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Cyber Relationships in Islam

Social networking… the scourge of modern technology, if abused, especially for the youth of today. I know that the “Blackberry” or “BB” addictions are rife, adults and youth falling victim to it alike but what happens when the usual “Whats App” chat turns into a three hour long chat? Or when the phone gets taken into the toilet or hidden in the pillow case? Texting like that for most of us, would leave us with rheumatoid arthritis in the fingers, but for many youth, emotional attachment in cyber relationships is real. The fact that they are always online exchanging their heart’s contents when no one but Allah can see proves a great problem.

There are some youngsters who will take it to the next level by setting up a meeting point at either a mall or school or library. We know the hadeeth of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam)… “None of you should be left alone with a woman except if she is with her mahram (those whom she is permitted by Shari’ah to marry). [Bukhari] Most Muslim youth, girls especially are not allowed out on their own very much, so for them chatting is just perfect. Many girls think that they will not fall into further haraam and that they are “safe” from zinaa. However Shaytaan will always tempt you one step further to more wrong. A wrong is a wrong, no matter big or small. Once they meet, Shaytaan makes the longing and desire more. They know that it is wrong but because they’ve been so involved for such a long period of time now, they simply “can’t let go”. This I must add happens to adults too unfortunately, not just youth. When a person feels that it is wrong, he/she at least has some imaan but remember zinaa extinguishes the noor of imaan.

Whether it be the person he/she is to marry or a “friend” of the opposite sex- it is WRONG. Islam forbids pre-marital relations and cyber relations just makes zinaa so much easier. Ninety percent of the time you hear kids say, and by kids I mean teens, “He is the only one who understands me”. And I feel hurt that there is no one else that this youngster can reach out to. To them, that chat is all they live for, all they look forward to. With the rise of reasonable smartphone contracts and prices, it is harder for parents to trust their children. It is a very sensitive issue. Most of the youngsters involved in these relationships do not have forth coming parents or lack of communication in their homes. Some however have good communication in their homes and good support structures. What then is the way forward to maintain trust between parent and child? What can we do, other than prayer, to have a good nights sleep, assured and at ease that our youngsters are not indulging in cyber relationships?

What would you do if you were a parent? Send your child to an all girls or boys school? Send the youngster against his will to a Dar-ul Uloom which many a times is seen as a boarding school of some kind. The success rate of all these solutions is nothing more than epic failure. Parents should communicate with their children and bring up these topics of relationships and marriage. Those who frown at their children marrying at a young age should think twice that it is better for youth to marry young than to commit zinaa and anger Allah. Obviously I am not saying that an 11 year old child should marry just because he/she has a crush on someone. I am saying that this behaviour is very normal and should be discussed in an agreeable way.

Those who say “You must become a doctor before you can get married”, or “Don’t be stupid and have children when you are young”, think again. We do not have control of our children’s hormones and emotions and we are certainly not with them 24/7. I am certainly not saying that youth should be unprepared and pushed into marriage at a ridiculously young age, but we see the difference in the generations. I knew much less about boys at eighteen than most 18 year old girls today. It has been narrated by Zaid Ibn Arqam (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) that the Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) stated, “Oh Zaid! Be wedded, for your purity will be further increased.” [Dailaami]

I hear parents say “My daughter must study because we don’t know how she’ll live if she marries a poor man”. So the youngster must study even though she commits zinaa all through university. This thinking is Westernised and shows that we have no yaqeen in Allah that Allah is the One who has been looking after us All, all this time and will continue till the end of time. Abu Hurairah (RadiyAllahu ‘anhu) reports Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) to have said, “There are three people whom Allah will surely help: a warrior in the cause of Allah, a slave who wants to free himself by a payable contract and whoever seeks chastity by marriage. Islam has given us the Shari’ah, let us trust it and live by it. Let us put Allah first, and He will put us first.

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