Love: The Potential for Abuse

I have become painfully aware of how love can and is being abused in this society. It's perhaps like an early socialist philosopher visiting Stalinist Russia to discover how his vision has turned into a nightmare.

Love involves making yourself vulnerable and taking a risk. And it's not just the risk of suffering a heart break; in the society we live, it also carries the risk of being stigmatized and having your reputation soiled, more so for the girl. Society only accepts engagements and marriages with parental endorsement; anything outside that is shameful and taboo. Now, I do not like this fact and I certainly think that it should not be so, but I can't close my eyes to it either.

For many boys, relationships are just a pastime and girls are something to be used and discarded. They do not realize that it is human lives they are playing with, and there are consequences, if not for themselves, then for the girl. It is another thing to love someone genuinely and then break-up due to unfavorable circumstances or other reasons. It is entirely another thing to treat someone as a toy, to have no remorse and guilt and to be proud of your (sexual) exploits.

I am shocked by the vulgarity of people, and I am shocked by their utter disregard for human respect.

Whether I like it or not, love has a huge potential of abuse. I have always been a proponent of love, and I have always endorsed it, but what do I say for this abusive potential? How can I tell people to believe in love when lives have been ruined in its name?

How can I believe in love in a society where boys are not free and where girls are so vulnerable?

I cannot change the rotten society in which I live, not for now, anyway. Can I only hypothesize about love in an ideal society where people act with human decency?

Love at its best is beautiful and inspiring. Almost divine.
But it can also be as dark as the human soul.

Love can be both good and bad; it is what we make it to be. There is no point in endorsing love without morality: respect, decency, liberty, strength, sincerity ...

Love is not beyond morality.


did you send this to US magazine? Or to some place to get it published. This one should really be published :-)

I salute you, sir :-)
Dur-e-Aziz Amna said…
I always thought you did the Love posts best of 'em all. :)
You sound slightly...non-Awais-ish in them...but so beautiful. :)
Anonymous said…
I'm not really qualified to comment on this post because I'm not in your society and my understanding of it, which I'd like to increase, is based on what I read in places like your blog. I would just like to add that you write with great feeling. Are your experiences reflected in these words?
Anonymous said…
I totally agree with the whole feeling in this post. This is so wrong going on nowadays :S
Bahadur Hussain said…
Yes, I agree with each bit of this chunk.
Nadia said…
I didn't agree with a lot. *sigh*
For one, are you used to using 'as dark as the human soul' as a simile?

Second, I am definitely not a proponent of love outside marriage. You can like someone, that is, feel the potential compatibility. But love...that divine essence of it...comes after years of marriage ONLY. Marriage is a sacred institution, wherein you are the 'garments of one another' as the Quran puts it. Wherein, there is 'love AND mercy' between the two. Outside of marriage, you never even fully know the other person. It is dominated by desire of union. It sees little of the sacrifices that only being bound in marriage entails. Anyways, you have your own opinion.

Another thing, apni society ko gaali daina aasan kaam hai. Tell me, is your ideal the sort of 'freedom' the Western society offers?
Nadia said…
As an afterthought, I think this realization of the potential for it's abuse should make you see that there is a reason why religious law seeks to regulate it in the best possible form. In the institution of marriage. Aap jo sochte hain... chahte hain... that is not a possibility in 'any' human society.
Awais Aftab said…
@ Raaji

No, it is unpublished as yet. I'll consider the possibility.

Thank you, i am much honoured! :)

@ Alec

Both my experiences and observations.

@ Nadia

I do not support the love-in-marriage-only philosophies nor do i support the usual religious (Islamic) position on love.
Anonymous said…
It's a curiosity of argument that people who hold particular, often rigid, views, when challenged, attack by supposing the challenger is proposing the exact opposite of the view they hold. Nadia seems to be doing this, when she asks if 'your ideal [is] the sort of "freedom" that western society offers'. Even assuming there is a single model of "freedom" offered by western society (and that, of course, is nonsense), there are many positions between where she is, and the caricature of western society that I'm guessing she has in mind.
Awais Aftab said…
@ Alec

You raise a good point.

I do not believe i mentioned the Western society anywhere in the post, or presented West as an ideal to be adopted. I criticize my society because it is the only society i am intimately familiar with; it is the society i live in.
Anonymous said…
Love is universal and I don't believe it has anything to do with either the eastern or the western society. I raise the point of the hypocrisy of innate human feelings, especially love.

As for karma, I've lost my faith in it. There is no karma but God who determines what should be.
Nadia said…

Oh no. I didn't assume anything. I as to what Awais idealizes. I like his writings a lot, but sometimes I wonder if he isn't too far away from reality.
Anonymous said…
Awais seems to have a better understanding of reality than most, imnsho. There are those who prefer to abdicate their responsibility for reality and put their trust in the supernatural. That's not what I think of as 'a grasp of reality'; it seems more like desperation, or clutching at unreality. Open your fist and recognise that there is nothing there, then open your mind to human possibility.
Anonymous said…
There is no point in endorsing love without morality: respect, decency, liberty, strength, sincerity ...

I loved the way you explained the thesis of your post here. I cant say much it just breaks my heart .... I have seen it...I experienced it and I know the danger of concequences of such a bold step of "loving someone in this sick society"....pity