Salam (Peace) Dear Sister,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Thank you also for trusting our site. To start with, you are doing the right thing according to the pure teachings of Christianity and Islam.
Normal Vs. Healthy
It is unfortunate that in many cultures, your behavior is abnormal. It is a result of people not adhering to the original teachings of religion, which is basically following God’s commands and doing what pleases Him.
That’s why we have so many problems all over the world; we abandoned God, so he left us to the consequences of our choices until we turn back to Him.
It is very true that so many societies seem to try hard in promoting anything related to arousing people’s sexual desires. You wonder sometimes why this is so. Are people purposely trying to corrupt society?
Nowadays, there is a trend of secularism which is almost detaching people from religion and from moral teachings. In many countries, a girl who is still virgin after the age of puberty is considered abnormal; the girls who don’t have a boyfriend are looked down upon as if there is something wrong with them.
When it comes to freedom, religious people seem to have none, but those who corrupt young minds are free to do so under the pretext of freedom of opinion. In several European countries, the head cover is banned from public schools, universities, and government offices.
In general, all sin has an impact on us unless we repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the “stain” that Allah mentions in His book: Nay! but on their hearts is the stain of the (ill) which they do! [Al-Mutaffifin, 83:14] (Ibn Majah)
What Is Acceptable In Islam
Going back to the core subject, what is acceptable is Islam as a love relationship is an engagement with one’s guardian’s consent. That’s because Islam tries to protect society from having children out of wedlock. In this way, everyone in society knows who their parents are and in some cases, people can tell you their ancestry going back more than ten centuries ago.
In Islam, the only allowed physical relationship of any kind—including hugs, kisses, etc.—is within the context of marriage.
So hugs or any other physical interaction are forbidden between couples who are not married. That’s because Islam not only forbids illegitimate sexual relations but it also asks us to stay away from any temptation leading to such a situation.
A relationship that starts innocently will eventually end up in committing some type of sin; that’s because of man’s inherent nature. It is like walking on fire and expecting not to get burned.
Engagement vs. Dating vs. Marriage
As for engagement, we will need to understand what its purpose is, which is for couples to get to know each other in the hope to get married. The longer this period is, the more likely that the couple will be attached and love will develop between them.
However, engaged is not married. There is always a risk that they don’t get married, so the shorter the engagement period, the better it is, in order to avoid heart breaking situations.
In Islam, engagement or dating is not marriage. God reminds us that Muslims are:
Those who guard their sexual organs except with their spouses… (Al-Mu’mun: 5-7)
Commenting on this verse, Muslim scholars explain that those who seek fulfillment of their sexual desires outside the framework of marriage are deemed transgressors.
Allah also says what means:
Do not even go near fornication for it is a very indecent flung and a very evil way (Quran 17:32)
Maududi, a Quranic scholar, explains in his interpretation of the Quran:
This commandment is meant both for individuals and society as a whole. It warns each individual not only to guard against adultery or fornication itself but against all those things that lead to or stimulate it. As regards society as a whole, the commandment enjoins us to make such arrangements to prevent adultery and eradicate the means and stimulants that lead to adultery. Therefore, society should employ all those legal and educative means that help develop such an environment as prevents and eradicates indecency.”
May Allah (God) keep us on his straight path and gives us the vision to follow what pleases Him insha’Allah (God willing).
Regarding the question of Muslim men having more than one wife, it is allowed in Islam but it is not a requirement and there are very few Muslims who are married to more than one wife.
Finally, there is no need to be depressed. Ask God to guide you to what is correct and He will surely do so. Remember God and He will remember you.
We have a saying in Islam: whoever leaves something (a habit, a desire, etc…) to please God, God will elevate him/her by giving such a person a better status in this world and in the Hereafter.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
This is from AboutIslam’s archives and was originally published earlier
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