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Mixed Messages at a School Dance

Questioner

Z (18-male-UK)

Reply Date

Mar 19, 2017

Question

A couple of weeks ago I went to a school party just for the fun of it. At the party I noticed that the students were dancing extremely close to each other. I did not dance. I just watched, but then a couple of my friends made me dance very closely with a girl. I ended up slapping the girl because I did not want to commit a sin. My parents said I was wrong and that I should not have slapped the girl. You see, I had asked her to stop dancing close to me, but she did not, and then I slapped her. Because of this incident, all of the people are making fun of me. As the days go by, I feel very depressed and the worst thing is that I attend a military school that is a three hours plane trip from my house. I do not have any parental support. I do not know how to handle this. What should I do?

Counselor

and

Answer


Dance

As-salamu`alaykum,

Dear brother, it is quite troubling to hear that you physically assaulted a female for dancing too close to you.

First off, we should never put ourselves in situations that could lead to that sort of interaction with members of the opposite sex.

Secondly, it’s ironic that out of fear of committing a sin, you committed another one by physically assaulting someone who was not directly threatening you. I’m wondering what makes you think that hitting a woman is not a sin? The Prophet said himself never hit anybody in his lifetime, especially a woman, outside of battle and he considered the man who beats his wife to be “ the worst of you “ , `A’ishah  (May Allah be pleased with her) said:

“Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman”  (Ibn Majah).

Some cultures (including modern societies in both developed and under-developed countries increasingly find this to be acceptable, but in Islam this kind of use of force on anyone for no reason is really ugly behavior. Why not just walk away from the woman and stop dancing? Why the need to use force? I don’t understand that mentality at all, as if hitting another Muslim is not a sin. You should not have put yourself in that situation to begin with.

The Prophet said, , “One is not strong because of one’s wrestling skillfully.” They said, “Allah’s Messenger, then who is strong?” He said, “He who controls his anger when he is in a fit of rage.” (Muslim 32 #6314)

Brother, you need – we all need – to take this hadith to heart. We must never resort to physical force unless it is absolutely the last option and that is truly a rarity in most people’s lives. Controlling our anger, on the other hand, is really a sign of strength and courage.

With that being said, you are now dealing with the fallout from your actions. Hopefully, you have learned that it is better to listen to your conscience that was telling you not to dance and put yourself in that situation to begin with. We should always listen to that little voice because that voice is there for a reason.

Allah has given us that voice as an internal compass to guide us in these types of situations. Too often, though, we ignore that voice and listen to our friends and peers instead. I know peer pressure is tough, but this is where we must be courageous and tactful. This is where we must be able to say, “no thanks, I’ll just watch.” If your ‘friends’ have a serious problem with that then maybe such people are not worth having as friends, yes? I don’t know but for me, I would respect my friend’s decision to do or not do something based on their level of comfort.

You made a mistake, you put yourself in a bad situation and you paid for it. Take it to heart as a lesson from Allah. Learn from it. Don’t become angry or resentful because of it, but use it as important lesson from Allah and as a blessing. Allah is always teaching us, it’s only a matter as to whether our hearts are open to His lessons and wisdom. Be grateful for this, if you can find it in your heart, and see it as Allah showing you what is good for you and what you need to do in future situations.

The best lessons in life are these, the ones that sting, that hurt, that make us think and reflect on ourselves and our behavior. `In sha`Allah you will take something from this experience and it will make you a better person, but the choice is yours. You can use it to your benefit and be grateful to Allah for it, or you can become bitter and depressed by it. I know it is difficult in that people are now making fun of you, but try and see what is happening as an important reminder for you on what NOT to do the next time you are put in that type of situation. Learn to listen to your heart and your conscience.

In time, the ridicule will stop, but it will require patience and humility on your part. Your actions were a bit tyrannical, so now Allah is teaching you humility. This is another important lesson and opportunity for you to grow and become a more mature human being. It is easy just to hit someone that does something you don’t like. But that’s what tyrants do. They take advantage of those who are weaker and fearful.

That is why Allah promises hell for tyrants, because of the hell they cause for those who are weaker and unable to defend themselves. But thank God He has blessed you with this opportunity for repentance and to learn humility through the ridicule you are now facing! What a great blessing! He is showing you clearly what you need to learn and change, and that is to not act like a tyrant and use force against those weaker than you and that you need to listen to that voice inside.  I hope you can deal with your situation in this light. Everything in life is an opportunity to increase our closeness to Allah and often it is through these types of trying and difficult situations.

 

From Counselor Abdullah abdur Rahman

 

Have you apologized to the girl for slapping her? Perhaps you need to begin there. You placed yourself in a situation that was uncomfortable for you. It is not reasonable for you to say that your friends made you dance very closely with a girl. You have noted at the outset that the youth were dancing very closely to one another. Why did you not remove yourself from the party? Were there no other alternatives provided for people who did not want to attend the party?

You have to evaluate your own actions. In the future, do not attend such parties. Seek out friends who share similar interests as yourself and discuss alternatives to attending parties. Also, the next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, do not feel as though you have to succumb to peer pressure. Others may pressure you to dance but ultimately, you have to make the choice whether or not you will dance. In this situation, you chose to dance despite the fact that the other youth were dancing very closely to one another. It seems you are blaming the girl rather than accepting the fact that you are partially responsible for the situation.

The other students will make fun of you for awhile. But they will judge you based on how you conduct yourself in the future. Admit that you made a mistake and move on. Write a letter of apology to the girl that you hit if you are too shy to apologize in person.




About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah

Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.

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