>> Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Dear Sis,(Reply # 1)
I met this very nice boy online from a college website. He's very nice & sweet to me. We've known each other for three months. At first I did not trust him, but now I trust him a lot. He has proven himself to be true and not a phony.
- He respects my wishes. (For example, he showed me his pictures, but when I said that I did not want to show him my picture, he said that was fine. He never asks me to show him my pictures. He avoids the topic.)
- He talks to me when I'm depressed & helps me feel better. (I live a life of abuse and talking to him is my only escape from depression. After I chat with him, he always makes me smile and laugh.)
- He persuades me to make the right choices in life. (For example, when I was going to kill myself, he talked me out of it. I was so thankful. Another example, he convinced to believe and trust and love God. May Allah bless him for this.)
- He helps me study and do well in school. (He's a very smart boy & helps me study. He's studying to become a doctor, and therefore, gives me a lot of medical help too. I have medical health problems.)
- He's a Christian and I'm Muslim. (He's aware that I'm Muslim.)
- Sometimes, he teasingly flirts with me.
- I think I've sort of fallen in love with him & his strengths. (He's three months younger than me, though. We're both teens.)
My parents don't know that I email him & I don't want them to know. They will make me stop & I don't want to stop. He has added happiness to my life. If it weren't for him, I would have killed myself. He's a great friend. How can I stop being friends with someone who has convinced me to believe in God and who has saved me from suicide? Is emailing him a bad idea, considering he helps me feel better and we don't do anything bad together? He's the bestest friend I've ever had. I tell him everything. Not even my real friends are nice. We live far away from each other & don't plan on meeting in real life any time soon. I wish I could meet him and cry/vent to him in real life. I don't think he's a pedophile because he sounds so immature, always goofing off and tease-flirting, just like immature teen guys do. I also saw about 10 pictures of him so he did not take random pics off the web & claim that they are him. Those pics are actually his. They are very credible.
He says he likes talking to me because I make him feel better. He also feels depressed so we both benefit from this. He's also convincing me that Christianity is fair and just while Islam is too hard on its followers & I think I might leave Islam.
What should I do? Should I stop emailing him? (I've known him for 3 months and I can't lose him. I don't think it's fair that Islam tells me to leave him because then I will be left in depression.)
- Confused Muslimah
Dearest Confused Muslimah,
This is a real quick emergency reply. It sounds like you've been through a lot. I'm sorry to hear that you're so miserable, depressed and that you've even thought of killing yourself, before. I am so so sorry to hear that you are being abused somehow.
I know that right now you feel like you're found the solution- the one person who understands you and can help you- but hunny, let's look at it from a different angle..
Imagine that you were swimming in the beach. You were drifting a bit, further and further away on your back. Suddenly, big dark clouds appeared and you found yourself caught in a storm. You tried to swim to shore but the waves kept pushing you back. All of a sudden, this little canoe appeared. You grabbed hold of it, but didn't realize that it actually had a hole in it and that it was actually sinking, itself. Is that really what you would want to be your 'rescue' boat?
I doubt it....because eventually you would hit the waves again, right?
That boy you met online may genuinely care about you, but that doesn't mean that he is the solution to all of your problems. What happens when you can't reach him and you're all alone and depressed?
You see, cupcake, living the life you want means making the decision yourself that you are worthy of that life and that you care enough about yourself to live that life. You have to make a decision that you are someone special. Your happiness should not depend on someone else's 'comments'.
You have to realize that your life is so not over yet. Not if you choose to keep living.
I know that might sound 'impossible' to you..."Like how can things ever get better?" But they can...and they will. Instead of focusing on your problems, think a bit about what you can do. How can things turn around?
And yes, you should talk to someone. You do need a support group to help you through this time. But it's important that you pick the right person who can help you help yourself. You need someone that can help talk you through your feelings, while helping you learn what the real issues are and how you can overcome them.
Like a Counselor/
If you can't talk to a real counselor, try joining forums with support groups. Most Muslim forums have a counseling section, but you can also try other ones for like 'depression', 'family help', 'mental health':
But..entangling yourself with this guy 'stranger' on the net, privately e-mailing him back and forth....is a really bad idea. I am telling you this AS a stranger from the Internet, myself. Remember that when you're chatting him all you see is the 'perfect, witty, smart and sensitive side'. Let's face it. When you're chatting, you're not going to see 'the person's anger problems, probably not going to deal with rude comments or 'stinginess'" because we always present the very best of us on the net (I do it with here on this blog, too). It's basically because we have time to 'think about what we're typing". ...which is not really what happens in the real world. It's no surprise then that he seems like your besteset bestest friend. Because it's actually not 100% real.
That's not the only reasons why you shouldn't be writing to him, though. The first reason is it is haram to chat privately with non-mahram guys. What's more, this guy is from a different religion and he's encouraging you to leave Islam. That's also a big 'no, no'. Maybe that's his whole 'reason' is for chatting with you. Maybe he wants to convert you....How do you know? Did you ever think about that?
And the other thing is, do you realize that Islam and Christianity actually say that many of the same things are not allowed? Conservative Christians, or people who really stick to the teachings of Christianity, will tell you that Christianity isn't all "do whatever you want/ anything is allowed" kinda thing.
Take a look at these examples:
Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).I've seen Christians on the internet saying they wouldn't let their daughters watch "The Little Mermaid"!
Deuteronomy 22:5, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man."
First Timothy 2:9, which states, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel."
First Corinthians 7:1, which says, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
First Corinthians 7:4 says, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband."
And hijab has also been found in Christanity http://www.tebyan.net/index.aspx?pid=65472
So you see, when you think about religion, it's not about finding what's "easier"- its' about knowing who God is and serving Him the way He wants us to. Ultimately, do you believe that God would become a man (Jesus) and 'have himself crucified' just to forgive our sins? I want you to read our previous article on Christianity....
Sweetie, you have a right to be happy and we want you to be happy. But darling, you need to stop e-mailing him and try instead talking to someone else that is A SISTER.
Reading your comment, it seems like you think that "converting to Christianity" would be a win-win situation. Actually, it really wouldn't.
It doesn’t make sense, however, to choose a religion based on how “easy” or “difficult” it is. A religion that doesn’t make any demands and is supposedly “easy” sounds good…but in the Hereafter, it won’t mean a thing if it’s not the right religion.
Let’s take one of my favorite analogies and to Allah belong all exalted examples. Let’s say an English teacher gives his class an assignment. He wants a 10 page paper, Times New Roman, size 12, single spaced, and with a specific header. He wants the left margin to be 1.5 cm, the right margin to be 1.25 cm, and so on. He wants you to write about one topic only (e.g. coffee). “Amy”, a student in the class, keeps talking about her essay and what she’s going to write. She has her own special format, though, that she’s sure the teacher will like. And instead of writing about coffee, she’s going to write about chocolate. “Mona”, though, concentrates on both the content and getting the format of her essay just the way their teacher described. When they get their papers, back, who do you think is going to pass the report? And who isnt’?
This is the example of "Islam" and "Christianity" (with Tawheed and trinity being the different topics). The reality of the matter is that just like how any religion says that its followers will be the only ones accepted, the Quran does say:
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85].This is a statement that Allaah will not accept any way or deed from anyone, after sending His Final Messenger, except those that are in accordance with the laws of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Quran also states:
And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son." (88) You have done an atrocious thing. (89) The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation (90) That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. (91) And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son. (92) There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant. (93) He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting.(94) And all of them are coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone. (95)
They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. (72) They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. (73) So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (5: 74
Christians in Islam then are not ‘going to heaven’.
So why does the Quran mention the Jews and Christians going to heaven? Please see here: http://islam-qa.com/en/ref/2912/jews
About ‘talking to God’- God may not ‘respond to you in words that you hear’ but He is the Only One capable of changing your situation for you. That boy is powerless. He might ‘tell you something’ that temporarily provides you with relief, but he can’t actually do anything for you. On the other hand, Allah is the All Powerful and Most merciful.
And He does respond! Allah tells us to call on Him and He will respond to us. Sometimes we can't see "His response" and sometimes we don't understand His ways, until much later..But sometimes, its' because haven't sat down and really reflected on our lives. When I think about it, I have a million stories of how Allah has helped me, personally- ranging from the “simple” to the amazing. For example, one day I didn’t do my homework and I prayed that the teacher would be absent. This teacher was like never absent. But that day she actually was. You can look at it as a coincidence or you can look at it as a way of God. I’ve written before of other experiences (see “how do we know that God is there?”).
This is also another good story to keep in mind:
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island ....
He prayed feverishly for Allah to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions.
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost.
He was stunned with grief and anger."Allah, how could you do this to me!" he cried.(Comment; Plenty of people use such statement --- think again you should never question Allah nor object to his willing)
Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him."How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because Allah is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering.Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace of Allah.
Another thing: it's not like Allah tells us "You're not allowed to drink color water or sit in shade". Allah doesn't forbid things to us out of cruelty. On the contrary. He forbids certain things for us for our own benefit. Even if you can't see the benefit now, there is wisdom.....even in your particular situation. I mean, think about it this way. At this point, you've built all your happiness on this young man, who may have no thoughts whatsoever of a future with you. What happens if he decides to leave you/ hurts you/ disappoints you? Your happiness and desire to live should NOT rely on "one flirtatious comment" to make you feel better!
The other thing is that I do know that it may seem terrible to 'let him go', but I want to point out something, sis. If you'd followed the Islamic rule in the first place- not talking to non-mahrams- you would have spared yourself all this heart ache. If you'd never gotten involved with him, it wouldn't be hard to leave him, would it? That's why it's important for us to follow the rules of Islam...because ultimately they are there for our own benefit and happiness.
So...what to do now? The 3 basic steps:
1. Get to know Allah better. Read more about His attributes. And yes, talk to Him. Tell Him how you feel.
2. Find a different support buddy.
3. Stop stressing about 'how you're going to make it without this guy' and just take each day one at a time. It will get easier.