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Can you love too much?
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  1. #1
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    Smile Can you love too much?

    Salaam

    You know there is this phrase in Islam, "loving for the sake of Allah", which has made me think very recently that some of my friends I probably love too much - for certain more than just the sake of Allah. I love them for their characters, patience, personality, piety, humour even e.t.c. These don't strike me as qualities for the sake of Allah - except piety. So, am I loving them too much?

    Here is a quality question - is it actually possible (in Islam) for one to love another too much? I dont mean more than Allah, i mean more than other people. There are many types of love: attachment, obsession, passion e.t.c. None of them seem for the sake of Allah. What do you think?

    The extended hadith actually continue and say loving only for the sake of Allah. So this can actually be saying that to love for reasons other than the sake of Allah may be going against some of the high-spiritual levels of Islam, right?

    Let me know what you think.

    Warm Regards, Wasalaam

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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Salaam

    Friends dear brother are close companions, or as Ibn Hazm says "The highest aim of friendship, and there is nothing higher than this, is to have all things in common, one’s own person, one’s belongings, without any constraint, and to prefer one’s friend to every other being"
    Our friends brother are who we want them to be and this will only happen to an extent, so all the good qualities of a person we concentrate on and all his bad qualities you do not make a big deal about and try help each other in coming to a compromise to suite each other. You will love a friend for the sake of Allah for his good qualities and just because he may have a few bad ones does not mean you stop loving him for the sake of Allah swt.
    If you love his qualities which are of no benefit to you what so ever then that love is useless really but its human nature you can love things which don't necessarily agree with the required akhlaaq and adaab of muslim.
    However if these are the only qualities a friend has (i.e bad ones) then you must have made a mistake in making friendship with one because he isn't going to help you reach your ultimate destination in anyway.
    To sum it up If a person has a mixture of good and bad you love him for his good and you primarily concern yourself with loving him for his good qualities, just accept the other qualities as something like a bonus and someone who you can have a laugh with

    I hope I made sense

    wasalaam

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    assalamu alaikum

    The following article comes to mind, when I read this topic, it may be talking about a different type of love to that which Haroon is talking about. Nevertheless, it addresses some important points.

    Being 'in love' can be both a wonderful experience and a dangerous one. Love involves attachment. Attachment involves clinging to something created. Clinging to something created involves the reality of mortality. For indeed it is as Allah has said,

    "Everyone shall taste death." 3:185


    The dangers of attachment are many fold. However, one of the biggest dangers is that Love can overcome the heart. In doing so, the dedication of one's life will be for the object of love, and not for the objective of Loving Allah.

    Indeed, the one in love must ask their soul, "Is this love for the pleasure of Allah? Do I love this object so that I may come closer to my Lord? Will this love benefit my hereafter, or will it place it in ruin?

    If the soul answers 'no', then one needs to step back and correct the intention. Not just the intention of yourself, but the intention of the one loved. We, as Muslims, must remember our goal. Our goal is not the pleasure of the creation, unless it pleases Allah, rather our Goal is Allah. Our goal is to strengthen our love for Him through our love for others.

    An example of strengthening our love for Allah through our love for others, is the bond of marriage. If the wife or husband wakes one another up in the early morning for Fajr or Qiyaamul-Layl (night prayer), they have used this love to increase love for Allah.

    If the wife encourages her husband to spend his wealth on the poor, or encourages him to become involved in bettering this Ummah (nation), the result insha'allah (by the will of Allah) result will be an increase in Love for Allah.

    An increase in love for Allah can even be achieved by having marital relations that bring about children that will worship Allah alone.

    We must understand the importance of reaching this noble objective of increasing our Love for Allah. We should make our Salah (prayers), give
    sadaqah (charity), make du'aa (supplications) in the late parts of the night, based upon love for Allah.

    A brother once told me that he felt his Salah was worthless. So I advised him to start making his Salah, not JUST because it is fardh (obligatory), but because he wants to increase his closeness with Allah. I told him that he should build a relationship with his Master. Salah is not a one-sided ritual. Rather, it is two sided. Allah is pleased by your submitting your soul to him. By gaining that pleasure and Love of Allah, you too, begin to increase in love for him by realizing his favours and blessings. If you increase your asking of Him in prostrations (sajdah), and you truly begin to rely upon Him within your life, your Love will increase for Him.

    Indeed building this trust with Allah will only be of benefit in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah says,

    And in Allâh should the believers put their trust. (Aali Imran 3:122)

    Placing one's trust in other than Allah has no guarantees. Whereas placing your trust in Allah alone, always has the guarantee of being fruitful.

    'Certainly, Allâh loves those who put their trust (in Him).' (Ali Imran 3:159)

    The point is that we should strive to love for Allah's sake, even before loving for our own sake. By loving for Allah, we are living for Allah. And indeed, Allah commanded,

    Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Al-An'am 6:162)

    So ask your soul if your life and love are dedicated to Allah! So if you love Allah, remember that you must love, obey and cling to the best of mankind's way, Muhammad (sallallahu 'alayhi wa 'alaa Aalihi wa sallam - May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

    Allah says, Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Aali Imran 3:31)

    Let us not be careless and forget our objectives. Let us not be careless and forget what our love really means.
    Forgive me for my weak input, it is late, I'll add to this tomorrow InshaAllah.

    wasalamu alaikum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hannahh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    I think it is a very deep and important question you ask. Yes...I think you can love 'too much' if that means it is an irresponsible love that you are involved in. My thinking now about those I love (three important female friends, my mother in law, my husband and my three children, my pets) and how important their love is to me and the fact that they are my most important witnesses in this life. Not necessarily my pets but perhaps animals do witness our deeds (I believe). My husband is my most important friend and witness as a muslim. There is no love that is too much for him. If he chose not to submit to Islam (as he is doing now in completeness) I might have to reconsider our love as being an 'extra' but not a requirement for the marriage to continue. I think my witnesses/friends have to have at least a mustard seed's worth of faith for any type of relationship to exist and all of my witnesses/friends do...to varying degrees. I think only a muslim can understand another muslim...that much is obvious. One of my witnesses is a Christian married to a muslim but she is trying hard to understand the religion so that when and if she converts she is doing the right thing. I know it is right for her but she doesn't see it quite clearly enough YET. Like my mother in law, (a devout and wonderful muslim woman)...she has waited for me for YEARS to submit completely to Islam. She has been the most patient advocate a person could ever have. I won't go into other points for now...these are enough for now and it is morning prayer time....

    Thanks for thinking about this issue....

    Salaam to everyone

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    Veteran Member MF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haroon
    There are many types of love: attachment, obsession, passion e.t.c. None of them seem for the sake of Allah. What do you think?

    I dont know what "love for the sake of Allah" means, if it is only piety then its an impossible task to only like your friends for that.. you know reality isn't so.
    “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Wa alaikum salam Haroon,

    In response to the query poised in the thread title: no.

    Regards,
    think

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Salaam All

    Thanks for your replies, may Allah bring some benefit in our discussion here. I have read and understood what you all have to say, and in particular I want to ask you, about some qualities which you might love in another person. I wish to know whether or not you think that that quality is something you love for the sake of Allah or not, and whether it will bring you any benefit. Also, if you love someone, and the intention is certainly not only for the sake of Allah, but some worldly pleasure, i.e. company, protection e.t.c, then how is that viewed in Islam? Something that should be avoided as Farhan mentioned? Something which will inevitably end in ruin?

    Well anyway, try and digest the following list. Would it count for the sake of Allah, if you were to love another due to their:

    1) Piety
    2) Personality
    3) Presence - Aura if you like
    4) Physical Attributes - i dunno, let's say you love the way your little brother walks or something, and that contributes towards your love for him. This would then include how parents love their kids.
    5) Ideology - views about things
    6) Possessiveness
    7) Company
    8) Humour
    9) Loving of you - that you love them, because they love you, and you love to be loved, so you love back.

    Which of these would be considered as for the sake of Allah, and if not, then what do you say about that quality?

    Let me give you an example to make my questions a bit clearer. Let's say I have a friend. This friend is not particularly Islamic at all, but is just an "average person" (yes it is a terrible phrase isnt it?). Now imagine that after having spent a long time with this person, I particularly enjoy his jokes and his just being around. So when I leave my house, i dont leave for the intention of Islam or anything like that, i leave to be with this person, and especially to hear his jokes.

    What is this friendship in the sight of Islam?

    Regards

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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Greetings and peace Haroon,

    We cannot begin to understand the enormity of God’s mercy and love for us, even if we do not fully deserve his love through our own sinful nature.

    God does not need to love us for our piety, personality, physical attributes, or any other quality.

    Maybe we need to look at how it is said that God loves each one of us, and maybe we should strive to love each other as God loves us.

    Maybe if you love your non-Islamic friends for who they are and stick with them and support them, then maybe in one year, or ten years or even twenty years time they may be influenced to turn to Islam.

    Maybe it is to think not so much what my friends can do for me, but rather what can I do for them. If you only stick with good true Islamic friends then you might not have the chance to share your faith with unbelievers.

    May God continue to bless you

    Eric

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    Very nicely said Eric,
    These days there are very few people who sincerely practise Islam or Christianity, they're very selfish people and are only waiting to gain something out of it themselves. You also find very few people these days loving for the sake of god

  10. #10
    Veteran Member vinod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haroon
    You know there is this phrase in Islam, "loving for the sake of Allah", which has made me think very recently that some of my friends I probably love too much - for certain more than just the sake of Allah. I love them for their characters, patience, personality, piety, humour even e.t.c. These don't strike me as qualities for the sake of Allah - except piety. So, am I loving them too much?
    Loving someone for his patience and good character is linked to love of Allah. By keeping his company you too develop the quality of patience and good character. Lovng someone for his humour (constructive and decent) is also linked to loving Allah. You learn to build bridges between men and that is loved by Allah. There is a fine line that should not be crossed. Humour should not become indecent and for the sake of display in which case you too would get that quality. If you then continue to love that type of humour then it sure is not linked to love of Allah.

    The point comes to whether the company we choose brings us closer to Allah or not. Our interaction or simply being with others tells us something about ourselves and our relationship with our creator.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haroon
    Here is a quality question - is it actually possible (in Islam) for one to love another too much? I dont mean more than Allah, i mean more than other people. There are many types of love: attachment, obsession, passion e.t.c. None of them seem for the sake of Allah. What do you think?
    yes, it is possible to love somone more than other people. But that too can be very fickle. It's very difficult to keep the human heart at a constant state. At times, we love our mother more than anybody else and at other times it seems to the wife.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haroon
    The extended hadith actually continue and say loving only for the sake of Allah. So this can actually be saying that to love for reasons other than the sake of Allah may be going against some of the high-spiritual levels of Islam, right?
    yes, to the question raised. If you examine some of the quotes of the mystics, you'll see that they were in the very direct remembrance of Allah even when they had sex. Ask yourself - would you remember Allah audibly during sex? A naughty and profound question at the same time.

    It's all acheived by continuous cleansing of intention.

    Was-salam

  11. #11
    Senior Member hamid_al-murid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    salaam harun!


    hey buddy

    looooooooooooooooooonnng time

    i can't tell, i may just be popping in for a bit. but i kinda like the fragrance around here.

    i don't think it's possible to love too much. i think the phrase means that you don't expect any reward from them for the love you give them...and you're not loving them even to feel good about yourself, or to pat yourself on the back ("i'm a really good guy, hey! i'm neat! see how loving i am?")

    but there's a martyrdom in it, there's a death in it when it's for Him. because who's loving really? is the love really coming from you? no, He is the Loving One. all the love, all of any kind of blessings only come from Him. so to love for His sake is to bear witness in your loving that it is Him who is loving, and that you're a huge recipient of His grace in that He lets you witness His love for His creatures through your own heart.

    and the heart of islam is to drown in that witnessing, until there is nothing left of who you thought you were.

    but you need the huge love for that; it's hard to drown in a puddle, or even a pail full of water. really, it's a full-immersion thing, by all accounts.

    (as usual, i'm speaking quite a bit beyond my own experience, from the kind of mental/intuitive heart-inspired map that i carry around. i don't know what it is to drown yet...not really. well, ok, a little bit, but....you're probably quite a bit farther along than me)

    don't question your huge heart for it's hugeness, brother...just know Whose Hugeness it is and expression of.

    as for this:
    Let me give you an example to make my questions a bit clearer. Let's say I have a friend. This friend is not particularly Islamic at all, but is just an "average person" (yes it is a terrible phrase isnt it?). Now imagine that after having spent a long time with this person, I particularly enjoy his jokes and his just being around. So when I leave my house, i dont leave for the intention of Islam or anything like that, i leave to be with this person, and especially to hear his jokes.

    What is this friendship in the sight of Islam?
    ask your heart:
    “I came to the Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he said: You have come to ask me about righteousness. I said: Yes. He said: Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in the soul and moves to and fro in the breast even though people again and again have given you their legal opinion [in its favor].” --sahih muslim
    wassalaam my dear brother that i love without needing a reason
    "Beloved, in the name of God,
    look with the eye of the heart,
    and don't look back."
    ................................................
    "Toward the latter days of indiscriminate violence,
    be like the first and better of the two sons of Adam who said,
    "If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you;
    surely I fear God, the Lord of all the worlds."
    - Prophet Muhammad صل الله عليه و سلام

    لا إله إلا الله محمدٌ رسول الله

  12. #12
    Senior Member hamid_al-murid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    salaam all;

    sorry if any of that's out of place or been said already; i didn't read the whole thread....

    Allah bless you
    hamid
    "Beloved, in the name of God,
    look with the eye of the heart,
    and don't look back."
    ................................................
    "Toward the latter days of indiscriminate violence,
    be like the first and better of the two sons of Adam who said,
    "If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you;
    surely I fear God, the Lord of all the worlds."
    - Prophet Muhammad صل الله عليه و سلام

    لا إله إلا الله محمدٌ رسول الله

  13. #13
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    Smile Re: Can you love too much?

    Salaam Hamid

    It is such a pleasure to see you here after so long :hug:, how are you my dear brother ?! SubhanAllah, great to see you, truly a pleasure! And as usual, you are brimming with words full of meaning, understanding and above all sincerity. With all truthfulness, when i asked this question, the first person whose reply i would have valued most was yours, since you were so in with it all! SubhanAllah. Your answer is good and true, we should indeed reflect on the greatness of Allah's love, through all the various forms that it takes.

    :bounce:

    Salaam Vinod

    Nice of you to reply ~ though I do think it is a shame you have disabled your reps - hey, it's because you're beating me and want me to keep enjoying the top position right ? SubhanAllah. I actually found some parts of your post rather amusing:

    At times, we love our mother more than anybody else and at other times it seems to the wife.
    MashaAllah, always the ladies man hey. hahaha! SubhanAllah! This is true. A question for you to think about.. can you love without being in love?

    Ask yourself - would you remember Allah audibly during sex? A naughty and profound question at the same time.
    Personally, yes i would. I say this because otherwise it becomes just as crude as an animal satisfying his desires. When we eat we remember Him, when we drink we do likewise.. so i dont see why not when we sate our desires. There is always a danger (according to me) of one falling in what one may call "standards" when in such a situation. One should always remember Allah, in all forms and manners. For me that would show a height in spirituality ~ one of the forgotten heights. A lack thereof would show a weakness of this height.

    Warm Regards

  14. #14
    Senior Member hamid_al-murid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    salaam haroon

    you are always so beautiful, your heart is huge.

    i also like what you say:
    Ask yourself - would you remember Allah audibly during sex? A naughty and profound question at the same time.
    Personally, yes i would. I say this because otherwise it becomes just as crude as an animal satisfying his desires. When we eat we remember Him, when we drink we do likewise.. so i dont see why not when we sate our desires. There is always a danger (according to me) of one falling in what one may call "standards" when in such a situation. One should always remember Allah, in all forms and manners. For me that would show a height in spirituality ~ one of the forgotten heights. A lack thereof would show a weakness of this height.
    it's so well said, brilliant really, and i find it heartening. i didn't catch it. thank you for that brother....

    what is between husband and wife, and perhaps especially in terms of intimacy, is very holy. need this be said? holy beyond words to describe, and that's why we have to be so careful with it to keep it within the bounds so the holy water doesn't spill from the cup. for this we need clarity. thank you noble brother, al-hamduli'llahi rabbi-l-`alamin
    "Beloved, in the name of God,
    look with the eye of the heart,
    and don't look back."
    ................................................
    "Toward the latter days of indiscriminate violence,
    be like the first and better of the two sons of Adam who said,
    "If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you;
    surely I fear God, the Lord of all the worlds."
    - Prophet Muhammad صل الله عليه و سلام

    لا إله إلا الله محمدٌ رسول الله

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can you love too much?

    Salaam Hamid sahib

    Thanks for your reply. Hmm, we really are getting very close to being on common grounds here, because ive been thinking along the same lines for ages.

    and that's why we have to be so careful with it to keep it within the bounds so the holy water doesn't spill from the cup
    You see, i believe that sexual relations should be kept at a very carefully controlled limit, for it takes the "special"ness out it, and it makes it very crude.

    Perhaps you can all help me with this. I have long considered sex to be almost undermining of the connection with Allah, simply because it is so crude man! SubhanAllah, you roll around and get hot and tired and in the state of impurity, it seems almost animal-like to me. I mean you know, "for the sake of Allah" kinda means, "get rid of your desires to safeguard you in the world" or "have children", you know? Other than that, it's crude. It is rather like gluttonous eating, you know it is also very crude. But then the spiritual gains from sitting with a lot of people and sharing your small amount of food is TREMENDOUS. Seriously, if someone out there hasnt tried it, try it! It feels great!

    I suppose im trying to differentiate between that which you must do, and that which you want to do ~ or at least at first. You must eat ~ and in this you can gain real heights to Allah, but other times you want to eat like a pig ~ and in this you can fall all the way back into the mud when it comes to your connection with Allah; you feel bad about it. So in the same way, ive often wondered, whether the sex that you want to do, isnt really just animalistic. Personally i cant see very many paths to getting close to Allah when you are rolling around like that . (Haha, i can almost imagine some people out there cringing with embarassment as they read this! I am very sorry for that, really i am :evul:!)

    what is between husband and wife, and perhaps especially in terms of intimacy, is very holy
    I know what you are saying in terms of it being a gift and a pleasure from Allah, but i cant see past that. My thoughts are veiled with the thoughts of sweat and post-intercourse.. erm.. fluids. And all that doesnt seem to be highly religious.

    SubhanAllah, ive got a big grin on my face whilst im writing this. I hope that i dont put anyone off from their spouse or anything like that !

    Warm Regards

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