Fight Fire with Fire

There was once a youth who went out in the search of knowledge. He packed his bags, bade his dear parents farewell, and began travelling far and wide. After a long period had passed, he eventually took a liking to a small village and chose to settle down there. The people of the village soon got to meet and interact with him and he made such an impression, that before long the entire town was abuzz with the news of the newcomer who had “proverbial piety” and “impeccable manners”. The acts of service he was ever-ready to render for one-and-all and his praiseworthy character were soon the talk of the town.

Now it so happened that in that very town there was a young teenage girl of exceptional beauty. With the entire town now fixated on only one topic – the pious youth, she found herself hearing so much about him that she was slowly attracted to the idea of this youngster and before long was yearning to see what he looked like. She therefore made it a point to stealthily glimpse at him whenever she got the chance. These glances, however fleeting they may have been, soon penetrated to the depths of her heart and she was now longing to meet him and speak to him. How she wished she could profess to him that the seed of his undying love had been planted in her heart and was growing day by day! The poor girl was so overcome by her infatuation that she began plotting ways to lure her beloved into a circumstance of her design whereby she’d finally get her wish.

The youth was one day walking along the street when he heard someone call out to him from one of the homes. When he turned and saw the beautiful girl – he immediately lowered his gaze and refused to even look at her. “Will you please help us?” she asked, “We need to move some things in the home but they are too heavy for us.” The boy was always willing to lend a helping hand and so agreed but also instructed, “Tell all in the home that I’m about to enter. Please conceal yourselves until I leave.” Thus saying he entered, carried their things, and left as quickly as he’d come. This was not at all what she’d wanted or imagined. Things had not gone according to plan. He was supposed to at least speak to her! She was now left even more frustrated and the scant words she exchanged with him served to only further fuel the fire of love now ignited within her. She had no choice but to go back to the drawing board and think of another plot…

One stormy night the youngster was seated in his home studying by candle light. It was raining in torrents and the rain had brought with it a biting cold. While paging through his kitaab, he suddenly heard desperate knocking on his door! “Whoever could it be?” he wondered, “Who would come out to visit me in this weather?” He got up and went to the door and as soon as he opened it, the teenage girl dramatically collapsed at his feet shivering from the rain and cold! “What are you doing here?!” he asked in utter shock and disbelief. “I’m freezing, I came to your home for some warmth.” She pleaded. The youngster’s heart was pounding in his chest and he was short for breath. There was a stunning, young damsel in distress literally lying at his feet! But the tug of imaan within him was too great, he dared not stretch his hand to her. But what could he then do?! The temptation was burning away at him! He suddenly turned to the lit-candle and plunged his fingers into the flame, apparently numb to the pain and unable to perceive the smell of his own roasting flesh. The girl stared in horror, utterly transfixed by the scene. The youth then seemed to suddenly snap back to his senses and as he did, he screamed and yanked his hand out of the flame and fled from his home. When most of the night had passed he came back home and entered tentatively, unsure of what he’d find. To his relief the girl was gone. He praised Allah Ta‘ala for saving him from falling into sin and repeated to himself, “If you are unable to bear a small candle flame, how will you bear the raging inferno of Jahannum which will be fuelled by people and stones?”

The girl, in the meantime, was deep in thought at her own home. The spectacle of taqwa (Allah consciousness) she’d witnessed first-hand, instead of deterring her, further entrenched his love in her heart. She now wanted him more than ever. “But how?” she pondered. She went on thinking until she realized that this class of youngster would never stoop to haraam. If she wanted him, she’d have to marry him. With this realization she rushed to her father and asked him if he’d marry her to the youngster. Her father happily agreed and when he approached the youngster, he too was happy to marry her. At that moment the youth realized how very true it was that if a person leaves out haraam to make Allah Ta‘ala happy, Allah Ta‘ala will give him the very same thing but in a halaal manner, with happiness and honour. (Suwarun Mushriqatun minath Thabaati ‘alal Imaan, pg. 144)


1. When we are tempted to sin, we should think of the Hereafter and more specifically, Jahannum. The youth fought the fire of his temptation by reminding himself of the fire of Jahannum. Let us too fight fire with fire.

2. If we abandon haraam for the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, he will grant us the same thing we desired – if not better – in a permissible manner with happiness, honour and no guilt of sin.

3. When a person adorns himself with taqwa the entire creation becomes attracted to him as taqwa is the “jewellery of the soul” which is seen by the eyes of the soul.

4. We should never allow ourselves to be in seclusion with a member of the opposite gender who is a non-mahram.

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