>> Saturday, July 3, 2010
There's this really good, religious guy in my class! Please don’t get the wrong idea and think we do anything bad. I swear,we don’t. We only talk and chat online sometimes. He’s really sweet and practicing, Ma’shaAllah. (I wear hijab, btw). Sometimes he even calls me and reminds me to pray the 5 prayers, asks me if I read Qur’an, etc. I’ve never met someone like him.
I’ve actually even told my mom about him. She knows I talk to him.
The other Muslim girls at the masjid have asked me about him but I told them that he’s just a friend.
Secretly, though, I think I like him more than a friend and think maybe he likes me too? I don’t know though. He always refers to me as ‘sister’. So he could just think of me as a friend. Either way, it just feels so good to have someone who understands me. He’s the only Muslim in my class and sometimes it feels like we’re the only Muslims in the whole school!
But sometimes, I wonder…. am I doing anything haram?
Dear my Little Sis,
First, I want to start off by saying it’s fantastic that you wear hijab. I know, in a world where everyone is obsessed with physical beauty and how we all look, it can be hard and daunting.
I also think it’s GREAT that you still asked someone for advice even though your mom knows all about you talking to this guy. Ma’shaAllah, that takes guts and to me, shows sincerity. You’re not looking for the ‘easy way out’- yes, your mom thinks its fine, but you’re still asking others. Ma’shaAllah. That also means you understand on the Day of Judgment, your mother is not going to be there to take your sins for you and vice versa.
Now, on to the maybe not so good news…let’s start off by asking you a few questions…
Is there a reason why you chose to tell your mother about him and not your father (or is your father not living with you)? Do you think maybe that you chose your mother because you knew your father would not be ‘as cool’ about him calling your mobile or you chatting with him online? That maybe he wouldn’t accept it?
And also, ask yourself, “Why do you think your friends at the Masjid asked you about him”. I know you said that you guys don’t do anything wrong and that you’re both Ma’shaallah practicing, but it seems like your friends were able to pick up on some AP chemistry :P
The thing is, many of us think that flirting is using a certain tone of voice, swinging our hips, etc. But actually flirting can be something much more subtle. Flirting can be even a kinda smile…
How, you ask? Hey, I’m not here to show you how to flirt! LOL.
Nah, seriously, when you smile at him and your eyes light up when he’s around, you are telling him that
a)he matters to you
b) he ain’t no ordinary brother of yours (let’s face it. “real brothers” are annoying pain in the necks most of the time). Yes, you may be calling him brother ‘verbally’, but non-verbally, you may be sending him messages that you don’t think of him as a brother.
You know, sometimes, it’s really easy to fall into the ‘we’re safe’ trap and think that Shaytan can’t mess with us ‘because we’re practicing’. The fact that you wear hijab can also add to that equation.
But the truth is that
- Shaytaan never tells someone to go and ‘commit zina’. He knows nobody would do that. He starts small, instead. Real small. Like with a laugh, a certain smile…
- Or a chat. When we unnecessarily chat with a person from the other gender, we slowly erase the barrier between us and the person, including even the hijab barrier.
The reality is that most ‘relationships’ don’t begin as relationships from day 1. They start off as ‘friendships’, grow into ‘it’s complicated’ and finally into ‘relationships’, and sometimes x-relationships.
And that’s why the easiest and most Islamic thing to do is not to have guy friends.
What’s my proof that it’s “the most Islamic thing to do”? Well, remember, Islamically we are actually told to lower our gazes when we are with the other gender. Don’t you think if we are not really supposed to be ‘looking at each other, we’re not really supposed to be hanging out with each other and being each other’s buddies?
- Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do. (An-Nur 24:30)
- The Messenger of Allaah (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) said: “O Ali, do not follow a glance with another, for you will be forgiven for the first, but not for the second.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2701; see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7953)
Now let’s zoom in a little on one other hadith.
Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: ""The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first." Narrated by Muslim under No. 664.
You see how the women who sit far away from the men in the masjid are the ones who get the most ajr? This is important to note because these people, these women and men, are in the holiest of places. They are in the masjid. We can most likely assume that their reason for going to the masjid is to pray (which would make them ‘practicing’, right). And yet, still, they are told not to be ‘close’ to each other- not to sit next to each other.
What about the very famous hadith that whenever a man and woman are left alone (non-mahrams), Shaitan in their third? You might not think that you are ever physically alone with him, but aren’t you in a way ‘alone’ with him when you’re chatting with him/when you’re on the phone?
Do you see where I am going with this?
I know, sis, that you said this guy reminds you to pray and read Qur’an. And I know how on the surface that could make you assume that there is good and ‘Islamic’ benefit from this relationship, but remember what the Qur’an said about wine? It said that there is a ‘little good in it, but its bad effects far outweigh its good’.
You said yourself that you like him more than a brother. You might just be setting yourself up for heartbreak. You might also be edging slowly to a really big sin…
Ask yourself- what is it that you really want from this relationship. You want him to just remind you to pray or do you want him to be something more than that… maybe…a boyfriend? Not just a friend that is a boy?
IF you really want to keep your friendship with him solely because he reminds you to be a ‘good Muslim’, don’t you think you could replace this relationship with a sister who could call you, ask you, hang out with you, swap hijabs with you, crack jokes with you, break her fast with you, etc? You could even start a sort of competition with some girls at the masjid- who will complete the Qur’an first/who will memorize the most/etc. You can also try and join a halaqah.
You might tell me that really aren’t any other Muslim girls your age in your community…Well, you could try joining an online only girl’s Muslim forum. There are plenty and the sisters will also help you and encourage you to be a better Muslim.
But, if the truth is that deep down inside you really want this relationship to continue because you actually really like him and ummmm want him as a ‘hubby’, then you should ask yourself- are you willing to get married RIGHT now? Is he? Would your situation let you get married? If so, what are you waiting for? Have your wali arrange a meeting with him and his parents.
If you’re not ready,
Why are you ‘cultivating’ this relationship?
You have to realize that a couple loses ‘baraka’ or Allah’s blessings when they choose to ignore His commands and have a relationship outside of marriage. No matter how much love you have, in the long run, it’ll be really hard to last without Allah’s blessings.
We all want His blessings, right?
The truth is, if you really want to help the guy be the best Muslim he can be and help yourself, decide what this relationship really is. Remember, also these verses:
25:27 and a Day on which the evildoer will bite his hands [in despair], exclaiming: “Oh, would that I had followed the path shown to me by the apostle!
25:28 Oh, woe is me! Would that I had not taken so-and-so for a friend!
25:29 Indeed, he led me astray from the remembrance [of God] after it had come unto me!” For [thus it is:] Satan is ever a betrayer of man
And, always, always remember that whatever you sacrifice for Allah, He will reward you with better. He promised us that. And He, for one, always keeps His Promises.
You can do it,
I believe in you.