Saturday, 9 February 2008

Valentine's Day -Love is in the Air (Can a playa make it to paradise?)

In the name of Allah, Ar Rahman Ar Raheem

Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air!
(Can a playa make it to paradise?)

Romeo and Shuliet.

Summer or winter – its there. The opposite sex. Wild. Raw. The girls are looking. The boys are watching. Beyoncé’s blingin. Eva’s singin. High heels clickin. The look across the classroom. The smiles, the giggles. The hot clothes and tight figures. The digits exchange. First “friends” then “something else”. Trips to the cinema or out to a day rave. The late night fone calls. The 10 page txts. Going to another area so that the “sasas/elders” don’t catch you. The funny look you get at home when you answer your phone sometimes. The first touch, the kiss. Romance all the way baby.

Whether you’re a boffin whose managed to get a smile from the school librarian and the dinner lady, a playa who doesn’t have to do a thing to pick up the thousands of Gashs lining up to go out with you, or the buff one who’s got all the boys wantin your digits – we all feel the constant, throbbing and powerful emotions of luuurve and lust, especially this time of year. And its not just you. The movie industry, music, adverts, magazines and pretty much everything else seems to constantly remind you what you’re missin – from the raw lusty girl/boy who is gagging for some loving, or simply the jackpot – “true love” – finding that special “soul mate” (or his/her friend!).

Arranged Asian Marriage?

But most of us have another cultural pressure as well as all the above - and it all stems from being Brown. Asian traditions, weird cultural practices that don’t make sense and pressure from our folks all make it harder and more confusing. Play around all you want - but you’re gonna have to marry the girl/boy your Mamma, or Amma, picks out for you. You can’t mention your girl to your Amma, can you? You know they wont allow you to marry her cos of many brilliant reasons like – she’s not Bengali/Pakistani, she’s white/black, she’s older than you, she’s not who we chose, she’s from the wrong ‘gushti’/’zaat’/’gram’/family, your other 12 brothers have to get married first or you have to have a house, a car and a PhD and earning a million bucks before you can even think of getting married and it goes on and on. And if you do argue – then you bring the dreaded “shame” on the family, which makes you feel well guilty – without knowing really why. If you’re a girl, then the consequences can get far worse.

What about Islam?

Unfortunately we take a lot of our Islam from our parents and families – and a lot of these “reasons” mentioned above may be passed off by your folks as “Islamic”. Well the good news is, the majority of them are very, very much NOT part of Islam. Great. But isn’t having a fully physical, hot, mind-blowing, intense and fun relationship with a girl/boy against Islam? Well, yes and no. All these things are allowed and even encouraged but within the limits of a marriage contract. See Allah SWT created you and put these burning desires and passions within you. But he also gave you a mind and the ability to control these desires and make sure that you satisfy them, fully, and organised the system of marriage in order to do that. See, the result wherever people stick to these ideas you find that there is harmony in society, less friction and sexual excitement, and more control and respect – And you don’t have to worry about who’s trying it on with your sister and some next ‘sasa miah’ trying it as well!

But we don’t live in that kind of society, so what do we find? People on the prowl like an animal in heat, buff girls/blokes used like objects and ugly people well… they get treated like rubbish! (And that’s all the people who are not the right shape, size, weight, build or colour - which is mostly everyone!)

So what do we do?

Ok, so we know sex outside marriage (zina) is haraam (forbidden and punishable by Allah), but what do we do when there are so many girls/boys talking to me, callin me, loving me? Like we said, everywhere we are constantly bombarded by images, from TV to our classrooms. But Islam didn’t just leave it at that. See Allah knows all the little haraam roads that lead to the big final haraam, and Allah knows all the small things, that will end up with big and bad things. So all the many ways that these kind of haraam relationships can start, are prevented before they can even begin – how? Well Islam tells us to monitor our intentions, the way we look at girls/boys, the way we speak to them and the time we spend with them and how we spend it. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "The adultery of the eyes is the sight, the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes, desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it" [Bukhari] So its not “just the sex bit” that’s considered wrong, as the above hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) tells us. This prevents us into getting into any kind of “hot” situation where it may become proper hard and dangerous if we loose control.

Also Islam encourages good company, and fasting to control ourselves. See, its much easier when you’re in good company, with bros/sisters who can chill and aren’t pushing you to have girlfriends/boyfriends, drink or take drugs, but instead joke, hang, relax and want to help each other become better Muslims - than in the middle of a house party or some dark back room with a girl/boy if you want to try to control yourself and stay away from Zina! So the best way to stay out of a fight with shaitan and yourself is not to be tricked and enter it in the first place! Nuff said!

She’s/He’s the one.

But if you do have a girl/man who you have been seeing and think you are “serious” but also want to stick to Islam, what can you do practically? Well firstly, realise that the more you meet each other and the more closer you get – the harder it will be to stop doing something haraam. To get married in Islam you will need the permission of the girl’s father to marry her. So finding a way to approach that would be a good idea. Maybe tell your family and her telling hers. See what your brothers and sisters say. Involve someone you trust and knows Islam to try to ask for advice. Getting engaged is a real possibility – it helps you to work towards the “Big Day”, plan the process properly, give the family time to get to know each other and show them and the rest of the community you are serious about each other and about sticking to the commands of Allah.

We know it aint easy, and can seem not only impossible, but proper scary. But don’t forget that in trying to do that right thing you can always call on Allah the Almighty to help you. In fact Allah promises to help you if you are in this situation - Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Three (persons) have a right from Allah to be helped: the Mujahid in the way of Allah, the seeker for marriage who wishes to guard his chastity and the slave who seeks funds to free oneself."

It may be a big responsibility but getting engaged helps you to work towards that in a manageable time period. Its not weird to be young and trying to get married – Allah made us this way so its only natural! In fact our prophet encouraged this - The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Oh you who are young. Whoever amongst you can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and guard his modesty (i.e. private parts from unlawful sex). And whoever is not able to marry he should fast because it will protect him” [Muslim].

May Allah SWT help us to be in good company, protect us from all the roads that lead to haraam and if we are in a situation then may he grant us the strength and courage to take the step to work towards getting married according to Islam. Ameen!

The Ministry Of Dawah
Regular Sunday Circles @ 6.45pm every week.
Hamden Youth Club, Ossulston St, Kings Cross.
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