The Doorway to Fitnah: Freemixing-
In this day and age, Alhamdulilah we have been blessed with many forms of communication. This communication ranges from calling, texting, IMing/chatting, Facebook, MySpace, etc. The list goes on and on. As Muslims we can choose to make these communications halal. To be a way to connect with friends, family and with brothers and sisters from all over the world. We can also choose to make it a pathway to haraam.
InshaAllah in this article we will discuss the fitaan that comes from non-mahram brothers and sisters talking excessively and unnecessarily with each other online. As we all know, it isn’t completely haraam to communicate with the other gender if it’s necessary, however even so there are certain limits and guidelines to follow. These guidelines mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah might be implemented while offline in our schools, MSA and of course the Masjid (who would do such a thing!). However, let’s admit when we come `online’ the rules are bent and we fall into freemixing endlessly for hours. Close `friendships’ form between non-mahram brothers and sisters. These friendships are the like the spark that ignites a flame. At first, they start innocent but in many cases end in unfortunate situations.
In this series called The Doorway to Fitnah: Freemixing, we will discuss some of the causes of this and InshaAllah some tips for brothers and sisters to implement to keep away from this fitaan.
Since the article is quite a long read, we will break it up into parts InshaAllah. So this will be a series. At the end of this part, we will tell you what the next article will cover,
Keep in mind: This article is written by a sister directly to other sisters. This does not mean brothers are not being addressed or are free from blame. After all as they say `it takes two’. We hope Insha’Allah that both brothers AND sisters take benefit from this series.
Part 1: Sister `Adds’ Brother: The Spark That Ignites the Flame
It starts when a brother adds you on Msn/Yahoo/Skype/IM/Faceboook/MySpace, and you start getting along. First it was just to ask for help, or send something to them, or for one reason or another but you knew you were not doing it for the wrong reasons, you did it because you just needed to, you know your priorities, morals, beliefs and your limits. You know you won’t make it go any further than just instant messaging the brother. Such a thing you know would be crossing the line and you’re not going to let shaytaan get to you THAT easily. You’ve heard of the ways shaytaan tries to get people trapped in his scams and plans; pfft you think: I’m not stupid! I’m not going to do that! It’s not like you are going to marry him, right? You have no such intention. And you are definitely not boyfriend and girlfriend, astaghfirullah!! No way! Just brother and sister in Islam, bas! This is all innocent you tell yourself. You just talk about normal things, stuff you would discuss with your girls. There is nothing haraam about that?
But as time goes by, you start liking the brother…and so what if you like him right? That isn’t haraam either! And he doesn’t even like you anyway; it can’t and WON’T go any further is what goes through your mind. After awhile, you start getting thoughts like ‘ohh imagine if me and him got together hehe’ fun…. but ridiculous thought isn’t it? It’s just a thought!
You tell yourself it will not get too far, and you carry on talking to him. And now, you start coming online more often. You find yourself waiting for him. During the day you might be doing your work or something else, but at the back of your mind you know you’re just waiting and wishing for him to come online so you can talk to him and have a laugh. The little voice inside your head tells you something is wrong, but you push it aside. There’s nothing wrong about me talking to this brother! But of course, you know your parents wouldn’t approve of you talking to this non-mahram brother for hours each day. Alone. Actually you would imagine your parents and siblings would simply flip out if they found out about you communicating with him. And moreover, you would imagine ALLAH SWT would not approve of such a thing. Of this endless, pointless freemixing with this non-mahram brother. You remember all of the lectures talking about the dangers of this free mixing. What it can lead to, and the countless stories of individuals who started out with innocent friendships but ended up in something more….something haraam.
But, It’s fine you tell yourself, its all innocent! INNOCENT! He’s just a friend, nothing more! Yes, sure you are starting to develop feelings for him, but so what? You can just suppress it and never talk to him about it. Everything will just stay as it is, normal!
Soon, you start talking less to your other friends. You start avoiding them while online because you just want to talk to him only. In your conversations, you tell him everything. You start telling him your deep dark secrets: something you haven’t told many people, only the certain individuals that you trust. It’s ok, because you know and trust him! You are really close now……
And then one day OMG you can’t believe it! OMG OMG: wake up! Pinch yourself! Did he just admit that he likes you??? Finally wohoo, it got through to him that you like him and its the best perfect moment because he likes you too! !!!
…Now you start to think and it hits you that this innocent friendship has now turned into an emotional attachment and connection, with each of you expressing your interest for each other.
You think: What now?? Where to go from here??
Doorway to Fitnah: Freemixing
Part 2: `Friendship Turned Relationship’
—Written by Sister UmmLulu—-
Ok, wake up are you dreaming!! He just said he likes you, and you like him back! Ya Allah. But he doesn’t know it yet, you haven’t told him. A million thoughts are running inside your head. It seemed like just yesterday you just met this brother, now you guys like each other? How, when, where, say WHAT? What to do now?
The brother is waiting for your reply! So much pressure!! And you don’t want to sound like a dork! Say something!
Without thinking you type:
“Lolz, no way….Me too 🙂
Wait what? Was that even a complete sentence, what does that even mean? Ahhh, frozen… you can’t think of anything else to say. God, you feel like a complete idiot now. :/
Wait the brother responded back with a smiley face! Oh wait; it’s the type that winks!! Those are soo cute. Wait what does that mean? Does that mean he thinks you’re cute too!? This feeling of happiness comes over you, like you are the happiest woman in the world! You never felt like this before.
You continue talking…like you normally would. Except it’s not normal anymore, things start to change…
After saying good night you head to sleep. Now a thousand and one thoughts are running through your head. Now that you are not talking to the brother, the thoughts about you and him eventually getting married and living a happily ever after get interrupted by ones of GUILT and of DOUBT. Something inside is warning you, like your internal compass reminding you that you are not heading in the right direction. That something is definitely wrong!
You ask yourself would I ever, ever step up to a brother `offline’ to tell him that you like him back? Ewww NO. NEVER. Not in a billion gazillion years. So why tell him online? Is it any different? Would you even step up to a brother PERIOD? Just to `chat’ when you are at school, the MSA or the Masjid? Astaghfirullah x 231212. No, you wouldn’t even dream of such a thing!!
Then why talk to him for hours online….especially now when you both have feelings towards each other!!?
And your parents? They trust you so much, and now here you are in this…’friendship’ with this brother. What if they knew? What if they found out?
The guilty feelings feel like a hot fever running through your whole body. You are completely overwhelmed.
After an hour or so of debating yourself, you come to a conclusion. You tell yourself to stop overreacting, and that this isn’t really a BIG deal. That you have complete control of the situation! Besides, even if you do both like each other, it’s ONLY online. It’s not `real life’. He’s so many miles away on top of that isn’t he?? How can you even do haraam? That’s like impossible! Astaghfirullah, it’s not like you are in the same room, so the hadith about being alone doesn’t’ really apply, does it? Yes, if a non-mahram male and female are alone, shaytan is the third with them. But that’s only if you are in an ACTUAL room. IMing is different, of course it is! You tell yourself it’s like black and white, it isn’t the same. And besides you are not going to let shaytan get you to commit major sins because of this harmless friendship. That’s the end of it!
The next day you talk to the brother. And you continue talking to him for some time. Before you know it, you have nicknames for each other. Aww almost like a real couple! You joke and laugh about everything. You get along so well! Your `friendship’ is slowly developing into a relationship. The brother tells you in one conversation: `I love you’ and without even thinking you reply: `I love you too’.
WAIT! LOVE! STOP! WARNING! CAUTION!
You push aside your internal warning messages and continue laughing it up with the brother.
Things have drastically changed now. You and the brother are so attached. You can’t go a day without talking to each other. And even when you are not talking to him, your head is filled with thoughts of him. Even during your Salah you think about him! Ahh, no!! Concentrate on praying to ALLAH! You can’t, it’s impossible. You can’t stop thinking about him whatever you are doing. Argh. It feels so good, but at the back of your mind you KNOW this is SOO wrong.
Each day you can’t wait to finish your work. Time is going by too slow; you just have to talk to him. Ask him how his day was and tell him how much you missed him. So he can tell you how much he missed you. Just like in the movies! You are so perfect for each other!
When you talk to him, you try not to be obvious so others can’t find out what you are up to. Your parents or siblings walk by and quickly you close the IM window or the browser you are viewing. They can’t find out. What would they think!! They would think you have a boyfriend or something. And Astaghfirullah you are not that type!! I mean you are not married to the brother, or engaged for that matter. But you are definitely NOT his girlfriend. Muslims just do not do that!
You start becoming extremely suspicious of everyone. Even your own friends! Who knows, they can find out…and sell you out!! OMG and then tell your parents! You start cutting yourself off from them slowly. You only need this brother anyways, and that’s that!
Now the brother and you have been talking for months. You share everything; you know everything about each other. You even share pictures. You try to choose the best ones for him, of course with Hijab!! Not too long ago, you thought such a thing was detestable.Sharing pictures? Astaghfirullah might as well put myself on display at a store window, right!! But now your heart has changed, and your desires are doing the thinking for you.
Before you know it, you are even calling each other!
You have changed completely. But you do not realize it. You remain in denial. You give yourself excuses so as not to feel guilty. Excuses like someday you will marry each other and it’ll be all fine then. You refuse to think about the Islamic ruling on such a relationship. And furthermore, you don’t take into consideration what your parents would think of that idea? What?!! You met him online? When?? And for how long did you know each other?? And all that time you didn’t tell anyone?? It was a secret? What else are you hiding!! Wait, no! Save that drama for later!!
Have to return back to thoughts of him!
You don’t realize that shaytan is shooting you with one poisonous arrow at a time to eventually lead you to even bigger sins. He has made his place on your keyboard. He’s very comfy there and intends to stay as long as possible! Day in and day out, he whispers to you both to go one step further until he finally has you where he wants, and that is the HELLFIRE as his companion…SubhanAllah.
You remain blind as he deludes you with false ideas of `love’ to keep you continuing this relationship which isn’t even acknowledged in Islam.
Meanwhile inside, even though you try to suppress it as much as possible, you feel like you are slowly loosing yourself, your modesty and your imaan bit by bit.
Will you wake up before it’s too late? Will there come a stopping point where you finally decide enough is enough, no more haraam. No more texting, calling, IMing, picture-sharing. No more of this love relationship that has developed from a once innocent friendship?
Or will you continue as you are?
More days, more months until finally…
Doorway to Fitnah: Freemixing
Part 3: `Pathways to Zina’
—Written by Sister UmmLulu—-
Oh my Allah you think….you and the brother have been `talking’ now for six months! Wow! That seems like forever. But now, it’s not like before. You don’t feel the burning guilt each time you think about him or IM him or call him. Or even when you send your pictures to him (still Hijabed of course!). It’s almost…normal. Sometimes you worry because you think maybe you lost your fear of Allah? Or maybe even your imaan? Because before while talking to him you felt ashamed, and tried anyway to turn away from Allah seeing you, even though you knew that was impossible. As Allah is the All-Seer and All-Knower. Now, it’s like you feel nothing, you feel 1000% comfortable talking with the brother. Your little voice warning you of this and that is becoming very silent lately. What happened? Isn’t that a bad thing? You think wait…isn’t it like my internal compass, now is it broken??!
Before you can continue with your thoughts, you hear the very familiar ring tone; it’s him calling again!!! That makes it a shocking three times, in only one day! You forget everything you were just telling yourself…You didn’t loose your imaan, you didn’t loose your fear of Allah, hmm maybe you are just not feeling well. You rush to pick up the phone and start conversing with the brother. You are so happy when you are talking to him, he makes everything fine again. It’s like you forget all of your worrying and bad thoughts, these doubts that come to you whenever you are alone. That’s why you like talking to him as much as possible. He’s almost become like a shield from any reminder. Any painful reminder that is!
Weeks go by and things continue as they are. No change. No action. Not even an intention to change. As far as you are concerned you are not mixing into falsehood. Your goal justifies the means you are using at the moment.
One day your friend asks you to come to a lecture with her. You say sure, you would love to tag along. While in the car you ask the sister what the topic is. She replies: The Pathways to Zina. Oh, wow! What a topic…Oh my God did your heart just stop beating?! Wait, no you are fine. Phew. Ok, relax. Why the sudden panic? Have you committed Zina? Have you even come close to it? No…
Ok then, relax yourself! *Relaxed*. Ok, just attend the lecture and try not to draw attention to yourself ok? Ok!
The sister and you finally make it to the Masjid. Someone is reciting some verses, maybe one of the brothers from MSA. Masha’Allah, it’s so beautiful you think, you wonder what the verses mean.
The Sheikh starts the lecture. First he goes through the definition of Zina. We all know what it means you think. But why are you so nervous? Why do you feel like the sheikh is talking directly to YOU. You are just being paranoid! Just focus on the lecture.
The sheikh continues and mentioned a verse, one that the brother recited at the beginning. The sheikh also recited it and translated for everyone:
And come not near to unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a faahishah (a great sin) and an evil way. (Sura Al-Israa 17:32)
The sheikh makes a dramatic pause. He continues: “Brothers and sisters, why do you think Allah does not say “Do not commit Zina”. Why does Allah Azza wa Jal say do not come NEAR to Zina?
The sheikh explains by saying Allah Azza wa Jal in His Wisdom did not only prohibit the munkarat (evil, abominable deeds) but also made the pathways to them prohibited as well. The sheikh pauses again.
You feel sweat coming down your forehead. Is it really that hot in here? Why are you burning up?
The sheikh continues as you listen attentively.
“So brothers and sisters. Let us ask ourselves. What are the pathways to Zina? To this most disgusting sin?
The audience is silent.
The sheikh answers his own question. “Brothers and Sisters, wallahi there are many pathways to this sin. Among them is our neglecting Allah’s Command to lower our gaze. Among them is this extreme freemixing we see in our community….”
Again, the sheikh pauses. Why does he keep pausing?? You just might get a heart attack!
“And not to forget our online community as well because Allah Azza wa Jal is not watching us just when we are in the Masjid or at the Islamic Events. But Allah SWT is watching us wherever we are. Whether that is the Universities, whether that is the MSA or whether that is at home, while we browse our computers”.
OMG. No he didn’t just say that…. You heart stops.
“Brothers and sisters, we mistakenly trivliaze these sins, that are nothing but stepping stones to the greater sin of Zina. The uncontrollable gazing, the constant freemixing online and off. SubhanAllah, you hear brothers and sisters say it isn’t that big of a deal sheikh. That it’s all innocent and fun. What fun? Disobeying our Rabb is fun? Disobeying our Rabb is innocence? Since when ya Shabab?
You see amongst these same youth how `normal’ freemixing has become. SubhanAllah, you wouldn’t be surprised to see a brother or sister who regularly attends the Masjid and Islamic Events at home freemixing for hours each day. SubhanAllah, is our piety just outside, where people can see? Do we not fear Allah who sees us as we spend these hours mingling with the other gender? Do we not know the shaytan is just laying a trap for us, to ultimately commit shameful actions like the bigger Zina….while we commit the ‘smaller zina with our eyes that are seeing haraam, our feet which are walking to haraam. Even our hands which we use to mingle and chat with the opposite sex? Do you not realize the shaytan’s even bigger trap, to make us his companion in Jahanam? Brothers and Sisters! Let’s wake up from our desires. These countless hours we spend freemixing online and off only bringing us one step closer to the hellfire. When will we wake up? When death comes, and it is too late to repent or come back to the straight path? SubhanAllah how many countless people were deceived before us, who thought their sins were trivial; that they were not `a big deal’? And how many of them now lay in their graves in regret? Do we want to end up with the same fate? No! So then we must leave these sins brothers and sisters, before our time is up. And who is to say when that will be? Today, tomorrow?..
You are now frozen in your place. You probably haven’t even blinked yet…
The sheikh continued to talk about freemixing and you became lost in your thoughts. You imagined yourself at your computer…talking to the brother. SubhanAllah what if your soul was taken away at that very moment? You would be raised up in that same state. Complete humiliation! Because of your sin….you finally acknowledged it. You are sinning! Oh my God. Sinning!! How did you even get here? What happened? Oh My God, you think, what happened to me? Nearly seven months in….a…relationship with a brother? SubhanAllah!! You feel hot tears coming down. You quickly duck your head down so no one can see.
The sheikh’s words interrupt your guilty thoughts. Now he is relating a story about a pious worshipper. His name was Barsisa and three brothers left their sister with him thinking that he was the best person to take care of her. What happened next? It was so long ago that you heard the story. You listen closely to the sheikh’s words.
The sheikh relates the whole story. SubhanAllah yes, you remember now! He comimited zina with her!! Astaghfirullah….and it all started with one glance, with one conversation. The whole time the shaytan was tempting him and finally the worshipper commited zina with the girl. OMG that wasn’t the end of it! The girl became pregnant. As the sheikh recounts the story you remember how it ended. The worshipper killed the woman and her baby and ended up asking the shaytan for help. He made SUJOOD to him (SHIRK).
SubhanAllah! And the shaytan ditched him in the end saying: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists) just like the verse in Surat al Hashr:
(Their allies deceived them) like Shaytan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaytan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)!” (Al-Hashr 59:16)
The worshipper ended up being killed by the brothers because they discovered what he did. SubhanAllah!! All because he fell for the shaytan’s whispers!
Now the tears are coming down hard and you can’t control or conceal them. Everyone looks at you. You run to the bathroom. Looking at yourself in the mirror. Fully covered Hijabi with tear stained eyes. Tears for months of sins committed. SubhanAllah. Imagine if you would have ended up like the worshipper? Committing Zina! O Allah you cry as you drop to the ground, THANK YOU………..THANK YOU for saving me from Zina. You cry as you make a silent duaa: “O ALLAH, FORGIVE ME, FORGIVE ME FOR ALL OF THE OPRESSION I HAVE COMMITED AGAINST MYSELF. O ALLAH I TURN TO YOU IN COMPLETE REPENTANCE. I WILL STOP THE SINS I WAS COMMITING BEFORE, AND I WILL NOT FALL IN THE SAME TRAP AGAIN. YA RABB FORGIVE ME….”.
You sit on the floor for some time sobbing from regret for your wrongs.
The sheikh’s beautiful recitation can be heard on the loud speakers even in the upstairs bathroom where you are. What are the verses he is reciting now? You are still sobbing but you try to listen.
Wait…you know this verse! He’s reciting from….from….Surah Zumar!….Verse 53!
Say: “O ‘Ibadi (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
It was almost like you never heard this verse before in your life, subhanAllah. It has such an impact on your heart. Ya Allah…you say…. what a perfect reminder you sent me!
Ya Rabbi forgive me for all the wrong I have done, and grant me your Mercy!
Slowly an action plan forms on your mind. As soon as the lecture is over you are going to act upon it…
Insha’Allah in the next article called “Conclusion: Lessons Learned, Wisdom Gained” we will wrap up the series and see how the sister turned out. This next part will be jam-packed with daleel insha’Allah and will also include tips for brothers and sisters to put into practice to save themselves from falling into a similar situation like the sister (i.e form online relationship…literally one step away…rather one whisper away from comitting zina!)
Keep in mind, many Muslims do NOT wake up, even with all of the reminders in the world and they end up in most unfortunate situations like the story of the worshipper. We will also mention that in the conclusion.
Doorway to Fitnah: Freemixing-Conclusion: `Lessons Learned, Wisdom Gained’
In the last part to the `Doorway to Fitnah: Freemixing’ series, called `Pathways to Zina’, we read how the sister was greatly affected by a lecture at the Masjid. This lecture was about Zina and some of the things that can lead to it. The sheikh mentioned how the freemixing this sister was caught up in for many months was in fact one of the greatest paths; and to make matters worse this sister was not just freemixing, but was also involved in a `love’ and emotional attachment with a non-mahram brother. The sister is now planning on how to change her ways and leave this sin. Brothers and Sisters before we begin let us touch on an important issue. SubhanAllah, we are all human, and therefore we are all sinners. No one is free from sin.
Allah Azza wa Jall said in Surah Zumar, Verse 53:
Qul ya AAibadiya allatheena asrafoo AAala anfusihim la taqnatoo min rahmati Allahi inna Allaha yaghfiru alththunooba jameeAAan innahu huwa alghafooru alrraheem
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
And the Prophet, Salalahu Alayhi wa Salaam said:
kullu bani aadama khataa’,wa kheiru khataa’een at-tawwabeen
[All of the children of Adam commit sins, and the best of the sinners are those who repent immidiately]
If you are in such a situation, or are caught up in another sin, whatever it might be, do not let the shaytan trick you into thinking that you are such a BIG sinner and that Alllah will never forgive you. Or that you will never change, that you will never have the strength or will to leave this sin. In fact you CAN and you WILL with the Help of Allah SWT. We have two important warnings to give to you all, please heed them!!
Brothers and sisters:
1) DO NOT LOOSE HOPE or FALL INTO DESPAIR and
2) DO NOT ABANDON REMINDERS or the CIRCLES OF ILM.
Take for example this sister. What if after hearing the lecture, she lost hope and fell into despair instead of being inspired to change? What if she thought “oh I will never change, I might as well continue doing this”. Where would she end up then? SubhanAllah. Committing Zina perhaps? And secondly, what if this sister never received reminders, period? That would impact her heart and cause her to wake up?
So brothers and sisters, we advise you to not fall into despair and to stick to the knowledge based Islamic classes and lectures, the many circles of ilm that you are able to attend. Or if that’s not available in your particular community, then to fill up your phone or mp3 player with lectures. Even more, surround yourself with good company. People who will ask you to come to the Masjid with them, people who will call you to good and people who will REMIND you.
Because Allah SWT says: “And remind for verily, the reminding profits (benefits) the believers.” [51:55]
Please take this advice and implement it.
Insha’Allah now, here is the conclusion to the series. If you found this series beneficial please remember to share with your family and friends, online and offline. 🙂
Umm Abdur Rahmaan