In this counseling answer:
• I am not saying you cannot interact with females in permissible ways, but you should be conscious of your feelings and choose not to feed into them when inappropriate.
• Do not allow yourself to be alone with them, do not trust your willpower on this brother.
• While marriage should not be rushed, if you feel that this is something you are ready to start thinking about then approach the topic with your parents.
Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatu Brother,
I would like to commend you for taking the step to ask about this confusing situation instead of letting it play out without introspection. This is a normal and natural part of maturing.
You are young, hormones raging and intermixing with the opposite gender in an adult way.
Having a friendship with females during our childhood years is innocent and playful, but after maturing, the friendship between men and women looks very different. Often at least one of them is attracted to the other. I am not saying you cannot interact with females in permissible ways, but you should be conscious of your feelings and choose not to feed into them when inappropriate.
It is important to set up appropriate boundaries between yourself and females. We see men and women interacting throughout Islamic history with both genders assuming various societal roles, but it was done in a halal and safe way. The rules surrounding our interactions protect us not only from others but from our own selves. You are in the middle of a triangle between two friends experiencing crashes, attractions, lustful thoughts, jealousy and flirtations, all of you not just them.
You might think you are strong enough to avoid zina, but according to a study of 2300 men in your country, around one third reported engaging in premarital sex and many of them continuing into adultery after marriage. That is just the ones willing to admit it, I am sure you realize many were not so honest. How many of them thought they were strong enough to avoid it and ended up sinning?
Check out this counseling video:
If you are assigned to work with female peers on an assignment, you can study in a public area such as a library or in the cafeteria. Do not allow yourself to be alone with them, do not trust your willpower on this, brother. Save yourself the hardship and avoid such situations.
If you are speaking with one of your female peers, be mindful of your choice of words and do not engage in flirtation. You have already been flirting with your friends, to include this girl who you state was teasing you.
You highlighted being worried about people slandering her name. First off, it is both that should be concerned with this, not just the female. You should be mindful to look in the mirror Brother because people might be talking about you since you are engaging with the opposite gender so frequently and developing attractions.
If you are truly concerned about them and this is not based on your own jealousy or attractions, talk with your friend. Do it in a kind and merciful way, not a judgmental or harsh way. Let him know you are concerned about his reputation and how he could be hurting hers by engaging with her privately. If they seek marriage, encourage him to approach her parents and see if this is a possibility. Ultimately, all you can do is offer advice, make duaa for them then let them make their own choices.
Brother, it is normal to have needs such as affection, acceptance, sexuality, and love. The desire for these needs is not going anywhere, it will only grow but you can find ways to control them instead of them controlling you. Seek out more friendships with men instead of women. Grow closer in your bond with your Mother or Sisters to help fulfill your need for female acceptance.
While marriage should not be rushed, if you feel that this is something you are ready to start thinking about then approach the topic with your parents. I am not saying go out and get married within a week, but you can start talking about it and understanding what will be expected of you etc. Start preparing yourself mentally and emotionally. This gives you a halal goal to keep in your mind.
Divine Love and Fasting
You can better control your sexual desires inshallah if you engage in regular fasting. Try fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, which is sunnah, and making duaa for help in this type of struggle.
“Narrated ‘Alqama:While I was walking with `Abdullah he said, “We were in the company of the Prophet (ﷺ) and he said, ‘He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.” [Bukhari]
Lean on your faith and remember He is Al-Wadud (The Most Loving, Most Affectionate, The Beloved, Loving-Kindness). You are loved and listened to by the one who created love in the first place! Allah (Most Revered, Most Honored) knows what is in your heart and your current struggles, He wants you to rely upon him for help.
“…Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]” [Quran 3:159]
In connecting deeper to that divine love, it will help you feel satisfaction from the one that loves us the most.
To summarize Brother, here are practical steps you can take moving forward.
- Maintain proper boundaries, keep everything halal
- Be mindful of how you speak to women
- Avoid being alone with females
- Select public, well-lit areas to study
- Engage in fasting and make duaa
- Provide gentle advice for your friends
- Build up relationships with other males and your family
- Start thinking about your own marriage plans, even if years away, to keep you on the right path
This situation is not unusual, you and your peers are going through transitional periods emotionally and hormonally. Some of your friends may already be engaged. The fact you reached out for guidance shows you want to do the right thing and keep things halal while maintaining appropriate friendships. Stay on this path inshallah and don’t be afraid to speak to your parents when you are struggling.
May Allah (swt) grant you strength and make it easier on you,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.