Love Gift-Wrapped (Part 1)
If you love someone there are many days to remember. However, people think it is very important not to forget birthdays, anniversaries or Valentine’s Day. Our expressions of love are often expected to take on the form of a present, flowers or something tangible and without such things, our love is considered to be lacking. But really, how important is it that we focus the meaning of love onto specific days and onto material items that ultimately fade and die away?
As human beings, we are motivated by different things. We struggle through each day and constantly deal with people and all the joy and harm which that entails. Maybe we are looking for a better and more secure future, or aiming to impress someone or maybe we just want money. However, a few people will have been known to do the argue that the greatest motivating factor in life is love.
People strangest and most amazing things in the name of love! And this love emerges from a place deep within the heart; it has absolutely nothing to do with materialism.
The Dream Love
It is a human need that we look for a soul-mate; someone to share our life with. It is a dream to have a trusted person by our side to share life. When life gets tough and we feel lonely, we might gaze at the sky longingly, wishing and hoping to have that special someone to fill in all our gaps. Our thoughts, in such cases, move far beyond the tangible transient world; they enter the realm of the spirit, the world that exists just a step away beyond our mundane existence.
Secret of Love
Despite all mankind’s developments and inventions, no one is able to say what it is that brings two people together. It might be attraction or a spark of interest, but whatever it might be, we have no control over our feelings of love. It is not within our power to increase them or get rid of them.
Quite simply, such feelings are a gift from Almighty Allah and our job is to simply manage them because love feelings are just like seeds that can either grow and develop, or wither and die away.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that getting married is half of our faith. When we think about all the interactions, soul searching, self-modifications and compromises that go into making a relationship work, we can see the wisdom in these words.
A soul mate in your life acts like a mirror image showing you your strengths and your weaknesses.
In a successful loving marriage relationship the couple learns to accept the differences in each other, respect those differences, give and take, and continue to be loving, sensitive and caring even when they feel estranged. This is an ongoing, day to day life endeavor. It is not something to be taken lightly and the amount of commitment, dedication and effort involved can never be expressed in a few words or by a gift. At most, such things would be a mere token.
We walk past shops with heart-shaped boxes of chocolate , cards, and stuffed toys all surrounded by advertisements giving us the message that ‘if we really love that special person we have to buy…..’ Now sometimes a gift of this sort touches the heart of your loved one and can put a little spark into the day, but the problem arises when such things are expected and the true sincerity and meaning of love is lost amid the glitter, ribbons and gift paper.
Love is deep, meaningful and beautiful. It can never be compared to a commodity on display. However, small kindnesses, gestures and a listening ear can show the special person in your life how much you care.
Let’s not forget how Almighty Allah describes the marriage relationship:
(And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect) (Ar-Rum 30:21).
Selma A. Cook is an Aussie Muslim writer who lives and works in Egypt. She has written a number of books including: Buried Treasure (An Islamic novel for teenagers), The Light of Submission (Islamic Poetry). She has also edited and revised many Islamic books.
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