‘Romantic’ Relationships, Marriage Proposals and Dreams of Destiny

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

“I don’t know where to start….I don’t know how it happened. Everything looked so good, like it would work out perfectly. I never intended to hurt anyone.”

If there is one thing I wish I could make the single youth of today understand and understand well, it would be the phenomenal and chasmic difference between a premarital relationship with a member of the opposite gender, a wedding and a marriage.

If only there was some way I could make them see how each of these three things is unique and, although very closely connected with the rest, entirely independent and exclusive in its own existence.

However, I know that there is just a single, one-way method to finding the secret difference between these three, and that is the hard, tough, lesson-infested route of practical experience gained by actually living life.

Talking about the tricky realm of how to deal with non-mahrums and what limits to observe with one’s interaction with them is a very difficult topic to address today, particularly in front of Muslim youth.

Photo courtesy http://www.rssenews.org.uk

You see, youth is that time when a person dreams and fantasizes about finding romantic love with someone of the opposite gender, which, according to their desires, should undoubtedly blossom into compassionate mutual understanding and intellectual compatibility riddled with just the right “pepper” of sexual attraction.

They then desire for this “cloud-nine, breath-takingly ‘high’ experience” to smoothly lead to the eventual seal on the “relationship”: a meeting of both sets of parents.

Of course, both pairs of parents should automatically hit it off at the first meeting and grant their approval to the union without any arguments, apprehensions, second thoughts, ifs or buts.

And then, voila, the planning of the perfect wedding ceremony amid excitement, giggles and extravagant, “We-will-leave-no-wishes-of-our-prince(ss)-unfulfilled-in-giving-her-the-dream-wedding-that-s/he-has-hoped-for” assertions form the next chain of events in this perfectly harmonious and fantastical tale of make-believe that takes place in the minds of most young, hopeful single people who want a happy marital future for themselves.

The more religiously-oriented (for lack of a more colloquial description) youths do manage to slip in a few istikharah’s somewhere along the way, but then confusedly dabble in dream interpretation and misread emotions henceforth while they struggle to recognize and decipher any divine signs of “go-ahead” for their marriage sent from up above.

This mental dreaming process is completely natural, and it starts very early. For girls, it might start during teenage or even before, and with boys, it is most probably well-set in motion by the time they’re in their twenties.

The fact is, very few singles today are pragmatic and realistic, with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Fewer still, are fortunate enough to enjoy a very close, passionate, love-and-sacrifice-based relationship with Allah, willing to practice His limits without questioning their wisdom, applicability or feasibility, without complaining when they seem too tough to adhere to in today’s modern times.

What happens when their mind starts playing these games with them during those youthful years of their lives in which their hearts throb with yearning for marital bliss is that they, for the sake of Allah, determinedly practice immense patience (sabr/صبر) – most prominently in the face of scathing social marginalization, antagonism from world-wise and worried elders, and accusations of being weird and “extremist” from their secular-minded friends and peers.

They practice صبر by quelling their sexual desires through the means ordained by Allah in Islam: lowering/guarding the gaze, in public as well as in private, avoiding mixing during social gatherings as well casual intermingling with members of the opposite gender elsewhere: whether at the campus, the office, at home e.g. when cousins or relatives come over for a parents-approved bash and ‘harmless’ fun, or in the ever-rampant online social media channels that bring pictures, blogs, comments, emails, videos and other kinds of instant messages right onto their palms through their iphones, Blackberrys, androids or HTCs.

There’s no doubt about it: the trial of temptation for the youth today, in the form of premarital relationships, is a very, very tough one. Shaitan – our avowed enemy – who swore to our Creator that he would come at us from four directions to mislead us – is keen on attacking the single youth through a double-strategied ploy: using their raging hormones and unsatisfied bodily desires, coupled with their naivete and lack of experience in life, to delude them about relationships with the opposite gender via a plethora of sugar-coated, fair-seeming, supposedly harmless “traps”:

  1. “Stop being such a pervert. We are just friends. A girl and a guy can have a platonic friendship! So what if we sit somewhere and talk for hours? He is my buddy.”
  2. “What’s wrong with helping him/her when s/he is in need of advice? I am doing a good deed by counseling him/her through this crisis.”
  3. “You can forget about getting good marriage proposals if you cover your face. A girl’s face is the primary magnet for proposals from good, well-established families with decent, well-earning boys. Beauty is the main factor guys pursue.”
  4. “I want to know the guy really well to see what he is really like before saying “yes” to the proposal. How can I marry an absolute stranger? What if we turn out to be totally incompatible? I will talk to him on the phone for a few weeks and get to know him first.”
  5. “What do you mean you cannot shake your cousin’s hand when he greets you? Are you crazy? You’re turning into an old maid! Stop being such a self-righteous _______ [*bleep*]!”
  6. “If I can talk to my female colleagues and cousins without anyone objecting, I can talk to my fiance, too. Besides, our nikah is in just 2 months. Its like we’re already married. Just the thought of not talking to her depresses me.”

You see, according to the Quran, when a man and woman marry each other, they become “fortified”, especially the woman. This is proved by the fact that the Quran calls married women “المُحْصَنَاتُ” – the fortified or protected women, and the men who marry them “مُحْصِنِينَ” – those seeking marriage for fortifying or protecting the woman long-term i.e. not intending to use her body temporarily just for (permissible) conjugation only to eventually dump her through divorce. In both these words, the root word is the same, “حصن”, which means “fortress”.

The reason why marriage is a “protection” or “fortress” for a Muslim is, because it allows him or her to fulfill their sexual desires in a permissible and beautiful manner. Hence, once their bodily needs are satisfied, they are more likely to function productively in society without being “distracted” by members of the opposite gender, provided they still observe Allah’s limits in their social interactions.

Going back about 10 to 12 years in time, I can vouch for the fact that the trial of staying away from forbidden relationships for someone who is single, is an extremely tough one. Peer pressure and even social pressure from elders nowadays pushes young people to be no-holds-barred “confident” (read “immodest”) and proactively bubbly and charismatic (read “flirtatious”) in their social interactions with everyone.

Hence, even among so-called conservative and decent families today, the youth are pushed to not hold back or observe any limits, either at work or at play (parties); to dress as they want and exude charisma; to have the perfect bodies and the branded apparel to show off these gym-toned bodies; to leave no stone unturned in getting into the right college or in the right job at the right company, come what may.

Statements from young “fundo’s” then, such as “I do not want to attend a coeducational university because of the fitnah involved”, or “I do not want to work in an office that employs numerous scantily dressed women”, or “I want to marry at 20” cause eyes to widen, jaws to drop and minds of elders to be utterly scandalized and appalled; these requests from their offspring are then immediately rejected in totality as confidence-undermining, career-jostling, ‘extremist’, pseudo-religious idiocy bordering on lunacy.

Pre- and extra-marital relationships embody illusions that cause nothing but pain

The heart is the seat of desires. If one becomes slave to their desires, the result is nothing but chronic disappointment, distress and anguish.

The generations in the past hundred years have grown up on a steady diet of illusory love songs, romance novels and cheesy films with unbelievably happy endings. Guy and girl meet, feel the vibes of attraction, spend time together, perhaps even commit passionate, spur-of-the-moment adultery (اَعُوذُ بِاللهِ), then proceed to throw caution to the winds, listen to their hearts, follow their desires, clobber their opponents, break all taboos, pursue their dreams, blah blah….(you can insert any typical, cheese-coated cliches here), to ride/run off into the horizon holding hands as the world looks on in shock and the film credits roll.

What these stories, which are cooked up by writers and brought to us by media, do, is that they play around with our youthful desires and make us dream about such a Utopian romance even more.

Consequently, when real life slaps us in the face, we feel shattered, helpless and broken inside.

Take the case of “Bisma” and “Bilal” (not their real names). They belonged to different ethnic and religious communities (I hope you’ll understand what I mean here). Despite knowing (the expected repercussions of) that, they started spending more and more time together on campus. Eventually, Bilal told her about his feelings for her and very soon after that, she told him that she felt the same way. They continued to meet without letting their parents know of their relationship, which had now been ‘sealed’ or made “official” by their declarations of (so-called) “love”.

Eventually, Bisma started going out with him on dates to cafes and restaurants from campus, without her parents knowledge. Here I’d like to point out that even though neither prayed salah (note to the “stop-judging-them-you-self-righteous-fundo!” police: please don’t start clawing me just yet for saying this, I will explain below why I mentioned this point), they both had noble intentions – of getting married.

She had previously claimed that she would never go out on dates as it was “wrong” in her eyes and an action that her “conservative” family would never approve of; however, she eventually slipped. His lustful stares, flattering compliments about her looks, and heart-melting, persevering proclamations of love for her made her finally relent.

Big chunks of cheese – I know. But its this cheese most girls go for.

Lapping up paperback after paperback of Mills-&-Boon-type nonsense that sets their hearts aflutter and imagination running wild, one can only wonder what effect actual expressions of romantic feelings and husky-voiced, mushy dialogue would have on them!

Anyway, what happened next is no surprise: they started getting physical, albeit staying well away from adultery.

Bisma started ignoring her friends because Mr Whats-his-name was very possessive and a tad controlling; he’d go into a rage if she even so much as went out anywhere with her classmates, both guys and girls, without inviting him there too. He, of course, could go out anywhere he wanted with his numerous girl and guy buddies. Double standards all the way, but the glittery stars in Bisma’s eyes seemed to blind her to the glaring reality and the truth.

Despite repeated hints that eventually became outright requests from Bisma to him, he refused to tell his parents about their relationship, even though he now had a job, was over 21 in age, and earning a steady income.

As is the case in most such relationships, the cover was eventually blown when Bisma received a proposal that her parents didn’t want to turn down. It was only then that Mr Whats-his-name Bilal rushed to do some desperate damage control by asking his mother to call up Bisma’s mother with a marriage proposal, but it was too late. The other guy who was proposing came from an extremely wealthy family, and that clinched the deal for Bisma’s parents.

A slap from her father, a family confrontation, an argument, incessant tears, grief, sorrow – everything that could be expected from such a situation – followed. Grounded from talking to anyone on the phone and from going out anywhere, except college, she would cry at the drop of a hat – for hours.

I remember how appalled I was, though, when I once heard her say tearfully, “Why did God do this to me? Why did he show me what true love is like, only to take it all away?”

*Cough*

Uh, since when does “God” show us what this so-called “true love” is like? Has He not disallowed us from getting into such relationships? Any average Muslim knows that. Or is this a wrong belief on my part?

Plus, as I keep telling single ladies who ask me for advice, if he really “loves” you – really – as he claims to, he will try to marry you as soon as possible. Even if he is not working, even if he has older unmarried sibling(s), and even if he is from a different community. He will not wait around until the final bell to get up as a last resort and do something to marry you.

Plus, if a child is already getting his candy from the candy machine for free, why will he endeavor to pay for it? Eh? Get what I mean?

Even if all of mankind, collectively, stopped praying salah and deliberately disobeyed all of Allah’s commands, we could still not dare to “blame” God by attributing lies such as, “Why did He do this to me?”, to Him.

We disobey His commands first, refuse to prostrate before Him when He calls us five times a day, follow our desires, do things that He has forbidden, and then when we get hurt – extremely, horribly, terribly hurt – as a result of our transgressions of His limits, we dare to turn around and say that He did this to us?

Bisma got engaged to the new Mr Whats-his-name even though she had love for another man still throbbing in her heart. With her parents’ full permission, she started talking to her fiance every day on the phone and going out with him on dates.

Within a few months, she had forgotten about Bilal and was in love with her fiance and – I seek refuge from Allah – had already started being physical with him too, when they went out at night in his car or when he made out with her in the drawing room of her parents’ house, the door to which was kept shut during his visits by her parents themselves. Her mother counseled her a lot during this phase of “switching” her unsuitable “lover” with another, family-approved one, urging her to bond with her fiance in order to forget her ex-boyfriend.

Bisma and Bilal are among hundreds of thousands of single people who got badly hurt because they ventured into the trappings of an illusive, transitory romantic relationship that, though it gave temporary joy to their hearts because of the exhilarative fulfillment of their base desires, nevertheless left deep marks of regret and pain etched firmly in their psyche, emotions and life history.

How often do you see middle-aged or elderly people express regret over their past escapades and liaisons? How often do parents fret that their sons and daughters will tread the same path that they themselves traversed as careless youths; actions that they sorely regret even decades after the flower of their youth has faded and drooped?

Today, Bisma and Bilal are happily married to their spouses. Incidentally, they knew the people who are now their spouses even when they were involved with each other. If marriage to these other two people was decreed for them already, perhaps all the pain could have been avoided by not allowing themselves to get lured into a pre-marital relationship at all?

More importantly, Allah’s disobedience and transgression of His limits would also have been avoided – if only more caution was practiced – and the mutual attraction that got stirred when they casually hung out together, was quelled from the start?

Where does it say in the Quran that a man and woman cannot be close friends?

The Quran has clear evidence that forbids both Muslim men and women from being involved in any kind of friendship or relationship with each other outside marriage. Below is a portion from a verse taken from Surah Al-Nisaa, in which Allah discusses the kind of women Muslim men should seek in marriage. Here is how he has described the women men should seek for marriage:

مُحْصَنَاتٍ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحَاتٍ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ

“…(the women) should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours..”
[Al-Quran – 4:25]

Tafsir Ibn Kathir says about this part of the verse above: “Allah’s statement,  مُحْصَنَـت (they should be chaste) means, they are honorable women who do not commit adultery, and this is why Allah said,  غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحَـتٍ (“not fornicating women”) referring to dishonorable women, who do not refrain from illicit sexual relations with those who ask.
Ibn `Abbas said that the fornicating women are the whores who do not object to having relations with whomever seeks it, while, وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ (“nor promiscuous”) refers to taking boyfriends.

Similar was said by Abu Hurayrah, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.”

End quote Tafsir.com.

Another verse in the Quran, which occurs early in Surah Al-Ma’idah, describes a similar chaste character that Muslim men should possess when seeking a wife.

I must add that this verse of the Quran, below, quite blatantly clobbers the double standards that exist in most Muslim societies nowadays, in which young guys are excused by societal mores from being promiscuous and having girlfriends, and only girls are forbidden from even stepping out of their homes, lest they “fall into sin”:

مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ

“…and (that you men) desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret paramours..”
[Al-Quran – 5:5]

The above verse discusses the issue of Muslim men seeking marriage. Without going through the whole tafsir of the verse (which I encourage you to do in order to ensure that I have not quoted anything out of context) I have just taken out that part of it that explicitly and completely forbids men from marrying just for the sake of legal sexual intercourse, and also forbids them from having liaisons with any women outside marriage.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir states about this part of the verse above: “And just as women must be chaste and avoid illegal sexual activity, such is (also) the case with men, who must also be chaste and honorable.

Therefore, Allah said – غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ – (… “not illegal sexual intercourse“) as adulterous people do, those who do not avoid sin, nor reject adultery with whomever offers it to them.  وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِى أَخْدَانٍ (… “nor taking them as girl-friends (lovers)”) meaning: those who have mistresses and girlfriends..”

End quote Tafsir.com.

I think its worth pointing out how Allah has, in both the above verses, mentioned the action of having affairs or taking lovers – مُتَّخِذِى أَخْدَانٍ – separately from sexual intercourse, or مُسَافِحِينَ . The word “اَخْدَان” is the plural of the word “خِدْنٌ”, which means “friend”.

We all know that these two actions: having casual inter-gender friendships (اَخْدَان), and committing adultery (سِفَاحٌ or مُسَافَحَةٌ), can be mutually exclusive, especially in Muslim culture. People in our local culture think nothing of having casual romantic relationships or buddy-type friendships with members of the opposite gender without actually committing fornication.

Many guys and men enjoy talking to women for hours on the phone, or use the Internet to have regular flings and flirtatious friendships, or are routinely involved in a ‘serious’ relationship with a girlfriend, or a fiance.

Just take a cursory look at the local DAWN Magazine’s Auntie Agni column as glaring proof of this sad trend. Even without formally proposing to a girl’s parents, nowadays a guy/man can still easily have a steady girlfriend with whom he goes out on dates (like Bisma and Bilal above), a liaison that is usually called a “committed relationship”. In fact, we can go so far as to say that, in local, urban, elite a.k.a ‘burger’ culture, only the pathetic losers do not have steady romantic partners.

All of these relationships, though they may not involve any sexual intercourse, nevertheless, are still totally impermissible in the light of the Quran – as I have shown above – because they fall into the category of “مُتَّخِذِى أَخْدَانٍ”.

That is why, it is almost as if Allah, when mentioning the impermissibility of sexual intercourse outside marriage, goes on to clarify that even taking close friends from the opposite gender, or having non-adulterous love affairs, is absolutely forbidden.

If a young person prays daily salah diligently, its highly likely that they will be able to stay away from romantic relationships

أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ

Salah (prayer) restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life), without doubt.” [Al-Quran – 29:45]

When I mentioned above that Bisma and Bilal were not regular in praying the five daily prayers, it was to highlight the fact that negligence in prayers opens the door to many vices and sins in a Muslim’s life. Salah is a protective barrier that stops a person from sinning. Not a hard-and-fast rule, but nevertheless, true for most.

When someone knows that they just prayed an obligatory salah, and will have do so again in a few hours, they will automatically feel ashamed to sit in a corner being all lovey-dovey with, or talk on the phone oozing oodles of mush with, a guy or girl they have feelings for. The shame they feel, also known as the praiseworthy غيرة (“gheerah”) that makes an Allah-conscious person stop before doing something wrong, will make their hearts sting sharply with guilt and regret, and their conscience won’t let them rest about what they are doing.

So, if you are young and single, I would sincerely advise you to make sure that you pray all your daily five salah prayers on time, slowly, un-rushed, with full concentration or خشوع, prolonging your bending (ركوع) and your prostration (سجود).

For guys, I’d exhort that they strive – and strive really, really hard – to pray every obligatory prayer in congregation at the nearest masjid, even if everyone thinks they are bonkers and calls them a loser or a “maulvi” for it. Forget about them. Just do it!

Some facts about doing istikharah for marriage

The linguistic meaning of the Arabic word “استخاره” is to seek good, or خير. It is not supposed to be some sort of magical ritual that will result in an immediate epiphany that will make clear to you the route you should take, or the decision that you should make, overnight.

Rather, when you pray two units of prayer at any time of the day (it doesn’t have to be at night) and then invoke Allah with the prescribed du’a of استخاره , you are actually asking Him to decree for you, between two options, the one that is better, for both your duniya and your Akhirah.

Whether you have received a proposal for marriage, or if you have someone of good character and lineage in mind as a prospective spouse for you, doing استخاره ensures that you seek that outcome/result from Allah that is better for you. استخاره is a du’a, plain and simple.

By doing it, you ask Allah to decide the matter for you Himself, by turning hearts and/or making events happen in such a way that things head forward either in favor of the union, or against it. And that is precisely what happens after an استخاره: either a proposal becomes finalized and a marriage takes place, or such a marital union is averted, for one reason or another.

Many young people who want to marry someone they like, lament how they have been doing استخاره for years, and even though both their parents know about their wanting to marry that particular person, nothing seems to work – the marriage proposal keeps facing unexpected hurdles, delays and problems.

Well, they should wake up and realize that their marital union with the person in question is probably not meant to be. If Allah shows us His signs subtly as well as openly, but we refuse to “see” and accept them, it is our own choice.

I married the one I had a romantic relationship with, and now I feel guilty about the premarital dating part of it. Do I need to repent?

Of course!

Just because you married the person you went out with and were physically and/or emotionally close to outside the bond of nikah, does not mean you do not need to repent for being involved with them in such a relationship. Nor does it mean that, by marrying that boyfriend or girlfriend, the sin of dating and being physical with him/her got automatically wiped out.

Sincere, heartfelt, deliberate repentance is the only thing that wipes out past disobediences to Allah, and it has to be accompanied by severe, humbling regret and remorse, coupled with seeking Allah’s pardon through dhikr (remembrance by the tongue), salah, sadaqah/charity, (preferably) crying or sobbing with tears of regret, and last but not least, rushing forth in obligatory and voluntary good deeds as compensation, to appease Allah’s wrath and attain His pleasure.

Repentance, when sincere, can wipe out one’s past sins not just from one’s book of records, but also from the hearts, minds and memories of people who witnessed that sin.

Please take a look at this article of mine for more about sincere repentance.

The role of elders, especially parents

A lot of times, when a young, single Muslim, who is passionate about the practice and propagation of Islam (da’wah) in life, desires marriage with a particular person of the opposite gender who holds similar religious views, whom they have met or heard about through other people – it is common for a conflict of interest to develop between them and their parents as a result of this choice.

Parents who are not as religious as their adult, single offspring can create a myriad of hurdles in the latter’s marriage process. The reasons for this are many, but primarily its because they, out of sincere love and concern for their children, tend to impose their preferences and beliefs regarding the perfect marriage formula on their reluctant adult sons or daughters.

Here are some examples of some of the most common of those hurdles:

  1. “We will not marry into ______________ (insert name of any ethnic group, viz. Memon, Bihari, Hyderabadi, Balochi, Sindhi, Pathan, Punjabi, Urdu speaking, Lucknowi, Chinioti, etc. blah blah) because they are very _________________ (insert any broad-brushed generalization, such as miserly, quarrelsome, selfish, materialistic, non-forgiving, eccentric, dumb, greedy, etc. blah blah).”
  2. “We will not marry outside the family.”
  3. “We will not consider weird, extremist, and rigid religious families. Moderately religious families are welcome.”
  4. “You have to do your Masters first. Don’t even think about marriage before then.”
  5. “We will not consider proposals from abroad. Girls/boys raised in the West are very fast.”
  6. “There has to be an age difference of 5 years, at least.”
  7. “Our shahzada is so tall and fair. How could you suggest that stocky girl whose complexion is darker than his? Haye, do you want my grandchildren to turn out kaalay?”
  8. “Their economic status is much higher than ours. What will people say? Do you want to be taunted about being a pauper all your life?”
  9. “Five sisters?! Na baba na, my daughter won’t be able to handle FIVE wagging tongues filling her mother’s-in-law ears all the time.”
  10. “He is 2 inches shorter than you! Kuch to socha hota….bewaqoof!”

Parents are the vital support system that enable a young Muslim person to get married. Making them relent in their views, especially if the latter are very staunch and etched in stone so to speak, can be an impossible task, one that can shatter a pious young man or woman when he or she has a perfectly agreeable proposal turned away for the most trivial and idiotic of reasons.

Hope, however, should never be lost. If the young person seeks Allah’s countenance and pleasure through good deeds, obeys all the obligations that Allah has endorsed upon them, and stays away from impermissible things (محرمات), beseeching Allah’s help through patience, perseverance and consistent supplication, time can always bring about a change for the better.

What is crucial is to not shout at, rebuke or be insulting towards elders, no matter what they do or say to you. Secondly, never stop connecting with Allah in order to get His help on your side. Thirdly, get some pious elder from the community to intercede on your behalf and advise your parents.

Finally, if all your efforts fail and you cannot marry that person you are so convinced is right for you — try to accept this decree as Allah’s will and the result of your sincere and constant استخاره.

At such a point, move on. Gulp down that lump in your throat, cry some, but then – move on.

Remember, the kid who keeps looking back at the small piece of average candy that his parents wouldn’t let him have, his eyes blinded by hot, gushing tears, his head not looking ahead in the direction in which his parents are leading him by the hand, will not be able to see, eat or enjoy the huge, luscious chocolate cake that they were saving just for him; because of which they refused him that average, low-quality candy that he so wanted to have.

His parents actually wanted him to have something better. But his stubborn fixation with, and regret at, the average thing that passed him by won’t let him see it.

Did it ever occur to you, that in your staunch conviction that Mr or Ms Perfect is the only one for you, you might be overseeing someone who is much, much better?

Did it ever occur to you that Allah didn’t give you the candy because he was saving a thousand-times-better chocolate cake for you?

Unexpected rejection

Finally, I would like to talk about what happens at times, after everything goes according to plan and a marriage proposal is finalized, much to everyone’s relief.

The engaged couple is happy and excited; the parents are relieved to have fulfilled their duty towards their adult offspring, and excitedly start making preparations for the imminent wedding. An air of excitement pervades both homes.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, things begin to go awry. Either one of the bride- or groom-to-be undergoes an inexplicable attitude reversal and/or emotional change. They become unsure about going ahead with the wedding. Their initially inconsequential second thoughts and insecurities blossom into fears and major doubts about their impending marriage. Soon, they become more and more aloof, distant, and cold; rebuking their fiance angrily on the smallest of issues. Their in-laws-to-be suddenly appear to be lousy people, and after a few weeks of such behavior……yes, you guessed it: they break off the betrothal.

Shock, disbelief and denial abound on both sides. Hearts are broken; dreams are shattered and hopes crash. After a few days of attempting damage-control, the truth and finality of Allah’s decree sinks in. The dust finally settles with time; all is quiet, but one question lingers on in everyone’s minds:

But why?”

Usually people say, “We did استخاره before finalizing the proposal – many times! Then why did this happen?” The same things are said when an initially happy marriage dissolves and results in bitter divorce.

We, as mere humans with limited knowledge, question Allah’s decree because it doesn’t make sense to us why He could make us go through a process that seemed to be so right in the beginning, but which then became a sad, bitter and painful experience for us. We question Allah about why He started a seemingly happy process in our lives when He knew that it would end in pain. We wonder why our استخاره came out right in the beginning if the end of the process was to be so disastrous and fruitless.

There is one thing to consider here. You need to be honest with yourself and think about something first:

Did you transgress any of Allah’s limits when going through that process?

E.g. a couple who are very happy with their engagement at first, might start talking to each other all the time via cell phone, emails and sms messages; perhaps even go out on a date – all of which are actions against the commands of Allah. (I am not going to quote any fatawa here because every authentic fatwa website is full of them. Every scholar and religious authority is unanimous about the fact that fiances should not converse freely with each other)

Within some time, Shaitan does his work on them and makes them dislike each other, because their increased familiarity and frankness might reveal some faults and shortcomings that could turn one or both of them off about the other being a suitable life partner/spouse.

This is something I have seen happen a lot to couples who are religiously inclined – who intend to marry each other for pleasing Allah, and hope to lead a marital life and raise a family according to Allah’s pleasure, by adhering to Islam in principle and deed.

For such couples, the traps of Shaitan vary from, say, the traps he lays out for those couples who have little or no knowledge of Islam and who do not practice the obligations of the religion.

The latter are easy prey for Shaitan – all he has to do is make them believe that the lustful, romantic love they feel during the engagement phase is actually the real thing. So he easily makes them blind to the harsh realities of life that lie ahead in their marriage, making them focus only on the sexual part, driving them crazy with lust about what is to come on their wedding night. That night is all they think about and look forward to.

It is the religious couples who are about to get married that require some harder work from Shaitan, our accursed, devious but intelligent enemy. He knows that if this couple were to get married, they’d fortify each other, help each other in Deen, become each other’s religious support in life, and raise children who will be strong, confident Muslims in the future. So he preys on them using a different, more subtle tactic.

He pounds them with doubts, fears, insecurities, and perhaps even succeeds in making them seem ugly, too rigid, too overweight, short, dark or in any way unseemly to each other. He whispers little-nothings into the ears of their parents, siblings and friends, who, playing the part of the unsuspectingly manipulated forces of Shaitan, go about saying a sentence here, a remark there; dropping snide comments off and on, and casting doubts in the minds of the engaged couple:

  1. “What? He called you just twice throughout your trip? My fiance used to call me every day, even long distance. Are you sure he even likes you?”
  2. “She is quite average-looking. There is nothing wrong with going for beauty, you know. Don’t you know that there is a hadith that confirms that a woman is married for her beauty?”
  3. “If he is treating you so indifferently right now, he will be even less caring towards you after marriage. Love wanes after marriage, as it is. The engagement phase should make you feel like you’re on a high – on cloud nine; breathless and excited! So why are you so mopey?”
  4. “She is quite extravagant in her spending. Are you sure you’ll be able to maintain her? I mean, wanting to splurge Rs 35,000 on makeup, just for one night?”

And so, dear readers, long engagements between religious or even not-so-religious people sometimes break, despite the best intentions on both sides. Shaitan succeeds in keeping two perfectly nice, eligible young Muslims still single and unhitched – unfortified and with unfulfilled sexual desires.

Outside the protective fortress of marriage, they continue to evade the blessings, comfort and happiness that rush forth when a man and woman unite through nikah – a sacred relationship that commences by taking Allah’s name – to live under one roof and become garments for each other.

Nay, the separated single Muslim couple now continue to move around lonely, miserable and confused in society — easy prey to Shaitan’s incessant traps.

Only this time, they erroneously lament their woes of still being single as “being the will of Allah”, when, in fact, it was they who fell for Shaitan’s enticements and succumbed to his false insinuations.

Marriage is not a joyride, but a bumpy road — it helps if your spouse fears Allah

Fact is, marriage is not a joyride in an amusement park. It has its good and bad days. The trials that follow after a marriage takes place require both husband and wife to be strongly connected to Allah, with complete trust (توكل) in Him, and to be ceaselessly loyal to each other – by becoming an ever-present, protective garment for their spouse, even when in front of their own parents.

The husband-wife relationship is the most prone to attacks by Shaitan because it forms the building block of society – the foundation on which the next generation of human beings are born and raised. If a marriage is flimsy and weak, the family unit won’t be far from collapse either.

Once this basic family unit dissolves, the naive, unsuspecting young children that emerge from it and disperse into society without parental guidance, are the easiest, unarmed prey for the armies of Shaitan to attack and destroy. And that is how he endeavors to mislead most of us – by constantly looking out for when he can give a blow to the strongest of Muslim marriages.

If you really want to enjoy a strong marital relationship in the future, one that is like a hard rock before the blows of the numerous devils from among the humans and jinns, remember that you need to do away with any fallacious ideas in your head about fleeting romantic relationships and flirtatious ‘friendships’ with members of the opposite gender outside/before marriage. You need to grow up and undergo a major reality-check that will firmly implant your itchy feet on the ground.

Youth fades with time. Friends who swore to stay by your side through thick and thin disappear from the horizon with the bawl of their first baby. Eventually, you are left alone, when your siblings, cousins, classmates and colleagues all become busy with their own spouses and children.

If you really want that dream home with the perfectly manicured garden, white picket fence (I know I’m being cheesy here), the family van and the fluffy pet cat – first do away with delusional dreams of unending romance and picture-perfect matrimony, and get real. Turn to Allah, obey Him in prosperity as well as in adversity, strive to earn through 100% halal means, and repent to Him sincerely for all those things that you think He might be angry with you about. Then watch the workings of His decree unfold almost miraculously before your eyes.

One of the best, most fullfing and deliriously happy moments one can experience in life, is when Allah decrees in your favor that which people around you swore would never happen.

Speaking from personal experience: I was a girl with a tightly-wrapped face who eschewed company of the opposite gender after repenting from the friendships of school and college life, then faced comments during the early twenties like, “Who will ever marry her?”

If you steadfastly continue to tread the path of Deen, eventually the whispered question becomes: “Who wouldn’t?”

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154 thoughts on “‘Romantic’ Relationships, Marriage Proposals and Dreams of Destiny

  1. As Salamu Alaikum wa Rehmatulahi wa Barakatuhu

    An excellent post :).
    JazakAllah for taking the time out to write such a descriptive article, with a true intention to guide the youth.
    May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala guide us all on the path which leads to His Love and His Approval. Ameen Sum Ameen.

      1. Asalamualaikum sister. Nonetheless like the countless articles on the internet, your article was quite appealing in terms of addressing youth. Though I feel as if there is something missing. Perhaps a proper conclusion to all this. The articles addresses the many problems that many of our Ulema address to youth, whether its dating, drugs or even Hip-Hop culture. When I finished the article I had to ask, What do I do now? Where do we go from here?

        I was a very heinous youth early in my days of high school and was always a trouble in trouble. I went through many phases of my life. Music was an addiction. Love was an addiction. Teenage spirit was all time high and nothing was better than staying “high” My life as a youth changed when i went in the path of ALLAH for a few days and eventually months. Allhamdullilah I thank allah for accepting me in his path and giving me the company of the pious scholars. I also work with youth but definetly nowhere near your level sister.

        I do feel that pushing the youth into practicality is always better than slapping articles in their faces (no harsh tone intended). Its great to see some fikr (concern) but I suggest to all the brother and sisters, hold onto the qur’an and sunnah and spend some time (brothers) in the path of allah and do the effort of Da’wah along with everything else in qur’an and sunnah, your life will change believe it. This is coming from a youth who never had a youth until he joined this effort.

        I strongly recommend that we desist from our own knowledge and join in with the company of scholars. Thats my two pieces of advice that i wanted to share. So yes GET PRACTICAL people and stick to the effort that all the prophets and the sahabahs (peace upon all of them) did. Talk about allah’s greatness to each other and give constant reminders to each other as reminder is beneficial for the believers (Qur’an). Remind each other of the purpose of this life and the fact that we have to go back to allah.

        Keep in mind…from the Stomach of A’lam-e-Arwah to the stomach of the mother, then to the stomach of the world (dunya) and then to the stomach of the grave and finally to the stomach of our final abode (hell or heaven). These are our stages. Lets get practical and make effort starting now. Jazakallah sister sadaf for your efforts. Asalamualaikum wr wb.

      2. from the time i i am using the internet …….it is for the first time the i have seen ASSLAM O ALAIKUM and bismillah on the screen …and it has made me very very happy ..may holy ALLAH make you prosper in every field of life..

  2. mash Allah, Sadaf Baji. Bahot acha laga south asian muslims ka local perspective padhne per. Iss topic per itna detail article shayad hi kisne likha hoga. barak Allaah feeki.

  3. Dear Sister Sadaf,

    Assalam-o-alikum,

    I dont know where to start but I have billion things on my mind to say and to comments. I will try writing what my current state allows me to write. I am sure you have a big fan following and everyone must have appreciated your article and indeed it is very good article. But you know what I have following observations

    1. You got married at a very young age (18 – 23)
    2. You family supported your education so you never had to bother for any financial responsibilities.
    3. Your married life does not have many turbulances
    4. You dont know what it means to have pain !

    I am sure you would find my comments very harsh and I this is the point of my message. Becuase your article made me cry so much that I was having problem in breathing.

    I am in process of becoming a better Muslim since 2004 and I also got into a relationship which I ended up for sake of Allah but after reading this article, I found myself the biggest sinnger.

    Sorry for being so blunt but any religious topic needs much empathy while writing. We need to realize why are committing a sin. And IFF we have never been in a situation where we ‘might’ have got vulnerable, then we definitely dont know what we would have done.

    May Allah be with you in all you do. May Allah bless everyone happiness of this world and hereafter InshaAllah.

    Regards
    A sinner

    1. Wa alaikumus salam,

      May Allah ease your pain!

      I am sorry to know that you cried after reading this article, but if you cried in a way that made you turn to Allah in humility and sincerity, then perhaps it is indeed a good thing that you read this post.

      I have felt and gone through tremendous pain in the past. Not just that, but I have witnessed firsthand (in the role of counselor/friend) similar pain others close to me went through. Its not easy to see someone sob and cry so much that their whole body shakes, but some sisters I counseled went through such bouts for months.

      At the end of the day, I think obedience to Allah’s commands, no matter how difficult, saves us from the extreme pain that is caused by relationships.

      Allah knows best.

      1. JZK Allah Khair for such nice post.I totally agree with you sister Sadaf,I too am a mother of two teenage daughters and pray that Allah finds good partners for them ,those who will make them stronger in their deen.Ameen.
        May Allah guide all our muslim parents.Ameen.

      2. Assalamu Alaykum Sadaf,
        A good write-up but as AAQ said, it was indeed, I am afraid to say very much devoid of empathy.
        I do not doubt in the earnest that you might have had many encounters with the youngsters who’d been through such misfortunes. But what you need to understand is that each of the victims can feel the guilt without our telling. What our religious ‘quo’ forgets to portray is the light of hope, the courage to stand up again after falling victim to not their ‘desires’ as such, but valid emotions.
        The need of the hour for an ordinary youngster is not to understand God’s ‘wrath’ but to take an initiative to understanding the lows and highs of ‘living’ a life. Religion is not God’s staff, it is God’s love and His depiction of empathy towards His most cherished creation – a man.
        Sin is one thing. However, if a youngster somehow mishandle his or her emotions trying to make sense out of it, is totally another thing. Heart is not the seat of desires alone, there sit on it our very sacred feelings which are not good or bad, they’re just as natural as you and I breathing without our consent.
        Keeping that in mind in the contemporary world, I wonder how can a person be subjected to ‘classified’ sinner if he or she slips while never intending to?
        I wonder if telling a teen or a young guy or girl, that they seriously need to repent before anything else and fear God’s wrath, would do any good to them?
        Why do I feel this gap, a void filled with apathy towards the target audience?

        As for AAQ, I congratulate you for being human. If you ever thought to have acquired angelic qualities, you must know now for sure, that you’ll always remain a human. You WILL commit mistakes, you WILL fall down… But that’s all you need to stand up again!
        You WILL have to die to be born again. These experiences make you who you are, and believe me, you’re precious than all those who’ve escaped and who were never really challenged.
        Allah will NOT judge on your one single act. He will Not judge you for falling down. He will Not judge you for loving a person. He will only judge you how you come out of it, as a warrior or as an escapee!
        This is what you’ve to decide. God loves us. And He will always do that as long as we remain “human”.
        I wish you all the best in becoming an undaunted, courageous soul who has not only ‘seen’ life, but the one who’s experienced as something ‘very very real’!
        In His Amaan!

  4. Dear sister, askm
    first of all i would like to thanks TheALLAH Almighty who has guide me to get so informative and mind blowing concept on this topic.
    I have a lots of questions in my minds about the right way of getting a suitable match in the lights of Quran and sahi Ahadeeth. frankly speaking I hunted too much article regardings approach to girl, pre marrital relationship,romance, dating ..etc as i am going to complete my studies soon inshaAllah and needs a perfect match to start next inninig but none of them is so satisfying.
    Your way of presantation is brilliant .
    may ALLAH keep u in good health & help u to guide muslim youth specially in those sphere where most of them hesitate to speak out.
    Ameen

    remember me in dua..
    Adeeb

  5. MashAllahu la quwata illa billah!

    From what i know you, I expected at least this much.
    A wonderful, well-written, well explained and detailed article, every word of which shows the intention of saving the youth from pain, hurt and shaiytaan.
    Having been through so much, I can exactly lmagine every picture as I read this article.

    Keep up the work, may you keep getting this strength in future also!
    wasalam.

  6. Alhamdulillah- Beautiful mashaALLAH! I strongly recommend that you send this article to other blogs as well- I wished (but then we cannot wish) that I had read this article before going to college. Alhamdulillah, however for whenever ALLAH Guides us and Causes us to be His.

    Another aspect of the above is that assuming ALLAH saves a person from all forms of pre-marital relationships. That person saves him/her self exclusively for their spouse. They do their istikharah, have the right standards for a spouse and get married. They expect that since they did everything right, everything will be perfect.

    It can however be an exact opposite of such a situation. The trial can now actually begin. It is ESSENTIAL to hold onto ALLAH and NOT let Shaytaan take away all the good we did before by lamenting over the fact that if we did everything right, why didn’t things fall into place. We have been sent to this earth not to enjoy but to strive. This strife can actually be never having a blissful marriage but to face that with sabr and connection with ALLAH.

    Anyhow, loved this article alhamdulillah.

  7. Jazakum Allahu khair, brothers and sisters, for leaving your comments and for your appreciation.

    Whatever good and benefit is in the article, is solely from Allah.

    Surely, we are all sinners in need of His forgiveness everyday. May He guide us to repent from our past and present mistakes and bad habits, both unintentional and deliberate. Ameen.

  8. Sorry I am going to be a sanctimonious prig again but Alhumdulilah I have managed to steer clear of a number(albeit not all) of these problems.There’s nothing like watching your closest friends going through broken crushes and relationships to make one swear off boyfriends and pre-marital relationships.I was also fortunate to have parents who were so focused on our education that not even the word “Shaadi” was remotely linked to any of us.Any speculation of who their children would marry was discussed behind closed doors well out of their earshot! LOL!!

    Sadaf I am glad you shed light on the custom of engagements and baat pakis.They should be called “the semi-dating phase”.Also I find it so ridiculous when parents decide at a young age who their children will marry.Its considered normal for the couple to talk to each other, hang out together and when their daughter/son gets admitted to law school or med school the engagement is broken off.The other person isn’t considered good enough for their child any more.But meanwhile the child has formed this deep if misguided attachment and is finding it hard to move on.I have seen this happening in religious and even conservative rural families and it simply defies reason!

  9. Asalaamualaikum Sadaf,
    MashaAllah, what a detailed and spot-on take on this subject. Jazakallahukhairan, I just realized the amazing connection between ‘hisn’ and marriage.

    By the way I wanted to add on to the Istikhara bit. A failure of a marriage (or business or anything else) after doing Istikhara is not necessarily a result of transgressions nor an indication of ‘istikhara failure’ (as some say).

    A lot of times we hear dejected people say, ‘But I did istikhara before this…’. This happens because we fail to realize the real purpose of the istikhara prayer and also as a result of mixing-up our ‘goals’ & the ‘means’ to achieve them. The real goal is reaching Allah & the means to that goal are various eg. marriage, business, etc. If we take marriage as the ‘goal’ & use Istikhara (i.e. use Allah) as the ‘means’, then it explains why we get disillusioned and disappointed at a divorce. We don’t see that marriage, just like all things in the dunya, is just a means to reach Allah.

    Allah isn’t a means. He(SWT) is the end. Our focus is wrong. That’s why Istikhara dua acknowledges that only Allah knows best, and then asks Him to bring about what is best and take away what is not best. The focus of that dua is not that which we are asking for. The focus is what is best in this life and next. How many times have we seen that a divorce, or any setback in life brought someone closer to Allah? That is the answer to the Istikhara – success with Allah.

    So if we pray for it (i.e. getting married or for the success of a marriage) and we don’t get it, perhaps Allah has chosen another means for us or perhaps through failure and pain, HE (SWT) has caused the means for our purification through sabr. Thus, ultimately bringing us to that end: Allah. It may be, as only Allah knows best, that had He given us that amazing spouse we made dua for or that perfect marriage, it would have made us heedless and therefore not achieve our end at all. This is how Istikhara works – according to HIS knowledge, wisdom and love. But we do not see that.

    1. Wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullah,

      Subhan Allah! Your words are so true and inspiring.
      May Allah reward you loads and loads for your beautiful input.

      Jazakillahu khair katheera for commenting! ❤

    2. Salams
      Mashallah ! A true input. Every action of a muslim is ibadah! the social taboos
      have made halal options haram !

  10. Salamunalaikum!

    Praise be to the most perfect who taught us what we didn’t knew.

    Today I read, what I didn’t in my previous 20 + years.

    Mashallah-Tabarakallah!!! An Awesome Article, Incredibly Insightful and Wonderful.

    I wish this article to be published, in all leading Muslim magazines and News papers and digests.

    This article has further motivated me to bring up a creative and comprehensive, lengthy and lovely, beneficial and beautiful potential spouse Muslims Marriage Questionnaire.

    May Allah ta’la help all those who strive, to help themselves by helping others.A’meen.

  11. Mashallah. A beautiful article 🙂
    A rock solid marriage requires doing even the romantic stuff with the desire to please Allah. It requires sometimes swallowing your pride and going beyond the call of duty to forgive the petty wranglings of this life for the sake of success in the hereafter. And it is true that, subhanallah, one day you wake up and the improbable has come true and all your prayers have been answered and you did not even realize it.

    1. It requires sometimes swallowing your pride and going beyond the call of duty to forgive the petty wranglings of this life

      You have spoken the truth!

      Also with this part:

      Subhanallah, one day you wake up and the improbable has come true and all your prayers have been answered

      Jazakillahu khair for pointing out how a marriage has many challenges of its own. The road is never smooth, but there are wonderful pleasant surprises along the way that make us marvel at how, indeed, Allah does answer our prayers.

  12. Assalamu Alaikom,

    The article is very nice and through, mashaAllah. I had one concern, it seems as if from your article the breaking of the engagement can only happen for two reasons. That the engaged couple get to know each other and find faults with each other, or that shiatan puts doubts in their minds about the other. Maybe people have real and actual reasons that do something like break the engagement. It felt completely awkward to read this sentence afterward summing up the section ‘Only this time, they erroneously lament their woes of still being single as “being the will of Allah”, when, in fact, it was they who fell for Shaitan’s enticements and succumbed to his false insinuations.’

    Earlier in the article it mentions from the story of Bisma and Bilal that it was the will of Allah that they would marry other people, and not each other (of course they both were involved in forbidden interaction, so it could be understood why they shouldn’t have lead themselves to unnecessary pain). Would it not be fitting that in ending an engagement for a real reason that it was the will of Allah two people were not supposed to be married, especially when things were done within the realm of Islam.

    The tone seemed a bit harsh. I would have liked to see more hope for those who are religious, single, and waiting to get married. Just wanted to point out something I noted that was unsettling to read, and meant no offence. Overall the article was great.

    1. وعليكم السلام و رحمة الله و بركاته

      I am actually quite grateful that you pointed this out.

      The workings of Allah’s decree/will or “قدر” are complex, because our own actions are intertwined with His decisions, so that we sometimes claim about an outcome which was purely Allah’s will, to be solely a result of our own actions, and at other times, we overlook our own hand in the end-result of events in our lives, and pin the entire outcome of some incident solely on “Allah’s will”.

      Human beings are very complex beings. How human psychology works has been pointed out at several places in the Quran. I will try to give an example to explain what I meant.

      A person falls ill and gets food poisoning. Do we sit back and call it Allah’s will? Yes, we do believe that it happened because it was His will, but at the same time, we look for the things that that sick person ate or drank that could have caused his or her illness. Many sincere well-wishers ask, “What was it you ate that caused this food poisoning? You must not have that stale chutney again. I am sure it caused this!” while others might say, “You must avoid eating out so much in the future, because see how sick it has made you.”

      Even though some detrimental event in our lives that hurts us is Allah’s will, such as an illness, we try to search for its cause so that we can avoid the pain and hurt in the future.

      However, with marriages and engagements, we tend to completely overlook what we might have done that caused the breakup. It was my intention to point this out when I said this:

      Only this time, they erroneously lament their woes of still being single as “being the will of Allah”, when, in fact, it was they who fell for Shaitan’s enticements and succumbed to his false insinuations.

      The thing is, when we face any kind of worldly success in life and people ask us what we did to attain it, we don’t always stop just at “Oh it was Allah’s will”; rather, we outline the efforts we made and detail the hard work we put in to get to that level of success.

      With engagements and marriages, though, we tend to just pin the cause of any dissolution of a relationship solely and wholly on “Allah’s will”, and overlook what we might have done wrong that could have caused the blessing of a happy marriage to be averted from us.

      Indeed, you have stated the truth that many engagements break for valid reasons. I am glad you said that. Because, yes, it is true.

      As for the case of Bisma and Bilal getting married to their current spouses, well, that happened after they both tried their absolute utmost to marry each other. However, they were helpless before Allah’s decree.

      Even so, I would like to point out here that even if a youngster agrees to marry someone who proposes, just to obey their parents, even then they should not go out with them or be romantically involved before the nikah, despite having full permission or encouragement of the parents to do so.

      This is something I have tried to point out in this post above: how modern-day parents encourage their adult, single offspring to do things that are wrong when seeking to get them married e.g. dolling up their daughter before men at weddings to display her to them like a tart; lying about their son’s income or age; subtly deceiving society about their actual economic status or standard of living, etc. Very few people, if any, challenge these actions – rather, as a young person’s age progresses and they are still single, most of their elders start to actually encourage this morally wrong behavior in their desperation to achieve the desired objective of marriage. In cases such as these, when one or both of the involved parties does wrong things to achieve an engagement, and then after that, when things go awry, they sigh and resignedly call it “Allah’s will”.

      Why do they not also say, “Maybe we did something wrong that caused this impending happiness to be averted from us”?

      We should bear in mind that our actions can affect the “قدر” of Allah. We cannot disobey Him and then expect Him to grant us our dua’s and istikharah’s.

      A believer who is humble before Allah, whenever he or she faces a calamity or painful event in life, first and foremost turns his or her focus inwards, asking themselves, “Did I do something to displease Allah, because of which this happened to me?”

      Even so, as serendipitouslife has pointed out above, sometimes the fact that our dua’s are not answered is not necessarily an indication of Allah’s anger at us.

      In such cases, it really is His decree, which we should believe, is best for us.

      Allah knows best.

  13. AOA,
    Jzk khair !
    I started reading your article and couldnt stop before finishing it all ! I am going to post it on FB page so more people can read and inshallah be rewarding to you. You have put down the biggest fitna of today in a few lines and tried to explain in such a easy-to-follow manner. Good work ! and keep writing more please…:)

    I have a question for you, what do you say about ‘destiny’? Many people curse their destiny if they have disobeyed Allah or have not been successful in love/marriage.

    Wasalam,

  14. Dear Sadaf AA
    MashAllah nice and informative article. May Allah make it a source of learning for all and save all from temptations of shaitaan and nafas. I think remembrance of Allah is another very effective and important tool to save ourselves form any evil.
    My Allah increase your knowledge and sharpen your writing skills.Aameen.

  15. .جزاك الله خيرا كثيرا و بارك الله فيك
    نسأل الله أن يتتقبل منك و منا خدمة دينه و يجعلنا من الصالحين و المخلصين له

  16. Some very valid points from a quranic and hadith perspective, which I can definitely adopt into my own life. However, I can’t help but think that you are very young, that Allah puts us through various trials and tribulations that are literally beyond our control, that you may not have experienced in your own life. Your article is almost biased and should be a thesis in order to take into consideration all the factors that the subject matter raises. Perhaps you should have restricted it to just one aspect of marriage and the Muslim youth. I know you have good, sincere intentions, but it is also our duty as Muslims to not be judgemental.

    1. I am 32+. I got married at 25, and have witnessed first-hand the love affairs, engagements and marriages most of my friends have gone through. I have studied in coeducational institutions from the age of 13 to 21, something that I sorely regret and have sincerely repented for, but because of which I have witnessed a myriad of social interactions between young people of both genders. From “close-confidante”/buddy-type friendships, to casual flings with no strings attached, to deliberate love-affairs between two people one of whom was already engaged to another, to a female student’s secret liaison with a handsome young teacher, to long-distance/phone-based affairs spanning continents, to flirtations between neighbors across their windows, to a young married mother-of-two getting on with her husband’s best friend, to a sister stealing her own biological sister’s fiance – there is hardly any kind of inter-gender relationship that I have not seen with my own eyes, or heard of through common friends. I also know of an extra-marital affair that ended in murder. I am also related to someone who has two children outside wedlock.

      I do not think I am that young. 🙂

      For those people who are assuming that I cannot know the supposed “justified” reasons for falling into such relationships, please rest assured, that is not the case. This post is not based on the the ramblings of some naive little girl who has been brought up with an ideal, all-“Islamic”, sheltered upbringing, who has supposedly not seen any of the “big, bad world out there”. Rather, I think I should have written about this topic long ago, because of the immense pain, sorrow and familial strife and dissension that I have seen happen to people I was close to, as a result of their having love affairs and friendships. If anything, I have learnt “the hard way” that indeed, Allah’s limits are for our own good, and His commands are worthy of being obeyed no matter what.

      Since my article is based on my own observations about experiences that I have witnessed first-hand in my life, then yes, perhaps you are right that it is biased.

      1. I’m sure you realize that backbiting is haraam; even though you are using people’s affairs for illustrative purposes to further people’s deen (thank you sister), it is still a very grave offense.

        Perhaps more grave than having an innocent conversation with a male member of your teaching faculty at your co-educational institutions. Just saying.

  17. Salaam Sis,

    Alhamdullillah..Shaitan tried his very best to let me ignore your article and let it sit in my inbox and eventually be lost in my tons of unread mails… I am glad I went against his will and chose to read this magnificent piece.

    I currently have two children who are very young but I am going to print out this article and have them read it when they are in their teens, InshALLAH.

    InshAllah, you will be rewarded for this article a great deal as I am sure it will change many minds, hearts.

    Keep writing.

  18. Assala Mu Alaikum dear sister.
    ALHAMDULLILAH ALLAH (SWT) made me read this page of yours. ALL GLORY BE TO ALLAH (SWT). MashALLAH an excellent piece of writing and beautiful advice for th youth. This topic needs to be addressed in the society and we need to create more awareness among people so as to save ourselves from the footsteps of Shaitan.

    MAY ALLAH SWT GIVE YOU IMMENSE AJAR. Ameen.

  19. ASWRWB

    I really appreciate your intention, it was a very thought provoking article. But (yes go on, roll your eyes, haha) i found the tone to be VERY judgemental! sA sister almost every sentence begins with “they , they, they”!!! I wish there was more compassion! All the beautiful points you made would have been sooooo much more effective if there was a personal touch in there. If you had said “I felt the same way I was growing up” or “I too had to face the societal pressures”.

    Think about it, how would you feel if a non-hijabi came to you telling you that “the hijabis are like this, “they” do this. “they” should do that”. Allah says “this and that” so “they” should do that. You will say, who is she to tell me what they should do, shes not even a hijabi, what does she know? Try as you might, you will ALWAYS think that. Similarly, when you yourself didnt go through all this, never even faced the temptation of the opposite sex ( from previous comments i gather you were married a teenager?), who gives you authority to judge everyone so much?! You could have easily given points according to the quran and hadith, and let the reader “do the math”.
    Again, i will highly commend your effort, but as a writer, i feel your piece lacks in the “compassino” dimension. May Allah reward you immensely, ameen.

    1. Thank you for your advice. I was wondering, did you read the whole article – top to bottom?

      All the beautiful points you made would have been sooooo much more effective if there was a personal touch in there. If you had said “I felt the same way I was growing up” or “I too had to face the societal pressures”.

      when you yourself didnt go through all this, never even faced the temptation of the opposite sex ( from previous comments i gather you were married a teenager?

      I quote from the article:
      “Going back about 10 to 12 years in time, I can vouch for the fact that the trial of staying away from forbidden relationships for someone who is single, is an extremely tough one.”

      Plus, I didn’t marry a teenager – wonder what gave you that idea? I married a 34-year-old when I was 25! 🙂

      Maybe, if you like, you can read the article slowly and calmly once or twice more, then see. Perhaps it will benefit you?

      I do appreciate your feedback. Me thinks you are a teenager or in your early twenties. I really appreciate critique and honest feedback from my target audience.

  20. Very well-written and inspiring article – JazaakumAllahu Khayran for writing this.

    This article brought back memories of a passage I recently read in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenin:

    Oblonsky smiled. He knew that feeling of Levin’s so well – that for Levin all the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except [X], and they had all the human weaknesses and were very ordinary girls; while [X] was in a class by herself, without the least imperfection and above the rest of humanity.

    I know I’ve felt that before (before a rude awakening lol), and know a lot of others did as well. It’s that feeling that nobody could ever be the perfect companion/soul-mate/spouse in this Dunya and Jannah except for that specific person. I’m sure that this feeling after marriage is a blessing since one will be committed, but before marriage, it is an extremely dangerous notion to have since it will lead to a sense of entitlement (that you deserve the person) as well as a sense of despair if the hopes become crushed.

    Once more, JazaakumAllahu Khayran. I wish every youth was given the chance to read this as it is filled with a lot of practical and relevant advice.

    Looking forward to reading more Insha’Allah.

    1. Your input is very relevant, and best of all, it is real.
      Our youth need to learn from the practical experiences of those who have been in their shoes in the past.
      Jazak Allahu khair for sharing your thoughts.

  21. It’s wonderful how your words compliment this society we live in. I wish I read this article before. JazakAllah khair…May Allah s.w.t. succeed you in all your noble intentions and help you reach out to those who are yet to go through this phase of life!

  22. Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh Sister Sadaf,
    This is my first time to visit your blog! Alhamdulillah! I stumbled over your blog via Al-Huda Institute Canada who had sent me an email with a link to this article.
    After reading your post, I have come to realize a few things.
    As a single Muslim sister, I think the most crucial time for a Muslim to build a strong relationship with Allah is during his/her youth. Is this not the time when we start to make decisions that really shape the rest of our lives — whether it is through choosing the right major, the right company to work for, and above all the right spouse?? Every one of those aspects can either bring us closer or further away from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). That is why I deeply feel that we the youth are especially in need of drawing closer to Allah by beseeching His Guidance in everything we choose to do and then by putting our wholehearted trust in His Decision.
    Although we are always in need of Salah, I feel that we are MOST in need of Salah, Duaa, and all other righteous deeds — not just the obligatory but the voluntary as well — during our youth. This is because we want — no, we are in dire need of — the barakah, the guidance, the wisdom, the assistance from Allah to help us tread a path of righteousness for the rest of our lives. How can we afford during this time in our life to live without Salah and Dua’a to guide us? What else could possibly give us the strength to get through each day with all its hardships, trials, and uncertainties? What else could help us to walk a path of righteousness? Where else can we get the wisdom to make the right decisions especially when they matter the most?? The Good is only within Allah’s Hands…we cannot deny it…we are completely in need of Allah — at every moment of everyday — to give us success where it matters most, both in this Dunya and in the Aakhirah.
    This is what I have come to realize after reading your post. May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) reward you immensely for every heart that your words have brought closer to Iman. May Allah accept all our good deeds, verily He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
    Your sister in Islam,
    Maryam

  23. Assalamu alaykum Sister,

    I do appreciate your effort and your intentions, but you could have made it very effective by limiting the word count. It is a never-ending read, or what you could do is to develop this piece into a research article (seriously). Since you are targeting the youth (as readers), I am also wondering if you could comment on who your readers are??? How would you get the youth to read this blog?

    1. Wa Alaikumus Salam,

      I agree, I tend to write long, LONG posts. 🙂 Perhaps it is my inherent weakness as a writer.

      I think when we publish on a blog, the content goes “out there” in the cyber-world, and then from one platform to another, the content gets shared, eventually reaching the target audience.

      I was hoping that mostly youngsters aged 12-28 would read this post, but it is not strictly restricted to them. It is also intended for friends of such people or their parents – anyone, rather. We all can do with reminders from the Quran about social issues that affect us all.

      Also, some tweens and teens are avid readers of books. So e.g. if a teenager can read “Twilight”, or (as I mentioned above in this post) “Mills & Boon” and “Danielle Steele”-type novels, they probably wouldn’t find this post so long in comparison.

      Allah knows best.

      Jazakillahu khair for your concern. 🙂

      1. Salam sister,
        I’m 21 and I found the article very interesting.. Infact I read it twice! 😀 So the length is not that big a deal if a piece of writing is well-written. And I commend you for writing on this aspect of life..
        Also I found it very helpfull, I even mailed this to some collegues.
        May Allah (S.W.T) bless you and your family.. may He forgive your shorcommings and grant you Jannah. Ameen

  24. you wrote, “The reason why marriage is a “protection” or “fortress” for a Muslim is, because it allows him or her to fulfill their sexual desires in a permissible and beautiful manner. Hence, once their bodily needs are satisfied, they are more likely to function productively in society without being “distracted” by members of the opposite gender, provided they still observe Allah’s limits in their social interactions.”

    unfortunately my years of working with muslim women have taught me that fulfillment of sexual desires is only for one gender. For the woman, it is “all for him, nothing for her”. Muslim men simply do not respect the sexual rights of women and sexual pleasure in a muslim home in rarely reciprocal. Frankly I am not surprised when muslim women choose nonmuslim men to marry or date – our culture has zero respect for the sexuality of a muslim woman.

    1. Agreed.
      Muslim men need to be educated and reminded about one of the most important rights among their wives’ basic Islamic rights: to be approached for conjugal relations according to the sunnah way, viz.:
      Narrated Jabir Bin Abdullah [may Allah be pleased with him], “The Prophet [‎صلى الله عليه و سلم] did not allow sexual intercourse before fondling (the wife).”
      [Abu Dawood]

  25. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    We really appreciate your article, the pros and cons of mixing with the opposite sex for pleasure. Marriage must be with muslim boy or girl only, not dating with a non-muslim and then converting him into Islam, which is very common with our girls, because they hate the tradional and orthodox way of arranged marriage.
    We feel the parents are responsible for raising children with good moral and religious values, especially how to respect and interact with their in-laws and elders.
    Communication, trust, patience and tolerance with due control of their tongue.
    Modern women think that hijab is old fashion and is only for the poor and backward muslim women.
    I hope you continue to write on topics like building good relationship with the in-laws
    and living a life with fear of Allah.
    JZK

    1. Marriage must be with muslim boy or girl only, not dating with a non-muslim and then converting him into Islam

      The reasons a person converts is between that person and God. It is not our place to scrutinize them. We are not the Judge.

      Allah (SWT) knows best.

  26. Amazing article, really long but Alhamdulillah I got through the entire thing.

    I really hope people can learn from your article. Sadly, I have already learned about relationships the hard way and I continue to repent but even for one who has been through relationships I realize I definitely still do not know everything and your article is a great reminder that I need to continue to repent and build a strong relationship with Allah.

    I really wish more young Muslim sisters like yourself would demystify relationships, sex, marriage, and the like for us youth who have parents who have put a taboo on it all.

    Thank you very much! / jazaaks.

  27. Assalamo alaikum:)
    JazakAllahu Khair for your efforts in writing this article.. May Allah subhan’wa t’aala show all of us the right path n protect us from committing wrong.. please do write an article for even parents who delay their kids marriage which eventually exposes them to these traps for longer duration.. i strongly believe that marrying young is really important especially in todays world where at each step you can fall into the shaitans trap.. Make sure more and more youngsters read this article or atleast discuss about this..

    1. Wa alaikumus salam Rimsha,
      Your suggestion is very credible. Parents today, too, have a great hand in keeping their offspring single well into their late twenties or early thirties, by insisting that they gain higher education or achieve considerable career advancement first, to mention just a couple of reasons.
      I agree with you that for our current and future generations, getting married young to a righteous person hailing from a pious family is strongly advised.

        1. No it is not. Effort should be made to increase his maturity though, e.g. by giving him responsibilities of earning money from an early age, and making him do chores for the household, so that if he is made to support himself and provide for his own expenses, at the very least, insha’Allah he can be able to support his own family in the future.
          I have noticed that when a guy starts earning money and his parents start withholding “easy pocket money” from him, his life automatically takes on an aura of maturity and responsibility.
          However, if parents continue to pay for their adult sons’ needs and luxuries, financially supporting their studies as well as entertainment, boys take longer to mature and in fact, they even shun the prospect of marriage well into their twenties, perceive it as “a burden”.
          Allah knows best.

      1. I don’t mean that. I know of a young man who has no control over his temper and had lashed out at his parents on several occasions. His level of patience is very low and his parents fear he will behave in the same way with his wife and in-laws. They have observed him getting better with time and so intend to keep him single for a little longer…he is in his mid twenties btw. He also has another very worrying characteristic: he is very possesive and too many times I have seen him driving his sisters mad with his incessant questioning. Since I know him on quite a personal level I can understand his parents’ POV and as they say, they wouldn’t want someone with these qualities marrying their daughter.
        Again, I don’t mean to contradict you and if there is a fatwa saying so, I am more than willing to accept it because Allah ALWAYS knows best.

  28. Sadaf Baji,
    I sincerely hope this article reaches every young adult. I don’t think parents understand the severity of this problem…either that or they just turn a blind eye to it. Dating has become so so so common its scary to think that kids these days fear no one, not parents, not family, not friends ..it’s like they have lost all faith and Shaytan has got the best of them when it comes to relationships. (I’m talking about the teens to early 20’s age group) How they even get the audacity do the things they do is beyond me. It’s not up to us to judge the action of others but our generation is headed for disaster if they continue keep up with this. I think you should try getting this published in magazines or write a shorter article for Dawn newspaper? Just a thought 🙂

      1. I think your comment was great! 🙂

        No seriously, as a young daughter of Pakistani immigrants who was born and bred in USA, I think your valuable input will be very useful for the readers of this article, because you are single and young, and surviving in today’s world in the midst of rampant peer pressure, inter-gender friendships and dating – by adhering to the tenets of Muslim faith. You can relate more to the trials faced by singles today than I, since you are in that particular demographic right now.

        So I really, really appreciate your feedback!

        I also do not agree with those who say, “Let people do what they want. Stop judging!” because ignoring the actions of others that you know will lead them to loss and sorrow is a sign of hard-hearted indifference that negates sincerity and concern for your fellow human beings, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

        The laws of our Creator are for our own benefit, so a sincere person will never look the other way and pretend that they don’t notice when they see someone rushing towards the edge of a cliff; they will try to at least warn the person of the destruction they are headed heedlessly towards.

  29. Asslamalycum,

    No doubt Almighty Allah is the best relationship, who loves us more than we can imagine, literally. Sister i thank u, it shows that u care since u r reminding us… of our duties in this temp life. JazakAllah, Kindly remember me in your prayers sis.

    Indeed we must learn, the Holy Quran saves us from so many mistakes and the author ‘Almighty and Alwise Allah’ offers us the best way of life, the Quran SubhanAllah its a miricle.. a Gift 4 life… a road map 2 the Kingdom of Heavens*.

    Looking 4ward 2 meeting Almighty Allah & u sisters in Junnah InshaAllah*
    We have a brain, life & time= oppotunity 2 earn Junnah… not impossible*
    We must learn 4rom the best : RasoolAllah [SAW]

    Your sis lol u never met… yet mabie in Junnah we pray!
    (SMILING)
    FeImanAllah XxX

  30. Aww what a cute ending!!!!!
    MashaAllah Sadaf …Awesome awesome Article and I read it top to bottom!!!!

    When my parents were growing up in Pakistan the the thought/idea of talking to your cousins was unheard of…and the same was true when we moved here. However when we went to visit Pakistan everything was changed and my engaged cousins were now talking to their fiances and I was shocked!!!! However it didn’t take long until those engagements broke. But I must commend my family for they did learn their lessons and consequently my other cousins’ mother did the nikkah right away when she found a match for her daughters.

    This article made me understand why there are some in our extended family who keep getting proposals but they keep getting broken. The girls talk to their fiances/prospectives like they are already their husbands!!!

    Good read MashaAllah and i am going to read your previous article as well inshaAllah today. Jazakallahu khayir.

  31. ps love what you said about marriage being a fortress…my mother used to say that all the time. And i didn’t exactly understand it at the time and in fact now that I think about it I understoo it all wrong hahha but I’m glad I believed it…haha =)

  32. Assalam u Alaikum!
    Mashallah, a very insightful article! I believe every teenager should read this. I am really inspired by you sister Sadaf, and am addicted to your blogs. :$ 🙂
    May Allah make all your articles a source of Sadaq-e-Jariah for you!
    Wasalam u Alaikum Warahmatullah

  33. As Salamu Alaykum, best article I have ever read in my life! Allahu Akbar! Speak the truth, even if the hearts, souls and the clouded intellect get ripped from our bodies! Allahumma Amin! Allahumma Muqallibal Qullub, Thabbit Quluubana Ala Deenik!

  34. assalaam o alaikum sister,

    your Article is brilliant, i really dont have the words to explain how useful and beautiful it is, but i have some of my personal questions to ask you, if you dont mind plz give me your e mail address??jazakALLAHkher

  35. Thank you, this has cleared up some apprehensions for me. I go to York university, and I have 3 women interested in me for marriage. And one whom I was engaged with from 2 years ago (through parents) to with no clear date for marriage. I was unsure which one I should really take as it seemed that marriage with the first one would probably wait another few years due to the girl’s family–so I thought to myself that it would probably be better to consider the other three sisters as my desires wanted me to get married as soon as possible. Honestly, I still wish I could marry one of the other sisters that expressed interest in me…but all these proposals came (almost immediately) after I became engaged. So I am in a constant quandry, go with the one my parents selected (which is a good choice, but I have to wait for who knows when or how long) or one of the other sisters (who are each contenders with the first one) and be able to marry in a realistic timeline. The worst part about all this is that they all come to the same university, I don’t talk or interact with them beyond necessary because I don’t want to create any hurt feelings or misunderstandings that could lead to problems. However, I am really confused as to who I should really be marrying. Like if Allah wanted me to marry the first girl why is there so many hurdles to marrying her through the inlaws? And why did the other three come to me right afterwards? I feel plauged by doubt about whom I should really be spending my life with.

    1. Your situation is a complex one.
      You are not wrong in wanting to marry as soon as possible.
      There is nothing wrong with being honest and placing your cards on the table. I think you should make a clear proposition to the family whose daughter you are engaged to, that you want to get married as soon as possible. If they do not agree, you can let them know that you will be left with no choice but to consider other options.
      However, please do istikharah before taking this step, and remember that there is always the chance that you will lose the bird in hand by going for the other 3 in the bush viz. what if it doesn’t work out with these other 3 girls you propose to, either?
      It all boils down to turning to Allah in sincere, earnest prayer, and putting 100% trust in His decree, even if it (apparently) goes against our favor, because none of us has seen the future, and that in itself is the great big test/trial that is called “our life”.
      Allah knows best.

    2. Honey, you need to calm the hell down.

      Go out with them and see who you like the most. Be honest and clear that the dating process may not lead to marriage. Once you learn enough about them BY MEETING THEM (for lord’s sake!) you will be in a better position to judge and decide.

      “God” “Allah” is not going to have your name tattooed on her forehead. No one is creating drama in your life but you yourself. Honestly, grow a pair and take your own decisions instead of waiting for a heavenly dream.

  36. Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatoullah!
    SubhanAllah!
    MashaAllah!
    MAy Allah guide one and all, and protect our imaan, renew our imaan! Amiin!
    May Allah reward you for this, we learn. . .Alhamdulillah!
    Jazzakallah!
    Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatoullah.

  37. Girl, the planet that you belong to- how far from the sun are we talking btw?

    “I must **** all the ‘dirty’ women I can find before I settle down with the Virgin Maria who can be the Mother of my children.” is the prevailing mindset here. Accept it or ignore it, doesn’t matter. The article that you wrote was written in Utopia perhaps. That too, ‘your’ Utopia.

    Now if you want all the women to read your article and turn into Hawwa, explains a lot about your chemical-addiction leading to such delusion. Even if we hypothetically assume that it happens, the female sex will be the one worse off here. Because men will remain the “I must **** all the ‘dirty’ women I can find before I settle down with the Virgin Maria who can be the Mother of my children.” sort. And the best part- Virgin Maria never even finds out about the pre-marriage, promiscuous-Saleem, sleeping around with every moving, seemingly female, object. Too bad, I know. But this is reality ma’am. Get used to it and ‘respond’ accordingly to the world around you.

    “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

    – Note: The “f” word will be edited from comments — Sadaf

  38. Vagabond,

    You’re talking to an anti-feminist, self-destructive and a deluded author. Maybe if she had walked a step in the feet of a young, independent girl who is ready to take challenges and change the world for the better, she wouldn’t have been so ridiculous.

    I don’t even know who conditioned her or how she could allow such utter malfunctioning of her neurons. Perspective of a South Asian’s local perspective, someone commented.

    Such a shame we have people like these Wahabbis in our society. I feel like screaming right now. What a waste of internet space!

    Your arguments are completely flawed, woman. Get a life and explore and read more before you make knowledge claims about psychology and physiology etc. For Dionysus’s sake!

    Grow up.

    I will return to refute your arguments again when I am not shaking with rage by being judged by someone who doesn’t know anything beyond her Burqa.

  39. Assalaamu Alaykum

    I must say it is an excellent article. I want to make a ppt from this article of yours with your permission please.

    Jazak Allah khayr
    Nabila

  40. good day,
    Assalam o alaikum wr wb
    your article provides food for thought ;what are we heading to as a nation and as ummah…please write more about the foundation of marriage and ways to deal with shaitani waswasaa.
    Also, IF possible try to add headings or bold pointers to your views and tips;just to make sure readers dont miss out anything as article was really really long.

  41. Assalam u alaikum warahmatAllah e wabarakatahu,
    Dear Sister, I am so pleased to read your insightful article. May my Allah swt love you and honor you in Dunia and Akhira. Ameen.

  42. Assalamo alaikum wa rahmatUllah,
    Sister Sadaf, Masha Allah your work for the cause of Islam/Deen e Illahi is highly beneficial and appreciated. May Allah bestow upon you His choicest blessings. I am also a Moderator of my this .. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theonlytruthonearth /
    I would like to get your permission to post your articles to my group as well as I want more members to join my group for authentic knowledge based entirely on Quran and Saheeh Ahadeeth Alhumdholillah.
    Jazakillaho Khairan,
    Barakillaho feeki,

    Your Brother in Islam,
    J. Iqbal.

    1. Wa alaiakumussalam wa rahmatullah,
      Yes you can share the articles on my blog if you wish. Please include the link back to my blog whenever/where ever you post them.
      Jazak Allahu khair for your concern for the ummah and your da’wah endeavors.

  43. Salaam!

    Excellent post! Thank you so much for addressing this issue and being so..real about it. =)

    JazaakAllahu Khair!!!!

  44. Bismillah,
    Assalam O Alaikum,

    MAY ALLAH REWARD YOU FOR YOUR WORK..AMEEN..:)

    The article you published is seriously so damn AMAZING!!…it really touched me. Seriously this was the best article ever..Sister i just wanted to ask you a question that suppose if a person gets caught doing all this stuff by his/her parents..so how could he/she gain back his/her parents trust..?..And 1 more thing how can a person handle the pressure he/she faces from his/her friends..?…….WAITING FOR YOUR ANSWER

    Wassalam,
    XYZ

    1. Wa alaikumus salam,

      Gaining back parents’ trust might take some time, but the best way to go about it is to first repent sincerely to Allah, who is more deserving of being feared and obeyed than one’s parents. So one should repent to Allah and firmly resolve not to go near such actions again.

      The improvement in behavior will definitely be noticed by the parents then, insha’Allah, because parents are naturally very observant of both positive and negative changes in their offspring. After their anger has subsided, the son/daughter can approach one or both of the parents, and inform them of their repentance and of their resolution not to go near those actions again. Then ask for their forgiveness and pardon.

      Handling peer pressure is very difficult, but possible. It requires that the young person keep himself very busy, in studies, extra curricular activities and da’wah/Islamic knowledge. It requires wasting no time in “hanging out”/”chillaxing” without a purpose with peers (who might not even be nice people or close friends, but just the “cool”/popular crowd) just to chat about useless things and to kill free time.

      One of the best means of avoiding peer pressure is to combine sports and da’wah with entertainment i.e. “hang out” with others youths who are involved in serious sports activities, or who arrange/attend regular Islamic lectures and events. In facing up to peer pressure, the most important thing needed is the courage to take a stand and to swallow the pain when one is labeled a ‘loser’, or when one is socially ostracized by the “cool” crowd for following the commandments of Islam.

      Allah knows best.

  45. Assalam Alaykum,
    I want marriage proposal dua.I tried many times to the peers of farhat hashmi but,I can’t got any particular response to this related dua.Actually,I already have this dua & I know it’s correct but then also,I want to confirm it.
    “Allahumma inni as aluka khairha wa khair ma jabaltaha alayhi wa auzubika minn sharriha wa sharri ma jabaltaha alayhi”
    Please send me dua in pure arabic because I don’t know urdu.Please don’t misunderstand me if you can help me in getting proposal it would be great pleasure for me.
    Allah Hafiz.

    1. Wa alaikumus salam,
      Here is one masnoon dua that can benefit you, insha’Allah. When you make this dua, intend for it to be for a pious spouse:

      اللهم اني اسالك حبك و حب من يحبك والعمل الذي يبلغني حبك

      Translation: “Oh Allah, I ask of Your love, and the love of that person who loves You and of those actions which attract Your love.”

      This dua from the Quran will also be helpful, insha’Allah:

      رَبِّ لَا تَذَرْنِي فَرْدًا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْوَارِثِينَ

      Translation: “O my Lord! leave me not alone, though You are the best of inheritors.” [Al-Qur’an – 21:89]

      May Allah grant you a pious spouse, marital love, worldly blessings and happiness that increases you both in knowledge and practice of Deen and paves the way for the success of your Akhirah. Ameen.

      I have the same prayers for all those single people who desire the same.

  46. Jazak Allah khair ,
    Please no offences taken ,
    Sadaf I suggest you to use simple and concise words in explaining complex issues.
    Some parts of the write up are so idiomatic. May be really difficult to understand for a novice reader.
    May Allah always help us in communicating his right path effectivelyto his followers .
    Aameen

  47. AOA WR WB,

    Amazingly written.. given a fruit for thought.

    please if you can guides us more with how to deal with waswasaas of shaitan.
    JazakAllaahOkhairun.

  48. Asssalamu alaikum Sadaf, thanks for a great (albeit lengthy) post 🙂

    Perhaps you could turn this into a series of posts? The next one detailing “what to do” in contrast to this “what not to do” one… I’d like to read that 🙂

    Unfortunately my feedback is a bit of a blog post in itself.

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve said and so much is from personal experience (i think something most ppl can relate to). I’ve not read any of the toher comments on this post (I never do :)) but a few things stood out to me:

    – you talked about fatwas declared on websites
    outside the context of the comment, i strongly urge everyone to NOT base anyu of their decision on what they read on Islamic websites. Please consult a scholar/imam in person and get context behind rulings. Please.

    – repentance
    yup that covers some of it and tackles people who have already “sinned”. I’d like to konw what a real Islamic perspective on marriage should be. How should a young Muslim who is diligent about their faith and responsibilities go about looking for a spouse?

    Further – a muslim couple wanting to get married should get schooled in the roles and responsibilities of Marriage. It is an actual education process – we should have a pre marital contract (as per shariah) but that’s not taught anywhere and those sorts of conversations are quickly shushed for fear of offending or initimidating the other party. Why is that?

    So whilst i agree with the observations you’ve made in your article i feel there’s so much more to the marriage game that is not discussed anywhere. Islam shouldn’t come into your life when you’re making big decisions. It’s an entire frame of reference, its a framework for our lives (the dunya part of which is temporary). Marriage and all things related come with their own instruction manuals. I feel that Pakistani culture stifles a lot of this good know how through ignorance and self serving greed… (harsh?)

    – why the apostrophe after HTC? (jsut a pet peeve of mine that’s all :))

    Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. وعليكم السلام
      I really appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Thank you for taking the time out to convey them here. 🙂
      Will correct the apostrophe after HTC. 😉

      Further – a muslim couple wanting to get married should get schooled in the roles and responsibilities of Marriage.

      Oh, how I agree with you on that!

  49. salam,
    I am a youth myself, and i actually appreciate your vocabulary usage. To be honest, your usage of unique words, writing style, and the post title made me read the post. Reading your blog is far better than reading novels and wasting time. 😀
    I would personally encourage you to continue your unique writing style. I absolutely love it! ( and a couple of my classmates said the same 🙂 )

    1. وعليكم السلام
      Jazakillahu khair.
      Means a lot, because I always want to relate to the youth when addressing the issues they face.
      Since you said “classmates”, I am guessing you are in school or college, and therefore a part of this “youth”. 🙂

  50. Subhan’Allah, there is something about the people who are connected to the Quran. You can make out from their talk/writings very clearly. For them Halal and Haram are very clear. They don’t get caught up in the grey area. They prefer making adjustments to their lives to changing the deen of Allah. When they talk you can literally feel your eeman increase. Your horizons start to widen as they unlock the hidden wisdom from the Kalaam of Allah. You wish that they were with you all the time so you can gain all the ilm that they have and watch how they bring forth that ilm alive their lives. You are one amongst such chosen ones.

    Masha’Alllah your analysis was very comprehensive and the nasihah was beautiful. However, I don’t know if the youth who do not take Allah or His Rasool as their authority would bother to take your advice over the desires of their heart. I’ll explain you why I feel that way.

    May Allah protect me from riya as I say this, Alhamdulillah, even during my days of jahilyyya, I used to pray salah regularly, lower my gaze. I used to stay a foot away from Non Mahram woman. However that did not prevent me from succumbing to the whispers of Shaytaan. Salah used to keep me away from women but I could not resist the temptations on the internet. I knew all along that this would not please Allah but I chose to follow my heart. Eventually it became an addiction. I knew I was being a hypocrite but I always managed to give myself some excuse or the other.

    This was an Allah conscious man who chose to follow his desires despite the fact that he himself would condemn such actions. To this day I cannot assure you that I have recovered completely. Occasional Slip-ups happen even now. I gave myself the excuse that I will stop getting my eeman hurt after I got married but I eventually learnt that this has nothing to do with marriage. It is the mercy of the Arhamur Rahimeen that keeps sinners like me alive. Jazkallahukhairan for advising to lengthen ruku and sujood. It does help.

    As I reflect over those days, I feel that the only way we can stop this from happening to the next generation is by giving Tarbiyyah of an exceptional level to our kids. Raise them in such a way the kalaam of Allah has an effect over their hearts which in turn creates a Talluq with their Rabb and creates Khashiyatuallah in their hearts. Free their hearts from diseases of all kind so that Kalaam of Allah sinks in their hearts and guides them in every decision of their life. And of course we’d have to lead by example.

    I can also narrate you my story of ‘slipping in a few istikharah’s’ and ‘parents turning away alliance due to trivial and idiotic reasons’ but that is a story in itself – not for this page; may be I’ll tell you another day. As of now I request you to make dua for my marriage. I did remember you in my Tahajjud, I will continue to do so. Your post reduced me to tears. May Allah give you eeman that does not flinch, blessings that do not end. May He make you amongst the Muqarrabeen, May He give you the shade of His throne and companionship of Rasoolullah(saws) on the day of Judgment.

    PS: I read somebody complain that your posts were too long. They should have a look at those who spend hours waiting in queue to get their hands on a 1600 page book of some stupid Harry and do not rest till they read it completely. Reading a 16 page naseehah that could probably save their skin from being barbequed in Jahannam sounds like a very easy thing to do. It’s all about perspective you see. Btw, your complete blog is on my reading list. So pls continue to write in as much detail as you can. You can be assured of one reader across the border who will read your posts no matter how long they are.

  51. Jazak Allah Khair for all your advices!!!
    May Allah grant you success in this life and the Hereafter.(Ameen)
    Whether its the Hiba Magazine, MM or your blog… your writings are truly guiding and inspiring Masha Allah!!

  52. Wonderful and intense article Sr. Sadaf. Firstly, I have to say that this increasing trend of premarital relationships in our community is one of my biggest pet peeves, if I can put it that way. Growing up, I had not really witnessed any such relationships, but now, as I am studying in Europe, my eyes were opened to many such relationships – and with time, I’ve seen the heartbreak that comes with it. Not only this, I’ve seen 3 desi girls who were or are living with their boyfriends, as they are away from home, beyond the vision of the watchful eyes of their parents. While there are a lot of issues here, in one case, I’ve had to witness the heartbreak of which you speak.

    One of the three girls I mentioned, was in a relationship for 3 years or so (living, traveling together, etc) and more recently, after her elder siblings found out about it, proceeded to start the rishta talks/ Though I found out after the fact, there was ‘pressure’ from the boy’s family not to marry intomy friends’ family. To keep it brief, what ended up happening was the boy just suddenly went home, signed Nikaah with the girl his family liked, without even telling my friend (his now ex-gf). Though she told me and others not to say anything bad about him, his treatment of her is just so disgusting and frustrating. Granted, mistakes were made on both sides of course, but in all cases, I don’t understand why sisters put themselves through this – I shared this story on a forum that I’m on and one brother said that “Muslim girls are insecure, so don’t be surprised if they demean themselves.”

    I just take it harder, because I grew up with four loving cousin-sisters, so to some degree, I can’t help feel protective of others that I meet along the way (I am 4-5 years older than the girls I speak of) while keeping the limits as best as possible. I am still waiting to see what will happen with another classmate of mine here – who has been in a relationship for 4 years and has gotten into things quiet deeply in many aspects, as I’ve mentioned above, in terms of personal time together, etc.

    Anyways, would love to hear any additional thoughts you might have on this.

    Jazak’Allahu Khairan Sadaf-ji. Allah Hafiz! 🙂
    PS This was also very useful, as I’m approaching that crucial time in my life 🙂

  53. Your niche is really an awesome one.. Baraka Allaho feek wa Gazaki Allaho 5ayr!

    but for me, it’s of a little higher level coz i’m so young..

    Can you please visit my blog..
    and comment; how can i improve it.. min fadlik! plzzzz.. and follow kindly..

    my little world; Al Hasanaat

    alhasanaat.blogspot.com

  54. Dear saddaf, you write so well, and just spot on! MAshAllah I’ll also share some thoughts.

    People who have read the Quran and its Tafseer, and have invested their time sincerely to understand the core of deen, are usually not to be found in the grey areas, and are usually pretty clear about things, if they have made the effort. And unfortunately, for some brothers and sisters ; who are caught up in the doubts relating to marriage, BEFORE even committing, as to how would he/she be with me? Would he/she be caring enough as my pampering parents or no? would she adjust herself to my moods and etc, is something so sad to be coming from a person who claims to be deeni and then giving themselves away to such vain doubts, one feels baffled to the extent of questioning such people if they’ll ever grow up and act like a muslim rather than some , you know who.: P Sharing the hadith,

    “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales and do not look for the others` faults, and do not do spying on one another, and do not practice Najsh (to cheat), and do not be jealous of one another and do not hate one another, and do not desert (stop talking to) one another. And O, Allah`s worshipers! Be brothers!”

    It is the beauty of our deen that the Love and struggle for it is ever growing, it must never falter or lower itself to a petty doubt. Doubt and suspicion is one of the worst tricks of satan, and unfortunately we continue to fall prey to it for all the worldly insignificant reasons. May Allah SWT protect us from the fitna of doubting one’s Love and conviction with deen and May Allah swt guide us all to the surest right path, with a positive doubt-less approach towards deen.

    Wallahe The first Line of Sura baqara, the beginning of Quran, clearly instructs to “Leave all doubts behind, if you submit yourself to the will of Allah swt”, It is a religion without an iota of doubt and yet its sad when people who claim to be well read in deen commit such petty mistakes. Anyhow, I guess everyone needs to grow in deen sufficiently before embarking on a journey to find a life partner, if you yourself aren’t sure of what you want, spare others the grave inconveniences of struggling to evaluate and entertain your doubts while they are sure to last for a long time, until you finally decide to give up on them. It is just not fair.

    Great writing, Have you written an article on doubts though, I’d love to forward it to my friends, JazaKAllah sister, Lots of Love.

  55. I find it absolutely amazing that being a wan yourself, you lowered women to the status of a CANDY. We are a CANDY that men want and men marry us for that CANDY.

    If I need to withhold physical intimacy only so he will be tempted to marry me, then does he really love me?

    Btw, Iv seen good muslimas with niqabs and hijabs marry much faster than others because they meet other pious muslim brothers at MSA dinners.

    A well-written post regardless. Your intentions are good so I appreciate that

    1. That was an analogy. Analogizing usually helps in understanding a concept or claim. I never said that a woman was herself like a candy. :/

      Most people who are serious about getting married don’t just marry just for the physical intimacy, but for acquiring a partner in life and also for having/raising a family.

  56. great article…

    I was engaged previously to MashAllah the man of my dreams . We’re both students of knowledge (well we try our best). He changed his mind one month before the wedding. I still have a hard time dealing with this, because although we were not in contact or anything I got emotioanlly attached to him even though we met once.I accept the Allahs decree, but it’s hard to move on, especially when there’s hardly any guys, especially practising ones . Isn’t it natural to have some sort of attachment? How do you get over a guy?

    1. Yes it is natural to form an attachment even if no communication took place. One starts to dream of a future and when that dream crashes, it hurts.

      How do you get over a guy?

      The answer to your question is, I think: time and patience (sabr). A combination of both helps in forgetting about and moving on from any hurtful event in life, with Allah’s will.

  57. p.s
    I have to disagree with ‘unexpected rejections’ though

    My ex fiance and I did istikhara, we got enagaged and everything was going well but the decree of Allah took over and we did not get married. I thought he was going against the istikhara(silly me) , I used to think shaytan is playing with his mind and shaytan is trying to break us apart, but I had to let go of those thoughts, and just accept the decree of Allah, and have tawakul that He is the all knower and there must be some good in this, and He must have saved me from something bad. It is the only by the will of Allah that i’m single, and the marriage didn’t go ahead.

  58. assalamoalykum. I am a student of MSc Media and Communication studies in Islamabad. I have done course from Taleem ul Quran 7th batch alhamdulillah. =)
    Baji i need to copy some of your articles in my one project of Magazine for this semester. Can i do this with your name?
    Please confirm as soon as possible.

  59. assalamoalykum. I am a student of MSc Media and Communication studies in Islamabad. I have done course from Taleem ul Quran 7th batch alhamdulillah. =)
    Baji i need to copy some of your articles in my one project of Magazine for this semester. Can i do this with your name?
    Please confirm as soon as possible.

  60. I read some comments that said this post lacks empathy .. that might be true .. but I believe that ur post was effective bcoz it was straight forward .. I have done stupid things in my past too and May Allah forgive me and keep me away from it ..! But I found this post at a time when I was into haram and was wondering why my life is such a mess .. when i would ask god .. why is this happening to me! .. And Alhumdulillah .. all my questions were answered through this post! .. Especially where u said how on earth can v blame god for the wrong decisions we’ve made! .. Sometimes we need such harsh words to open our eyes to the reality of life .. Like a tight slap on our face to wake up from the ‘fairytale teenage world’ to the truth of this world!

    Allah knows best.

    May Allah bless you for ur good work. May Allah forgive us all and guide us to the right path! Ameen.

    1. May Allah reward you for your honest and humble comment. Nothing pleases a blogger more than to know that – بِاِذنِ الله – what they wrote/published benefited a reader practically, viz. brought them closer to Allah, or back to obeying a command of Islam.
      May Allah bless you and grant you steadfastness upon the path of Truth. Ameen.

  61. Assalam malikum warathmuthulahi wa barakathuhu sister sadaf,
    I found your article to be very refreshing and informative .As being a 19 year old its very hard to resist temptations and of course only salah is the one thing that protects us from all subjugation that shaytaan tries to implement in our minds. And this is the first time I’m visiting your blog I found it in fb through my friends :). I hope a lot of young readers (such as myself) get this message you trying to put out.
    Jazak Allah khair sis.

    from your sister in islam,
    Aisha

    1. وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
      Thank you for your appreciation, Aisha. Wow, masha’Allah, I didn’t know that my blog was appealing to readers so young as yourself! 🙂
      Alhamdulillah for that; all good in this blog is only from Allah.

  62. Assalamualykum Appa,

    MashaAllah you wrote a wonderfyul articles…
    JazakAllah May Allah give us All taufiq n Sabr with Affiyat…

    Allah Hafiz
    🙂

  63. it’s a wonderful article ….but here i need to ask some questions ….for example boy n girl both are in relationship …when they realize this is forbidden ….how should they end up ?? and tell some ways to control our desires and temptation to talk to the one whom we used to talk everyday !….ur article is inspiring ….but u should’ve given some ways to overcome our emotions and leave that all for the sake of Allah …….JAK

  64. i have seen many people who offer five times a day….but still they ain’t ready to give up their relationship ….they know it’s haram …but they say it’s nt easy to leave any relationship at once …what u say about it ??

    1. Good and relevant question, Marium.

      Yes, it is not easy, but it is possible, that is, it can be done.

      Once the couple realize that the relationship they are in is not permissible, and they wish to sincerely repent for it, they have no choice but to end it by going completely “cold turkey” viz. cut off all contact, including sms/text messages, Facebook connections, Twitter messages, and email forwards.

      I have personally known people who ended such relationships successfully, because of some reason or the other (not sincere repentance for the sake of Allah), despite still having strong feelings for the person they had been involved with. In the beginning it was very tough, but with time and consistence in not maintaining any contact with that person, they succeeded in breaking it off, getting over it, and moving on. In many cases, they eventually found halal love through marriage that gave them much more happiness.

      When the intention to relinquish something that Allah has forbidden is sincere and is solely the pleasure of Allah, then it becomes easier to do it, because sincere efforts and actions are blessed and aided by Allah.

      Allah knows best.

  65. Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatulah wa barakatuhu,

    This is the most Amazing, Convincing and touching article I’ve ever read. It answered piles of questions itching me for long. May Allah reward you, for your effort and bless you in all ways possible.
    Jazakallah bi khair….

  66. slam!
    tnx 4 such a 1derful article of urs!!had goosebumps ac2ally while reading dis.may u b rewarded by ALLAH w gr8 hasanat n dis lyf n hereafter!

  67. Amazing article mashallah…. Jazakallah for taking the trouble to write such an intense and thought provoking article… One of the best 15 mins spent on my way back to home from collage 🙂 may Allah reward u for ur efforts n may Allah make ur children the coolness of ur eyes… Ameen!!!

  68. Asalamualaikum Waramatullah Wabarakatuh,

    This is by far the best article i have ever laid my eyes on and i must say to you I have read it over and over again over the past few weeks. You are absolutely right about these concepts, however i like to deal with or rather address our issues today as it affects us presently. Just like we have all read this article over the internet which wasn’t available 20 years ago, same way we constantly see new issues or rather upgrade of issues of the past. Your views and evidence, i totally agree with however my concern is most of the people that would be reading this article from my guess are in their early twenties, late twenties and probably early thirties. Hence, most would have already fallen into this trap of innocent relationships with the intentions of marriage which in most case end up in disasters.

    First of all, most of us went to public schools, mixed sexes and the opposite gender was seen as a mere colleague, standard western educational structure hence no form of rules guiding the mixture of male and female is recognized but rather part of the tradition of the western cultures and educational system is to have male-female relationships and study groups. Most of us didn’t ask to go to these schools neither were we given a choice, we didn’t have the Islamic knowledge either. You will agree that most acquired the knowledge either in school through Islamic groups or some after some major occurrence in their lives (Allah guides whom he wills) , most would have fallen into this traps before such an article gets to them, however in most cases we see the clearer picture when we aren’t dealing with ourselves , it is always easier to give advice to the affected person but rather difficult to recognize or get ourselves out of this unfortunate pit when we fall into it. Addressing the issues of today would be the question of ”how does the 16 year old see, read, assimilate and understand these concepts?”

    Also looking at the example given above and i quote ”the cover was eventually blown when Bisma received a proposal that her parents didn’t want to turn down” …. From my understanding, isn’t it the right of a Muslim woman to also acknowledge and accept the man she is getting married to? Aren’t we taught that we must not marry off a woman ( If she at least is matured) to a man she doesn’t approve?

    Have the parents not transgressed their limits as well (although it might be in from their good intention and wishing the best for the child)? Also, considering that the same parents sent Bisma to the mixed school where she was given the opportunity to mix freely with all kinds of guys (John, Mike, Ralph, Abdullah, Ahmed). Yet they are not able to deal with the consequences of their actions? How do you ask your child to stare at the television and ask him to watch TV?

    I believe in preventing the fire rather than extinguishing it, we must consider all aspects don’t you think? May Allah reward you for this article.

    1. وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

      Most of us didn’t ask to go to these schools neither were we given a choice, we didn’t have the Islamic knowledge either. You will agree that most acquired the knowledge either in school through Islamic groups or some after some major occurrence in their lives (Allah guides whom he wills) , most would have fallen into this traps before such an article gets to them, however in most cases we see the clearer picture when we aren’t dealing with ourselves , it is always easier to give advice to the affected person but rather difficult to recognize or get ourselves out of this unfortunate pit when we fall into it. Addressing the issues of today would be the question of ”how does the 16 year old see, read, assimilate and understand these concepts?”

      Very valid concern and correctly pointed out. Since I wrote this blog post, its tremendous impact (it gets the most hits, more than any other post on my blog) has made me realize the dire need for contemporary Muslim scholars to address the issues young Muslims face. As you said, most of them did not ask to be put in environments where free mixing is rampant and where they become, if not victims, then by-standing witnesses of the negative repercussions of inter-gender liaisons, from casual flings to serious romantic relationships that become like a debilitating addiction to the young person who is afflicted with them. Most young people are placed in coed high schools, colleges and office environments because of coercion by parents, or necessity. We really need to convey to them the authentic knowledge about the Islamic stance towards mixing of genders. I wrote this blog post when 3 different people who had been (separately) hurt in one or the other kind of romantic relationship personally asked me to write about it. I felt the pain in their emails/voices as they sought advice from me about how to recover from the effects of these relationships. Even their ibadah and iman were affected. Prevention is the best way to stay away from the affliction of romance, because its cure takes very long, and is very hard to attain, requiring immense patience and long-term constancy upon avoiding communication. Sadly, most young people find this out too late, after they have become involved in such a relationship and got hurt.

      Also looking at the example given above and i quote ”the cover was eventually blown when Bisma received a proposal that her parents didn’t want to turn down” …. From my understanding, isn’t it the right of a Muslim woman to also acknowledge and accept the man she is getting married to? Aren’t we taught that we must not marry off a woman ( If she at least is matured) to a man she doesn’t approve?

      Have the parents not transgressed their limits as well (although it might be in from their good intention and wishing the best for the child)? Also, considering that the same parents sent Bisma to the mixed school where she was given the opportunity to mix freely with all kinds of guys (John, Mike, Ralph, Abdullah, Ahmed). Yet they are not able to deal with the consequences of their actions? How do you ask your child to stare at the television and ask him not to watch TV?

      I am grateful that you highlighted this part. You are 100% correct in saying that it is wrong for parents to send their young, single children to study in coed institutions without any prior moral tarbiyah or warnings. Then not only do these heedless parents severely reprimand their wards for having friendships and romantic relationships with members of the opposite gender, but also force them to marry someone against their will. In such cases, yes, the responsibility of the sin will be borne by such parents – of not just the relationship but also of forcing their offspring into a marriage against their will – which is a sin.

      I am really grateful to you for having highlighted the above 2 points.
      Jazak Allahu khair.

  69. Assalamualaikum
    I’m 21..just back home from Umra..spent whole Ramadan in KSA..bought one of your books in Makkah, the one about ups and downs in muslim marriages..the book really rocks!!! So do your articles sister!!! May Allah bless you always and jazakillah for sharing so much with us all..been learning a lot from you and I just love the way you write!!! Barakallahu feeki.. ^^,) Zeh

  70. Assalamualaikum,
    I am sixteen years old and I like your articles very much. You said you wanted feedback from a younger audience, so here it is. Firstly, if you were targeting people who actually behave like this (illicit relationships) then I don’t think that the message will get through, because it has a bit of a nasty tone to it (for me when you say “Eh?” about the man wanting the woman – it makes it a bit vulgar). I understand that mashallah you are a conservative lady who is devoted to the deen, and so perhaps it’s harder for you to see what reading this article would feel like to someone who is in this situation. Personally the best advice I ever read, and that I still return to often, was a very casual and simple blogpost, very similar to this:
    http://jannah.org/madina/index.php?topic=1288.0
    I know that this isn’t your style at all, but i related much more to linked advice because it felt a lot less like someone lecturing me, and more like a simple guideline that I could constantly check back to.
    I read in the above comments that parents send their children to co-Ed schools without any teachings about interactions – this is such a shame, to put your children through such difficulty and heartbreak. Alhamdulillah my mother gave me good advice, and I learnt to steer my way through school and interact Islamically without a problem.
    I am surprised at the problems that South Asian Muslims go through – I can see paralleled problems in my Muslim society but it isn’t half as bad. May Allah make it easier for us all.

    If you have any specific questions for me please feel free to ask! (my email isn’t my real one because of safety issues, so just leave a comment)

    1. وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
      Jazakillah khair for you feedback, Rayan. It pleases me to know that such young people are reading my blog.
      May Allah grant you even more guidance and steadfastness upon the Deen. Truly, at your age, to have the knowledge of, and the guidance to act upon, the commands of Islam regarding interactions with non-mahrums at educational institutions, is a huge blessing. 🙂
      Thanks for leaving your beneficial comment here.
      Barak Allahu feeki. 🙂

  71. Our children are experiencing faith crisis, that’s the normal reaction to what is around them. They cannot marry because they don’t have a job. They cannot remain ‘single’ because its a need. This is the normal reaction honestly I believe, but alarming!

  72. Very well written article sister. Really needed to read that right now. Insha’Allah I will bare in mind all the points you mentioned.

    I love how you are so direct and you have such a way with words that make me laugh, but it’s all truth. We just get so caught up in the world, pleasing people, and dreaming bigger than our heads and then want to cry when everything comes crashing down, but you’re right. The important step is to remain steadfast on the deen and stay away from what Allah has forbidden and in time things will go well. I sometimes feel like I’ve lost hope every finding someone but when the time is right Allah will show me the way.

    May Allah reward you for your efforts and thank you for sharing such great insight with us.

  73. Asalam waliykum.

    Firstly mashallah what a great article. So detailed and just about explains every trial we all had (have) to go through to get from singleton to being hitched.

    I sorely disagree with those who said there was no conclusion to this article. It is obvious that the conclusion is there stating turn to Allah, rely soley on Allah, never have expectations from any other then Allah and only Allah can bring you what is khier,

    I had gone through this personally… Having male friends, and then seeing that would lead me know where in life, or the akhirah. I had to re evaluate my relationship with Allah first before i seen improvements in my life. i had to improve me relationship with Allah first,

    And even now after marriage when shiytan tries his hardest to cause fitna. Turn to Allah for support and protection. I have been married 1.6 years Alhamdulillah. And the road has been bumpy for me prior to marriage and after marriage.

    Again, mashallah. loved the article. I recommend everyone to read this. There are happy endings for us “practicing” Muslims. It may not be the “movie” ending. But its better then that, long lasting and has depth and meaning.

  74. AOA, I have read many of your blogs and liked them immensely. This piece has served as a refresher course even for someone who has just entered 40s. I have been especially touched by the concept of marriage being a fortress. Pl keep up the good work and may Allah be with you. You are guiding many people through your words and intellect here.

  75. Re-reading this article a long time later, I still like the general message that you give. I’m perhaps less conservative than you – I don’t mind talking/saying salam/interacting normally with men in work and ‘how are you’ situations – but your message about strong inter-gender ‘friendships’ and casual romantic flings being haram should be accepted by any Muslim.

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