In this counseling answer:
• Oftentimes when people are on their own for the first time with no parental restraints they can fall into a lot of haram behaviors as you see. Usually, this is a phase that passes.
• This phenomenon is not limited to women.
• Please, do be careful about accusations you make because not everything you see may be true, only Allah knows.
• Rather than get angry and vindictive concerning this, it is better than you pray for your brothers and sisters.
• This may be your test. Forgiveness and anger.
• Until you deal with your issues regarding your disappointment, anger, and hurt over which you have seen in the Muslim Community regarding sinful behaviors, marriage may not be recommended at this time.
As salam Alaykum dear brother,
Thank you for writing to us regarding your concerns and feelings about what you have experienced in college. Sadly, a lot of times when young people move away from home and go to college it can be a very trying time. Oftentimes when people are on their own for the first time with no parental restraints they can fall into a lot of haram behaviors as you see. Usually, this is a phase that passes.
When Muslims do Haram
You indicated Muslims and non-Muslims are engaging in relationships and other haram behaviors at your college. I can understand that having so much freedom and lack of a structured environment may cause some to lose their path in Islam.
However, most do return to the path with a much stronger conviction. This conviction to be a better Muslim may come from the bad and hurtful experiences while engaging in these behaviors.
This phenomenon is not limited to women. As you can see on your college campus, as well as your reference to our website, many men engage in zina, infidelities and sinful behaviors. Many of the men are married and have children. What is really sad is that men are allowed to have more than one wife yet some still do choose to cheat.
Brother, this is not a case of an epidemic nor is it a case that all women and men fall to the wayside and commit zina. While it may seem like everybody on your campus is doing it, there are those that are not. There are Muslims who are still upholding their Islamic values and morals even when faced with temptations.
In fact, situations such as being on a college campus is a great test to one’s faith. Some fail this test only to return to Allah with deep remorse and regret. This can be looked at as a life lesson. As humans, we do sin and we do fall short- all of us. To what degree and to which sin we are vulnerable to, is individualized.
I kindly suggest, dear brother, rather than get angry and vindictive concerning this, it is better than you pray for your brothers and sisters who you feel are committing haram behaviors.
Also, please do be careful about accusations you make because not everything you see may be true, only Allah knows. For instance, you may see a boy and girl holding hands and assume they are having sex (which is a big sin). Perhaps they are not, therefore please use caution in conclusions. A hadith narrated Abu Musa states
“Some people asked Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), “Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.” (Bukhari)
Tests and Trials
Brother, you have lived a very pious and chase life may Allah bless you greatly for your efforts to remain pure. Alhamdulillah that you have attained this. Perhaps this was not your test. You have very strong feelings about this fear of marrying a woman who had sinned in the past or marrying a woman who is not a virgin or one who was touched by another man. Your feelings are so strong that it appears you are extremely angry to the point where you do not even want to marry.
You did indicate that you are not going to forgive and that you would rather divorce immediately rather than forgive or to the extreme hurt a woman physically. This may be your test. Forgiveness and anger. Yes, we do advise for those who have committed sins to seek forgiveness. We advise this because this is what it says in the Qur’an-to seek Allah’s forgiveness no matter how big your sins are.
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It also says that Allah is most merciful and most forgiving of those with a sincere heart who repent. I appreciate your honesty in saying that you are not going to forgive, however, I do ask, brother, to please seek Allah’s mercy and help to soften your heart. Allah wants us to be forgiving of each other. As we hope for Allah’s forgiveness, we are to forgive as well. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), forgave. If we practice the Sunnah, we are to strive to be like our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and this includes learning to be forgiving. Our Prophet (PBUH) was not prone to anger and holding grudges. Anger is like a poison that only consumes the one who holds it.
In a hadith it advises “ Sulayman ibn Surad said, “Two men abused one another in the presence of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and one of them began to get angry and his face got red. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, looked at him and said, ‘I know some words that, if he says them, will remove this from him. They are: “I seek refuge with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan.”‘ The man went to that man and said, ‘Do you know what he said? He said, “I seek refuge with Allah from the Accursed Shaytan.”‘ The man retorted. ‘Do you think me mad?’. (Bukhari: Adab Al-Mufrad)
I kindly suggest brother that you make duaa to Allah to help you become more forgiving, more understanding as well as try to lessen your anger. The traits that you are exhibiting (anger, lack of forgiveness and understanding) are undesirable in Islam.
The Past vs. the Present
While you have every right to be upset when seeing Muslims do wrong things, you should not apply it to all Muslims. Given your question and your emotions, I should state Muslim women.
Brother, please do not condemn all women because a few have fallen from the path of Islam. Additionally, it could be that some of these Muslim girls you are seeing on the college campus doing haram things may come back to the path of Islam, sincerely repent to Allah. Some of these girls may turn out to be one of the most pious strongest Muslim women that any man could marry.
It is often said that mistakes and sins can make one a stronger, more resilient Muslim who clings to Allah. It could be that you will find a Muslim who is a virgin, very pious and has never been touched by a man, but she may be prone to anger, backbiting, stinginess and other unethical traits. She may be a virgin and untouched, but maybe her faith is lacking in other areas. Perhaps she doesn’t keep all of her prayers or maybe she does not fear Allah. Perhaps she is chaste and has not been touched by a man because of circumstances and not because of a true love in her heart for Allah and his commandments.
The point is, we cannot always know or judge based on one factor such as someone’s past. Insha’Allah you will find it in your heart to look at one’s present condition in regards to their relationship with Allah and how they are following Islam in their current selves.
Forgiveness is an ethnic pillar in Islam
You had mentioned in your question that when you are reading the questions on our website, that we always advise those who have had sex before marriage or those who have cheated to seek Allah’s forgiveness. You stated that it is our only major response.
You also advised us that we should tell them more aggressively it’s wrong. Brother, the most important thing in bringing people back to the straight path of Islam is to encourage seeking Allah’s forgiveness. It says that in the Qur’an. When people write in they already know that they have committed a grave sin. We do reiterate that, however, as they already know, our focus is on getting them to understand that Allah is most merciful and Allah does love to forgive.
We also focus on the fact that even though one may sin, there is hope in returning to Allah. If we are purely focused on aggressively addressing the wrongfulness, people would lose hope. Why would they think that they would be able to be forgiven if they were not advised to rely on Allah’s mercy? When people feel that they are not worthy of being forgiven, they sink deeper into a pit of sin and despair. We are not here to sink our brothers and sisters to lower levels of sin and hopelessness. Insha’Allah, we are to convey the Quranic message that there are hope and forgiveness with Allah.
Hurt, Anger, Forgiveness
Dear brother, if Allah forgives us, who are we to hold anger and not forgive? Are we higher than Allah? I kindly urge you to really think about how you truly feel and if what you are feeling would be pleasing to Allah. Also, is your anger and unwillingness to forgive something that the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would himself forgive?
Please think about these things deeply, insha’Allah. It is out of love and concern for your future happiness as well as relationships that it is suggested insha’Allah re-examine your position and your feelings regarding this. I kindly suggest, brother, that while in college you try not to focus on what other people are doing. I know that is hard because it’s all around you. However, it seems to be really affecting your mental health, especially regarding anger issues.
I kindly suggest that you continue to socialize with your male friends, do enjoyable things, focus on your studies and try not to let others sinful behaviors affect you. I will kindly suggest insha’Allah if your anger continues that you seek counseling from your imam at the Masjid or from a Muslim counselor at an Islamic Center. Sometimes when we are really angry and upset about something it will usually go away after a time. However the way you expressed your feelings, I am not sure if this will be the case with you.
You are a good, pious brother and deserve to have a happy marriage, yet I fear that your severe and unrelenting anger and inability to forgive may interfere with any future marriage. Going into a marriage, a wife does not deserve to be scrutinized, under suspect, or otherwise be drilled or threatened about her past. When we get married we are to bringing peace, trust, mercy, and love into the relationship.
Until you deal with your issues regarding your disappointment, anger, and hurt over which you have seen in the Muslim Community regarding sinful behaviors, marriage may not be recommended at this time.
The Root of Anger
I know you want to please Allah and I know that it is not easy. Please examine your feelings. Are you angry because some Muslims are doing haram things and you fear for their lives? Are you angry because they may be falling into sinful behaviors and are disobedient to Allah? Or are you angry because you feel no one “pure” will be left for you?
Please, do evaluate your answers to these questions, brother, as it may lead to some insight regarding your feelings. Insha’Allah dear brother you can work through these feelings for the sake of Allah, as well as for a future happy marriage insha’Allah.
We wish you the best,
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.