So What is Love?

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I was reflecting on our outlook on love and how we demonstrate this. For some love is defined by materialistic items such fast cars, shiny items like jewellery and even shinier….. Diamonds! Don’t get me wrong exchanging gifts is Sunnah (meaning – from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH),The Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another”. [Bukhari]

Gifts are a wonderful way to increase love between each other, be it between husband and wife, parents and children or even with neighbours. It’s a priceless moment to be a part of when the giver of a gift observes the expression of the receiver whilst unwrapping his/her gift! My favourite is when I have an unexpected gift for my toddler; the ones she doesn’t expect always give me the greatest pleasure due to the look on her face. Priceless!

It’s beautiful how this Hadith clearly states that exchanging gifts INCREASES love between one another, not that it defines how much you love someone. It’s sad to say that we live in a day and age that apparently the more elaborate the gift and more expensive, the more your loved one loves you. Although for some this is how they feel loved, I believe that this does not prove anything apart from the fact that someone is able to use a credit card or knows how’s to exchange money with a cashier. It does not define love.

The word love itself is defined as,‘A strong feeling of affection’

Expressing your feelings of affection differs from person to person, relationship to relationship but one thing I do know about those people obsessed with buying or receiving expensive gifts is that one day you will feel like it’s just another shiny diamond or another box to open. You will lose interest.

Be honest when you see an old couple sitting together holding hands wherever it may be, can you see the love they have for one another?  The way they look at one another, laugh and smile is real love. I respect the elderly generation who lived in a technology free world and had to really think outside the box in order to express their love for someone. And they are the generation who worked each day at their relationships and fixed something that was broken rather than walking away. Our generation could learn a thing or two. That generation spoke more to each other face to face; hence they had the communication box ticked. Today we lack that in our relationships. Sending a text message is not an act of love, its being lazy.

The way I know I’m loved by my husband is when he remembers the smallest of things and they are the ones that leave an impact. Or when he sits and listens to me in my hour of need, when he cooks my favourite breakfast (NOT BECAUSE HE’S IN THE DOG HOUSE, OR IT’S V DAY OR MY BIRTHDAY). I’m quite simple like that since I’ve always understood it’s not the extravagant gestures that create a page in our book of memories, it’s those everyday small acts of kindness that fill the pages. One of the most romantic gestures I’ve received from my husband is a letter, hand written letter about his feelings towards me. I’m a bit old school, and he knows that. So that one act of chivalry reinstated my faith in how we express love.

Remember it’s the little things that resonate throughout the years, it’s the acts of kindness that are thoughtful and sincere that creates those loving memories. In my opinion throwing a vast amount of money at love is no different to buying an item, a product and we all know you can’t buy love! So the next time you want to show a loved one that he/she is loved then dig deep, really think about that gift….you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to show your love, and it doesn’t have to be expensive…… it just has to mean something! As long as the receiver knows it’s genuine and really thought out then no doubt that moment will be stored in their favourite long term memory box.

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