1. When there is a conflict of interest that puts both men and women on the front line to battle for what people describe as human rights such as gender empowerment, we firstly have to know which group are against which other group.
2. Could it be a battle between all men and all women?
3. My conviction says BIG NO NO to the question stated above- which many of us may have overlooked.
4. To me, it is a battle between the guided men and guided women on one side, against the misguided men and misguided women on the other side.
5. When a general comment or Islamic advice is made on the media about women, many women could wrongly take it as a symbol of oppression and discrimination towards them- then end up going against something they should have supported .
6. It is the same case for men. When men are condemned, we would stand up with all masculinity and aggressiveness to reject such condemnation. What a blame game.
7. Partly, the mistake may be attributed to the one who makes the statement, for making a random generalization- too bad, it hurts either all Adam species or all species of Eve.
8. My intention is to invite us to be on the right side and see things from a better perspective.
9. The battle of gender is never between the genders! It is between again, the group of believers and disbelievers!
10. Things that are regarded sinful in Islam has nothing to do with one's gender, instead, if consuming alcohol is forbidden or haraam, then it is so for both men and women- regardless of whether it's men or women that have a higher percentage in committing such sin!
11. Allah SWT already explicitly explains that the beautiful relationship of men and women in the Quran actually goes beyond only love and sexual relationship. The believing men and women join hands against evil too!
"The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong...."
(Surah At-Taubah, verse 71)
12. As I will move on the next part of this article, let me end this first section by mentioning here that I have composed a hopefully interesting article related to the above part on my personal blog entitled Superwomen.
Ikhtilat (free mixing between genders)
13. No doubt.
14. Free mixing between men and women is an issue that is either controversial and popular among especially young Muslims in educational institutions, or a non-issue to some others who think it is their right to socialize in ways they like.
15. Islam is clear on its stance about this. Free mixing isn't really free. We have to pay- for the consequences- should we not be careful.
16. Of course Islam is not here to trouble us, and as it always suits people at all time and place, the question now is quite not whether free mixing is allowed, because it seems quite impossible to avoid it all the time in this modern world nowadays.
17. The bigger issue now is therefore, first- do we avoid it whenever possible and second- when it isn't possible and we are in an unavoidable free mixing, do we really observe the conditions and limitations we are entitled to follow?
18. I leave the question there for you my respected readers to answer.
19. Let me also present to you how serious Islam sees this issue- knowing how weak men can be when it comes to temptation- the following hadith perfectly describes that even when we are performing ibadah to Allah SWT, the limitation and guideline are still intact!
"Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first."
Narrated by Muslim under No. 664.
20. This simply suggests how even during our prayers (solah) we could be tempted to the opposite gender, so we are not only separated by saf (line) but also it is mentioned that the further away men from women and vice versa, the better it is.
21. Before I continue on this subject of ikhtilat, let us also go to one extreme of this subject- about a type of men-women relationship which is commonly termed as 'couple' that refers to one who has a boyfriend or girlfriend but without any legal relationship contract, otherwise known as nikah or marriage.
22. I am sure some of you here are in this circumstance- you are 'coupling'. But fear not, my dear. I'll be humble and gentle to you. Please keep on reading.
23. First- those who are not 'coupling' yet, the rule is simple- coupling is forbidden and haram for you. Yes, you.
24. Those who already are, I am not here to ask you to break up.
25. But I'm here to speak up.
26. Think of Allah SWT. Pray a lot to Him. Ask Him for Guidance. Help. Assistance.
27. I believe, with sincerity and continuity in prayers, you'll hopefully come across one of these two whether sooner or later.
a) Your boyfriend/girlfriend leave you because they find someone else thinking that the newly-met is better than you, or because they read this article and decided to break up. I'm sorry I didn't teach them how to read, their teachers did.
b) You are closer to marriage, and your family and you yourself are ready for it. Don't forget to send me a card too. I love nasi minyak- especially when it's free.
28. Ouch! Is there a third choice?
29. Yes there is. Please break up. Period.
30. But I promised not to mention breaking up? Yes I did, but sorry, you just asked for the third option. Thanks for asking.
31. Let me leave you there on this subject. I shall continue on ikhtilat now.
32. It is explained in a paperwork (link below) that through several verses in Surah An-Nur (verses 30-31) and Surah Al-Ahzab (verse 52), the following are among a few general guidelines provided when it comes to ikhtilat.
33. First of, one must lower or protect their gaze. In other words, do not attempt or let the eyes induce temptation when speaking to a Muslim or Muslimah.
34. Secondly, the clothing must be proper and decent. I would like to quote a very good statement which says that the best clothing to wear is the clothing of taqwa i.e having fear towards Allah as a means of protection for ourselves.
35. The last that I will mention here is the adab, the way or behaviour we have when speaking to others. Never use words or voice intonation that can trigger any dirty intention from the hearts of the listener, no matter how much we may like it (because we usually like attention)- due to the whispers of the shaytan.
36. In a wonderful writing by Ustaz Maszlee Malik entitled Cinta Anta dan Anti, he reminds us of the trick and attempt that some of us make to justify the Islamic love that they live with.
37. Nowadays, it may be easier because such 'Islamic' relationship can be made through online media such as email, Yahoo Messenger and many more.
38. It is also mentioned in the article that some of us use the opportunity during a meeting of say, Islamic society, to entertain the feeling of missing 'somebody' we are interested with, na'uzubillah.
39. This is a huge tragedy for people who call themselves a dai'e because it's like playing with the rules of Allah and what is more scary about that is that we fear any chance of getting closer to hypocrisy i.e nifaq.
40. Remember, nifaq (hypocrisy) is one of the sins with the most severe punishment in the Hereafter, may Allah safeguard us from it ameen ameen ameen.
41. Do not ever disguise the ill intention we may have with phrases such as ukhwah fillah, I love you because of Allah and many more, because Allah SWT knows what is really in our heart and within our chest. Watch out!
42. The rule of thumb is quite simple and straight forward.
43. Sometimes it's a noble intention that we have to help our own friends to become a better Muslim.
44. But (for a guy) if that friend of ours is a girl or muslimah, why don't we ask someone from the same gender to do the job for us? The same goes for the opposite case- muslimah having a guy friend.
45. If we keep saying that that friend of ours will only trust us- that might as well be just another hidden trap that we are blinded from.
46. And what an irony! If he/she really has trust in us, why then that he/she does not have trust in our decision to let someone of the same gender to guide him/her?
47. Remember again, Allah SWT knows well what's in our heart.
48. And seriously, a Muslim guy becoming an alarm clock for his girlfriend? So that she can wake up and perform the Fajr (Subuh) prayer? Seriously?
49. There's no reward in doing goods through ways that are sinful. This again, also applies the other way around- a Muslimah becoming an alarm clock for his boyfriend.
50. Please please please do not try to 'islamify' sins. We can not make pork halal just because we wash it with seven buckets of water- you know what I mean.
51. Similarly, pork is not halal if we recite Bismillah and slaughter a pig in an Islamic way, or even if we ask the pig to say shahadah before we slaughter it!
52. In another article I read about fornication of the heart, it is suffice to mention here that what the author basically suggests is to understand it in an acceptable way- not to make our life too difficult about it, but at the same time, do not take it very lightly too.
53. It is a well-known approach in Islam that we shall resort to the middle path (wasatiyyah).
54. Love is not haraam or forbidden. In fact it is encouraged and allowed because our fitrah (innate nature) as a human being- we love to love.
55. However, there's a proper channel. That's about it.
56. I particularly love the part when the author says that it's normal to miss other people or love them or have feelings towards them, but what we have to be careful about is the action we may take from such a feeling, and also the kind of imagination that we may have in our weak mind- please avoid any intention of fornication- it's a recipe to disaster and thinking about it is considered a form of fornication of the heart.
57. Let us pray that we can play our best roles whether as a Muslim or a Muslimah, so that one day (or the day) when we get married, we will build an awesome Baitul Muslim that will be responsible for the production of an Ulul Albab generation which has high quality in their Islamic knowledge and practice ameen.
58. Let's help spread the love and show the beauty of Islam to the world. I shall end this with a beautiful and rather hilarious quote that reads:
"Gravitation is not responsible for people FALLING in love."
59. Wallahuaklam. Wassalamualaikum wbt.
1. Free Mixing Between Genders
2. Ikhtilat: Antara Tertutup Jumud, Terbuka Hanyut
3. Garis Panduan Interaksi Muslimin dan Muslim (pdf)
4. Fitnah Cinta Ukhti Barbie dan Akhi Ken
5. Mereka Yang Gagal Memahami Erti Zina Hati
6. Cinta Anta dan Anti, Majalah I, February 2006 by Ustaz Maszlee Malik