Sakeena Suliman – Opinion | 26 September 2013/20 Dhul Qa’dah 1434- cii
Girl One was 25 when she met the man she wanted to marry. He was 40 and married yet they became firm friends. Contrary to what many would assume their relationship was an intimacy of two minds and hearts, never two bodies. Still, she admits, it was Haraam.
Now at 30 Girl One is still unmarried and has just broken free of a “mental and emotional prison”. A prison she says she sentenced herself to. Every year that suitable callers came knocking at her parents’ door she waited, praying her “friend” would take her as his second wife. The guilt she felt at becoming so close to a married man pushed her into proposing to him she says.
His reply of “I don’t know” should have been an eye opener but for another two years she continued to walk with eyes wide shut. There are no tears when Girl One speaks. She laughs at herself, beratingly, when she recalls the moment. She doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to marry anyone else and questions whether she will always use “him” as a yardstick against others.
Loneliness surrounded 24 year old Girl Two so completely she considered getting into a homosexual relationship. She says the attention came from the worst person at a difficult time in her life. She quickly backed away from what she describes as companionship that would have cost her, her Imaan.
Girl Three was not so lucky. It took a pilgrimage to break her ties from a “Muslim lesbian” she had been involved with for a short time. She carries that shame openly as it was a relationship many of her Muslim friends were privy to.
Thirty two year old Girl Four signed up on a well known marriage website to find companionship. Not long
after clicking on a sure winner she “got to know” her match made in cyberspace. A degree of emotional attachment later she learned the only thing incompatible about him was that he did not want to get married yet. Girl Four eventually broke free from her virtual true love.
Marriage is encouraged in Islam at a young age but as South Africans many of us have adopted a way of thinking that is contrary to Islam even if our way of life is seemingly Islamic. We put off marriage until after “we’ve found ourselves”, “established ourselves”, studied or “fallen in love”. For some marriage just comes at a later time.
We disregard Sunnahs and Fardhs for the endless opportunities of glamour and glory that glitter in front of us. When Islamic sense, sadly our thinking has been separated into Islamic versus popular, eventually dawns on us it’s because bad experiences have taught us.
We forsake Halaal avenues open to us in an effort to find treasures forgetting that jewels are not easily obtained. Dating, extensive communication and illicit relationships have become part of the build up to a very blessed Sunnah.
Sometimes good single people become victims of their loneliness, ultimately giving in to traps set up by shaytaan. And while they further tangle themselves in a bond that looks like it could end in marriage and bliss, he suddenly runs off, happily scouting for other vulnerable targets.
“You cannot be lonely if you like the One you’re alone with.” This quote is meant to inspire self likeness and acceptance. As Muslims we forget that Allah is always with us. He is the One we are alone with.
Loneliness becomes a word rather than a phenomenon when we give our hearts to Allah SWT first and when we understand that true love is not love for another but complete love for our Creator.
“And among His signs is that He has created for you, from your selves, mates, that you may incline towards them and find rest in them, and He has engendered love and tenderness between you. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.” [Quran 30:21] People often speak about wanting to fall in love before getting married but Allah places love between two hearts after marriage so that they can find peace with each other. The popular practices surrounding “falling in love” cause one to stoop to depths appallingly low.
In many ways “falling in love” means falling from grace to achieve the very union created to shape it.