Romance and love in Islam [Archives:2006/972/Culture]

August 14 2006

By: Ihsan Al-Rab'i
It is no doubt that family is one of the units of the ummah (nation), which consists of a group of interlinked families. Naturally, a structure's weakness and strength depends on the weakness or strength of its constituent parts. The more these units are strong, solid and coherent, the more the ummah becomes stronger and stronger with solidarity and invincibility. But if such units are frail and incoherent, the ummah similarly becomes weak and degraded.

This is why it's essential to take care of the family, which has been among the priorities of social reformers. Family well-being can't be achieved only by means of strong principles on which the family is based. Such principles ensure the family's existence, viability and fruitfulness.

As family is the unit of the ummah, marriage is the pillar of the family because with marriage, the family is formed and grown.

Therefore, marriage takes the importance inherent in the family, if not more. There are no heavenly religions that don't place a high price on marriage and there isn't any ummah that knows the real value of life, including love and romance, which doesn't hold marriage in high respect. This not only is because marriage is the pillar of the family, but also because it's a matter of instinct and necessitated by nature.

A marriage based on love, honesty, infatuation and intimacy is a romantic marriage exemplifying the purity of a Muslim's soul.

Marriage actually is a phenomenon of regulated instinct inherent in man as in other animals. If there wasn't pure love, marriage, which regulates that very instinct, wouldn't be viable and man would be on the same par as other animal species in gratifying this instinct disorderly and lawlessly.

In such a case, humans wouldn't be human and love and romance wouldn't exist because man is that creature Allah created, breathed into him from His soul, bestowed upon him the faculty of reasoning and thinking and made him better than His other creatures.

Allah entrusted to man His vice regency on earth and made everything in the universe available to him. He then guided him to the right principles of mating, thus enabling man to transcend sheer bohemianism and inviting him to cooperate with his fellow men in building the world, managing their affairs and exchanging profits.

In the Qur'an, Allah explains the prestigious status of marriage in the life of the individual, the family and the ummah. The Qur'an points out that marriage isn't a mere contract whose terms apply following offer, consent and testimony of witnesses; rather, it describes marriage as a charter.

Thus, people who sense the weight of responsibility will exert themselves to preserve marriage and protect it from perils along the way. The Qur'an doesn't label it a lightweight charter that can be repealed whenever an irresponsible person wishes; however, it describes marriage as a heavyweight charter and a strong pledge that is difficult to break.

Marriage is a bond that links hearts, preserves interests and merges both parties, as the couple has their feelings united and their desires met. The image of each party is present unforgettably in the mind of the other. This is romance and love in Islam, which builds families with strong pillars and structures surviving all challenges and obstacles. Each family member sacrifices himself for the sake of the other without grudge or remorse.