Finding love: Islamic ring of love.pdf · Finding love: Islamic Perspective Love in Islam Love of form…

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  • Finding love: Islamic

    PerspectiveSession One:

    Presented by Shaikh Ahmad Kutty

    At the IIT Ring of Love Seminar

    (January 29, 2011)

  • Finding love: Islamic Perspective

    Love in Islam

    Love of form and love of spirit

    How to find a partner for love and marriage

    Engagement: rules and ethics

  • Love in Islam

    Islam: a religion of love--love of Allah and love

    of creation

    Love of God as a foundation of all love

    It is the only abiding love, for God alone is

    eternal, everything else fades away

    Our love for our partner should be to enhance

    our love of Allah

  • Love of form and love of spirit

    Love of form is love of appearance, love of

    body, and love of the physical

    It is a source of deception

    Appearance is deceptive; it is ever fading

    Ironically, most people confuse form with reality

    Believers are taught to look to the spirit

  • Love of form

    Most people go for it; as they live in their

    physical dimension only

    Since it is deceptive, it is like looking for water

    in a mirage

    That is why Prophets prayer: Grant me to love

    you more than I love for my own self or my

    familyor for cool water while thirsty

  • Love of spirit

    True love: love founded on love of Allah

    The Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted us to

    look for it in marriage

    When a person of sound faith and character

    appears, marry him/her; otherwise, you are

    paving the way to corruption.

  • Faith (deen) and character (khuluq)

    Faith is not simply rituals

    It is an individual being transformed by love of

    Allah

    We must distinguish between religiosity and

    sound faith

    It is a person with a compassionate heart

  • What is character (khuluq)?

    Khuluq is different from khalq;

    Khuluq is the inner beauty which is only

    perceived through intuition

    But it has clear signs: traits of character

    God conscious, trustworthy, humble, loving,

    caring, jovial, slow to anger: traits of prophetic

    character

  • Love and romance

    Love born of knowledge of character, rooted in

    love of Allah, is the sure way to go

    It is different from dating; for Islam is opposed

    to all forms of isolation between a male and a

    female

    It is purely destructive

    Illicit liaison or romance is not approved in

    Islam

  • Finding a marriage partner

    Internet chat rooms are not the ideal place, for it is

    difficult to discern the khuluq

    1. Parents initiated

    2. Friends or elders initiated

    3. Choosing through partnering experiences

    4. Dont rule out any of the above; compatibility

    is the most important

  • Questions to ask

    Assume: no one is perfect

    Questions to ask:

    Ones vision of the role of man/woman in society

    Religious factor: Rigid or the middle-way?

    Common spiritual vision and interests

    Differences and how to deal with them

    Ideal partnership: opportunity to grow together to

    fulfill ones God-given potential

  • Marriage proposal

    Proposal can be made through parents

    Parents role in marriage is to safeguard the

    interests of the woman

    Coercion is not allowed in Islam

    Parties have the right to choose

    They are allowed to see, talk, and exchange ideas

    to discern the compatibility

  • Engagement: rules and ethics

    Engagement is a promise to marry

    It does not make haraam halaal

    No isolation allowed; not even unsupervised

    chats

    It can be formalized through exchange of rings,

    gifts, etc.

    It is intended to other suitors at bay

    It is sin to break an engagement

  • Love and Mercy in Marriage

    Session two:

    Presented by Shaikh Ahmad Kutty

    IIT-Ring of Love seminar

    January 29, 2011

  • Preparing for marriage

    Cognitively: reading good books; a

    course? Let ideas sink in

    Practically: playing out various

    scenarios

    A family mission statement

    Pre-nuptial contract

  • Family mission statement

    Intended to encapsulate the shared vision and

    values;

    A source of reference to draw upon for

    empowerment

    Help not to lose the global focus

    A reminder: humans are forgetful, being caught

    up in the immediate

  • Elements of a pre-nuptial

    Pre-nuptial should deal with potential

    challenges: second marriage; finances; how to

    deal with differences; in-laws, etc.

    Never forget issues of cooking, shared

    responsibilities, residence: with in-laws, or

    without, etc.

    Option for woman to opt out?

  • Bonding in marriage

    Bonding in marriage: it takes time

    Cementing love: by living the ideal

    Sharing and caring, doing things together as

    much as possible

    Be willing to give and take freely

    Time together

  • Time together

    Important for couples to have their own time

    together

    Prophets examples: eating together, sitting,

    talking, listening; watching sports, jogging, etc.

    his wives always accompanied him;

    Neglect this at your own peril!

  • Extended family

    Marriage is meant to extend family boundaries

    Duties towards parents and blood relations must

    never be overlooked;

    Spouses need to be committed to strengthening

    them;

    Challenge is how to balance the two

    Cooperation, understanding on both sides

    essential.

  • Finances

    Finances often become a sour point in marriage

    Man is the provider

    If both work, then both should share the chores and duties.

    Both contributing: no harm in sharing equally.

    Otherwise, woman is mainly responsible for nurturing and caring and home maintenance: Ali out; Fatimah in.

    But it is flexible: Prophet doing chores; delays salah to place the lid on the cooking pot!

  • Emotional satisfaction

    Intimacy is crucial in marriage

    It is a mutual responsibility

    Flexibility and openness without breaking the boundaries

    Gentleness of approach and lots of affection

    Recognize the mood swings: men need extra sensitivity: rifqan bi al-qawarir

  • Foundations of a blissful marriage

    Mutual respect and appreciation

    Listening, developing communication

    Expressing love and affection

    Looking for strengths

    Willingness to forgive

    Channelling anger

    Choosing happiness by exercising ones choice: living the examined life.

  • Dealing with differences

    When differences revolve around others

    Extended family: see what can be changed; what cannot?

    One cannot expect to change mother in law for example; how to deal with her then?

    Husband cooperating: to give wife her own space; not to react, but to stand on a high moral ground; with hardship comes ease mindset.

    See that good things come in packages

    Also realizing that grass on the other side is not all that green.

  • When issues are overwhelming

    Developing the habit of stepping back

    Going for a long walk

    Drawing upon the spiritual reservoir

    Cooling period

    Seeking for creative ways of problem solving

    Have I been focusing so much on me?

  • Time to seek help?

    What to look for in a counsellor? Prophets example

    Role of a counsellor: counsellor cannot fix your marriage;

    He is there to help you see what you dont see;

    And suggest new ways of resolving, or strengthening it

  • Helping oneself

    Learning and growing together

    Spiritual retreat

    Time for dhikr and solitude

    Engaging in muhasabah (introspection)

    Learning to be actor and witness at the same

    time

    Reading from the Islamic spiritual wisdom

  • When to part ways honorably?

    Last recourse: abgadh al-halal

    when no hope for reconciliation;

    when it is a case of idraar (Quran: walaa tumskuhunna diraran..; Prophetic dictum.

    Physical and emotional abuse

    Emotional abuse can be worse

    Lack of intimacy can be a reason as well: e.g., the case of sahabiyyah

  • Dealing with differences

    Differences are natural; likewise disagreements

    Dont impose ones views on the othereven in religion

    Try to see things using the two lenses;

    Compromise: make it a solution based on win+ win; not one party a looser

    Never hurt the partners self-respect