Question and Answer Details
Love is Selfless Not Selfish
Two married felt true love for each other. Over the years their love flourished as pure as it can be -- without any physical or sexual desires - a real soulmate love. Although you can come with all different opinions about how bad this is, the two are so much in love that they believed in the Akhirah (the Hereafter) so strongly that they can envision being there together. Both of them pray to Allah to make them be together in the Hereafter. However during one meeting they somehow did commit zina (fornication) and now they are in repentance. Now they don't have sexual desires, but then no one would believe this kind of love existed.
Anyway, they think the only way out (which they tried to avoid in the first place in order not to destroy the two homes etc..) is to get divorced and then marry each other, because they just can not stop talking to or seeing each other, but they do not want to continue this life. Can each get divorce or khula` (wife's request for divorce) from their spouses and get married?
They did not inform their spouses about the bad part, which happened all of sudden but the spouses from both parties know they these two love each other. The option of not talking is not there as most likely it will cause them to die for sure or be like the living dead. Question -, is the path explained valid, and how can one repent with what happened?
Please do not reply with a typical judgment as the matter is very, very complicated, we need your guidance not a fatwa please..
Name of Counsellor
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious
the Most Merciful.
May He bestow His peace and blessings on His messenger, Muhammad, his family, Companions, and all of those who follow them sincerely.
As salamu `alaykum,
Dear brother, thank you for writing to us with your question. It is a bit difficult to make out the situation as you explain it, but I will try my best to answer the question as best I can given my level of understanding as to what you are asking.
It is always important, in this type of forum, that we ask questions with sincerity and openness, and not try to qualify our questions with, “well, I’m interested in what you have to say as long as long as it’s not A,B or C.” You mentioned in your question that you do not want us to answer you in a judgmental way, that you want us to provide you with ‘guidance.’ The way you pose your question indicates that you are looking for a particular response, or, more bluntly, that you would like us to ‘endorse’ your actions due to their ‘complexity’ and because of the intensity of emotions experienced between the two parties involved. Well, unfortunately, we cannot provide ‘guidance’ in such a manner. We must be honest and tell you what we think based on our knowledge and experience, as well as our understanding of the situation as you have explained it.
That’s all we have to go on.
Quite frankly, some of the things you say in your question make little sense. For example, you say that the two parties have no sexual desires for one another, but did commit adultery, and then after they committed adultery, they again had no sexual feelings for one another. This makes no sense. The whole point of the Islamic teaching of people of opposite sexes keeping safe distance from one another, both physically and socially, is to avoid this very thing – temptation. This is not a mere cultural practice, but rather a practical method for keeping our human temptations and desires in check.
It’s called preventive medicine. Many so-called intelligent people like to say that this is ridiculous, that grown men and women are mature enough to have social relations with one another without it necessarily turning into sexual relations. If so, why are there so many extra-marital affairs going on in the world, leading to divorces, domestic violence, broken homes and the like? How many such affairs start at places like the office, where so-called ‘harmless’ social contact can so easily blossom into a full-blown extra-marital love affair? Does Allah not know us better than we know ourselves? We think we are so smart, yet the facts and numbers are proof that we are not.
The situation you are in now is a difficult one. As you have requested, I will not give you a fatwa because I am not qualified to do so, however, your question – can these two people now both request divorce due to their love affair with one another – requires a fatwa of some sort. You are asking a question that is related to legal matters, i.e. can they legitimately ask for divorce given the circumstances. That particular question I cannot answer. As such, it is difficult for me to answer your question, other than to say that regardless of how much these two people love each other, the bottom line is that their love for one another appears greater than their love for Allah, as they have already committed adultery yet insist on moving forward with the illicit relationship. That’s not being judgmental, that’s the simple fact of the situation.
Reality is reality. You say that the two are afraid to destroy their respective homes, but based on what they have done already it seems as though that’s going to happen regardless. Especially since the two insist that their desperate love for one another must continue. Their homes are already in trouble, brother, first by being involved in this kind of relationship and secondly by committing adultery. Unless something dramatic is done quickly, I fear that further damage to the homes will ensue.
True love is not destructive, brother. True love is selfless, it’s sacrifice for the other - it’s wanting the best for another. It’s a state where individual desires disappear and one’s life becomes a vehicle for service of the other. There is no more wanting for ourselves, only for others for the sake of God. Thus the adage, “If you love somebody, set them free….” That is true love and it is only love of God that can bring us that love. Love is not “I gotta have this person at all costs and no matter who and what I destroy in the process…” Love is, “I want whatever is best for this person, regardless of what I GET out of it!” And whatever is best for another includes their life in this world and the life to come. There is no true love, however, that destroys homes and souls by committing capital crimes in God’s eyes. That is not true love.
The first thing I think that needs to be done before any action should be taken is sincere tawbah/repentance for what has taken place between these two people. Only with sincere repentance and then asking Allah for guidance can there be any honest attempt to resolve the situation in a way that is healthy. Otherwise, these two people will be merely following their nafs/desires’ wishes, causing more destruction in their wake. Right now, I sense that these two people are blinded by their love/lust for one another and are not capable of making clear judgments as to what is best. They need to, though, before they do any more harm to their families and themselves.
If they are sincere, as you say, in their desire to be together in the Akhirah, then they have to come to their senses now in this life and realize that the path they are on is certainly not going to bring them together in the Akhirah in any desirable state. They need to realize this and put their lives and their actions in perspective. Their prayers to be together in the life to come will be answered, in sha-Allah, if they are able to control themselves and act within the bounds of God’s laws and guidance. Only by doing so will they realize their dreams of being together in the life to come.