Averting Passionate Love

Passionate love or ‘ishq is a disease that ruined many people, whether in their bodies, their religion or both.  Whoever protects themselves from temptation by lowering their gaze will be saved from this disease.

Know that the mere looking at what is coveted does not result in ‘ishq. Rather looking at what is coveted often increases temptation and greed, youthfulness and lust strengthens passionate desire.

Indeed, self-restraint and patience are the best of cures. The best of aids is fear of Allah, restraining the disdainful self from the state of humiliation, and remembering the inner flaws of that which is coveted. As Ibn Mas’ud said: “If any of you like a woman, he should remember her flaws.”

Whenever the loved one is someone attainable and lawful to have, uniting by means of marriage would be the best of cures. The intensity of this disease decreases with marriage, as well as travelling for long distances, remembering death, visiting the sick and visiting cemeteries. One should also contemplate the object of ones desire, and how they will seem when the passion has passed, and remember that people change over time and age. They should then look to examples in themselves and in others that might help to emerge from this chasm, and help them out of this dilemma. Finally, they should remember their meeting with Allah, and how they will stand before Him. When the passions have passed, only the actions remain to be accounted for before Allah.

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