She is in love and it has affected her – should she go to a psychologist?

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I am a nineteen-year-old girl, and I am love with someone, but I know that this love is haraam according to Islam, and I know that he does not love me, but there is no point in trying to forget this sickness, because when I tried to forget it, I found myself looking for a new love. I started to think of married men, single men, friends and cousins, etc, until I lost a lot of self-confidence. Thinking too much about this subject has started to bother me, and I started to think that there was some witchcraft, and I wanted to go to a Shaykh, but I am a bit hesitant. I do not know what to do. Now I want to go to a psychologist, but is that haraam and is it turning to someone other than Allaah? But I do not know what the solution to this problem is.
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Praise be to Allaah.

Your situation is not one of witchcraft or spells, such that you need to go to a raaqi to perform ruqyah for you, and it is not a mental or nervous illness, such that you need to go to a doctor. Rather it is the case of a heart that has been affected by the shaytaan and his waswaas (whispers), who has instilled ideas of haraam love, so that you started to inflame your desire by means of poisonous (i.e., haraam) looks, wrong thoughts and false hopes, until you have reached this state of sickness, as you are aware. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Chapter: The teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on how to deal with love. 

This is one of the diseases of the heart, which are different from other diseases in their causes and remedies. If they take hold, they become too difficult for the doctors to treat and they cause a great deal of trouble for the sick person.

Then he said: Love of images only affects hearts that are void of the love of Allaah and that turn away from Him and are content with things other than Allaah. But when the heart is filled with love of Allaah and the longing to see Him, that wards off the sickness of attraction to images. Hence Allaah said concerning Yoosuf (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, (guided) slaves”

[Yoosuf 12:24]

This indicates that sincerity (ikhlaas) is a means of warding off love and the evil and immoral actions that it leads to. Protecting oneself against the cause is also protecting oneself against what it leads to. Hence one of the salaf said: Love is the sign of an empty heart. Zaad al-Ma’aad 4/365, 268 

You should note, may Allaah protect you from the things that incur His wrath, that the source of this sickness is in haraam looks, which are the harbinger of calamity and which bring the sickness into the heart. Then the heart begins to imagine things, until that leads to wishing for or imagining haraam things. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has decreed for the son of Adam his share of zina, which he will inevitably get. The zina of the eyes is looking and the zina of the tongue is speaking. The heart wishes and hopes, and the private part confirms that or denies it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6243) and Muslim (2657). 

In that case, you have to block the way that leads to this sickness and keep away from places of danger and contagion. Hence Allaah commanded His believing slaves to lower their gaze (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allaah is All‑Aware of what they do.

31. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts)”

[al-Noor 24:30-31]

The greatest means of protecting one’s chastity is by directing one's desire in the way in which Allaah has permitted, which is by getting married if possible. If a person is attracted to a specific individual, then he can marry that person, as it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is nothing like marriage for two who love one another.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah (1847) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah. 

If a person wants to get married in order to guard his chastity, without being attracted to a specific person, then this is easier. In that case you can look to get married quickly and overcome the obstacles that are in your way. There is nothing wrong with seeking to keep yourself chaste. You can also seek the help of people you trust in trying to achieve that, such as a righteous sister or relative, or a mother who understands your needs. 

Until you can manage to do that, keep yourself busy, mentally and physically, with acts of worship and obedience, and do not give the shaytaan any opportunity to reach your heart or distract you. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, for it will be a shield for him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1905) and Muslim (1400). 

You should also note that one of the most effective remedies for one who is affliected with that is to turn sincerely to the One who answers the prayer of the needy when he calls upon Him and to persist in seeking His help with submission and humility. This is the first step, then he should strive to remain chaste and conceal the feelings that are in his heart. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “ … whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allaah will make him independent, and whoever is patient Allaah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6470) and Muslim (1053). 

You know that the other party does not share your feelings, and you know that there is no way you can marry him, and what you are doing is haraam and foolish. You still have your life ahead of you and it will be easy for you to find halaal love from a righteous husband, so do not concern yourself with that which Allaah has forbidden to you. 

In the answer to question no. 21677 we have explained the best way to treat anxiety, and given some important advice which you have to ponder. We also state there that it is permissible to seek treatment from a psychologist, but we do not think that you need to do that, because your problem is well known and you are the cause of it; the remedy for you is what we have mentioned and suggested above. 

In the answer to question no. 10254 we have discussed the case of a woman who was in love with a young man at school and wanted a solution. Look at this answer too, and perhaps you may benefit from it. 

We ask Allaah to make faith dear to you and to make kufr, immorality and sin hateful to you, and to guide you to the best of words and deeds, and to bless you with a righteous husband and good offspring. 

And Allaah knows best.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

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