by Nabiha Asim
When seeking advice about love, people typically tend to their older siblings or friends to wield some wisdom. Dr. Arif Hussain came home to Benedictine University Friday night as a big brother to share his thoughts on young Muslims struggling with their love lives.
Benedictine University’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosted the event in the Goodwin Auditorium to tend to the love struck students and give a spiel on the issue of gender relations from an Islamic perspective.
Being one of the founding members of Islamic Learning Foundation, ICNA’s educational and research institute, and having lead Young Muslims (YM) as a national coordinator, Dr. Arif Hussain’s big bro character was able to create an aura of intimate conversation.
“He gave us insight about stuff that most of us don’t have much experience about like finding someone to get married to and dealing with some potential problems that arise in various situations,” said student Hafsah Patel.
Hussain related the issue of love to a basic teaching unique to Islam, the concept of haya or modesty/shyness. He described it to be the foundation of one’s relationship to God.
This essential character seeks to mold one’s behavior as they wholeheartedly believe God to be All-Seeing, All-Hearing and the witness of all behavior.
“Once shyness is developed with Allah, it is developed with all other relationships including parents, neighbors, siblings…the most fundamental haya is between man and woman,” said Hussain.
The first piece of advice that Hussain offered was that God wants to illuminate the best character within you, human beings, societies and communities.
With that said, the second piece of advice Hussain gave was to remind everyone that God intends ease and better the Muslim community as it finds itself in a different cultural reality than in Islam especially in terms of relationships.
Hussain explained the most important relationship is between husband and wife. If this spousal relationship, which is the foundation of family, is imbalanced then society itself is imbalanced. This leads to Hussain’s third piece of advice, which is to seek balance and start with taking a look at yourself.
Hussain spent some minutes illustrating to the Muslim community about the intimacy of a spousal relationship in the Qur’an also explaining that because difficulties in a relationship are inevitable, having love and mercy for your partner is essential.
“The concept of love is encouraged in Islam and loving your spouse is a sign of God, a sign of His existence,” states Hussain.
For those seeking to get married, Hussain advises communication with parents and coming to ground with them and helping yourself and them realize unrealistic expectations.
He said that in order to recognize the signs of God, one needs time to reflect in the times where everything seems so fast.
Hussain spent the last part of the night explaining some problems people face with marriage or those seeking marriage including in-laws and money.
He concluded the event by reminding the audience that they need to be honest with themselves, college experience changes who they are, and that they are all servants of God.
Have all your Islam questions answered by BU MSA during Islamic Awareness week March 7-11.