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To date or not to date?

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Girl meets boy, and life seems so sweet. Now that he is in her life, no one else exists. All day long he is the number one feature of her daydreams; the star of the show. She checks her Facebook to see if he has posted on her wall; and her gaze is always lowered… right on to her phone, checking for his messages. She is his queen, and he is her knight in shining armour. He cherishes her, adores her and cares for her in every way possible. They meet at the end of the classes or they meet secretly in a ore arranged location during the holidays. She says she cannot live without him, and with a twinkle in his eyes, he says he feels the same way. She wonders, is this all really real? So romantic, right? (maybe some will say where’s the bucket so I can throw up….)

 

Sure…It’s OK, If her Prince Charming happens to be already her husband. Right? And if he’s not?

 

She risks losing her reputation, her self-respect, her modesty, her Imaan… and worst of all, her Aakhirah is in grave danger.

 

It is considered by some scholars as one of the most evil crisis’ to come upon the Ummah, and that is of dating and inappropriate contact between the genders. Whether we are aware of it or not, these relationships are rampant, hidden behind deleted messages and secret hook-ups. Only evil surrounds these relationships- from loss of reputation and destruction of modesty, to outright Zina and Abortion. Television and the media strives on this way of life.. In everyday dramas and stories.. Bollywood and Hollywood promotes dating as a way of life for any single person! And these days it is in every corner of our Islamic society whether we are living in the west or east…So how can we tackle this matter effectively? Here are a few excuses that I hear every day from people, all making excuses about dating.. or chatting with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

 

Excuses for Free-mixing and Dating 

 

  • What if it’s too late you ask?

 

It’s never too late to turn to Allah سبحانه و تعالى. This article is not about the fiqh of gender interaction (references for that at the end of the article). This is just a reminder to every girl who has non-Mahram “friends” with whom she freely chats to; every girl who sincerely wants to marry for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, but has found herself falling in to haram in her quest; to all the sisters out there who make excuses as to why they can’t keep it halal. Let’s be real with ourselves, Insha’Allah.

 

  • But we love each other!

 

Yes, you might love each other, but isn’t Allah سبحانه و تعالى  more deserving of your love? Of course you say, knowing full well that Allah سبحانه و تعالى  deserves your love above everybody and everything else.

 

Are you using His blessings (sight, speech, movement, intelligence, beauty) to disobey Him? If you love, deeply, truly – Allah سبحانه و تعالى – than love everybody else in ways that please Him. Get married if possible, and do so with delay, since that is the cure for those in love.

 

Tip: If marriage is not an option, have sabr and don’t transgress the limits set by Allah سبحانه و تعالى  for fleeting feelings. Insha’Allah your time will come, and the fire of regret will burn deep in your heart if you fell in to haram while you were seeking the Halal.

 

  • We only talk on the phone/Facebook/text… Isn’t that ok?

 

Short answer, no.

 

You might have pure intentions, hoping to get to know each other for the sake of marriage. The scary fact is, Shaytaan will seize the opportunity if he sees you approaching a potentially sinful situation. Slowly but surely, certain things seem more and more acceptable to you, and you could soon find yourself in a compromising situation that you never would have thought possible.

 

Like quicksand, haram relationships are easy to fall in to and hard to get out of (mostly because of the emotional toll). If only we heeded the advice of the One created us, we’d find our lives so much easier.

 

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Al Isra 17:32)

 

Tip: Don’t even come close to Zina- can this advice be any clearer? What starts off “innocently” can lead to Zina. Trust that Allah سبحانه و تعالى is looking out for your best interest. Begin what you intend to do the right way, so that what follows is right, Insha’Allah. If what begins right, ends right, we can hope for the “right” abode in the Aakhirah – Jannah.

 

  • But we’re getting married… eventually!

 

In a nutshell – until the imam pronounces you as man and wife – he is to you as every other man is. This means that it is the same whether you have just meet him. As it is when you are engaged and you are a fiancé … You are still not married. Would you consider is ok to call Carlos from accounting and have a chat about your favourite movies? Is it ok to meet Imam Ejaz at the movies? Late night phone calls and secret meet ups are off-limits.

 

Sisters, don’t be fooled into thinking everything is sweet just because he “manned” up and proposed (or promised to propose). By Allah, there are girls who give up their dignity, with promises of marriage, and I’m talking about really giving it up. They lost their ‘izza (honour) for nothing more than promises and feeling “lovey dovey” – only to find themselves dumped, or in a miserable marriage to someone who doesn’t fear Allah سبحانه و تعالى, because they were too love-blind to see the red flags. Be aware that men on the interest have secret agendas and they are looking for gains in devious ways. You will fall for it ..be trapped and you will think it’s so sweet and innocent.. But in reality he is preparing to trap you for either money or an illicit affair. Some go to the extent to make you feel bad and helpless because they claim they are in problems or hardship and need support. Too many sisters have fallen in this trap and it’s why this article highlights this. In the end, a real man isn’t one who can get ALL the girls… a real man is one who fears Allah, especially when emotions are high and stays away from hurting, abusing and misleading the girls.

 

  • But he won’t want me if we don’t communicate.

 

Think of your (future) husband as an advocate of your Deen – i.e. the closest person to you that will encourage you toward good and steer you away from sin. If this guy fails to encourage piety from the outset, what is it that you are seeking from him?

 

If the guy you want to marry pressures you to communicate with him, he’s forcing you in to a corner. On one hand, you want to protect your izza and your Imaan. On the other hand, it is him that you want to obey. He is making his mark, by stating his demands .. Like it or lump it.. He is drawing up his boundary which he can never really change ..Does that sound like a good deal to you? You will discover in majority of the cases, he has not even told his parents about you. And he just lies every time to you that he has told them. Or he has promised. And so on. All he wants is you to be his secret virtual girlfriend by night ..nothing more!

 

Tip: Don’t taint your future marriage by planting the seeds of haram, because eventually you will have to reap them.

 

  • I can’t find anyone else but him

 

As for those who fear they can’t find anybody else, may Allah send you a righteous brother soon, Ameen. It’s tempting to cling on to the first decent guy that shows interest, but don’t settle for anyone who makes you compromise your Deen. Never! Even if your parents try to force you against your will or accuse you of wasting time and money taking you across the world to meet suitable suitors.. If they don’t live up to their Deen, then they can never live up to being your life partner.

 

Tip: Be upfront with all suitors. Let them know your wali will be present at all times during the pre-marital meeting. Make sure your wali understands his role properly, which isn’t to keep a brick wall between you and your intended, but to act as your guardian. There are no excuses for being in seclusion (khalwa) with a non-Mahram for the sake of getting to know them. Non what so ever. And those who think it’s ok to conduct secret Internet chats without any other family member knowledge, how wrong they think, do they try to hide it from Allah Subhanahu wa Taala, the one they claim they worship and are obedient to, but then they do this act secretly, sometimes every night.. After everyone has gone to sleep.. They connect via Skype or viper and chat till the morning hours.. What is amazing..they will chat all night..and then they will fall asleep and won’t bother with Fajr salah ..

 

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third.” (Al-Tirmidhi 3118)

 

  • But everyone else is doing it…

 

I find it appropriate to repeat the words of my dear Mother, and just about everybody else’s mother, “If everybody jumps off a bridge, will you jump too?”. Cliche, sure, but they have a point. Just because other people are engaging in haram, it doesn’t make it ok for you to follow. You’ll only add to your bad deeds, and theirs too. What if the same people you choose to follow in this life, turn out to be the ones you have no choice but to follow in the next? And what of these same people are thrown into fire – what will your situation be? Astaghfirullah.

 

Tip: Keep good company, stay amongst people who understand the seriousness of disobeying Allah and His messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa salaam. Reflect on the famous Hadith of the perfume and the blacksmith:

 

Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Apostle said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” (ahih al-Bukhārī)

 

  • But it’s too late to keep it halal

 

So you’ve already commenced haram contact and you feel like it’s too late to stop. Fortunately, you’re wrong.

 

The contact between you may have become inappropriate, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Perhaps Shaytaan got the better of you, and he might have won a few battles, but it doesn’t mean he’s won the war. You can make it halal, but you have to make a sincere effort.

 

  1. Within yourself, make it clear that you are ‘making it halal’ for the sake of Allah سبحانه و تعالى. This is vital! You need to be clear about what your goal is, and stay steadfast, because Shaytaan is going to attack you from every angle.

 

Repentance is key – you need to seek forgiveness, regret, and abstain from the sin. The great news is, that you have a Lord who is Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate), Al-Ghaffar (The Pardoner), Al-Afuw (The Forgiving), Al Haleem (The Kindly). See my page on the meanings of the 99 beautiful names of Allah.

 

  1. Give the number of your wali to this guy, if you’re serious about marriage. If not, break contact immediately. Either you’re heading for marriage or you’re not. Good obedient Muslims are not ‘players’ – so don’t play around.

 

Understand this and be absolutely clear. There is no dating in Islam, like the western concept.. where single women and men will date with one another and then they ultimately end up committing zina.. And then after that they move on.. And date someone else and the whole process repeats itself.. It is not uncommon for people to date as many as 5-6 partners before deciding to treat them as boyfriend or girlfriend material.. And then they may spend many years living together and having children.. Before eventually deciding to get married! This is all against the laws of decent humanity and against the fundamentals of any religion you care to mention. So brothers and sisters let’s not fall in shaytaan trap!

 

By shunning the evil of free mixing and dating, you are reviving a Sunnah, and setting a trend of modesty and piety, in a world riddled with evil desires and dangerous sins. Don’t underestimate the worth of clinging to the Deen, regardless of whose love you lose Because a Muslimah Queen like you deserves to be loved and cherished in ways that please Allah, Whose love we cannot live without. And that’s real.

 

“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Quran: 39:53)

 

 

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