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)

It is undeniable fact that eyes are the envoys; they convey one’s feelings to the onlookers very accurately. In addition to that, the face and other physical features of the opposite sex arouse feelings of love and stir emotions. Islam, therefore, segregates the sexes; it commands believing men and believing women to lower their gaze and avoid staring at the opposite sex as much as possible. They are totally forbidden from casting evil and critical glances at each other as well.

Islam attempts to keep immoral trends in check and nip evil in the bud. That is why it restricts the poisonous habit of the free mixing of opposite sexes along with the seemingly ‘innocent’ display of adornment (such as cosmetics, nail polish and very conspicuous fashions), which eventually sends the whole society to its doom.

According to a hadith narrated by Abu Musa (ra), the Prophet (saw) said: “Every eye commits zina. When a woman uses perfume and passes by a gathering, she is like this and that (meaning an adulteress).” (Tirmidhi)

Islam has forbidden the habit of free mixing for many reasons. Firstly, a man, by nature, is aggressive; if anything appeals to him, he feels compelled to acquire it. On the other hand, a woman’s nature is one of inhibition; she is not aggressive, by nature, to initiate any advances towards a male who has attracted her. Women unconsciously submit to the flattery and advances of men. They can be easily overpowered by sentiments and emotions. As such, they can fall into the temptation of fornication and adultery, if left alone with a male stranger. This why the Prophet (saw) did not even allow male and female cousins to be alone. Jabir (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: “Do not go to the women whose husbands are absent, for indeed Satan flows through one of you as the blood flows (through your veins).” (Tirmidhi)

The traditions of the Prophet (saw) vividly describe what happened when free intermingling of the sexes is allowed in a society. When a man and a woman are alone together, Satan plays with their sexual consciousness; he arouses their desires to such an extent that they come between them even if their being alone was for an innocent concern. Their seclusion can affect their relationship and enable them to harbor inappropriate feelings for one another. This disturbs their inner equilibrium of purity and chastity, possibly leading them to commit illegal sexual intercourse. This is the beginning of many other evils.

Today, however, the level of temptation and provocation has gone beyond limits. Women walk about boldly, without any hijab. They display their beauty and costly attires in a brazen way, living whiffs of strongly-scented perfume wherever they go. Men are naturally attracted to such women; in fact, such a woman gives them a covert message that she wants to be looked at (even if that is not her intention). Coupled with free mixing in almost every place in our society.

Anas ibn Malik (ra) said that I shall narrate a hadith to you that I heard from Allah’s Messenger (saw), which none after me shall narrate that he heard it from the Messenger of Allah (saw). Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “Indeed, among the signs of the hour are that knowledge shall be taken away, ignorant shall be rampant, zina shall abound, khamr shall be drunk, and the number of women shall increase and the number of men shall decrease to the extent that fifty women shall be looked after by one man.” (Tirmidhi)

Abu Musa (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said about fitnah: “Break your bows during it, cut their strings, and stick to the depths of your homes, and be like Adam’s son.”(Ibn Asim)

Thus, the safest place for us during times of fitnah, like those in which we are living, is our homes. Unless there are necessary or important matters to take care of outside, it is better to be at home, away from all the moral corruption, than to go outside. This, of course, is under the provision that at home, one also avoids the television with all its dirty programs and the internet with all its corrupt websites, along with other forms of electronic media that are filled with immorality and corruption.

May Allah (swt) enable us to realize the overt and covert effects of unrestricted interaction with the opposite sex, giving into various desires and temptations, and disregarding the commands of Allah. Ameen.

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by Yahya M.A. Ondigo