“…and He has put love and compassion between your hearts: verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” Quran 30:21
We love and crave to be loved in return. But with love comes duty.
Love is more than a person’s own momentary sense of happiness and elation. It is more than companionship. Love is more than feeling good about someone. It is more than feeling good about one’s self. With love comes duty. With love comes the need for us to expand our definitions of ourselves, to reach out, and to make sacrifices.
We love ourselves because we are unique. We love ourselves for the achievements and triumphs, for helping others, and for being blessed. But with love comes duty.
We have the duty to look after ourselves. We have to maintain ourselves – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – in order for us to be able to give love to others.
We all love our parents. We love them because they raised us up, sacrificed to provide us with the best education, taught us morals and values, fed us, clothe us, and helped us shape into the individuals that we are today. We love them for the values they have infused in our very souls, so we become better individuals.
But with love comes duty.
When we love our parents, we have the duty to be obedient. We have the duty to address them with honor, to respect them, to look after them, to speak with them gently and with kind words. With love, it is our duty to pray for them.
We love our spouse because they fill in a certain void in our souls, and satisfy our longings for companionship and intimacy. We love them because they stay by us through thick and thin.
But with love comes duty.
When we love our spouse, it is more than expressing our own feelings towards the person we are married to. We have the duty to stretch out from our comfort zone in order to accommodate the other. We have the duty to make some changes in our lifestyle, to learn from each other. We have the duty to respect and acknowledge the differences. We have the duty to maintain ourselves – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – to remain the person, who has attracted our spouse towards us in the first place.
And most importantly, with love comes our duty to remain faithful.
We love our children because they are a part of our own being. They give us immense happiness. They amaze us with little things. But with love comes duty. It is our duty to discipline them, to teach them, to instill in them values and morals, to treat our children equally, and to help shape their beings so that they grow up to be responsible, God-fearing adults.
We love our friends because we share with them our happiness as well as sorrows. But with love comes duty. We love our friends despite harsh arguments, because we have made a commitment to remain steadfast in our friendship.
And above every relationship is the one that we share with Allah. It is not enough to say that we love him. With loving Him comes our duty to worship and obey Him, and follow His words.
To love Allah is to make a lifetime commitment to be true to Him.