“…and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect”
Ash-Shanqeeti (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Allah, may He be exalted, says: “and (then) He has created from him his wife (Hawwa (Eve)), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her”
In this verse we see that Allah created Hawwa’ from Adam so that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her, i.e., find comfort in her. Elsewhere Allah said that He created the spouses of Adam’s offspring likewise. That is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.”
[Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 2/304, 305]
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
There is no love between any two souls greater than that that exists between the spouses.
[Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 3/525]
On Moderation in Permissible Form of Love – The Advice of ‘Umar RA
Zayd ibn Aslam narrated that his father said: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said to me:
O Aslam, do not let your love (for anyone) be obsessive and do not let your hatred (of anyone) be destructive.
How is that?
When you love, do not go to a level of obsession as a child does with the thing he loves, and when you hate, do not hate in such a way that you want your opponent to be destroyed and doomed.
[Narrated by ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq in al-Musannaf, 20269; its isnaad is saheeh]
Explanation of the Advice
The Rightly-Guided Caliph (‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab) gave this advice because obsessiveness in love (loving madly) has negative effects on the one who loves and the one who is loved.
Its effects on the one who loves are:
(a) His thoughts are focused on his beloved, which causes him anxiety and tension, and this distraction causes him to waste time and leads to mental and physical illness
(b) Another of the effects of loving madly is that it makes the one who loves turn a blind eye to any shortcomings in his beloved’s performance of duties and to his committing any haraam actions. And if his beloved asks him to join him in his actions, then his insane love will lead him to do so.
(c) Another of the negative effects of this love is that it dominates his heart in such a way that there is no room for love of Allah and His Messenger, which is the means of his salvation, let alone love for anyone else such as family and children
(d) Another of the negative effects is that the one who is madly in love cannot cope with the absence or illness of his beloved, let alone his death!
The negative effects of extreme love on the one who is loved include the following:
(a) He may suffer tension because of the lover’s insistence on seeing him and sitting with him, which may lead to his neglecting his work or falling short in tasks on which he should focus his mind and heart, such as seeking beneficial knowledge and doing righteous deeds.
(b) Another of the negative effects it may have on him is that he will never find this lover offering him sincere advice; rather he will turn a blind eye to his mistakes and shortcomings. As it is said, your love of a thing makes you blind and deaf!
(c) Another of its negative effects is that if he responds to the one who loves him, he will waste his time with him, and if he does not, he will cause him anxiety, which may lead him to hate him in the end.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If a man’s heart is attached to a woman, even if she is permissible for him, he will remain captive to her and she will be able to control him as she wishes. Outwardly he will appear to be her master because he is her husband, but in reality he is her captive and slave, especially if she realises his need for her and his love for her, and that he cannot find any alternative to her. In that case she will have control over him like an unjust, domineering master over his weak slave who cannot free himself from him, or even worse! Because captivity of the heart is worse than physical captivity and enslavement of the heart is worse than enslavement of the body. The one whose body is enslaved will not care if his heart is free and at peace; rather he may be able to find away to freedom. But if the heart that is in control of the body is that is enslaved and infatuated with something other than Allah, then this is true humiliation, the worst kind of captivity and enslavement to that which enslaved the heart. True freedom is freedom of the heart and true enslavement is enslavement of the heart, just as true richness is richness of the soul.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Richness is not having a great deal of accumulated wealth; rather richness is richness of the soul.” This applies if what has captured his heart is something permissible; as for the one whose heart is enslaved by something haraam, such as a woman or boy, this is pain and suffering from which there is no way out, and these are the people whose suffering will be the worst and their reward will be the least, for if a person’s heart is devoted to something and remains attached and enslaved to it, then this will cause him all kinds of evil and corruption that cannot be enumerated except by the Lord of mankind, even if he manages to avoid committing the greater act of immorality.
[End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 10/185-186]
Source: Islam QA, Fatwa # 95114