I have been thinking about the recent posts by both myself and Brother Green, but mainly about the comments that have resulted from the posts. I have no idea if what I have to say will help any of you who are struggling with various sin and temptation, but Allah has put it on my heart today, Alhamdulillah.
The topic of discussion is giving into sin and the worldly things that seem to lure and tempt Muslims on a daily basis, especially in North America.
I have been thinking long and hard about how I can try and convince people that the "fun" things that people are talking about; the sex, drugs, alcohol, nudity, dancing, movies, language, dating... That these things which saturate society are not all that they are cracked-up to be.
I can understand how if these are things you haven't experienced first hand, or have "had a taste of" and have left you wanting more, why it would be hard to ignore them. As a university student I know the pressures that are on people to drink, to "fit in" because if "everybody else is doing it..." could it really be that bad? I am going to be honest and very candid in this entry. Those moments- the ones that seem so great at the time, the ones that leave you on a high as if you were riding a rollercoaster will eventually only leave you with despair and guilt. Despair and guilt that I can only describe by some of the following REAL stories.
If you think that drinking is glamerous and fun, let me tell you about the friends that I have talked to who have no recollection of the nights spent drinking. They have no recollection of where they spent their time, who they were with... I know people who thought it was "so cool to drink" that they spent the night surrounded by men in a club and woke-up in a room surrounded by other men they had never seen before.
I have personally seen people passed out on bathroom floors because they have alcohol poisoning... I know you may be thinking "but I have control, those people didn't." Do you think they planned on being in that stage when they started out?
For those of you who think that exposing yourself in clothing which isn't modest is okay, and wonder "who is it hurting anyway?" Let me respond by telling you that I have heard men talk about women dressed scantly clad. That the comments they make are not about their mind. Where these women become a piece of meat, objectified and on display. And for those of you who say "but how others dress is outside of my control." Well yes, you are right, but are you putting yourself in compromising situations where you are looking?
What about dating? Seems innocent until temptation comes in... You think you are strong enough? What happens when you break-up? What happens when you start finding your faith again and have to deal with the guilt of knowing you have had intimate experiences with someone other than your life partner.
I personally know people that have stolen from their families to buy drugs, who are addicted to sleeping pills, who have parents who are both alcoholics and now their children have adopted the habit. I know compulsive shoppers who have gone thousands and thousands of dollars into debt and have ruined their life because of greed, I know families that have been torn apart by adultery. I know women who have been sexually assaulted and feel guilty about it because they feel like their behaviour "asked for it". I know girls who vomit on a regular basis because they feel like their bodies need to look like the half-naked movie stars in the media. I have seen young boys talk about gangs and drugs because they are "cool", these are 10-12 year old boys I am talking about. I know of a someone who had a child at age 12... Babies having babies, I know a woman who is still dealing with the guilt of aborting a child 40years later...
What is glamorous and fun about any of this? What is so enticing or rewarding? I can promise you that if any of those people could change their experiences they would. I can tell you that even as someone whose past sins have been erased at the time of my conversion, I still deal with the feelings of guilt that tear my heart up. Areas where I feel like I fell so short.
Do you want to be the person who is sitting with their head in their hands writhing with guilt and despair? Do you want to deal with the anguish that these things cause? It isn't worth it.