Prophet’s Guidance on treating Passion – Tibb-e-Nabawi

Prophet’s Guidance on treating Passion

اللَّهُمَّ طَهِّرْ قَلْبِي مِنَ النِّفَاقِ، وعَمَلي مِنَ الرِّيَاءِ، ولِسَاني مِنَ الكَذِبِ، وعَيْنِي مِنَ الخِيَانَةِ، فإنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ خَائِنَةَ الأعْيُنِ ومَا تُخْفِي الصُّدُورُ. اللَّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنِي عَيْنَيْنِ هَطَّالَتَيْنِ تَسْقِيانِ القَلْبِ بِذُرُوفِ الدَّمْعِ مِن خَشْْيَتِكَ قبْلَ أنْ تكُونَ الدُّمُوعُ دَمَاً والأضْرَاسُ جَمْراً

Prophet’s Guidance on treating Passion

PASSION (Ishq ~ عشق) is a disease that attacks the heart. Yet, it is a different type of disease concerning its symptoms, causes, and cure. When this ailment becomes acute, the doctors will not be able to cure it nor will the one afflicted be able to bear its effects.

Allah Has Mentioned the subject of passion concerning two types of people; women and lovers of beardless boys. For instance, Allah Mentioned the story of the wife of Aziz (Ruler of Egypt) and Prophet Yusuf Alaih-as-Salaam. He also Mentioned the second type about the nation of Prophet Lut Alaih-as-Salaam, as He Said about them when the angels came to visit Prophet Lut Alaih-as-Salaam.

وَجَاءَ أَهْلُ الْمَدِينَةِ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ قَالَ إنَّ هَؤُلآءِ ضيفىَ فَلاَ تَفْضَحُونِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللهَ وَلاَ تُخْزُونِ قَالُواْ أَوَ لَمْ نَنْهَكَ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ قَالَ هَؤُلآءِ بَنَاتِى إن كُنْتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ لَعَمْرُكَ إنَّهُمْ لَفِى سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ [الحجر: 68-73]

“And the inhabitants of the city came; rejoicing (at the news of the young men’s arrival. Lut Alaih-as-Salaam said: “Verily, these are my guests, so shame me not and fear Allah and disgrace me not”. They (people of the city) said: Did we not forbid you from entertaining (or protecting) any of the Aalameen (people, foreigners and strangers from us)? Lut Alaih-as-Salaam said: These (the girls of the nation) are my daughters (to marry lawfully), if you must act (so). Verily; by your life (O Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam), in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly. (15:67-72)

There is a false claim that was started by those who do not give due respect and appreciation to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam), stating that our beloved Prophet once saw Zainab Bint Jahsh Radi Allaho Anha and said, “All praise to He Who Changes the hearts as He Wills”. They also claim that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam was inflicted with this disease (Nau’uzu Billah)), passion, and that his heart liked her.

In fact, Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam commanded Zaid Radi Alaho Anh to keep her and not divorce her, until Allah Revealed:

وَإذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِى أَنْعَمَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللهَ وَتُخْفِى فِى نَفْسِكَ مَا اللهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَاهُ [الأحزاب: 37]

And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin Harithah Radi Allaho Anh ~ the freed slave of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) on whom Allah Has Bestowed grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad too) have done favor (by manumitting him): “Keep your wife to yourself and fear Allah. But you did hide in yourself (i.e., what Allah Has already Made known to you that He will Give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will Make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e.. their saying that Muhammad married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah Had a better right that you should fear Him. (33:37)

Those who uttered this false claim also claimed that the Ayah is talking about passion. Consequently, some of them collected a book about passion in which they mentioned several Prophets who were afflicted with this disease, including Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam. This is an utter ignorance of such people; for the Quran and the Messengers; and a misunderstanding that alters the true meaning of Allah’s Words. Furthermore, this false claim accuses Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam with what he is truly innocent of.

Zaid bin Harithah Radi Allaho Anh, whom our beloved Prophet had adopted before Islam until he was called Zaid bin Muhammad, married Zainab bint Jahsh Radi Allaho Anha. She was not humble with her husband and he asked the Prophet’s advice if he should divorce her. The Messenger of Allah (Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) said to him:

“أَمْسِكْ عليكَ زوجَكَ واتَّقِ الله”

“Keep your wife to yourself; and fear Allah”.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam thought that if Zaid would otherwise divorce her, he would marry her after him. But, Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam hid this thought in his heart because he feared what the people might say if he married the ex-­wife of his adopted son. This is why Allah Mentioned in this Ayah His favors on Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam and Commanded him not to fear what the people might say in doing what Allah Has Allowed for him. Allah also Reminded him that it is He Whom the Prophet (Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) should fear, so he should not be hesitant in doing what Allah Has Allowed for him, (because of the fear of what the people might say).

Furthermore, Allah Informed our beloved Prophet (Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) that He Has Given Zainab (Radi Allaho Anha) to him in marriage after Zaid Radi Allaho Anh had divorced her; so that his nation may imitate him when they know that the man is allowed to marry the ex-­wife of his adopted son. This is why Allah Said:

وَحَلاَئِلُ أَبْنَائِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلاَبِكُمْ [النساء:23]

“And the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins are forbidden for you to marry”. (4:23)

And in the Surah (chapter) Ahzaab, Allah Said:

مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ [الأحزاب: 40]

Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) is not the father of any of your men.” (33:40)

In the beginning of Surah Ahzaab, Allah Said :

وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدْعِيَاءَكُمْ أَبْنَاءَكُمْ، ذَلِكُمْ قَوْلُكُم بِأَفْوَاهِكُمْ [الأحزاب: 4]

“Nor Has He made your adopted Sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths”. (33:4)

Therefore, think deeply about Allah’s defense of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam that refuted the false accusation directed at him. All success comes from Allah.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam used to love his wives, especially Aishah Radi Allaho Anha being the most beloved to him among them. Yet, his love for them did not reach the level of perfect love, which he reserved for his Lord. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam once said:

“لو كنتُ مُتَّخِذاً من أهل الأرض خليلاً لاتَّخَذْتُ أبا بكرٍ خليلاً”

“If I was going to take an intimate friend from people of the earth, I would have taken Abu Bakr (Radi Allaho Anh)”. And in another narration, he said:

وفى لفظ: “وإنَّ صَاحِبَكُم خَلِيلُ الرَّحْمَن”

“Your friend (himself Muhammad) is the intimate friend of the Most Beneficent”.

 

Having passion towards images only afflicts empty hearts

This affects hearts that are deprived of the love of Allah, ignoring Him and preferring someone else. When the heart is full of the love of Allah and eagerness to meet Him, this love will fend off the disease of love and passion for images. This is why Allah Said about Prophet Yusuf Alaih-as-Salaam.

كَذَلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاءَ، إنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ [يوسف: 24]

“Thus it was that We might Turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, (guided) slaves”. (I 2:24)

This Ayah indicated that sincerity is a cause and a remedy that drives away passion which might lead to sin and fornication, which is the culmination of passion. When the cause behind the disease is repelled, the effects of the disease will also be repelled.

Some of our Salaf once described passion that it is the act of a heart that is empty of everything except what it has a passion for. Allah Said:

وَأَصْبَحَ فُؤَادُ أُمِّ مُوسَى فَارِغاً [القصص: 11]، إن كَادَتْ لَتُبْدِى بِهِ أى: فارغاً من كل شىء إلا من موسى لفرطِ محبتها له، وتعلُّقِ قلبها به

“And the heart of the mother of Musa ~ Moses (Alaih-as-Salaam) became empty (from every thought, except the thought of Musa (Moses). She was very near to disclosing his case”. (28:10)

This Ayah indicated that the heart of Musa’s mother (Alaih-as-Salaam) was empty of every concern except for her child, because of her great love for him and her heart’s affection for him. Passion has two parts, loving an object and an eagerness to possess the loved object. When one of these two parts does not exist, then passion does not exist either.

The ailment of passion has caused bafflement to many wise people and some of them issued some statements in this regard that should not be taken seriously.

We say that Allah’s Wisdom Has Decided regarding His creation that there are similarities that occur between things and people, and that the things and people are driven to their likes and to avoid what is not similar to them. The secret to the harmony; that occurs in the world is due to the similarities between various creations. Various things (and people) thus lean towards similar objects, while dissimilar objects ignore each other. Allah Said:

هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إلَيْهَا [الأعراف: 189]

“It is He Who Has Created you from a single person (Adam). And (then) He Has Created from him his wife Hawwa (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. (7:189)

Allah Has Made this the reason why man feels attracted and consequently passionate for woman. She is similar to him in essence. The reason for the attraction (between men and women) is not only the beauty of the image, but the similarity in habits, goals, guidance and mannerism, all of which help ignite passion.

In the Sahih, it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

وقد ثبت فى “الصحيح” عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: “الأرْواحُ جُنُودٌ مُجَنَّدةٌ، فما تَعارَفَ منها ائْتلَف، وما تَناكَرَ منها اخْتَلَفَ”

“The souls are just like recruited soldiers. Those who recognize each other will be intimate and those who do not recognize each other will be apart”.

وفى “مسند الإمام أحمد” وغيره فى سبب هذا الحديث: أنَّ امرأة بمكةَ كانت تُضِحكُ الناسَ، فجاءت إلى المدينة، فنزلتْ على امرأة تُضِحكُ الناسَ، فقال النبىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: “الأرواحُ جُنُودٌ مُجَنَّدَةٌ”… الحديثَ

Also, Imam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad the reason behind this Hadith: “A woman in Makkah used to be able to make people laugh and when she came to Al-Madinah; she resided with a woman who also used to be able to make people in Al-Madinah laugh. Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said: “The souls are just like recruited soldiers”.

The religion of Allah gives the same rulings to similar matters and thus does not differentiate between similar matters nor join between dissimilar matters. Those who think to the contrary are mistaken due to their lack of knowledge (of the religion), or lack of effort on their part to acquire knowledge on the subject of similarities and dissimilarities. Or, their error comes from relating to the religion what is not a part of it; without the authority that can justify it. With Allah’s Wisdom and Justice, His creation and command have been established by equating similar things and differentiating between dissimilar things. This fact is true both in this life and on the Day of Resurrection. Allah Said:

احْشُرُواْ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَأَزْوَاجَهُمْ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللهِ فَاهْدُوهُمْ إلَى صِرَاطِ الْجَحِيمِ [الصافات: 22]

(It will be said to the angels): “Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions (from the devils) and what they used to worship instead of Allah. And lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell)”. (Chapter 37 ~ Verses 22.23)

Also, Allah Said:

وَإذَا النُّفُوسُ زُوِّجَتْ [التكوير: 7]

“And when the souls shall be joined with their partners”. (The good with the good and the bad with the bad).” (81:7)

This Ayah indicates that each person will be tied to his likes. Those who have love for each other for Allah’s sake will be together in Paradise, while those who love each other for the devil’s sake will be together in Hell. One is with those whom he likes, whether he likes it or not. Al-Hakim narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

وفى “مستدرك الحاكم” وغيره عن النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لا يُحِبُّ المَرءُ قَوْماً إلاَّ حُشِرَ مَعَهُم”

“If a man loves a people / nation, he will be gathered with them (on the Day of Resurrection)”.

There are several types of love. The best and most honorable of them is love for the sake of Allah, which requires loving what He Loves and also loving Him and His Messenger (Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam).

Another type of love is that which occurs when the parties to it have a similar religion or way, or theology, or sect, or relation, or craft, or a goal that they both seek. Another type of love is what occurs when one loves to acquire a matter that the loved object has, whether a position, money, knowledge, or any other purpose that he seeks. This is material love that dissipates when the goal is reached. Indeed, he who likes you for a material purpose goes away when his goal is accomplished.

The love that results because of similarities between the two parties does not fade away unless there is a reason that makes it fade away. This type of love includes passion; because it is a love that the soul and the heart share. No other ailment can cause more profound effects on those afflicted; of obsession, weakness, concern and even destruction like passion.

If one says that since the reason behind affection is what you have stated, the souls being connected and compatible, why is it not always exchanged between the two parties? Sometimes, love is one sided, although you stated that the reason for it is the similarity and the compatibility between the souls.

The answer is that there are reasons that arise and prevent the love from being exchanged by both sides. One-sided love is the result of one of three reasons: a deficiency in the love because it is accidental and not real. In this case, the loved person might even feel dislike for the other party. Second, sometimes the loved person might be the cause for the love to be one-sided, such as a deficiency in his mannerism, shape, path, actions, appearance, and so forth. Third, due to a specific reason that prevents the loved person from sharing the same feelings with each other.

When these reasons are not present, and the love is thus real, love will be shared by both parties.

Arrogance, envy, loving various possessions and enmity by the disbelievers were the main reasons why the Messengers were not more beloved by them (disbelievers) than their own selves, families and off-spring. When these barriers were removed from the hearts of the Messenger’s followers, their love for the Messengers was indeed more than the love they had for their own selves, wives, children and wealth.

Attainment of one’s love object is its cure and other cures for love

The subject is that since love is one of the ailments in general, it does have a cure or several cures. If the lover has a legal path to take for attaining his loved object, it will be his cure. In the Sahihain, it is narrated that lbn Masud Radi Allaho Anh reported that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

ثبت فى “الصحيحين” من حديث ابن مسعود رضى الله عنه، قال: قال رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “يا معشر الشَّبَاب ؛ مَن استطاع منكم الباءةَ فلْيتزوَّج، ومَن لم يستطِعْ فعليه بالصَّوْم، فإنَّه له وِجَاءٌ”

“O young people! Whoever amongst you can afford marriage, let him marry. Those who cannot afford it should resort to fasting. For it will be a cure for them”.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam has directed people to the best methods for obtaining what they love, a major and a minor method. He ordered the men to resort to the first choice which is marriage; a perfect cure for this disease. Thus, people should not prefer other solutions to the solution that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam recommended.

Ibn-e-Majah narrated that Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam said:

وروى ابن ماجه فى “سننه” عن ابن عباس رضى الله عنهما، عن النبىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: “لَمْ نَرَ للمُتحابَّيْنِ مِثْلَ النِّكاح”

“We never saw anything like marriage for lovers”.

This is the meaning that Allah Indicated when He Allowed (in marriage) both the free and slave women when needed. Allah Said:

يُرِيدُ اللهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ، وَخُلِقَ الإنْسَانُ ضَعِيفاً [النساء: 28]

“Allah Wishes to Lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman)”. (4:28)

Therefore, Allah Mentioned man’s weakness in this Ayah and Stated that He Has Made matters easy for him by allowing him to marry one, two, three or four women. He also Allowed for him slave women in marriage if he wishes, so as to treat this ailment, passion, to cure the weakness in mankind and as an act of mercy (from Him) to His slaves.

When no legal method exists for the lover to attain his love object

If there is no legal method that the lover can attain his loved object, or because of his inability to do so or both, then passion will become a difficult disease in this case and the afflicted person needs to feel that he cannot satisfy it. It is a fact that when the heart feels hopelessness in something, it will no longer seek to acquire it.

If the passion still exists even under these hopeless conditions, then the nature of person would have deviated and the person needs to try another solution (that is), attending to his state of mind. The person afflicted by passion should convince himself that his heart’s affection with what it cannot attain constitutes madness, and that this case is similar to whoever loves the sun, the only way to acquire it is to ascend to it! Everyone understands that this is madness.

If one cannot attain his loved object because of a legal barrier that the religion erected, he should convince himself that acquiring his passion is not feasible because Allah did not Allow it to happen. He should know that for his safety, he should abandon such a matter and be certain that it is virtually impossible that he will ever attain it.

If one’s whose heart orders him to do evil does not comply with these cures, let the slave abandon the matter for fear of losing whoever is more beloved to him, more beneficial and who offers a longer period of contentment and joy. In this case, the afflicted person will come to realize the difference between the two objects. Therefore, one should not prefer the joy of an hour; that would soon turn to pain compared to eternal joy that is incomparable. Reality of the short-lived joy is that it is a daydream or a mirage that will soon end and fade away, but the responsibility would remain.

Also, one should realize that this might lead to a hateful loss that is worse for him than losing the coveted object, and thus his loss would multiply, losing the coveted object and acquiring a hateful outcome. When one realizes these facts, then losing the coveted object becomes less serious in his heart and being patient becomes more worthwhile. The mind, religion, honor and human nature then require the afflicted person to be patient in the face of losing a lesser loved object, for in this case, patience would soon earn him joy, contentment and happiness. On the other hand, one’s ignorance, transience, injustice and immaturity will order him to prefer the lesser coveted object (whatever the cost). Those to whom Allah Gives immunity will be saved from this.

When one’s heart does not accept this solution and dislikes using the remedy that we mentioned, let him think about what evil repercussions (satisfying his lusts) would bring about and what gains it would cause him to lose. He should realize that satisfying his lust is the major cause of an evil outcome in this life, as it prevents the slave from using his mind that is the controller of his actions and which should be used to lead him to benefit instead.

If one’s heart still does not accept the remedy we mentioned, let him remember the shortcomings and unlikable characteristics of the coveted object, so that he might dislike the object as well. When one thinks about this subject, he will realize that such shortcomings supersede the good qualities that made him like that object. Let him also ask the neighbors of his loved one about what he does not know of their attributes and behavior. It is a fact that as much as the good qualities drive loved ones closer, the shortcomings drive them apart. Then, one should weigh the two sides and choose the best and most beloved path to adopt. He should not be among those who are deceived by the color of an otherwise leprous skin. Let one think beyond the beautiful exterior to the true reality of things. Let one look beyond the beautiful shape to the inner evil of the heart.

If all of these remedies do not work, there will be no resort except seeking Allah Who Answers the calls of those in distress when they invoke Him. Let him throw himself before Allah’s Door; seeking His Help with humbleness, humility and meekness.

Those who are led to this type of success should act honorably and keep their affair a secret, so as not to expose the loved one to the people and cause them harm, or else he will be committing a transgression and an injustice.