At last the time has come to move out of the parent’s house and on our own at university. Maybe somewhere far away; hopefully really far, right?
We will be dealing with the opposite gender more often. New paths to explore.
As a youngster, I remember how I wanted to leave home, be free, make my own decisions and well.. live the dream. Little do we know that by leaving our little haven, much more responsibility would be on our head.
Our parents are no longer there to remind us of our duties to Allah. And every decision, every action, every movement, we are held accountable.
Fun? No. Not really. At least for me it wasn’t.
Allah the All Seeing
The reality of knowing that Allah sees everything hit me harder than it had ever hit me before.
I had relative freedom by my parents to mingle with colleagues of the other sex. Nevertheless, I was always reminded that it was more suitable on school grounds, campus or workplace; if the need arises.
It doesn’t make sense to turn my head and completely ignore colleagues of the opposite sex in workshops or later in the workforce. There are many examples where Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) and his companions worked side by side with their sisters in Islam.
To make things easier though, guidelines were placed and I was to act on discretion.
Girls and Guys Both Equally Liable
Rather than have a list of the do’s and don’ts, since each situation needs judging, a few reminders will be discussed to make life easier for both girls and guys.
Often I remind my sons that while society, in a bigoted manner, may place blame on the girl, in the eyes of Allah both are equally held liable for their actions.
Leaving home for college will have its challenges both on a spiritual, emotional and social level. Even though our parents aren’t with us, we can call on Allah to guide us on the right path and keep our heads in place.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
According to a study from the University of Valencia, scientists allege that just five minutes alone with a female, will raise the level of cortisol in a man.
Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone and is produced by the body under physical or psychological stress. It has been linked to heart disease.
We should do the best as we can to avoid places and events that would force us to be alone with someone of the opposite sex.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) said that man should not be alone with a strange woman. After all, you do know they say prevention is better than cure.
Don’t Freeze Up
Undoubtedly, you will interact with each other but it should be done with utmost professionalism and reserve. But that doesn’t mean we should freeze up or treat each other like lepers.
I’m simply reminding both of their duties. Girls, please dress modestly and young men well, you need to lower the gaze to avoid the blaze.
Remember actions speak louder than words. Act like a Muslim rather than say you are one. The way you act and speak will be observed and your actions will be recorded. More importantly, Allah is All Seeing.
The beauty of Islam is that men and women who act according to Islam are protected from even coming close to sinful behavior.
Some may say so what’s the problem with just chatting? In essence, nothing much, however a chat can easily turn to flirting, which can easily spark a romance. Common sense says, just don’t go there.
Opposite Genders – Just Friends?
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) informs us that never are a male and female alone together without Satan being among them. He is there trying to downplay the sin.
There’s no denying that interaction will take place but I am suggesting that in a purely social environment, there is no need to socialize with each other.
Why? Because the battle begins in the mind. We need to be careful what we fill our minds with. Remember, there is little point praying that Allah leads us not into temptation, then walking straight into a tempting situation.
Why? Because those thoughts grow into an attitude and then the attitude grows into a disposition. Consequently, this disposition erodes boundaries and clouds our sense of right and wrong.
Rather than being controlled by this, we need to direct that energy in positive directions. Join a gym, become engaged in charity work or help the needy. The options are countless.
Don’t compromise your religion. We were created to only please and worship Allah, so do not worry and stress about what others might think of you. When we place our desires and those of others, ahead of Allah, only disappointment can come out of it.
Eventually We Will Reap the Rewards
Surround yourself with those who will remind you of Allah and help you stay steadfast. After all, they say, ‘good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue’.
Place your trust in Allah, and remember your rewards. Allah has promised us that with every hardship, there will be ease. Without doubt, the most difficult hardship is fighting desire. Hormones run high and we’re completely lost.
Safeguard yourself by always keeping busy. Continue to make supplications and remain firm with the belief that every single thing is written and preordained. That includes your future partner.
That said, embrace the new experiences and enjoy them. Don’t make enemies. Simply explain your beliefs and then show them that Islam is beautiful. A religion of peace and moderation. Show them through actions. Actions that don’t go against our religious beliefs.