Sunday, May 31, 2009

Islamic "Dating??"

Far too often I hear instances about Muslims who have a "boyfriend/girlfriend" or are "dating" other Muslims (or in some instances non-Muslims). Insha'Allah I pray that Allah protects our ummah from such instances and leads us all to the straight path. 
Islam preserves marriage and holds it in incredibly high regard, and saves the wife and the husband for one another. One way this is happens is by the protection of the man and woman from one another by being put in such situations that would cause them to sin, fall into zinna, or be alone with Shaytan. The Prophet Muhammad (May Allah's Peace Be Upon Him) said: 

"Whenever a man (non-mahram) is secluded with a woman, the Shaitan(Satan) is the third party” (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and others"

Unfortunately I know of too many instances where people have put themselves in compromising situations and ended up learning the hard way just what can happen and how devastating the effects can be. Brothers and Sisters in Islam, there is no "dating" in Islam. Please if you want to get married, do it in the appropriate and Islamic way. Seek counsel from others, ask for references about the person, when the time is appropriate to meet be sure it is with mahram there-- If you have no mahram, then ask the Imam to be present. I have taken the below response about dating from and encourage you all to read up about the appropriate way to go about finding a spouse. May Allah protect us all, give us pious partners, and give us jannah al-firdaus. Ameen.

 It is the girl’s right to have sufficient information about the person who wants to marry her. This may be achieved by enquiring about him through various channels, such as asking some of her relatives to ask his friends and those who know him well about him, because they may know a lot about his good and bad points which other people would not know about.

 But it is not permissible for her under any circumstances to be alone with him (khulwah) before marriage, or to take off her hijaab in front of him. It is well known that in such meetings the man does not show his true nature, but rather he is on his best behaviour and tries to make a good impression. Even if she were to be alone with him or to go out with him, he will not show her  his true character. Many of those who go out with a fiancé in this sinful manner end up in tragedy and these sinful steps, whether they were taken in private or in public, do not bring any benefits.

 Often the fiancé will use sweet words and play with the emotions of his fiancée when he goes out with her, and he shows her his best side, but when she makes enquiries about him and tries to find out more about him, she will discover something entirely different. So going out with him or being alone with him does not solve the problem. Even if for the sake of argument we were to say that it does serve some purpose in finding out about the man's character, the resulting sin and possibility of leading to bad consequences is far greater than that (potential benefit). This is why Islam forbids being alone with a strange (non-mahram) man – and the fiancé is still a stranger – or taking off one’s hijaab in front of him.

 We should not forget another important matter, which is that after the marriage ceremony (nikaah) and before the wedding night (when the marriage is celebrated and consummated), the woman has ample opportunity to get to know the man's character up close and to make sure about him, because now it is permissible for her to be alone with him and to go out with him, so long as the marriage contract has been concluded. If she discovers  something bad that she really cannot put up with, then she can ask him for Khul’ (divorce). But usually the outcome is not so bad, so long as one has made enquiries about the person and found out about him in a proper fashion before the nikaah.

 We ask Allaah to choose what is best for you and to make things easy for you wherever you are. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Colour of Islam

I recently had a conversation with someone about the importance of telling others we are Muslim. For some women who are covering, or brothers with beards and even thawb (the long garment sometimes brothers wear) it may be obvious upon first glance. However, this isn't always the case, and certainly for  a new convert the thought of proclaiming that you are Muslim to family and friends, and even the greater part of society and seem like an incredibly daunting task. The thought of facing rejection, comments, and even hatred may make it seem that keeping his or her Islam a secret is a better option. 

Alhamdulillah I just finished the first Juz in the Qur'an class that I have been taking (just another plug for it-- Al Huda Taleem al Qur'an, there are part-time and full-time options both online and on-site) and in one of our last lessons we discussed the "colour of Islam" or rather the colour that Allah (subhanna wa tallah) marks us with. 

" Our Sibghah is the Sibghah of Allah and which Sibghah can be better than Allah's? And we are His worshipers."

Now this is a perfect example of how the English translation of the Qur'an really doesn't do the Qur'an any justice and really it is just one more example why all Muslims should be learning the Arabic so they can read the Qur'an as it is meant to be read. In the above verse, Sibghah is not defined, while in some translations it is defined as "Baptism" or even "Religion". In our word analysis class we learned that the root of the word actually means "Colour, dye, or a colour which is adopted on to something" So when it says in the translation that Sibghah means Religion, it takes on the meaning of the 'religion that when we take it on, it literally changes us as taking on another colour would'. That when people are given or adopt the religion of Islam they are cloaked in that which Allah (Subahanna wa tallah) has given them so that they will appear different and reflect it on others. And just like dye, it won't come off-- When we accept Islam completely it won't come off. Islam becomes our identity and we cannot remove ourselves from it. 

So, how does this all connect to telling people about whether or not we are Muslim? In the beauty of the Allah's word choice in our glorious Qur'an, we see that when we become Muslim, it will be reflected on us, that people will naturally see it. That there will be a change. That outward and inward change is the religion, it will be reflected on us, and 

"And which Sibghah can be better than Allah's? " 2:136

Allah (Subhanna wa tallah) has blessed with this amazing religion, the religion of truth and oneness, and it will change our lives. Be confident in that and know that there is no need to fear anything but Allah (Subhanna wa tallah). "On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" 2:286. 
We mustn't be shy about Islam, but know that Allah (Subhannah wa tallah) shows us for those who fully adopt the religion, the change will be evident. 

May Allah guide us all to His way, and keep us in Islam. Ameen