I rolled over on my stomach and heaved a deep sigh. I ejected the movie and decided it was one I would watch every year on christmas eve.
“You know love scares me”
I glanced over at my cousin who had a weary look on her face.
“Why?” I asked intrigued by her random statement.
“There is just something about real love that is short-lived. Haven’t you noticed that when two people deeply love each other it’s either someone dies or they just can’t be together for some reason?”
My vision started to blur and every sound was stifled by my cousin’s words…”It’s either someone dies or they just can’t be together.”
Nafisah’s image shifted into focus and I tried to read her face, did she really believe that or the sad fictitious movie we just saw was what inspired those real words? Whatever the case her words pierced through me.
“I’ve never thought of it like that but it’s so true” I heard myself whisper the last few words. I stared blankly at the screen in front of me…but surely that can’t always be the case.
Nafisah’s disturbing words rang once more in my head…”there is just something about real love that is short-lived.”
Images of my parents materialised quickly before my mind. They loved each other didn’t they? They’ve been together for 25 years now so surely her words did not apply to them. My mind flashed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his wife Khadija…perhaps it’s always the case that love is short-lived.
I felt my chest constrict…a thing as beautiful and essential as love should have a longer stay in this world. Love should not be ephemeral. A few moments later I arrived at a comforting conclusion that everyones idea of time is different. What is long to her may be short for him or 10 months of courtship might be a long time for you but fleeting to me or what is short-lived to A may be long-lived to B. With this sort of approach I feel love does not have a universal expiry date.
If a person feels their love is short-lived (because of death or because they couldn’t be with the person they loved; e.g they were both AS/SS), they should take it as their own unique experience with love and not something they were doomed to have because love is short-lived. Think about it if love is truly short-lived what hope do we have?
I knew I wasn’t making sense. I stood up from the bed and climbed down the stairs and remembered an old couple I saw walking hand in hand in a park one day. Their love was louder than the colour of their white hair and their love certainly wasn’t short-lived.
When I got to the bottom of the staircase I realised what it was about love that truly scared Nafisah. It wasn’t the time or that it’s short-lived. It’s the pain that comes with love. One of the greatest pains a man can feel is the one that stems from love. Everything will surely come to an end but not all things end with pain.
Let me explain, when you deeply love someone and you are with them, time is pretty much valueless because you can sacrifice everything or 5 hours of your day to spend just 5 minutes with them. I mean there are people who kill for love and are willing to spend 25 years or the rest of their life in prison. So if you had just five minutes to spend with someone you really loved you’ll agree with me that it’s short-lived? But in reality five minutes with that person would be valued much more than a simple space of five minute. Love really is immeasurable and cosmic.
Whether you spend a long period or a short period of time with that person, the real fear isn’t that you won’t have enough time with them. To begin with you’re not conscious of time when you are with them and the honest truth is you will never have enough time with them. So time is not the problem here. The fear is the pain you are bound to feel when you have to part with them.
In other words if you love someone right now, sooner or later you will feel the pain of love. I’m not cursing you it’s just fact because all things must come to an end but that’s the beautiful thing about love you won’t be conscious of time; you won’t be conscious of what has passed and what is left.
If you don’t love someone (whether you spend an eternity or a few seconds with them), when the time comes for you to part with them it won’t ‘hurt’. You’ll also find that if you spend time with a person you do not love, you’d be a lot more conscious of the time and a minute will feel like a year. Contrast this with the situation when you spend time with a person you are in love with. Time is a valuable thing but when you are with someone you love you forget about it. The value of love and the joy derived from love cannot be measured with or against time but something greater. The only thing love can be measured against is love.
It is true that some people have their love short-lived because of death or because for one reason or the other they can’t be with the person they love and it’s a very painful thing to go through but as muslims we believe everything happens for a reason and we also find comfort in knowing that everything that happens to us (especially things beyond our control) is good for us. Allah does not test or burden a soul beyond what it can bear. Allah knows best and we have to trust Him at all times.
I’ll like to add that love is something that is beautiful in its entirety; whether it is short or long, slow or fast, young or old. Love on the other hand is also pain. It’s so sweet and good that we want it to remain and last forever but nothing lasts forever.
Lastly, I have a message from Love itself to pass to everyone:
“I am love and if you did not know before, know now that I’m the greatest thing you can ever feel but I have no place with the weak. It takes courage, patience and a lot of selflessness to fully bear me. If you love or choose to love anyone or anything, know that you can’t escape my sting. A lot of people are afraid of my sting but I tell you it’s not such a terrible thing. If my sting is ever felt by any of you it means your love was true and my Creator is the Most Merciful. Allah is fully aware of all that you go through because of me and I promise you that He has things in store, things that are far greater than me for those of you that felt my sting and were patient. If your love is true then remember that whatever the form, it is in its entirety beautiful and blessed. I’m a great privilege so use me, nurture me but do not take advantage of me and do not abuse me for there’s another side of me that I hope you never come to know and feel because that side brings nothing but evil and destruction.”
I want to wish everyone a happy new year in advance. May we live to see the year 2017 and may the year come with great blessings, plenty success and immense joy.
See you in my next post In Sha Allah! xo