Fornication has become a common place occurrence within the modern youth, and the Muslim girls and boys have sadly fallen prey to the mesh of western society as well. In Muslim families talking about matters like sexuality is a big no-no. The result is that when the young boys and girls are still on the banks of this filthy river, there is no one from the family to pull them back. Parents aren’t most of the times aware of what sort of relations their kids are into. The lack of communication between the parents and the kids automatically makes the kids of this age vulnerable to a myriad of stuff that consistently provokes them to jump into adultery. This article will highlight ways in which this communication gap can be filled and we can teach our children ways to shirk this path of utter destruction.
In Islam, there is no such thing as a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. You are either married or you are not. This is what we have to ingrain into our children at the early stage. We should not wait for them to come to us when they are teenagers to ask about girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. At this late stage, even if we forbid them to have such a relationship, how certain are we that they will obey us if they are smitten by someone? Hence, it is important that we should teach our children that only time a girl or boy can have a relationship with a non-mehram is when they are married. Furthermore, if a girl or boy enters into a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship then he/she is entering into a pre-marital relationship.
Adultery ruins the community by corrupting the people. It unleashes desires that once allowed free-reign will destroy families. It takes away the interest of looking towards the parents with affection, even to think about them. It takes away the images of things to be done and throws out our mind to recapture the same thing again and again. So, we can quote to them the examples of illegitimate and abandoned children, broken homes, abortions- the list is going on.
To quite out of this corrupt act, we should also point out the punishment for sexual relationship outside the marriage: Ibn Masood (r.a.a) related that prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, “The blood of a Muslim may not be legally split other than in one of three instances: the married person who commits adultery, a life for a life, and one who forsakes his religion and abandons the community.” (Bukhari and Muslim). But, what about the unmarried person who has relations of such kind? He or she has to be caned or whipped one hundred times (Muslim).
At this stage your teenage child may say that boyfriend-girlfriend relationships need not go as far as the sexual act; that they can control themselves and simply enjoy each other’s company. To counter this, you say that it is a fact when a girl and a boy are alone together, their sexual desires awaken and before they know it, they will be doing things that are not permissible. The reason for this is Shaytan will be the third person with them and he will whisper and tempt them with the forbidden. This is why Islam shuns all avenues leading to corruption of the mind, body and soul.
Sometimes we must teach them to restrain their driving desires. We can do so by giving them examples of the rewards for doing so, such as the person who controls his lust will be among people who Allah bestows mercy upon. Below are some more points on how to help your child, at an early age, to be chaste so that when he/she is older, he/she can avoid getting into a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. First, you must talk and explain to them these things when they are young, then when they are older; you make sure that it must be put into practice.
- Not to freely mix with opposite sex.
- Not to look at the opposite sex as it ensures way of fornication of eyes. This is done by lowering their eyes as Allah tells us: “tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to protect their private parts. That is pure for them. Verily Allah is all aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to protect their private parts… ” (24:30-31). Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said, “do not look at a second time follow the first. The first look is allowed to you but not the second.”
- For girls, teach them not to make their voices seductive or sweet in front of non-mehram. This is done by lowering the voice and not flirting. As Allah tells the wives of prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)” do not be too pleasant of speech, lest one in whose heart there is a disease should feel desire for ..”(32:32)
- Last but not the least; teach them to wear appropriate clothing so as not to draw attention to themselves. This is, girls should wear Hijabs not as a cover of fashion but as a wall to keep her soul pure and perfect while boys should also wear loose clothing, not the tight jeans/pants. It is sad that, often parents allow their children to wear the so called fashion clothing which in most cases do not meet the requirement of the shari’ah. It is sadder to see Muslim mothers covering themselves properly walking with their uncovered teenage daughters and sons.
It is important that we start teaching our children the need of modesty, especially around the opposite sex. If we install this into them at an early age then, whenever they are near the vicinity of opposite sex, they will feel shy and therefore will not act inappropriately. It is important that we keep the communication channels open with our children so that we can talk and explain to them things, and they can ask as many questions without feeling embarrassed. Then when they are older and with help from us, they will begin to understand why it is that there cannot be a thing called “girlfriend-boyfriend relationship”.
AAFAQ AHMED MIR is a student of sociology at Aligarh Muslim university and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org