THE MINDLESS DATING GAME: HAPPINESS OR HEARTBREAK
Many unmarried people these days search for “love” in a series of premarital relationships, which far from yielding happiness, lead to nothing but spiritual degeneration, loss of self-respect, heartache andmisery. When the average girl reaches the age of ten or eleven, she – sometimes with the knowledge of her parents, sometimes without their knowledge – becomes engrossed in and obsessed with the teen romance novel: a blonde, blue-eyed girl, with a perfect figure, falls in love with the football hero of the school, a few complications on the way (nothing major, of course), but things end happily after. In these novels, girl and boy might hold hands, or there might even be a kiss, thrown in somewhere along the line. By the time the impressionable reader of these novels reaches her late teens, she is sick of these story lines…and is searching for more. And is most cases, “more” is usually available right there in her home, tucked away at the bottom of her mother’s cupboard, in the form of adult romance novels.
The holding hands, and the kissing has now made way for much more, as details of pre-marital passion, and the fulfilment thereof are graphically spelt out on these pages. The reader is told what the “perfect body” is supposed to look like, the notion that sexual intercourse before marriage is sweet and romantic seeps through these pages…the feelings of degradation, and the many possible consequences thereof are conveniently left out. fairy tale is a fairy tale, we tell ourselves, a book is a book…they have no implications on real life. Surely our daughters understand and accept this… But we are deluding ourselves. These same “harmless” airytales and books, have a detrimental effect on the thinking, lifestyles and attitudes of our children.
The first “crush”/infatuation our daughters experience in relation to members of the opposite sex, is often linked to false perceptions about “dating,” perceptions to which a wide variety of factors contribute. And one of the main factors painting a sugar and candy image of pre-marital romances, are these shallow bits of reading material that our daughters are exposed to.
It is no strange co-incidence that girls grow up believing that a boyfriend is the key to happiness…after all they have barely started walking, when the stories of the poor ill-treated Cinderella, saved only by a dashing prince, and the beautiful Snow White woken up by a prince, and the doomed Rapunzel, saved from the tower by…who else – a dashing hero, are told to them. And when they read romance novels, this theory is further reinforced – for, in the classic teen romance novel, the girl without a boyfriend, or “sweet sixteen and never been kissed” is the poor, laughing stock, who doesn’t have a date to the “prom.” And on the pages of a typical adult romance novel, the heroine is always a successful, beautiful career woman, but, she feels, that “something” is lacking in her life…and that “something” is naturally a man.
It is improbable that the average teenager, would just read these books, and that there would be no impact on her mind. It is usually exactly the opposite: she wishes she was the person on the pages of the book, and transfers her fantasies to her real life. She might see someone at school, who is popular, and good-looking [i.e. the football hero], and so begins her first painful crush, which is accompanied of course, by sending him anonymous ‘Valentine’s Day’ cards, or calling him and playing songs over the phone. Shaitaan has set his trap, and the temptation to sin heightens, and each time the temptation is given in to, the girl becomes more daring. By the time the boy “asks her out,” her nafs has gotten the better of her, and her head filled with the notions of how sweet holding hands before that first kiss must be, she cannot resist. And so begins a “relationship.”
But this has all the ingredients that a classic romance novel does not….for those candy-coated pages do not tell you about the heartbreak, the tears, the mood swings and the countless negative aspects that are the central to these relationships And they do not tell you about the degradation and the loss of self-respect, with which people, especially women, emerge, after these relationships. For there is no peace, no tranquillity in such relationships. The daily cycle, the moods, everything about the individual is affected. There is a certain sort of darkness, a restlessness which fills the heart, and this restlessness affects the rest of the family too. For it is now that all the arguments with the parents start: “Why can’t I go out tonight? All my friends are going?” And there are the mood swings, the fluctuating eating habits…if the phone doesn’t ring, then it’s a case of “I don’t feel like eating.” And then there is dishonesty…unable to tell her parents where she really wants to go, she makes the excuse of having to go to the library to study for tomorrow’s test.
The ending of each relationship is most often marked by a long periods of torture, in which the girl has to “get over” the boy. Everyday life becomes a misery…her marks drop, daily moods start to depend on the current state of her relationship with the boy and many girls, totally misled by Shaitaan, even make dua for a “reconciliation.” During this period the girl is ravaged by guilt, because deep down in her heart, she is aware that what she has done is haraam, and she also feels guilty about lying to her parents. If there was a physical aspect to her relationship, then these feelings of guilt are deeply accentuated and coupled with a total loss ofself-respect.
In the worst possible scenario, which is frequently happening, the girl, in an effort to improve her “self image,” may turn to various other ways…smoking, clubbing, drinking and drugs…or she may embark on a series of flings just to make herself feel “special” again. In short the “relationships” so sweetly portrayed in romance novels, which speak only of chocolates, flowers and happiness, end right there: on the pages of the novel.
In real life, such relationships lead to nothing but unhappiness andheartache. For how can there be any real happiness in a “love” inspired byShaitaan? This type of “love” far from being pure and sacred falls into the category of fornication. And regarding fornication, Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’aan: “The woman and man guilty of adultery of fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes: let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: And let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.” [Surah An-Nur:2]
How can there be any long term happiness in a sin for which the punishment prescribed is so severe? But while keeping in mind the above injunction, we should also not despair of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala…for we cannot even comprehend the vastness of this Mercy. We need to realise and to tell ourselves that there is only temporary satisfaction of the nafs in a pre-marital relationship. And we need to terminate any such relationship which we might be involved in, and sincerely make taubah to Allah.
As difficult as it might be to end such relationships, once we realise and acknowledge to ourselves that the novels to which we are exposed to from such an early age are totally based on a kuffaar way of life, which appears to be very appealing from the outside, but which bears no contentment, no real happiness, it will in sha Allah, be easy to do so.
In addition to painting a rosy picture of dating, these books also create a very wrong concept of what the ideal partner should be like. It is obvious that since they are kuffaar publications, there is no stress on piety, good akhlaaq, honesty and all the other qualities people should be searching for in a potential marriage partner. Instead these books promote superficial thinking, with all their emphasis on “good looks,” “ figures,” “star football players,”“smart cars,”etc.
Parents should closely monitor the reading material which their children bring home and should teach their children about the beauty of nikaah. We should realise, that while it is natural to be embarrassed to discuss such aspects of Islam with them, it is infinitely better for them, that we impart the correct knowledge of an Islamic way of life to them, than allow them to acquire the totally wrong concept of “love” from books, television, movies, and their friends and environment.
It should be explained to each teenager that the pre-marital relationships, the engagements, etc to which we attach such a great deal of importance in this world have nothing but a negative bearing on our lives in the aakhirah. It should be time and time again instilled into their minds that pre-marital relationships are a sin…nikaah is an ibaadah. Allah Ta’ala has Created men and women with natural desires, and He has Created nikaah as an institution in which these desires maybe fulfilled. A nikaah in which both, husband and wife are striving to fulfill their obligations to Allah Ta’ala, such a nikaah will be filled with the mutual respect, love and inevitably, the contentment, which we hopelessly search for in pre-marital relationships. Within the sacred context of a nikaah, in which both parties are obedient to Allah Ta’ala, and adhere to His Commandments, there can be no room for the loss of respect, feelings of degradation, etc. which goes hand-in-hand with “going out” with or “dating” someone.
We should always bear in mind that should we die in the company of a “boyfriend” or a “girlfriend” or even a “fiancé,” we will be leaving this world, having spent our last few moments of this life in the company of a non-Mahram.
A MUSLIM GIRL’S GUIDE FOR DEALING WITH GUYS
Life is full of crazy obstacles, but the one that will probably bug you the most and always be getting in the way is the opposite gender. Here, from one sister to another, is a Muslim girl’s guide for how to deal with guys.
No Touching: Muslims are forbidden to touch any non-Mahram (Mahram is your dad, brothers, father-in-law, husbands, grandfathers, and the siblings of your parents) person of the opposite gender. That means no patting on the back, no hand shaking, no pushing, no shoving, no holding hands, and obviously no kissing and all that. If you’re in a difficult situation where you think someone will try to shake your hand, the best thing to do is just smile and say, “My people don’t shake hands” and then explain why. And why, is because we believe a woman’s touch is a privilege and she doesn’t just share it with anyone.
No Flirting: Not even with Muslims, not even in an Islamic school, especially not in a masjid! Flirting means that you’re saying or doing things on purpose that make the other person attracted to you. There’s no set criterion for what flirting is, but any girl knows what is and how to do it. Muslim women are supposed to behave better than the average woman, who has to be beautiful for all the men around her all the time, who are trapped behind their looks and only judge themselves to be worthy if half the men they know are in love with them. A wise dude once said, “Don’t start the mower unless you intend to cut the grass”. If you don’t want a guy’s advances, then don’t do anything to earn them. There’s no point in throwing yourself all over guys and trying to seduce half the world. You really only want to marry one guy, and you want to spend the rest of your life with him, and chances are he isn’t going to be some dork you fluttered your eyelashes at in high school.
No Boyfriends: As a Muslim, you know that having a boyfriend is haraam because it counts as Zina – fornication. Fornication, in easy English, means `sexual sin’. Allah expressly forbids romantic or sexual relationships outside of marriage. When people go against that rule, then you get the typical western society where people play sexual merry-go-round with each other, giving each other STDs [sexually transmitted disease], using and abusing each other, and destroying the sacredness of marriage as an institution. You can’t even be sort of engaged to a guy, and then “date” to get to know each other. In Islam, non-Mahram men and women aren’t allowed to be alone together (that includes talking on the phone!), to touch (not even shake hands), or even gaze at each other. It doesn’t matter if the guy you like is Muslim, a great guy and the Prince of England, you can’t date him. No Boy—friends: The easiest way to ensure that you don’t end up falling in love with some guy before you’re ready to get married is to avoid making friends with boys. Of course in school you have to interact with boys all over the place, but that doesn’t mean you should be best buds with them. Probably 90% of relationships begin from friendships. Chances are you’re not ready for marriage, your parents aren’t ready to let you get married, you’re still in school/college and your crush is not the sort of fellow you want to spend the rest of your life with, so just avoid being friends with the opposite sex in the first place. It really is the best formula for saving yourself from needless temptation. When you have to talk to boys in school as teammates, lab partners, group members, and peers, it’s best to maintain a distance. That means that you don’t confide in them, you don’t let down your guard, you don’t unnecessarily engage them in needless conversation, don’t joke around, and never flirt. Yeah it may be a little hard, but this is your afterlife we’re talking about. So many great sisters have put themselves in really sticky situations because they allowed a boy to get to know them, and either ended up liking the boy, or having the boy like them. Once that happens you either end up becoming a pair (which is HARAAM!), or having to end your friendship. Instead of letting it get to that point, and then having to kill a friendship that you probably worked hard on cultivating, you should just stop it before it begins. There are plenty of great girls all around who can be your friends and if you really think only a guy will understand your problem, then talk to your REAL brother, or your father, or an uncle.
No Talking on the Phone with Boys: In Islam its forbidden for non-related guys and girls to be alone together because there is the chance for physical zina, vocal zina, and zina of the eyes. That means, with no one there to watch you guys except that boogery shaitaan, then you might be tempted to actually DO something, or say gross things, or just stare at each other all lustily. With that in mind, it’s also a safe bet to assume that talking on the phone with non-Mahram guys is a no-no too. Why? Because unless you’ve both got it on speaker-phone and you’re chaperoned by a responsible person, then you’re still kind of “alone” with him. The people in your house can’t hear what he’s saying to you, and his family can’t hear what you’re saying to him. There’s a chance for some bad stuff then, so just avoid it. Not to mention, having some dude saying things into your ear that no one else can hear would be gross in real life, why is it okay for him to talk into your ear via the telephone? For the most part it’s just too intimate. Work place: Even in work place keep a distance with the opposite sex, discuss only about the work not more than that, more importantly keep distance, dont involve yourself in lot of giggling etc. When a female smiles it gives the space for a man to come closer for those who have a disease of bad intentions. Always prevention is better than cure.
Be Disaffected: What does that mean? Disaffected means un-affect-able. That means that nothing a dude can say can hit your nerves, make you blush, or get a reaction out of you. It also means that you are uninterested in what they do as well. Imagine yourself being in an airplane looking down on the scenery below. You’re a little interested in what’s going on down there, and it may look really nice, but you know that to get to the scenery you have to jump off the plane. Like the scenery miles below you, the guy may look really nice, but you know that to get him you have to jump off the plane …errr…commit spiritual suicide, and though the fall may be fun, you will eventually hit the ground 600 meters below and go -splat– on Judgment Day. Maybe even sooner. Short of becoming an ice-princess, being disaffected involves putting up a mental wall between you and all of male-kind. They don’t know your thoughts and you don’t care for theirs. You can interact with guys at school/college within the bounds of Islam, but always maintain a formal distance.
Don’t ask a guy how his infected toe is doing. Don’t give him a hug when he looks down. Don’t offer to help him with his homework. Don’t go out of your way to remind him that you exist, and that you’re not half bad looking. Even if you don’t feel like behaving, make yourself behave anyway, your afterlife is important enough to discipline yourself for.
The safest philosophy when dealing with guys is remembering this “He’s not what I want, so why should I do anything to make him interested in me? That’ll just make for a painfully awkward situation and it’s not worth the sin anyhow.”
Remember that you’re always being watched! Would you act all giggly and stupid with boys if the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) could see you? No, right? Because you’d feel like an ungrateful idiot for disregarding the religion that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) took so much pain for just to deliver to you. Well, imagine how ungrateful it is to act like a supreme idiot when Allah can see you all the time, and it’s really stupid to disregard the religion that Allah prescribed, the favors He’s bestowed upon you. How dumb is it to take the eyes that Allah gave you and do things with them that He told you not to? (like goggle at boys?) How much stupider is it that He can see you doing this, and you know it! You have no secrets! Not because Big Brother (whoever that is…) is watching you, but because every single thing you ever did will become public domain on the Day of Judgment, and you’ll be brought to trial to defend what you did. Just don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want your parents, your siblings, your teachers, your friends, and the whole world to know about, ok?
Please note: The above subject is not only for girls but also for boys too, MODESTY IS THE GREATEST THINGS WHICH WE MUST KEEP IT TILL OUR DEATH.