If You Have No Shame Then Do As You Wish.
With the significant increase in pre-marital relationships in the last 30 years amongst our Muslim brother and sisters, it does seem as if most of us no longer have any shame. One just needs to visit their local shopping centre, cinema or library to see the significant increase in unmarried Muslim couples. We have an increase in Romeo’s roaming the streets, happily driving around the block all day long looking for girls and an increase in melodramatic Juliet’s who’ll “just die if they don’t end up with their man”.
Much of this attitude is fuelled by popular culture that subconsciously taps into our consciousness and plants in our minds unrealistic fantasies. Evil whispering now come in variety of different forms; music, romance novels, bollywood films, teenage magazines and the unrealistic romantic storylines as depicted on TV. Satan has his workload significantly reduced because of them. Over time these suggestions build up to the point that one can no longer discern between truth and falsehood. These strong external influences coupled with the inclination towards their natural desires results in a significant increase in teenagers succumbing to temptation. These are not only just words as a matter of fact UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate within Europe.
Unsurprisingly the sugar coated words of popular culture fail to shed light on the ugly reality of being involved in a pre-marital relationship; the heartache, the mood swings, the tears, the fluctuating eating and sleeping habits, the depression, the lies, the deceit, the sneaking about behind parents back (the secret meetings in the “library”) the fights with parents (because suddenly they became the obstacle standing in the way of “true love”), the loss of self respect, and the negative reputation earned in society. There is no peace in such a relationship, after all how can there be peace when the limits ordained by Allah (swt) are being broken?
Unfortunately, as well as breaking the limits ordained by Allah (swt), many Muslims have a tendency to self-justify their actions as well. Many of our Muslim brothers and sisters claim that “it’s okay because we have the intention to marry”, however they fail to realise that death can come knocking on our door at any time, and the excuse “it’s okay because we had the intention to marry” will not be valid in the Court of Allah (swt). Others claim that “maybe if our parents had agreed we wouldn’t be carrying on like this-it’s their fault” however is it really wise to blame the parents for ones own shortcomings and lack of self-control? Some Muslim brothers and sisters feel that they aren’t even in the wrong because Allah (swt) knows that “their hearts are pure”, however they fail to realise that if their hearts were really pure they wouldn’t be indulging in such shameful activities. Others feel reassured because their bodily contact is limited and they do not allow themselves to go all the way, however they do not realise that every part of the body can commit Zinnah (fornication); the eyes, the tongue, the ears etc.
The disastrous consequence of self justifications is that, even though Muslims initially feel guilty when indulging in pre-marital relationships, eventually the guilt wears off. This closes the door for repentance, after all how can one repent or amend their ways if they don’t even feel guilty about what they are doing?
The heart is a vessel that perceives wrong doing. When one commits the sin of entering into a pre-marital relationship they do so against their heart, the heart then enters into a state of spiritual agitation. However people work very hard to cut themselves off from their heart, the pressure to do this is very strong in our modern culture. There is an urgency to root out the feelings of shame and guilt, there are even self-help books available to show how one can excise this out of their souls. However guilt, shame, regret and remorse are vital for spiritual success. A human is spiritually stalled if he/she is smug and content with their state, one can only reform and amend their ways if they feel guilty and ashamed of their actions.
One should realise that life does not come with any guarantees. This is why it’s almost foolish to submit ones heart, body, mind and soul as well as showering love and attention to someone who can not promise a life of peace and happiness. In other words there is no guarantee that one will have a happy and stress free life with the one that they have fallen for.
Love has often been described as a sickness that impairs the mental state, clouds ones vision and sense of reason. Imam Busiri has said “the man in love is deaf to all reproaches” Often the person in love is so besotted with the beloved that they simply can not see the things that are wrong with the loved one. Or if they can they assume that their love is so powerful that it will overcome all obstacles. As if ! Ones passion or infatuation is like the wind, in that it comes, stirs up emotion, and then dies down. Ones infatuation often dies down after the honeymoon period when one has to settle down to the humdrum, mundane activities of daily life. In most instances people are more “in love with love” then they are in love with their partner, and crave the excitement of a continual romance that is often lacking or absent altogether in a marriage. One should also know that as there is no permanence to our world the nature of our worldly infatuations is also temporary. However since Allah (swt) surpasses all barriers of time and distance, loves based for His sake are the only loves that are transcendental and eternal.
Crushes may feel natural and something beyond ones control, to have a strong crush on someone one must have nurtured the thoughts of that person in their mind to an extreme extent. To get over someone (for such feelings are not approved in Islam, as there is a danger of one pursuing the matter forward- after all we were created weak ) one must occupy themselves in useful, productive activities. If the self is not occupied with anything worthwhile it will occupy itself with falsehood, it never rests idle, which is why in most cases a crush is a result of an idle mind. Allah (swt) has said in a beautiful Hadith Qudsi “…if he (man) draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him a arm’s length. And if he comes to me walking, I go to him running….” This shows that if one does their bit, even if it’s something as small as making the intention to avoid the object of ones desire, or by keeping the self busy. Allah (swt) will know that they are making an effort and will make it easy for them to get over their crush. One should also keep away from popular culture, because in most instances it normally adds fuel to the fire.
In conclusion, one should know that temporary/short lived pleasures should not be gained at the expense of the eternal hereafter. Being patient until marriage maybe uncomfortable or even frustrating, but its benefits are far greater then any temporary pleasure attained in falling into sin. Allah (swt) has promised seven types of people His shade on the Day of Judgment, as a mark of distinction and honour. Teenagers who spend their years as devout and conscious Muslims in the face of overwhelming temptations and seductions are one of the seven people. The fact that Allah (swt) grants such a distinguished position to them shows how difficult these challenges are. One should know that if they wish to end up with someone pious, pure and pleasing in character they should make an effort to transform themselves as such. It’s hypocrisy to expect a pious, pure partner if they themselves have spent their youth sowing their wild oats, without showing any signs of regret and remorse. One should also know that pre-marital relationships are spiritually and emotionally very draining, and the time and attention given to ones emotional attachment is the precious strength the soul needs to grow. Allah (swt) has not allotted anyone with two hearts, which means that we are unable to feel or want two things at the same time. In other words those who desire and nurture the thoughts of the forbidden and give in to temptation have no place for Allah (swt) in their hearts or in their lives.
May Allah (swa) give us the towfeeq to preserve our haya and keep us firm in the face of temptations, Ameen.
By Alveena Salim