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View Full Version : Love Lost

04-24-2007, 11:03 PM

Letting Go of the One You Love

Have you ever let go of someone you loved? Did it happen all of a sudden? Were you prepared for it? Did you want it to happen? Were you the one letting go or the one who was let go?

Whenever and wherever it occurs, letting go of the one you love is never easy — it's downright painful and if ever there was a time one could say, "my heart hurts," this would be the time! And yet, a famous poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, once wrote, "'It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." Do you agree with his statement? Why? Why not?

For the purpose of this essay, we are focusing on loving someone other than a family member or a relative. In particular, the essay addresses letting go of the one you love as a result of a friend moving away or dying or a premarital relationship that must come to an end. If this essay was written for young adults, one could include letting go of the one we love as a result of marriage talks gone away and the loss of a spouse due to death or divorce. Depending on your personal experience or the experience of someone close to you, you might be able to relate to some, all, or none of the instances of letting go being discussed here. In any case, read on because you might still benefit.


It is not common among teenagers to think about losing a friend due to illness or sudden death; what is more common is losing a friend due to that friend's family moving away to another state or country. In the recent past, letting go of a friend we love due to migration was difficult because the means of communication did not facilitate the maintenance of the friendship bond. Today, however, technological advances make it possible for you to send a text message to your friend who moved to another state or to another country and to simply say in that message, "I'm not having a great day. How's yours going?" Or something seemingly unimportant like "What'd you have for lunch?" Webcams make it possible for you in real time to get from your friend thousands of miles away a seal of approval on the outfit you chose to wear to school. By the mercy and blessing of Allah, it is not nearly as difficult to let go of a friend because they moved away. It is, however, very difficult when you are young and have to let go of a friend with a terminal illness or due to sudden death.

Try doing this exercise. Close your eyes and think back to the first time you lost a best or close friend — a person you were very close to but whose company you had to part. How old were you? Why was the friend leaving? Did he or she leave without notice, i.e. passed away suddenly? Did he or she move away and you did not know when or if you would ever see them again? What was the most painful part about letting them go? Do you even remember when, where, how, and why you became friends with this person?

Although there are basic guidelines that everyone always talks about with regards to what kinds of friends one should choose, it is absolutely amazing that ultimately sometimes we click with another person's personality or character or outlook and there is really no rhyme or reason as to how or why we end up befriending them. What we know for sure is that everything happens by the will of Allah and that it is He Who has guided us to such and such person to be our friend.

Think back to the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). All the Companions were unique in their own ways, but some of them were especially close to Prophet Muhammad. Having spent their lives as Muslims in the company of the Prophet, learned from him, traveled with him, fought alongside him, consulted him, offered him advice, eaten with him, conducted business with him, and married into the Prophet's family and having him marry into their families, there was a special relationship between the Prophet and four Companions, all of whom became the Caliph after the Prophet passed away. So much more could be said about the individual relationships that Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, `Uthman ibn `Affan , and `Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with them all) had with Prophet Muhammad.

Most relevant to include in this essay is what we know about the manner in which Abu Bakr and `Umar reacted to the death of Prophet Muhammad. So dear was the Prophet to `Umar that his reaction was one of not wanting to come to terms with the reality that indeed the beloved of Allah had left the earth and would not longer be accessible and available as a friend and companion. It was only after the calm, soothing, and rational voice of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq impressed upon `Umar the fact that the Prophet was a messenger, a human being after all, for whom the time had come to return to Allah.

The unique and special status of the Prophet as having been chosen by Allah to deliver the message of Islam to humankind neither stopped him from developing and nurturing strong friendships and brotherhood nor did it mean that he was exempt from suffering the loss of his son Ibrahim, his wife Khadijah (May Allah be pleased with her), and others. The Prophet's first wife, Khadijah, was also his best friend; when she passed away, he lost her in physical terms but he coped with her loss in so many real and tangible ways. He taught us that as human beings we can and should grieve the loss of family and friends as long as we do not question the will and plan of Allah Almighty. Letting go of someone is not to forget them. Prophet Muhammad kept alive the memory of Khadijah, the memory of the unconditional support she offered him in terms of both morale and finances early on in his prophet hood, and the memory of her kindness; he maintained contact with her friends as a way of remembering her, by sharing with them of whatever gifts he received.

It is important that we do not lose sight of the fact that we choose our friends wisely, nurture our friendships with them for the sake of Allah, love them for the sake of Allah, do everything possible to maintain a strong bond with them, and ultimately, let them go when their times comes to depart from earth. What remains with us are the fond memories we shared with those particular friends. And the best du`aa' (supplication) to Allah is to ask Him to reunite us with our best friends in paradise.

Premarital Relationships

Navigating the teenage years is not easy to say the least, and one of the toughest challenges is to exercise self-restraint and to remain chaste. Allah Almighty in His infinite wisdom has forbidden any premarital relationships; no ifs, ands, or buts. In fact, in the Qur'an Allah commands us not to even approach premarital relationships, prohibiting physical intimacy and fornication, because doing so opens the door to other unseemly and sinful conduct,

[Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).] (Al-Israa', 17:32)

Although the word used in the translation is adultery, the Arabic term is actually zina, which is used interchangeably to refer to both fornication (premarital intimacy) and adultery (extra-marital intimacy). What is most unfortunate of course is that we, as human beings, are inclined to forget, to suffer from lapses of judgment, and to enter into a premarital relationship, for example.

The Qur'anic rule obviously tells us that we are sinning and should no longer be in such a relationship. However, when the heart has become attached to the other person, letting go of that person results literally in a heartache. Read the questions submitted to the Cyber Counselor service of IslamOnline.net by those who are or used to be in premarital relationships. You will begin to feel their pain, their anguish, their suffering, their heartaches, and their wish that they had never ever fallen in love in the first place.

But realistically, how does one let go of the one he or she loves, knowing especially that being in love with them is in itself a sin? The process of letting go is painful and takes time, but it will never bear fruit if it is not rooted in the notion of repenting one's actions and seeking forgiveness from Allah. The reality is that we often get so caught up in human emotions that we forget that no healing from the heartaches can come except by turning to Allah, by admitting fault, and by seeking forgiveness. The human emotions might be too powerful of course, causing one to resent the prohibition of premarital relationships in Islam.

If we are to move ahead with our lives, then literally and figuratively letting go of the one we love is, despite all of the pain and heartache, the only option available. In fact, the best du`aa' in such a circumstance could be, "O Allah, help me to remain chaste and to exercise self-restraint until I am married" and "O Allah, I have let go of this person I love and I turn to you and appeal to you to replace the person I love with someone better and to guide me to them when I am ready to marry." Sincere du`aa' with trust in Allah's infinite mercy and forgiveness will in sha' Allah go a long way in helping to deal with the pain and heartache that comes from breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend.

Final Thoughts

The most amazing thing about being a Muslim is that our firm belief in and submission to Allah and our righteous conduct make us eligible to receive His infinite blessings. Being young, a person might become upset with Allah because he or she lost a friend he or she loved dearly. Another young person might be overcome by his or her sexual desires and ends up in a premarital relationship, very much in love with someone but unsure how to let that person go.

Whomever you love, just remember that if they leave you due to death, then their life simply followed the course predetermined by Allah Almighty. There was nothing you said or did that caused them to die, and there is nothing you could have said or done that could have prevented them from dying. You can grieve, be sad, and shed tears. But, the beloved of Allah — Prophet Muhammad — reminded us when he lost his son Ibrahim that "the eyes shed tears and the heart is grieved, and we will not say except what pleases our Lord, O Ibrahim, we are indeed grieved by your separation." (Narrated by Anas ibn Malik, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book #23, Hadith #390).

And on the other hand, for young Muslims who are on the verge of breaking up a relationship or have already broken off one, letting go will be much less painful if they keep their focus on strengthening their relationship with Allah and on asking Him to replace the one whom they have lost with someone better when they are ready to marry.



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04-24-2007, 11:12 PM

MashAllah it was very beneficial to read, jazaakAllah khair.


06-24-2008, 01:18 PM

SubhaanAllaah that was an amazing post sis.

"O Allah, I have let go of this person I love and I turn to you and appeal to you to replace the person I love with someone better and to guide me to them when I am ready to marry."
That's a powerful dua MashaaAllaah...

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