OnIslam.net

What's the True Romance?

In Love With All Creation
By Maryam Bachmeier
Psychologist, Counselor, Writer – U.S
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Love Allah first. Let this love be your real compassion.

February is the month for people in the US and Canada when husbands and wives, family and friends express their deep feelings of appreciation and devotion to each other, during celebrating the Valentine Day.

It is also a special time for married couples to remember 'romance'. 

Yet, in the midst of all this celebration and good will toward one another, many have not been able to capture the connections that they long for in their life. This sometimes leads people to feel depressed, forlorn and lonely.

•             Why is this so?

•             What are we missing?

I propose that perhaps we are somewhat misguided on what love is, where it comes from, and how it is sustained.

Like worshiping idols, and hoping that inanimate objects can guide us toward the heavens, we have often looked to a mere human for love.

But what is Love?

Instead of making a commitment to each other, make a commitment to Allah. Make a commitment to live according to His Guidance.

Love is an Attribute of Allah.  The only way we can experience authentic love, is to experience the love of Allah.  If we put our relationship with Allah first, we will fall in love with all His creation.

Allah first, then His creations! If we follow this “formula” we will have an opportunity to experience love in all its expressions. It is the inspiration that leads us to feel love, and these  feelings invite us to know the Beloved.

When one operates according to this paradigm, one can experience authentic romance.  There is a reason why the sunset on a warm breezy night captures the heart of lovers;  it gets the love struck creatures in touch with something much greater than themselves, and this is exactly what romance is.

The sensuousness we feel from the expressions of nature and the touch of a loved one increases the Oxcytocin in our brains, and it changes our mood and consciousness, so that we can be open to something Divine.

It is for us to differentiate between a lasting and authentic love, and a fleeting moment.  If we can commit to a life in submission to Allah, and the life of Islam, then we might be able to make the kind of commitment that will sustain a lasting devoted love.

Post-Tech Love

With this model in mind, while in the post tech-space age universe we live in,   we can ask:  what model of relationship is most likely to increase the probability of creating a stable and lasting relationship?

We have the past model of the arranged marriage.  This works well when this occurs in the context of a culture that still values certain norms.  And these actually have the best statistics for success.

Love, the feeling is nothing, unless it is translated into action.

But in these marriages, the spouses are young, committed to the ideals of marriage and family, and they are in a stage of life where identity formation is very active, but not complete.

These marriages survive lifetimes because the identity is formed simultaneously.

So what about marriages of older people, who have already completed some of the stages of identity formation?  The “modern” marriage that occurs later in life has become a necessity for many people in the modern world, due to the fact that one needs to make a certain amount of money, etc., before one can even dream of creating a stable marriage and have children.

So, with all this, the issues of the division of labor have developed into an argument for equality.  But this model has failed.

People date, feel the hormones, call that love, commit to each other (forgetting about Allah) get married, and then go to work to become financially able to start a family. Then they begin to argue when things become stressful.  They each have their own individual identities, and are determined to “grow”…seeking “support” from each other.

Yet, over half of these marriages fail.  Is it possible to gain the mindset that makes it possible for the arranged marriage to work, by using the formula of putting Allah first, committing to the path of marriage as a way to complete one’s deen (religion), and enter into awareness that the two identities will merge as each begins to know more about the other?

Is it possible to follow the principles of the “complimentary” model, using “roles” and “functions” as a means to support the overall institution of marriage?

  • Can our modern society even think of such a notion?

I propose that if we consider this “old fashioned” model, we might find our way back to the original purpose and intent of marriage, and enjoy the benefits of marriage that

Allah wanted us to have.

The Only Love There Is

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Let your love of Allah,  the Source from which all love flows, be your passion.

Love Allah first.  Let this love be your real compassion.  The Greek define three types of love: love for humanity, love for God and Romantic love, but in fact there is only one source of Love and that is Allah.

If you want to feel REAL love, then you must understand this.  No one can love another truly, without the awareness, acceptance, and expression of the love of Allah.  This is what the individual must embrace first, before embracing another.

It is the only love that exists, the only love that can be embraced.  Let your love of Allah,  the Source from which all love flows, be your passion.

If you do this, you will love your spouse.  If your spouse cannot “tune” in to this divine aspect of Allah, then he or she cannot truly love in the deepest way, and sadly this is the state of affairs for so many, but your happiness does not depend on this.  If you “tune in” to this genuine and eternal love, you will be sustained by it.

But what is even more remarkable is that when a man and his wife first embrace Allah and allow the Love of Allah to permeate them; each individually, they will both then truly feel genuine love for each other.

This is the beginning of the True Romance.  And in case you are worried about the sex, if you authentically follow this formula you will be so inspired, that this aspect will be just fine.

The Ties that Last

And that is why, we don’t need to use the failed model of Western dating to “fall in love” with our marriage partners and to have a successful marriage.  Why have the traditional arranged marriages worked so much better in terms of longevity compared to the modern Western marriage?

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No matter what it takes, take the time to learn your partner’s communication style, and develop a communication system that works for you both.

A combination of reasons, but a lot of it has to do with the fact the each partner has been pre-screened for their character.  And, if both partners are committed to a joint value system, and they both love Allah, then love can grow.

The journey of discovering each other and themselves as a result can be an enjoyable one.  It is the commitment to this journey and to Allah and the Path that develops deep love.

The more you know someone, the more you love them.  Allah is the source of all, we learn about Allah as we go on this Islamic journey. We learn about Allah, we learn about our spouses, we learn about our family, our children, our friends, and then we can develop the kind of love that helps people, a family, a community to survive through the ups and downs of the journey.

Instead of making a commitment to each other, make a commitment to Allah. Make a commitment to live according to His Guidance.  Love, the feeling is nothing, unless it is translated into action.  Love one another, that is something that you must do.  And it is an action that you must take with faith in Allah and with commitment to serve Him.

So, if it is that simple, what do you do when the marriage gets dull and boring? The truth is it is this simple.  Inspiration comes from Allah.  If you want romance in your life, and you have been married for 20 years, then you know enough about your spouse to know what will bring an inspiration to him or her.

You know how to create a mood and an environment that will foster “love feelings”, it is something that you consciously take action to achieve, if you have journeyed together in honesty and authenticity.

I could take this time to write about many clever ways to get the romance going here in this article, but there are so many articles and books on the “how to’” that I suggest you simply read those.  The key aspect is communication.

•             Know what your spouse who is your beloved likes, sexually, physically, emotionally, mentally, and share a spiritual life together.

•             Explore communication techniques and find the ones that work with both of you.

The miracle is, all this can be done without costing a penny!  Well, maybe the massage oil, and the candles will cost a few pennies, but not much, the rest is the joy of learning and the pleasure in using that knowledge which you have of each other for each other’s needs. If you love, you will express it.

For better, or worse, rich or poor, good times, and hard times, you will go hand in hand from this day forward and together into Paradise.

This can only become a reality when one first makes a genuine and authentic commitment to Allah, then to your spouse as an expression of that commitment.

•             Don’t give up, don’t walk out.

No matter what it takes, take the time to learn your partner’s communication style, and develop a communication system that works for you both.  And above all, pray together. 

Let love light the way.   

All Praise be to Allah from Whom love flows.

Dr. Maryam Bachmeier  has 11 years in the mental health field, and is currently a staff psychologist at the Napa State Hospital. 

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