Love in Islam
Dear brother in Islam, first of all, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. We would like to stress certain points before giving you the answer:

There is a difference between love and romance. Romance, if not checked, may mean wasting time, effort and dignity. Islam teaches us to be truthful and realistic. Besides, the concept of love in Islam is very unique, when a Muslim loves something or somebody, it must be for the sake of Allah; the same applies to hatred. Islam teaches us that marriage is the finest, purest and permissible relationship that should exist between a male and female; it should be the goal that they both have in mind. There is no room in Islam for illicit affairs or the Western vogue-word of boyfriend and girlfriend. All those stories of media and movies are not helpful to make a person comply with the teachings of Islam. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says: "Three qualities, if found in a person, will help him have perfect faith: Having Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, as the most beloved ones, loving a person only for the sake of Allah and hating getting back to Kufr (disbelief) the way one hates to be thrown into fire." That means love is a fruit of piety. Love without piety is mischief.

There is no concept of courtship in Islam as it is practiced in the West. There is no dating or living in de facto relationship or trying each other out before committing to each other. There is to be no physical relationship whatsoever before marriage. The romantic notions that occupy the mind of young people often have proven in most cases to be unrealistic and harmful to those involved. We only have to look at the alarming divorce rate in the West to understand this point. To give an example, the couple know each other for years, are intimate, live together and so on. Yet somehow this does not guarantee the success of the future marriage. Romance and love simply do not result in an everlasting bond between two people.

In most cases, romance and love die out very quickly when couple find themselves with the real world. The unrealistic expectation that young people have is what often contributes to the failure of their relationship.

The West makes fun of the Islamic way of marriage, in particular arranged marriage. Yet, the irony is that statistically arranged marriages prove to be more successful and lasting than romantic types of courtship. This is because people are blinded by the physical attraction and thus do not choose the compatible partner. Love blinds people to the extent of overlooking potential problems in the relationship. There is an Arabic proverb that says: "Love is blind, it makes zucchini turn into okra". Arranged marriages, on the other hand, are based not on physical attraction or romantic notions, but rather on critical evaluation of the compatibility of the couple. That is why such marriage often proves successful.

From an Islamic perspective, in choosing a partner, the most important factor that should be taken into consideration is Taqwa (piety and consciousness of Allah). The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, recommended the suitors to see each other before going through with marriage procedures. That is very important because it is unreasonable for two people to be thrown into marriage and be expected to have a successful marital life, full of love and affection, when they know nothing of each other. The couple are permitted to look at each other.

This ruling does not contradict the Qur'anic verse that says, “…believing men and women should lower their gaze” (An-Nur: 30). The couple, however, are not permitted to be alone in a closed room or go out together alone. As the Hadith says: "When a man and a woman are together alone, the Shaytan (Satan) makes their third." One of the conditions of a valid marriage is the consent of the couple. Marriage by definition is a voluntary union of two people. The choice of a partner by a Muslim virgin girl is subject to the approval of the father or guardian. This is to safeguard her welfare and interests. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "The widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until she has consented to that and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is sought." The Prophet did nullify the marriage of a girl who complained to him that her father had married her against her wishes.

Though love is something nice, and it is recommended for a man to marry a woman whom he loves, because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “There is nothing better for two who love each other than marriage.” (Sahih Al-Jami`, 5200) However, this love should not be overwhelming and cause a person to forget other characteristics which he should look for in the person he wants to marry. The most important characteristic is religious commitment. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, says: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her commitment to religion. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust [i.e., may you prosper]!” (Agreed-upon Hadith).

Dear brother in Islam, we hope that the main points of the issue have become clear. Now, let’s assume that you are the subject of the hypothesis you draw in your question: On what basis would you like to choose your partner? Wouldn’t you look to her commitment to Islam – does she pray regularly, for example? Does she adhere to the Islamic Hijab prescribed by Shari'ah?

If the lady you want to marry is religious, of good manners, and obeys Allah and His Messenger, and both of you want to please Allah in this world in order to earn reward in the Hereafter, then you have made a perfect choice, and we ask Allah to fulfill your hopes and bring you together in a good way. If she is not, then you should reconsider your choice. May Allah help you to do what He loves and what pleases Him!

As for the second part of your question, i.e. the girl’s refusal to marry a person who has asked her hand in marriage, we suggest that, if such thing happens, the person in question can make efforts and seek all permissible ways to persuade the father or the guardian of the girl to give her in marriage to him. One can just bring mediators from within the family, i.e. he can resort to those people whose word carries weight to help in the issue. One can also seek the help of the Imam of the Islamic Center where the girl’s father goes, to talk with him about this, and always pray earnestly to Allah to help realize the dream if it’s good. But we have to emphasize that it is not lawful to compel a girl to marry someone she does not want.
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ISRA MERAJ

In the name of Allah, the beneficent the merciful.

On 27th Rajab, all the Muslim believers celebrate this as a grand day of Meraj as "Grand Eid" and all the Muslims should be proud to have such a prophet like Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny (Ahlul Bayt), to whom Almighty Allah (swt) was also proud and had invited him to visit and talked with very nearer distance as mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an (Qhaba Qhausain 53:9).

Also note that, the Meraj of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny has taken place more than once. However, it should be mentioned that Meraj in which the daily Salat was made incumbent, without doubt, occurred before the death of Hazrat Abu Talib, who passed away in the 10th year of Besat. Unmistakably, from the Ahadith and books of history, it is mentioned that on the night of Meraj, Allah (swt) gave the order of the five daily Salat as being mandatory upon the Islamic Nation."

The darkness of the night had spread across the horizon and silence reigned over the face of nature. The time had arrived when the living creatures take rest and sleep so that they might recuperate from their activities of the previous day. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), was also not an exception to this law of nature and he wished to take rest after offering his prayers (Salat) in the house of "Umm-e-Hani", the daughter of his uncle and sister of Amir al-Mominin Ali (pbuh) in the blessed city of Makkah. However, suddenly he heard a voice; it was the voice of the Archangel Jibreel (pbuh) who said to him:

"This night you have to perform a very unique journey and I have been ordered to remain with you. You will have to traverse different parts of the world mounted on an animal named al-Buraq.

Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny began his historical night journey, along with the trusted protector of the revelation, the Angel Jibreel (pbuh) from the house of "Umm-e-Hani", with the aide of his steed al-Buraq.

"After some time, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) stopped Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said to perform the Salat. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) dismounted from al-Buraq and performed Salat. Jibreel (pbuh) said, 'Do you know where you just prayed?' Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied to him in negative. Jibreel (pbuh) said, 'In Taibah (Madinah), that place where your travelers will go.' After this, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) got back onto al-Buraq and continued the journey."


One who denies (any of these) three things is not among our Shia (followers): the Meraj (Night Ascension), the questioning in the grave and ash Shafa'ah (intercession). Imam Jafar Sadiq and Imam Ali Rida (pbut)
"Once again, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) stopped Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and said, 'Perform the Salat.' Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny once again dismounted al-Buraq, and performed Salat there. Jibreel (pbuh) asked Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), 'Do you know where you just prayed?' It is the Mountain of Sinai - the place where Prophet Musa / Moses (pbuh) spoke to Allah (swt)."

"Once again, Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny ascended al-Buraq and continued. Shortly afterwards, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) said, 'Get down and perform the Salat.' Then again Jibreel (pbuh) questioned, 'Do you know where you just prayed?' Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) replied in negative, to which he answered, In Bait al-Laham (Bethlehem) - the place which is near to Baitul Maqdis and this is the place where Prophet Isa al-Masih (pbuh) was born."

Then they reached Baitul Maqdis, which is located in today's Zionist occupied Jerusalem and is also known as Masjid al-Aqsa (the Furthest Mosque) and Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), proceeded to tie the reins of al-Buraq to the same ring that the great Prophets (before him) used to tie their animal to. After this Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny entered the Masjid and it was here that he met Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and the rest of the Prophets (pbut). They all gathered around him and they all proceeded to get ready for Salat. Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny had no doubt that the Salat would be lead by Angel Jibreel (pbuh), however when the lines for the Salat were being formed, Angel Jibreel (pbuh) placed his hand on the shoulder of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and pushed forward. Angel Jibreel (pbuh) also took part in the Salat behind him along with the various Prophets (pbut).

On the second part of his journey, he proceeded from this spot to the skies (heavens). Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), then observed the stars and the systems of the world and conversed with the souls of the previous prophets, and also with the angels of the heavens, peace and blessing be upon them all. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) saw the centre of the tortures and the blessings (hell and heaven) and became fully aware of the secrets of creation, the extent of the universe and the signs of the Omnipotent Allah (swt).

Then Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, continued his journey and reached Sidrat ul Muntaha (Beyond this point nobody has access including Angel Jibreel (pbuh)). There he found it fully covered with splendor, magnificence and grandeur, and then he returned back by the way he had traveled. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), first came to Baitul Maqdis and then to Makkah. It was daybreak when he dismounted at the house of Umm-e-Hani from al-Buraq which had taken him into space. Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny related this matter to Umm-e-Hani and the following night, he made it known to the assemblies of Quraysh as well. The word of his travels spread from mouth to mouth amongst all the groups, and now more than ever, the Quraysh were upset (with him).

According to an old tradition, the Quraysh asked the account of its structure, and Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, not only described the physical particularities of Baitul Maqdis, rather, he even informed them of the event that took place between Baitul Maqdis and Makkah. Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to them that he met the caravan of such and such tribe who lost their camel and he asked them to give him water and Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) drank water from their container. So they asked about the Quraysh caravan and he replied to them that he saw them at Taim. So Quraysh became very excited and it was not long after that the travelers (of that caravan) reported the exact events (as had occurred).

Isra and Miraj (Night Journey)Proof of Isra and Miraj (Shab-e-Meraj, Lailat-ul-Miraj) in the Glorious Qur'an:

The Heavenly Journey of Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny has been straight forwardly explained in two Surahs of the Glorious Qur'an.

In the Surah al-Isra (Surah 17 - also known as Bani Isra'il), it is mentioned: Glory be to Him Who made His servant (Prophet Muhammad) to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa) of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Glorious Qur'an, 17:1)

From this verse, we come to the conclusion that Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny traveled with his physical body (servant) through the worlds of Ascension. Further, by the greatness of the Hidden Power, Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was able to complete this journey in a very short span of time.

Allah (swt) starts His speech with the phrase (Subhan) which denotes the fact that Allah (swt) is free from all deficiencies - but He does not stop here. Rather, He makes the ascension the reason for His greatness by saying 'made to travel' (Isra) so that others do not imagine that the means of this journey was through causes of the natural world and with normal, ordinary means of transportation. This would have made his journey something that could have been denied. Rather, this journey was accomplished by relying upon the power of Allah (swt) and His specific and special blessings.

Although this verse states that the start of the journey was from Masjid al-Haram and ended at Masjid al-Aqsa, this does not contradict the fact that Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny in addition to this trip, also had other trips towards the higher world, since another part of the journey of Ascension of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) is explained in verses of Surah an-Najm.

From the time Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny told the Quraysh, 'I saw the angel of revelation (when he received the first revelation) in his original and pure state,' all the Quraysh raised up to mock him. Glorious Qur'an, in response to the thoughts of the ignorant people replies: "Will you then argue with him about what he saw? He certainly saw him (Jibreel) during his other ascent to the Lote-tree (in the seven heavens) near which is Paradise. When the tree was covered with a covering, (Muhammad's) eyes did not deceive him, nor did they lead him to falsehood. He certainly saw the greatest (signs) of the existence of his Lord." (Glorious Qur'an, 53:12-18)

The object of this grand journey was to make known to Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny the various aspects of the existence of the great universe.

A person asked our 4th Imam, Imam Ali bin Hussain (as): "Is there a particular place for Allah (swt)?"

Imam Ali bin Hussain (as) replied: "no."

The man said: "Then why did He make his Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny, journey through the skies?"

Imam Ali bin Hussain (as), replied: "He made him ascend so that he might become aware of the expanse of the universe and see and hear wonderful things, the like of which had not been seen and heard by the eyes and ears before."

Shab-e-Meraj, Lailat-ul-MirajMeraj (Night Ascension) or Miraj-un-Nabi and Modern Science:

It has been an on going discussion and debate for hundreds of years concerning the method of travel of Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny during the Meraj. Many things have been said regarding this journey and its being physical or only spiritual even though from the Glorious Qur'an and the Ahadith there is no doubt that it was a physical ascension.

However, one problem from the point of view of science prevented some people in believing the reality and thus, the Meraj of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was recorded as being simply spiritual. Another group went a step further and believed that this complete event was simply a dream and that Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) experienced the Meraj during his sleep!

The heavenly journey went against the scientific and natural laws of today such as: the law of gravity of the earth; its speed of travel of 25,000 miles per hour; the weightlessness of an object that is outside of the airspace of earth; the fact that it is not possible to breathe the air that is outside our atmosphere; the various cosmic rays; meteorites and air pressure; and the speed of light that goes at the speed of approximately 300,000 kilometers a second; and other such examples.

Fortunately however, it must be known that through scientific research and investigation, the space scientists of the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path, on October 4, 1957. They were able to demonstrate to mankind with ease, that they could overcome such problems as the gravitational pull, cosmic rays, problems with breathing in space, and others, through various technologically designed and built equipment and instruments.

Even today, the space science research is ever increasing and the scientists and researchers are confident that in a matter of time, they will be able to place life on one of the planets in our solar system; just as today, they have opened up the exploration to the moon and the planet Mars.

These scientific progresses and advancements in technology and industry are a clear proof that such a celestial travel (that of Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny on the night of Meraj) is possible and can not be classified as something that was impossible. Meraj (Night Ascension)
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