We are living in the twenty-first century where modern trends and actions keep touching our eardrums. Sometimes we reflect upon them and then we try to find meanings of those trends in our way. We try to incorporate them into our life according to our own culture. Have you ever done this? I am sure that you must have done it. We usually get introduced to these terms from social media and self-love is also a term that I came to know from social media. But then I consulted Islamic sources for getting its complete meaning.
For modern people, self-love might have a different meaning. For example, you have a cup of tea and feel its warmness, and look towards the steam getting out of it. But, reading Islamic teachings gave me a completely different meaning of this term. What do you think about this term? Share your opinion in the comment section.
Islam defines self-love in a way that to love yourself as Allah created you. Learn to love who you are. Try to cherish being yourself. Try to reflect that how blessed you are. You were born as a Muslim and heard the voice of Adhan, Allah blessed you with Iman. He perfectly created you. Your complexion, hair color, height, and physical features are the creation of Allah and you are the best creation and he created you beautiful.
He says in Quran:
"We created man in the best design".
So, love and accept yourself. Don’t you think that self-love is a part of your instincts? You fulfill the needs of your body every day, you eat and drink and select the best for yourself. Even you have fears about killing yourself. Sometimes, we over-prioritize ourselves. For example, the selection of the best thing for ourselves and it is our love for ourself. We have self-esteem and get hurt when someone insults us. Why does this happen? Because we love our being.
How this love can be a way of connecting to God? Offering prayer is a demonstration of our self-love. It might sound odd to your ears but you can’t reject it. Allah doesn’t need your prayers and worship. Then why do you pray? Because you want to get purified and spiritually connected to Allah for the sake of yourself. You keep fast to get away from the sins and move towards piousness. You feel this good in yourself.
The more you love yourself, the more you feel connected to Allah. When you have the feeling that you love your being, you understand the spiritual needs of your soul. As a result, you connect to Allah for peace and love. You care for your body and soul. You allow your soul to get connected with the Creator of it.
Man is superior to all other creatures in the universe. This superiority in the universe demands to have look at yourself, your being, your presence, and what makes you superior to others. Self-love in Islam doesn’t mean accepting your strengths and weaknesses and considering you perfect. It will block the way of improvement.
You should know your strengths and weaknesses and have a will to improve your weaknesses. You should cherish yourself for being human and being blessed but at the same time well aware of your weaker side. In this way, self-love will not be a barrier to your improvement. It will be a supporting factor for improving more and more.
Islam talks about self-love and self-care at various places. For instance, cleanliness of body, special care of body and health, accepting what you have, games, festivals, etc. are a way of taking your time out of the other activities and then focusing on yourself.
When a Muslim is strong and courageous as an individual. Then, the whole community will feel the effect. Self-love is a way to connect with Allah and then connect with family, relatives, and fellow Muslims for the sake of Allah. Self-love is an indirect way to connect with your community because you can't love anyone until you can't love your own and your existence.
You should not confuse the term self-love with narcissism because Islam allows you to self-love and prioritize yourself but not be over-obsessed with yourself. Self-love helps to connect you with Allah and your community while narcissism is a way of divulgence from Allah and community. You should maintain a balance in self-love and it should not exceed a limit because exceeding the limit will make you a narcissist that Islam forbids. You can learn more about narcissism here.