Love for Allah's sake

Q336 :Can a woman love a man for Allah's sake, as it is mentioned in a Hadith that a man can love a man or a woman [can love] another woman for Allah's sake?

A336 : In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet lists seven people who will "enjoy Allah's shelter on the day when there is no shelter other than His." These include: "Two men who love each other for Allah's sake, they meet and separate with this bond between them." In another Hadith, the Prophet speaks of a believer who was on his way to visit one of his brethren. On instructions from Allah, an angel took the shape of a human being and stopped him as he passed by, asking him where he was heading. When he told him that he was going to visit his brother in the nearby village, the angel asked him whether he had any business interest with him, or he may be claiming a debt or he may want to have a favor, or to repay an earlier favor. To all these questions the man gave a negative reply. The angel then asked him why he was visiting him. The man answered: "Because I love him for Allah's sake." The angel said: "I am an angel sent by Allah to tell you that Allah loves you because you love your brothers." Both Hadiths highlight the important of having a pure relationship of love which is not motivated by any interest apart from a bond of faith which unites the two or more persons concerned. We note, however, in the first Hadith that the Prophet speaks of "two men." He did not say: "Two persons." We know, however, that all Islamic teachings apply to both men and women, unless otherwise specified. In other words, the same thing applies to two women loving each other for Allah's sake. It is not possible, however, that this sort of relationship develops between a man and a woman. This is due first to the fact that the natural attraction between a man and a woman is too strong to allow such a pure relationship to develop. It is only to be expected that once there is a sort of intimacy between a man and a woman which is caused by love or admiration, the natural desire may impose its color on it. Moreover, if either party or both are married, the relationship may lead to endless problems. That does not prevent a person to admire another person of the opposite sex for his or her dedication to Allah's cause. This must remain undisclosed because its disclosure may lead to problems. What we are talking about here is the sort of admiration one feels towards a person who achieves excellence in his field. Such admiration is not followed by social contact. The point about the possibility for a pure relationship of love for Allah's cause cannot exist between a man and a woman is that such love should normally lead to a stage of intimate relations which Islam cannot approve between a man and a woman.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )