Pure or Impure?

>> Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This is a bit embarrassing, but I've got to ask you anyway. I'm a practicing Muslim (though I hate that term because I don't know how those who do not practice become Muslims). I usually pray the Duhr prayer at college during the lunch break, though there is no facility whatsoever. But I am so confused as to what to do when I accidentally get najas on me, for instance, when I get to the toilet a bit too late and there's this one drop of urine in my underclothes and I possibly can't change it from college. I reach home only late in the afternoon so if I don't pray from college, I miss the Duhr prayer in its allotted time. What can I do to solve this problem? I know others who hold back from Duhr salah at college because they have issues of vaginal discharge, and this answer might help them too. Please don't judge me for being so frank, but I desperately need your answer.

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah dear sister, :)

I know exactly what you mean. Discharge and najas can be a really big problem. I used to struggle with this issue during my freshman year of college, but after I asked scholars about this matter, things started to look up and I wasn't so worried anymore. And let me tell you...was that a big relief!

There are a few things I'd like to recommend to you. First of all, I'm really glad that you're not missing your Dhuhr prayer due to not having a specified place to pray. Alhamdulillah. :) Usually, at most colleges, you can probably find at quite corner or classroom somewhere.

"Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The first action which the slave will be called to account for on the Day of Rising is his prayer. If it is in order, he will have success and win through. If it is not in order, he will be disappointed and lose out. If any of his obligatory prayers are lacking, the Lord, the Mighty and Exalted, will say, 'See if My slave has any supererogatory actions and use them to complete his obligatory prayer.' Then the rest of his actions will be assessed in the same way." [at-Tirmidhi]

Secondly, about hurrying and getting some najas on you: the first thing I'm going to tell you about this is take your time. Try getting to the restroom earlier and so you don't have to worry about your books or bag, leave them with a friend for a few minutes or in your car if you commute.

Thirdly, I would recommend that you wear pantiliners during the school-day, in case you can't get to the restroom fast enough so you won't have to worry about najas on your clothes. These are lifesavers! And they're cute!

You could also buy Clorox wipes to wipe off the toilet seats if you want (my twin carries around a whole container in her purse!), and buy this Hygienna Solo Bottle so you can clean yourself with a peace of mind, not worrying about water splashing back up at you.

Lastly, I urge you to contact a (local) scholar/'alim about the dire issue of vaginal discharge and a drop of urine splashing on your clothes. There are rulings on both of these matters (they're not as limiting and constraining as you may think), but since we don't provide fatwas on this website, the best I can do is direct you to some articles and a website on which you can ask these questions. :)

Please check out the following:

Muslim Matters--Vaginal Discharge

Darul Iftaa

I hope this answer helped, inshaAllah!


Apple Blossoms


Attracted to Her

>> Sunday, January 6, 2013

Assalam Alaikum
 I thought I would ask you for your advice and opinion because this is eating me up inside but I’m not sure where to start since it is all jumbled up in my head. It’s confusing even for me to explain.
When I was growing up, I was quite a tomboy; had short hair, played with boys and played those guy-sports. And because I looked and acted boyish, there were two girls who liked me in high school and it turned out that I was in a relationship with one of them during my senior years. But even when I was with her, I didn’t like the physical affection and always felt that it was ‘not right’. Even at that point of time, I would constantly have this internal conflict of whether I was gay or not. On one hand, I was attracted to her but then, I didn’t like being touched so intimately by another girl. We broke off later because the relationship didn’t work out.
A few years after, I decided to become a more practicing Muslim and I have started wearing hijab and abandoned a lot of things from my ‘old’ life. At least I am trying my best but it seems to haunt me even till today. I am close friends with sisters only now (previously I had close male friends) and some of them can be quite affectionate. There is one particular sister whom I am close to and she would always go all the way to help me out even when I didn’t ask her to. She would always become concerned whenever I fall ill and would take good care of me. We hang out quite often and I am comfortable around her. Sometimes I feel as though she’s flirting with the way she acts around me and the things she says but she had said before that she treats me like her younger sibling since she is much older. I’m not sure if that’s true because sometimes she can get quite close to me and I wonder if she is doing it on purpose. (Also, she does not know anything about my past)
It’s been years since I felt this way about another girl and I really really really don’t want to go back to my old ways. But I can’t stop thinking about her and I admit that I want to be around her often. I’ve stopped myself from frequently messaging her and tried to lessen any physical contact with her. But I cannot avoid her because we work together for projects and we take the same courses too. I’m considering finding a husband but that should not be the solution if I cannot even sort myself out. Is it wrong that I feel this way towards her? I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore.

Dear Troubled,
wa'alaykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo,
Ma'shaAllah for deciding to become more practicing and trying to let go of your past and become a better Muslimah :D I'm also really glad that you took the step to talk to someone about your situation and that you you felt comfortable enough with us to talk to us about it. I can definitely understand that you are in an agonizing situation. Unfortunately, that's the way it always is when it comes to attraction (outside of marriage).

You see, attraction is a test of sacrifice and submission. What you have to realize is that whether you choose to purse the object of your attraction or give it up, you are ultimately making a sacrifice. The difference lies in who you're willing to sacrifice for.  (Are you willing to sacrifice the object of your attraction for Allah or willing to sacrifice your faith for your object of your attraction.)

So yeah...that leaves us in a very painful and agonizing situation.

That said, let's take a look at your specific situation where you are dealing with same-sex attraction.

First of all, the fact that you said that you were never comfortable with the physical acts from the previous relationships tells me that you were looking for something else from the relationship. It wasn't about "lust or girlfriend/boyfriend relationship", then. It was about your emotional and (maybe) social needs being met. Maybe you had some problems in your childhood/ maybe you were neglected by a parent or both/ maybe you couldn't find anyone to talk too.. whatever it is, something was lacking and these people seemed to complete it for you. What you found in those previous relationships was the feeling of belonging. Suddenly you mattered to someone. Suddenly you were desired/ thought of as attractive. You found someone who treated you special.

Recognize that what you liked was actually how you felt around them. Just like when someone is addicted to drugs. It isn't about the drug, but about the feeling the drug gives them. It wasn't necessarily these girls. It was feeling like someone worthy of love. It was always about you  and not about these girls.

Does this sound right to you or am I totally off, here? 

If that is true, then it's the same thing, here. Again, you're finding someone who makes you feel special. You like their treatment and it makes you feel giddy/ desired/ loved...

But the problem is this is not an appropriate way to be getting your needs met. And it is not acceptable Islamically, at all. 

You know it and I know it. What you need to do now is come up with alternative ways to getting your needs met. How can you feel worthy of love/ special/ important without jeopardizing your faith?
To figure this out, think of activities that make you feel happy, proud, and content. Things like, for example, volunteering somewhere else, exercising, accomplishing a goal like memorizing a Surah, etc.I don't know what you personally like, so I can't tell you exactly what to do ...but you sit down and really think about it. 

As for this girl..

Sister, imagine I used to be a smoker and you and I were friends. You didn't know that I was a smoker and you just happen to keep a lighter in your purse for emergencies (black-outs or something). One day, you take out the lighter and show it to me. I might mistakenly think you are encouraging me to take a cigarette ..but the reality is that I came up with that, because I feel like it/ am thinking of one/ etc. Your history is painting her actions to mean something they possible have no meaning to, at all...

However, what if you're absolutely sure that she's fully aware of what she's doing and is doing it purposefully?

Sister. Whether she's doing it purposefully or not, you're not responsible for her actions. You are responsible for your own. 

You find yourself thinking about her in ways that are not appropriate. Whether she's contributing to that or not, you need to get that to stop:

* Keep your relationship professional. Get a different study/ project partner. Just say something like "It was fun working with you, but this time I am going to work with some other people..."
* Lower your gaze.  
* Put boundaries. If she says something that can be taken as flirting, don't laugh or go with it. Stop and give a look that says, 'I don't find this appropriate."
* Read more Qur'an
*Keep doing more istighfar (asking Allah for His forgiveness)
* Occupy yourself with seeking ilm/ other projects outside
* Make some new friends/ broaden your circle so that you're not spending time messaging her alone or anything like that.

These are the small suggestions I came up with. I hope inshaAllah the other sisters can help, too :)

May Allah make things easier for you.

With love, 


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