“It started out as a feeling,
Which then grew into a hope…
Which then turned into a quiet thought,
Which then turned into a quiet word…”
– Regina Spektor
With the advent of the free media and unchecked foreign movies flowing in, our senses are now quite desensitized to the free-mixing of both genders. When once, some ten years ago, talking to a guy (non-mehram) was considered somewhat taboo and an oddity, the same is now encouraged and has become the norm. We are educated now. We have broader minds. We are free.
It never had quite an outlined beginning. Eye contacts and a few conversations sufficed to establish friendly ground, not unlike the one that unguarded youth are wont to make. There was a friend request on a social network soon after, and thus began what seemed a harmless conversation. The messages had started going to and fro, until that fateful day when he said it.
He put it out loud and screaming between them, without a second thought.
Then again, better sooner than later. For only God knows, how long it would have dragged.
He said – that he harboured a ‘likeness’ for her.
It seems of little consequence, does it not? It was just a message conveying the feeling- a mere statement. Not something worth worrying over. Even laughable maybe? Brush it away, why don’t you? Yet, it came out as a battle cry. Shattering all illusions and blowing apart the curtains of naiveté.
Allah says in the Quran:
يَـٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ لَسۡتُنَّ ڪَأَحَدٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِۚ إِنِ ٱتَّقَيۡتُنَّ فَلَا تَخۡضَعۡنَ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ فَيَطۡمَعَ ٱلَّذِى (٣٢)فِى قَلۡبِهِۦ مَرَضٌ۬ وَقُلۡنَ قَوۡلاً۬ مَّعۡرُوفً۬ا
O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech. (Surah al-Ahzaab: 32)
Why? Why is it that we have to talk unnecessary? That small, secret smile that was for your eyes to see, that subtle speech you thought only you could feel the ‘depth’ of, the preference for you over any other talking companion… we all like that, don’t we? Only, we don’t realise how short-lived such crunchy bits of life are, and how endless the pain they leave behind.
It is a continuous battle that we fight against temptation, but with Allah’s help, none is too difficult. Yousuf (alaihis salam) had the toughest of them all, yet he emerged the victor with the Almighty’s will and help.
وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِيْ هُوَ فِيْ بَيْتِهَا عَنْ نَّفْسِهٖ وَغَلَّقَتِ الْاَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۭ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّٰهِ اِنَّهٗ رَبِّيْٓ اَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ ۭ اِنَّهٗ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظّٰلِمُوْن 23
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهٖ ۚ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَآ اَنْ رَّاٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهٖ ۭ كَذٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوْۗءَ وَالْفَحْشَاۗءَ ۭ اِنَّهٗ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِيْن 24
And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah . Indeed, he is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.” And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants. (Surah Yousuf: 23-24)
He tells us to not even go near zina. Do we even come close to understanding what that implies? If we did, we would be imparting our children some different lessons. We wouldn’t be pushing them to do things we know to be beyond the red line. Yet, with a single shake of the head, the nagging voice becomes a tiny wisp that floats away, and we do the deed. Think about it.