Love and its Expression
- :Husayn Ansarian
God has established love in our hearts as husbands or wives and recognizes this to be one of the signs of His Existence. This fact is a manifestation of the importance and extent of love and especially the love and affection of man towards a woman.
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 love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. [Holy Quran: Rum 30:21]
This love and affection blossoms early in marriage and even before the religious wedding ceremony, and it grows until it reaches its final extent. It is the responsibility of both partners in marriage to maintain this given blessing and this excellent spiritual state of love which is the main cause of happiness and pleasure in life. This can be done by mutual support, being good-tempered, forgiving, cooperation, reasonable expectations, mutual respect, avoiding arguments and fights. The couple should avoid what might harm their loving relationship. They should know that any attempt to maintain a loving relationship is considered to be worship and any act that might hurt the foundation of love is undoubtedly a sin and deserves God's punishment, and also causes grief and hurt in this life. Regarding those who have the power to attract others’ affection, Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: May God bless those who can attract people's affection. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.2, p.205]
If there is no intellectual or religious legitimate reasons, converting love and affection into hatred, grudges and animosity is considered to be ungrateful for God's blessings. On the other hand, maintaining a loving relationship and extending love to others is a cause of happiness in this world and the Hereafter.
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Woe to those who are ungrateful for God's blessings, and blessed and prosperous be those who love each other for God. [Vasa'il, v.16, p.171, Al-i-Bayt Press]
The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: Regarding love and affection, the best of you are those who are the ones who strive to be the first to be kind to others. [Mizan al-Hikmat, v.2, p.210]
Man is instructed to be affectionate to all the people who deserve his kindness, love and affection. Thus, our spouses and children who are even much closer to us require our love and affection. It has been written in a Qudsi Tradition: The creatures are my spouse. The dearest one to me is the one who is kindest to my creatures, and one who exerts the most effort to satisfy their needs. [Usul al-Kafi, v.2, p.199]
Based on what was said, the love of a man for a woman and the love of a woman for a man is one of the signs of God which is placed in the heart. It is one of the especial signs of God's existence, and one of His Especial Blessings. This love is the best reason for the establishment of a healthy mutual life, and its continuation. It is the cause of happiness and pleasure in life. That is why it is necessary to maintain and try to strengthen it and avoid actions which might harm it. Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: Love of women is one of the Prophets’ characteristics. [Vasa'il, v.20, pp.22-23, Al-i-Bayt Press]
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Prayer is the apple of my eyes, women are my pleasure in life, and my scented flowers are Hassan and Husayn. [Ibid]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said that there is nothing more enjoyable than women in this world and the Hereafter. God has said:
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 love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. [Holy Quran, Rum 30:21]Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; [Holy Quran: Al-i-Imran 3:14]
The Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) said: The inhabitants of Heaven enjoy nothing more than marriage: even more than foods and drinks. [Vasa'il, v.20, pp.23-24]
The Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) said: When a man expressses his love to his wife, it will never be removed from her heart. [Ibid]
Imam Sadiq (Pbuh) said: The stronger will a woman’s faith become, the more she is loved by her husband. [Ibid]
It must be noticed that love of one's wife should not become too excessive, since this will also prevent a man from walking on the right path and doing good deeds. One should especially be careful that his wife does not try to rule over him through her love, and force her excess wants upon him. A man's love and affection for his wife or anything else should be subject to his belief in God and the Day of Judgment, and it should not prevent him from his progress towards perfection and doing good deeds. If the love for women should become a bedrock for sin and wastefulness, or jealousy and greed, or abstaining from doing obligatory religious acts, then this kind of love- accompanied by a satanic state is far away from God's pleasure and satisfaction.
Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"
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