The Burden of Saying I Love You

What would you say when I told you, whenever you say to someone, be it your loved ones or special someone, the heart throbbing words such as “I Love You” that there are strings attached to it as well? You simply have to owe up to what you have said. No? You don’t believe me? Okay, I have a confession. I’ve never been in a relationship and the only endless loving relationship with a woman that I ever had is with my one and only mother. She is my first love, and will always be.

Oh no, I’ve spilled the beans! It’s been spread all over the table! Now, you might ask a question. What makes me eligible to talk about love and relationship when I’ve never been into one before? 

Well, I never did claim I’m eligible. I’m merely blurting out my experiences and the experiences of others. You see, you can learn from your own mistakes and the mistakes of others as well. That’s what the elderly told you whenever they gave you some advice or correct the errors of your way. They “eat salt” (makan garam) more than you ever did in your whole life time! So, sit down and listen intently next time, you less-eating-salt-baby because they are right! (Yes, you have to admit that you are kinda a baby when you act high and mighty like you shouldn’t be lectured about a recent mistake that you’ve made.) 

Now on to the main question.

So, young couples out there, (clasping my hand together) do you know what kind of strings attached to these romantic yet powerful enough words that can even drive a 78 years old husband in California to walk miles to find suitable candidate for his wife’s kidney transplant? Here’s his story.

No you don’t. If you did, you wouldn’t be texting your parents “ILY” instead of “I love you, awesome dad and beautiful mom!” and you wouldn’t text your special someone just for the sake of texting them and you know, to avoid them harassing you for the next 45 minutes, just because you’ve forgotten to do so.

Because with every words spoken, every promises made and every lies told, there are consequences or responsibilities along with it. That’s what we call, folks, as accountability.
Hang on a minute. What’s an akauunntobee-lity? Well kids, it means being responsible and basically owe up to what you have said. You show that you meant what you’ve told others.

Hey, I’m 10 years old and I love my boyfriend/girlfriend till death do us part!” despite the fact that 10 years old are supposed to enjoy life as children, playing hide and seek or finding out why the birds can fly so high up in the sky.

You know, we’ve been a couple, for like a week, let’s make a video and show the whole world how our love is forever and ever!” said the guy cheerfully, who relied on the computer and internet connection that her parents paid monthly.

Stay away from ma boi, if you wanna live!” after texting her so called “rival” using the smartphone (for not so-smart-stuffs, apparently) which her mother paid for it with her money that she had saved for her daughter's future education.

Wow, some responsibilities you have there!

Jokes aside, young padawans if you really love someone, you should be responsible towards him/her. You wouldn’t want them to get hurt, would you? Because coupling, is a one step closer to zina. One feet closer. One feet nearer. One more step before you fall into the deep gorge. A pitch black world full of sins.

“But I woke him/her for tahajjud!” 

“We study together, fast together, pray together, is that even wrong? We even corrected each other’s tajweed!”

“I love him/her for the sake of Allah!”

But of course. Islamification of things prohibited. Might as well put akhi/ukthi there, then it will be okay. Allah swt won’t get mad, would He?

Nor come nigh to adultery (zina): for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil opening the road (to other evils).” (Al-Isra: 32)

Translated by Yusuf Ali and he added an explanation regarding zina that it is “Not only should it be avoided as a sin, but any approach or temptation to it (zina) should be avoided.” 

This is exactly what I meant as one step closer to it. It doesn’t matter if you adjust it to be more Islamic, it is still a step closer to zina. How can you be so sure that your heart won’t change by the slight hush of your “significant other”? Or when he persuade you one night to give up everything in exchange with promises of marrying you one day when he didn’t even contemplate about it seriously?

If you really love him/her, stop coupling now. Now, how about learning some responsibilities this time around.

A responsible man, instead of going places with a woman that she is not married with, would meet a that woman’s father and ask for her hand in marriage. For the ladies, tell your man to see your parents. If they chickened out, that’s a good sign, he didn’t deserve you.

This is a process of owing up to what you said.

Let’s read this made up real life conversation that has particularly nothing in relevance to me or anyone, if it did, it was not intentional.

“Pak Mat, I have been holding on these feelings for a long time, now it’s the time to tell you. I would like to marry your daughter.”

“Are you ready, Lokman? Because marriage is easier said than done especially when you’re still studying.”

“Pak Mat, I have been working as a helper at a burger stall every night. You’re right, it’s not much but I’m planning to find extra jobs around Segamat. InshaAllah, by next year, I will have enough money to spend for the marriage and leave some to support myself and her as a family”

“Lokman, of course you can marry Layla…but she is just 11 years old. You have to wait a few more years then.”

“What? I’m asking for your eldest daughter not the youngest one,” looking somewhat bamboozled.

“Gotcha! You should've told me who in the first place!” (Pandai Pak Mat buat lawak noh!)

This is what owing up to what you said, what you’ve promised. If you really love someone, work to it. Be responsible about it. Do it the right way, the Halal way.

Don’t say you will love someone forever and ever, if you are not going to be responsible for it. Same goes when making promises. 

I used to say “I love you mum,” weekly from the first year I’m in Adelaide (given that I have the time to call her weekly only, being away from Malaysia) and I still do. And I owe up to her by praying to Allah swt for her health and wellbeing (and for my father too ;) ). And I owe up to her by making her proud of me, by making she feels all the hard work of raising me had been worth the while. And I owe up to her by finding a pious young woman to marry to. So that we both could look after them when they get really old. So that we both could raise pious grandkids for them. InshaAllah.

Be a man (or a lady for the women), would you?

I hope you will. 

And I hope you do the right thing the next time you send a text message to your special someone.

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