(This letter and some of the excerpts are taken from http://www.islam-qa.com)
“I am a young woman from a very well-known family. All my life I have been religiously committed and of good character, as all will attest, but for some reason I got to know a young man. I wanted to help him because he had suffered the calamity of his father’s death, and he is responsible for his siblings and his mother, but he went down the path of keeping company with bad people. I advised (which was not even a face to face communication!) him and I felt it was my duty to stand beside him and advise him sincerely. Eventually he returned to his studies and gave up those bad friends, and he changed completely. His mother asked him the reason, and he told her. She spoke to me and thanked me for being patient with her son.
One day he came for a visit to see me, and I did not know why I did not hesitate. I went to see him, and I felt as if he was my brother. We spent some time together and what happened happened, unfortunately. Now he wants to come and propose marriage to me, but it is impossible. He is three years younger than me, and he is not of the same nationality as me. Now I am pregnant and I want Allaah to conceal my sin and I want to repent. I know that I have done wrong, and you will criticize me severely, but I want to repent and I want a solution.”
Ø Perhaps this letter can be a lesson to those who claim that a relationship between a man and a woman can be “innocent”.
Ø And it can be a lesson to those who claim that such relationships are ‘Islamically’ acceptable if they are for the purpose of giving advice, especially religious advice!
Ø And to those who want to “water down” the religion to allow relationships between men and women in the name of modernity.
Ø And to those who claim that woman are able to control their desires and emotions and similar justifications.
Ø It is a lesson for those who are heedless of the laws of Allah and pay no attention to the warning of our Rabb, against following in the footsteps of the shaytaan,
Ø It is a lesson to those who continue to take gender relations lightly until they find themselves in deep trouble.
No doubt, this girl must have been careful to protect her chastity initially. But somewhere along the lines, she fell into shaytaan’s trap and slowly but surely became careless in her dealings with this young man.
And she went ahead and spoke with him and advised him, then she agreed to receive him in her house. Next she agreed to be alone with him, then the shaytaan made attractive to her the idea that he was like her brother (sounds familiar?)
And then what, then what happened?
Did their conversation stay limited to ‘religion’? They could not have been talking about religion while committing adultery!
Did she continue to give him religious advice that day? She could not have been advising him about Islam while committing adultery with him!
Did she continue to think of him as a brother? She couldn’t have been considering him like a brother while committing adultery with him!
She committed adultery in the same meeting and in her own house, with one whom the shaytaan made her think was like her brother!
Which was the first step of the shaytaan?
It was ‘merely’ speaking to this non-mahram man, then the other steps of the shaytaan came one after another until she committed this most abhorrent of sins. All the relationships start with just one conversation. That is why we can see the wisdom in the words of Allaah, may He be exalted (interpretation of the meaning):
“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin), and an evil way (that leads one to hell unless Allaah Forgives him)” [al-Isra’ 17:32]
Notice how in they ayah, Allah (swt) did not only forbid adultery itself, rather He forbade coming near to it. Anything that leads to this heinous crime has been forbidden. And so the aim here is to forbid even the smallest action that leads to it.
Dear Muslims, we live in a society where gender relations are considered the reason to live this life. We live where talking to opposite gender and having boy/girl friends is a norm of life. At school and at work, many of us start talking to the opposite gender for a homework or a project or even in the name of religion to give ‘dawah’, and that is when the situation starts becoming comfortable and we start getting ‘friendly’. How many times in the name of ‘dawah’ people have flirted a little?!
Nowadays there are emails, chat rooms, IMs and these are even more dangerous because shaytaan deceives with justifications like, ‘its not being physically alone’, or ‘you can’t even see each other’ etc. But internet has become the leading way of flirting, dating, relationships and even affairs of married couples!
What happened to this sister above is a deterrent for all of us. Just imagine when shaytaan can deceive a person in his/her ‘religious’ conversation, how dangerous it must be for any other type of conversation. Don’t be deceived that this can only happen to young, unmarried people.
Victims of mixing… True stories
Umm Muhammad, a mature woman over the age of 40, tells her story: I lived a life of modest means with my husband. There was never any closeness and harmony, and my husband did not have the kind of strong personality that a woman would hope for, but his good nature made me overlook the fact that I was the one who was responsible for most of the decision making in the family.
My husband often used to mention the name of his friend and business partner, and he would talk about him in my presence, and I often used to meet with him in his office which was originally part of our apartment. This went on for many years, until circumstances led to us exchanging visits with this person and his family. These family visits were repeated and because of his close friendship with my husband, we did not notice how the number of visits increased and how many hours a single visit would last. He often used to come on his own to sit with us, me and my husband, for long visits. My husband’s trust in him knew no bounds, and as days passed I got to know this person very well, and saw how wonderful and decent he was. I began to feel a strong attraction towards this man, and at the same time I began to sense that the feeling was mutual.
Things took a strange turn after that, when I realized that this man was the kind of person I had always dreamed about. Why had he come along now, after all these years? The more this man’s status increased in my eyes, the more my husband’s status diminished. It was as if I had needed to see the beauty of his character in order to discover how ugly my husband’s character was.
The matter between this person and myself did not go beyond these persistent thoughts which were occupying my mind night and day. Neither he nor I ever voiced what we felt in our hearts… until today. Yet despite that my life is over and my husband is little more than a weak man with no self-esteem. I hate him and I do not know how all this hatred towards him started to boil over. I wonder how I put up with him all these years, bearing all these burdens by myself, facing life’s problems on my own.
Things got so bad that I asked him for a divorce, and he divorced me at my request. I admit that the lovely gatherings which we used to enjoy gave us the opportunity to get to know one another. Now his marriage has been wrecked and so has mine. I have lost everything!
Intelligence can also be a temptation (fitnah)
‘Abd al-Fattaah says: I work as the head of department in one of the big companies. For a long time I admired one of my female colleagues, not for her beauty, but for her serious attitude towards her work, her intelligence and her excellent achievements – in addition to the fact that she was a decent and modest person who focused only on her work. This admiration turned into attachment, and I am a married man who fears Allaah and never misses any obligatory prayer. I expressed my feelings to her and she rebuffed me. She is married and has children as well.
Attraction between the opposite genders can occur in any circumstances, no matter how much men and women may deny that. This may start within the bounds of sharee’ah and end up going beyond those bounds. Even if a person protects himself (by marriage), he is not safe from the snares of the Shaytaan. Even though a person may be able to guarantee himself and he works with the opposite sex within reasonable limits, he cannot guarantee the feelings of the other party.
It’s about time we recognize that no matter how we try to beautify the issue of mixing and take the matter lightly, its consequences are bound to catch up with us, and the harm it causes will have disastrous results for our families. Needless to say or prove that free mixing provides a fertile breeding-ground for social poisons to invade and take over our society without anyone ever realizing that it is mixing which is the cause. Mixing is the prime element in this silent fitnah, in the shade of which betrayals erupt, homes are wrecked and hearts are broken.
We live in a society where ‘haya’ or modesty is considered a syndrome…a deficiency. We live in a society where people have lost their sense of haya, they feel no shame, they have no shame and often times our environment and surroundings confuse us with regards to gender relations, what it mean, how and where we have to observe our limits and when do we have to draw a line!
Our religion honors modesy (haya), our religion honors those who uphold to their haya and those who live their lives by this virtue. The Prophet (saw) enforced separation of men and women even at Allah’s most revered and preferred place, the mosque. This was accomplished via the separation of the women’s rows from the men’s; men were asked to stay in the mosque after completion of the obligatory prayer so that women will have enough time to leave the mosque; and, a special door was assigned to women. Evidence of the foregoing are:
Umm Salamah (ra) said that after Allah’s Messenger (saw) said “as-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullah’ twice announcing the end of prayer, women would stand up and leave. He would stay for a while before leaving. Ibn Shihab said that he thought that the staying of the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) was in order for the women to be able to leave before the men who wanted to depart.” (Bukhari under No. 793)
Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (saw) said: “”The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first.” (Muslim under No. 664)
This is the greatest evidence that the Law of Islam (Shari’ah) forbids meeting and mixing of men and women. The farther the men are from the women’s rows, the better, and vice versa.
If these procedures and precautions were prescribed and adhered to in a mosque, which is a pure place of worship where people are as far away as they ever are from the arousal of desire and temptation, then no doubt the same procedures need to be followed even more rigorously at other places.
Allah (swt) says in Qur’an (Interpretation of the meaning) ““…for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs…” (Ahzab:53)
This verse speaks to the best people of our Ummah, the companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them), who indeed had the purest of intentions. This verse is in reference to their dealings with the wives of the Prophet (saw), the mothers of the believers, purified and protected form evil desires, yet Allah commanded them to be separated by a screen so that they can have the greatest purity of hearts! Imagine how much more do we have to be careful about this matter then? How much more do we have to strive for the pure hearts? How far away should we stay away from opposite genders to avoid this evil?
Allah (swt), the Lord of the worlds, the Creator of the heaven and the earth, praises and defends the honor of chaste women:
“Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment.” (Noor: 23)
To be among such women should be our goal. And if we aim to be among them then the first step is to eliminate all the roads leading away from our goal, and indeed free gender relations is one of the primary roads leading us away from our destination.