>> Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I know my question is really early to be asking but I can't stop thinking about it…in a couple of months, it's going to be prom. I know it’s haraam to date, but can't I just go there and hang out with my friends? I'm a muhjaba , so don't worry- I'm going to be dressed modestly. I just can't imagine graduating after 12 years and not celebrating with my friends, especially since we're all going our separate ways. By the way, my mom said it's my decision since I promised her I'm not going to dance or do anything wrong. I just want to feel like a senior…
Can't stop thinking about prom
Dear "Can't Stop Thinking of Prom",
First off, congrats, girl! You're a senior! You should be proud of yourself (: May Allah help you choose a major that rewards you both here and the Hereafter.
Now onto your question…to go or not to go to prom? I'm so happy you asked this because this is a question a lot of young Muslims have to tackle with.
You might be thinking- but that's my point…"I'm not going to disappoint Him because I'm not going to do anything wrong." And here's what I have to say…by going to prom- by paying however much the ticket costs, by buying a dress, and sitting in that hall, you are giving off a very clear message. You are actually supporting the ‘idea of prom’ which in itself is against Allah’s teachings and Commandments. AND what’s more, even if you aren't going to do anything wrong, by choosing to go to such an environment, you are supporting everything that will happen there- from the drinking, flirting, slow dancing, etc. Things that definitely do not please Allah!
See, in the Quran, Allah tells us very clearly not to follow the Shaitaan's footsteps.
He says: “O you who believe! Do not follow the footsteps of the Shaytaan, and whoever follows the footsteps of the Shaytaan, then surely he bids the doing of indecency and evil” [24.21]
He also tells us not to only not to ‘do’ sin BUT also not to go near places of sin.
“Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed…(Al Anam 6:151)”
Why? Well for one thing, even if you aren't planning on doing something…being in such an environment can taint your heart and make you insensitive to sin. I mean after sitting for a couple of hours in a place where couples are literally feeling each other, it's going to be a lot harder to think that shaking hands with the opposite sex is wrong. You see what I mean? Just think- every minute you spend there, every single thing you see that is haraam and don't do anything about it- all of that you are going to be asked about on the Day of Judgment.
“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.
Not to mention the fact that if other Muslim girls get inspired by you and decide to go, you are going to have a share of their sins…
The Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said: "Whoever starts in Islam a good practice (sunnah), he gets the reward of it and the reward of all those that act on it. And whosoever starts in Islaam an evil practice (sunnah), he gets the evil of it and the evil of all those that act on it." [Muslim]
Still not convinced? Ask yourself this: Would the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them) have gone to such a place? I know you said your mother said you could go…but would you have invited our Mother Aishia (May Allah be pleased with her) to go if she was alive?
Let me bring it closer to home. I don't know whether or not you have a brother, but how would you feel if your brother said, "Look, sis. My friends are going to a bar, and I'm going with them. Don't worry- everything's cool. I'm not going to drink or anything. Just hang out with my gang." If you're like me, you'd be like "Uh-uh. I don't think so!" And it's not because you want to be mean…but because you love your brother and you want to protect him.
It boils down to this… Allah chose you. With His Infinite Knowledge, He looked into your heart and He gave you the gift of Islam. I know we're constantly pointing out the fact that there are over 1billion Muslims…but when you think about it the other way, 4 billion people aren't Muslim. You really were lucky- not even the Prophet's uncle was blessed with Islam. And as Muslims, our lives are dedicated to Allah.
I know it can be hard…but every time you choose Allah over yourself, Allah will reward you in ways you can't imagine. Talk to Allah and ask Him to make it easy for you to let go of prom. Ask Him to fill your heart with His love and love for what He loves.
Does this mean you can't celebrate? Of course, not. You can still have a party with your friends- of course, only girls. If you want something classy/ formal, maybe you can all pitch in and go to an expensive restaurant for dinner…or you can plan a special day with your friends- something like a "Memory Fiesta", where you look through old pictures and yearbooks and maybe even go to favorite places you'd hanged out at before together. Or if that doesn't sound like your thing…you could do something completely different- maybe take a hot air balloon ride together, or go to an amusement park, etc.
At the same time, you guys could celebrate finishing high school by giving something back to the community…like planting a tree together. That way, you'll have something to remind you of each other forever.
Islam is not against celebrating but it's about you celebrating the right way. And not losing sight of the big picture…jannah. Do you really want to risk losing eternal bliss for a few hours of fun?