As a person grows up, he/she will inevitably be given understanding. Once a boy becomes a man and a girl becomes a woman, it is compulsory on both to worship God. It is when a person hits adolescence that God ~ gives him the ability to distinguish right from wrong.
A person will suddenly find changes within himself physically and emotionally and no doubt these feelings will have a major impact on him spiritually.
It is at this point where one must take great care of oneself as many different ideas will be thrown back and forth. Part of this change means accommodating a newfound attraction to the opposite sex and many people at young ages begin to notice each other in a different light.
This is hazardous for young Muslims in schools which are mixed. It is almost inevitable that non-Muslims will participate in having girlfriends and soon it becomes a means of gaining popularity as well as a means of conforming to the norm.
Thus, the pressure will be put on a person to get a partner. However, sometimes it is just a genuine attraction that pulls two people together, the thought of spending time and having a laugh seems warming to the heart.
Others may just follow a trend because of what their friends are doing but whatever the reason may be, relationships are encouraged in secondary schools and whoever manages to grab hold of a partner becomes the talk of the year group/school.
Colleges are similar in this aspect. It becomes a means of meeting new people who are more attractive than those people who were seen on a daily routine in school for years. It also means that one can dress up in clothes which are not prescribed uniform and thus ‘dress to impress’.
Often boys will adorn themselves with flash new garments and girls will wear clothes which are self-alluring. In either case, the same motive is found in both sexes – causing attraction.
If time is spent in college incorrectly, it can destroy a Muslim’s spirituality completely. I urge those youngsters who read this to preserve themselves in these two to three years immensely. This is because both sexes have now, more or less fully developed and due to the various influences in society, the idea of having a girlfriend has now evolved to committing fornication.
An innocent idea of having a partner to love and cuddle has now progressed to the next extreme. An extreme which can result in one entertaining the fire of Jahannam (you can read on the topic of Zina here)
Once the college has finished, the progression to university coincides with the maturity of a young man or woman.
At this age, many people begin to reminisce about the mistakes that they have made in their life and look at it from a mature adults point of view.
There is now no more time to run around having fights or spending time on video games till three o clock in the morning.
Many of the friends that were made during the many struggles of life have left and gone their own way.
A lot of people have changed, some for the best and some for worst.
The friends who were once labeled as ‘Best Friends’ and ‘Brothers for life’ are now bitter enemies who are barely on speaking terms with each other.
And then there is ‘you’, a university student, all alone in a building that accommodates over five thousand students. With one main problem: total and complete freedom.
Some freedom is good but not total, unquestioned freedom. Our religion teaches us a key principle which is moderation; Islam is a religion for those of intellect and such people will immediately realize that there is a limit in everything.
For many, one thought remains at the back of the mind and that is quite simply marriage. After twenty years of fooling around, God ~ has opened the eyes of the Muslim to the fact that soon he or she will have to marry and start a family.
Thus for some, the mindset automatically changes and this becomes the three years to do as many haram things as one can, because soon, one will be limited to intimacy with possibly one partner only. This creates panic in the mind and straight away, young Muslims become hedonistic and strive to ‘live life to the max’.
However, the approach taken by some brothers and sisters are different. This becomes the time to find the best possible husband or wife who fits in with one’s personality and life.
The idea of a possible arranged marriage is very disturbing to some; the thought of marrying a person who is completely unknown is frightening and this panic only gets worse when the person is from a place which is the complete opposite of the Western world.
Due to this, many young Muslims will search for their spouses in university and try to find somebody that they can ‘relate’ to and ‘get on’ with.
Though some university students may opt to stay at home, a large number of Muslim students are remaining in universities and living on campus.
This is When Desire Takes Over, extremely hazardous to a person’s Iman.
When one is at home, he has the advantage of living in an Islamic environment whether it is big or small.
Due to the influence of Islam in the household by parents, there are houses which have an Islamic awareness and though they may not be completely practicing, there is an aura which circulates the house giving it a spiritual vibe.
Nevertheless, not all families are like this and various households have different levels of practicing.
However, this Islamic environment is almost completely not available on a university campus as there are no parents or elders to influence one to pray.
Yes, there are some strong brothers and sisters who create an aura of spirituality even in the darkest of places but such characters are a rarity.
In most cases, a Muslim may be put into a flat with non-Muslims or people of low Iman and being around them will have a severe impact on his own Iman.
This is why the Prophet said, “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look at whom you befriend.”
This hadith is warning Muslims to assess the people that they spend time with because the first influence a person receives is from his friend.
For some, it is fine to bring alcohol, haram food, and sexual partners into one’s flat/hostel as parents are not there to reprimand their child.
Similarly, the restrictions of Shariah do not apply to non-Muslims and they are well within their rights to do whatever they like.
When a Muslim gets stuck in the middle of this storm, it is very hard for him/her to come out unscathed.
Thus it must be established that one’s Iman is dangling above his head and the temptation to indulge in such vices will continue to grow and once it is done, it will continue until the environment of Islam is restored in the Muslim’s life.
So far we have discussed the ways haram relationships can form in various institutes but what needs to be examined is the types of people that fall into the snares of Satan and embark on illegal relationships.
In truth, Satan can fool even the best of us, it is his job to make the bitter seem sweet.
The greatest trick that Satan ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. This trickery and manipulation of a person’s mind are shown explicitly in one narration.
Amongst the Children of Israel, there was a pious monk who was unmatched in his piety.
In this locality, there were three brothers who had a lone sister. The brothers wanted to travel but could not do so as their sister would be left unattended to.
After much contemplation, the brothers agreed that it would be best if they left their younger sister with the monk.
They approached the monk and said, “Let us give our sister to you so that she may live in peace until we return.”
Being a God-fearing believer, the monk refused and after a lot of persuasions, he agreed to the idea as Satan had come to him and made the idea seem warming.
However, he made it clear that she will not stay with him but in a house opposite from his place of worship.
Thus, this young girl lived in a house close to the monk while the brothers were away for a long period of time.
The monk would make food, leave it outside the doors to his place of worship, call the girl and then return to his worship.
Satan then came again to soften the heart of this monk and he placed in his heart the mindset that, “what if a person sees her when she is coming to get food and then tries to harass her?”‘
The monk thought it would be better if he delivered the food to her house rather than giving her the trouble of revealing herself to the public.
The young girl kept on receiving her food like this for a long period of time until Satan came to the monk once more. This time Satan encouraged him to go and speak to the girl and to be affectionate as she is alone with no family.
Satan then continued to encourage him till the monk left his entire place of worship and would go often to sit with the girl. He would sit on one side of the door and she would be on the other like this time went by till Satan urged him to commit more into this relationship.
And so, over a period of time, the relationship of these two became more and more intimate till the monk who was once so God-fearing gained entry into the house of the young girl.
He would spend his entire day at her house and would speak continuously till the sunset. He would then return to his house and sleep there for the remainder of the night…until Satan made the beauty of the woman apparent.
It is important now to note the hadith of the Prophet, “When a woman leaves her house, Satan beautifies her.”
This is not to say that a woman who wears what Shariah has prescribed for her is trying to become self-alluring, rather it is indicating to the fact that Satan will do as much as he can to compel man to the obvious beauty of women.
This is what happened to the monk and he started a relationship with the young girl. Ultimately, they committed Zina (illegal sexual intercourse) and the young girl who was left with the most pious monk in the region had become impregnated.
Satan then put the monk in a state of panic, he told him that the girl might tell her brothers when they return and he maybe disgraced in front of the public.
As a result, Satan continued to instigate his plans and instructed the monk, “If people find out about this, you will be disgraced! And if her family members find out, they will beat you! So kill her and when her family comes to collect her, tell them that she died due to her illness!”
The monk did as he was told and then returned to his place of worship to continue praying for a long period until one day, the brothers returned from the journey.
They came straight to the monk and asked about their sister to which the monk merely replied,
“She died due to an illness.” He began to cry profusely and claimed to have made Du’a (supplication) for her every day.
The three brothers were sad but satisfied with what they heard and did not dare question the authority of such a ‘pious’ monk. They departed from the monk’s place of worship and returned to their house.
That night when the brothers were asleep, Satan came to them in their dreams and enlightened them with regards to the fate their beloved sister suffered.
They confronted the monk and it came to light that he had killed the sister and the brothers wanted justice. They took him to the Judge of the town who duly gave the death penalty to him.
Thereafter, Satan came to the monk at the time he was being executed and said, “Look, it was I who had strangled the girl and made her ill, it was I who had told the family to bring her to you, it was I who had influenced you to commit illegal sexual intercourse with her, and it was I who told you to kill her. I brought you into this and by me, you will be able to get refuge from this problem … just prostrate to me.”
Sheikh Mufti Mohammad Shafi, mentions at this point: “The monk had already committed all the (major) sins. The way to commit Kufr (disbelief) was paved. So, he prostrated. At that juncture, Satan said to him plainly, ‘You were not falling into my trap. I adopted all these guiles for you to commit Kufr (disbelief). I cannot assist you in any way.”
At this point, Satan turned and left him.
This is what is meant when Allah says in the Quran: “The example (of the hypocrites) is like the Satan when he says to a human being, ‘Become a disbeliever!’ Then once he disbelieves, he says, ‘I disown you; I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds’.”
From this lengthy parable, it is quite evident that Satan employs many means to destroy a person and throw him into the darkness of disbelief.
It does not matter if the person is a lay or a skilled Scholar, Satan will approach us all and it is down to us to suppress the greatest need of our heart – love.
At the end of the day, we all want to be loved by someone but incorrect love is of a superficial nature. It should be kept as a secret and hidden as opposed to being celebrated and accepted.
May Allah make things easy for us!