Fruits for the Week

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Narrated Uqbag ibn Amir (ra) that the Prophet (saw) said: “Beware of being with the ladies.” A man from the Ansar asked: “Allah’s Messenger! What about the close male relatives of the husband (such as his brother or nephew, who are not mahram for his wife)?” The Prophet (saw) replied: “They are death itself.” (Bukhari). In a similar hadith, Ibn Abbas (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “No man should stay with a lady in seclusion except in the present of a mahram.” A man stood up and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! My wife has gone out, intending to perform the hajj, and I have been enlisted (in the army) for such-and-such campaign.” The Prophet (saw) said: “Return and perform the hajj with your wife.” (Bukhari)

Another poisonous habit that has become prevalent in our societies today, due to the influence and onslaught of Western culture, is the free intermingling of opposite sexes. This has ultimately led to countless illegal acts, illegitimate babies, abortions, and venereal infections – not only in America and Europe but also in Muslim lands.

In societies where there are no restrictions on the interaction of the sexes, forty-five percent of girls in high school have intercourse before they graduate. Many researchers who have investigated the matter have confirmed the same state of affairs.

Satan, the greatest enemy of humankind, is always keen to tempt and seduce people into committing haram acts by making these acts alluring and attractive. This is exactly how he promotes the promiscuous intermingling of sexes under the name of freedom. He entices pleasure-loving, misguided men and women to disregard the restrictions laid down by their Creator. Thus, they ignore their natural instincts of modesty. Allah (swt) said: “O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Satan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Satan, then, verily, he commands immorality and wrongdoing.” (Qur’an 24: 21)

The Prophet (saw) has informed us that Satan moves through the veins of humankind like blood runs through the veins. One of the innocent ways by which he induces people into committing indecent acts is by leading a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. The Prophet (saw) said: “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman, except that Satan will be the third among them.” (Tirmidhi). On the same topic, Abdullah ibn Amr (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “From this day on, no man should visit a woman whose husband is absent unless there is another man or two with him.” (Muslim)

Therefore, the common habit of a man being alone in a house, room, or car with a non-mahram woman (including his brother’s wife or a female servant), or a female patient being alone with a male doctor and vice-versa – even if they claim that they trust themselves – has resulted in many tragedies of confused lineage and illegitimate births.

It is an open fact that in the US and other Western countries, as well as in those who have followed secular Western culture, young men and women mix freely in colleges, clubs, bars, and hotels; this provides vast opportunities for petting, necking, and other scandalous behavior. They indulge fearlessly and unhesitatingly in all kind of wicked practices.

The acceptance of free intermingling has dragged men and women into a quagmire of illicit pleasure, sensuality, and luxury. It has gone to such an extent that some people in the West even exchange spouses amongst each other for sexual pleasure, without the slightest feeling of shame. This has happened because of the continuous free mixing among the sexes, such a man dancing with another man’s wife or being in seclusion with her.

As the divinely-revealed way of life that came to protect family lineage and society from all forms of sexual immorality, immodesty, and destruction. Both sexes have been ordained to be righteous and virtuous. Therefore, Islam has peremptorily prohibited the unnecessary intermingling of men and women, along with their joint participation in social and state functions. This is evident from the restrictions on the movement and the mode of dressing of both sexes. Even the gaze of both men and women has to be self-regulated.

Wherever men and women are in each other’s presence, Islam has enjoined them both to lower their gaze. There is not a single instance in the history of Islam of men and women being allowed to freely intermingle with each other in any social, political, or religious gathering; instead, certain restrictions, including the segregation of men and women, were followed.

Even in the mosques, women had separate rows behind the men. The Prophet (saw) enforced a rule that no man should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a woman in the mosque, even if he is her husband or father.

In order to protect and guard against free mixing in the mosque, the Prophet (saw) gave another preventive measure. Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “The best rows for women are at the back, and the worst are at the front.” (Muslim)

(To be continued)

by Yahya M.A. Ondigo