Finding True Love (Part 1. IH)

Love. It seems to be the topic of choice lately. Everyone wants to talk about love, think about love, and be in love. Most girls my age are married or engaged, and a lot of the single girls have set marriage as the main priority in their lives. Though I have nothing against marriage, and plan to get married when God wills, I feel that we should not be waiting around til love arrives at our doorstep. Our lives should not revolve around finding the one person who will complete us. If that is our goal, then we will surely be disappointed because what most people do not realize is that our spouse should not complete us (implying that we are incomplete without them), but rather compliment us. IMG_20131107_194037

One day last year I was on Amazon and at the bottom of the page, there was a section called “Recommended For You” and there were different items that Amazon decided would be of interest to me, based on my previous purchases. One of the items was a book titled Love in a Headscarf. It immediately caught my eye because on the cover was a Muslim woman wearing hijab. I clicked on the item to read more about it only to learn that it is a memoir of Shelina Janmohamed, an Oxford-educated woman, who spent ten years of her life searching for love. This piqued my interest even more, so I read the first chapter of the book. I was so involved in the story already, but Amazon would not let me go beyond that point. I had no choice but to buy the book. So I did.

The memoir was a delightful and humorous story of Janmohamed’s search for love in which she challenged her South Asian cultural traditions on the matter. She spent years assessing and reassessing her needs and wants in a husband only to be let down by each suitor. After years of searching, she began to prepare for the idea that she may never find a suitable man and that she may never get married. As the years went on, Janmohamed realized that there is more to love than the person with whom you share a relationship. She says:

Lying under the stars was the first time the seeds of sublime love were laid in my heart and that the very principles of my faith as a Muslim seemed to take root. I’d heard the words “love comes after marriage” so many times and in so many ways, but it was this spectacular moment that illuminated the meaning of how the search for love of the Divine could help me find the love I was looking for in a man. My faith was trying to tell me that if I found love for Him, that would create the love I searched for in a person.

Janmohamed was on point with this idea. In so many parts of our lives we search for love where we want it to be be reciprocated. We begin to love and attach to people and things and when they leave us, we become depressed, disappointed and empty. However the thing that most people do not realize is that true love is The Never Ending Love. It is the attachment that can never be broken because it is something beyond human capability. No matter how much we neglect God, He is always there to forgive us and to love us. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He will never leave us, never disappoint us, and always fulfill us. Doesn’t that sound like the love that we so often seek? We seek it because we need it, however we are looking for it in all the wrong places–in people who are as imperfect as we are. We should be seeking it in the One who is Perfect. As Yasmin Mogahed says in her book Reclaim Your Heart:

This means that you will love what He loves and not love what He does not love. And when you do love, you will give to the creation–not for what you can get in return from them. You will love and you will give, but you will be sufficed from Him. And the one who is sufficed by God, is the richest and most generous of all lovers. Your love will be by Him, for Him, and because of Him. That is liberation of the self from servitude to any created thing. And that is freedom. That is happiness. That is love.

During the month of October, Azkar and I set out to find this true, everlasting love. We decided to invest in the authentic love that so many people search for in the wrong places. In my search for true love, I needed to build my relationship with God to a point where my heart was content with everything He sent my way–good or bad.  I began by re-evaluating all of my relationships with the people in my life. I realized I could not love them to the best of my capability until I loved God in the truest way because only then would I love the people in my life for His sake. I had conversations with Him about my troubles and worries and I let Him speak to me through His words in the Quran. During times when I would usually talk to my mother or Azkar, I made it a point to ask God for His guidance, and each time I did that my love for Him grew more. When my greatest aspiration was to love Allah, I began to watch a transformation within myself. My troubles were lessened because I constantly remembered that there is no problem which He cannot solve. I finally understood that love was not all about me, as we tend to believe when loving each other. It was not about making me happy, but about attaining a state of equilibrium in which I was giving and not just receiving. This reflected my relationships with people because it made me work harder for their love, as well.

Alhamdulilah. This month’s theme has been probably my favorite thus far. I was forced to break myself off from the societal views of love and to learn the real meaning of the word. Not only is October over with a renewed, continuously growing (inshAllah) relationship with Allah (SWT), but I have put into perspective the way I must go about encountering every person, situation, and experience in my life.

May we all continue to work towards the beautiful love provided by God who can fulfill us and make us whole. Ameen.

© 2012 TeaPromise. All Rights Reserved.

6 thoughts on “Finding True Love (Part 1. IH)

  1. Pingback: Finding True Love (Pt 2. AH) | TeaPromise™

  2. Pingback: Uncertainty | TeaPromise™

  3. This lesson about loving God in relation to loving another is excellent. Thank you for sharing this. You express clearly my vague and anguished sentiments expressed poorly to God when I pray, and frequently, but suppressed in everyday speech by fear, immersed as I have been in the secular.

    • Thanks for your feedback 🙂 I think it’s important for people, myself included, to remember the One whose love is worth finding, as all other types of love will come along sooner or later. This is as much a reminder to myself as it is a lesson to others as all my thoughts on this blog reflect my real-life struggles. And I’m glad that I can share my ideas with others, such as yourself, knowing that they can relate 🙂

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