Flirtation and Love Affairs
by Asif Iftikhar

Question: A friend of mine has a realtionship with this girl in Pakistan. They have a completely non-physical relationship, but they depend a lot on each other and also express their feelings every now and then. He wants to know if this is wrong or not, and, if it is, how should he cut off with her as there is a lot of emotional dependence involved?

Answer: It is not unnatural to have feelings for a member of the opposite sex. However, there are certain things that must be given consideration in expressing those feelings.

First of all, there should be nothing immoral or indecent in the feelings or their expression.

Secondly, there should be nothing against the good norms of society (2:235, especially note the words Qawlan ma‘rufan).

Furthermore, there are situations in which it is advisable to abstain from not only a sin but also from activities which may lead to it. In verse 151 of the sixth surah, the words ‘Do not go near indecency’ also point to this principle.

Moreover, it must be borne in mind that there is a spirit behind every law. In Islam, the underlying spirit in every law pertaining to morality and ethics is the purity of one’s soul. This purity is essential if one wants to become a true servant of one’s Lord and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The object of the Divine law is to ensure that a man’s soul is purged and that its purity is not profaned.

Therefore, in following these directives one must make sure that one is not negating the spirit behind the law through subterfuges. Of particular relevance in the Divine directives pertaining to social interaction between men and women are the directives in Surah Nur (24:30 & 31).

ne more thing. A Muslim’s heart should be filled with remembrance of God and with love for Him. In the absence of this remembrance, it becomes easy for the Satan in our souls to lead us to such subterfuges as negate the spirit of the Divine law, if not its structure.

In the light of what has been said above, your friend should decide for himself whether his attitude and behaviour are appropriate or not. If he feels they are not, then he can explain the whole rationale to his friend, and invite her as well to follow a course of action which, in affording them their mutual pleasure, does not earn them the displeasure of their Lord.

Also, love without loyalty is merely infatuation, if not flirtation. And this ‘humour’ more often than not proves to be ‘dark and portentous’ in matters which are no joke: love, relations, family and family values.

True love is never afraid of venturing into a commitment. Unless there is some extraordinary hindrance, your friend should think about marriage. This legal bound keeps the two people involved together ‘when they are out of love until they are in love again’ and thereby ensures that the sanctity of higher and indispensable ideals as love, relations and family values is not desecrated at the unhallowed hands of base desires.

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