of a husband and a wife must persist and continue and must last even after the days of youth are gone.

The husband and wife need such sentiments and kind feelings, which may hold their family life with all the warmth and fervour even after sexual attraction, passions, lustful desires and the freshness of youth are finished.

Allah has placed the source and origin of this love in the spouse: "And He put between you love and compassion."

So if their lives are set upon correct foundations and are managed and administrated in the right way, then that 'love' and 'compassion' will continue and will remain life-long.

We have seen a great number of couple where the passing of the youth period not only did not create any flaw and weakness in their love, but also with the passing of age and movement towards old age, their mutual regard and graciousness increased. As a matter of fact, their conduct become the phase of their perfection and the height and ceiling of their joint loves.

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1- Attraction and repulsion of Ali (a.s) p55-58.