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
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 sūrah, 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 Sūrah Nūr
(24:30 & 31).
One 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.