I just want to start out by saying that this post is not about me getting married. I know many Muslims (young and old) get excited just when hearing the word “marriage” but this is not a marriage announcement. Plus I knew the title would get my blog more hits.
Anyway, so me and my older sister are discussing stuff and we go off on a tangent as to why getting married too young is bad. When I say young, I do not mean early twenties rather, I mean the late teens though it is more acceptable for sister to get married in their late teens. I then put forward a theory that this is a reaction to the lack of sufism. Without sufism to train people to control their desires, they indulge them in some way or another. Before I continue, I want to note that marriage is not just for controlling hormones. It is for companionship and finding your other half. Any marriage based solely on physical traits is not likely to last very long. I see many people talking about marriage as though it is an outlet for the desires. This is very dangerous. I know many people are thinking that I am violating common Islamic canon by saying this but in some cases, it is impermissible to get married. If you think that I am wrong, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Reliance of the Traveler and read the section on marriage. Reflect upon whether or not people in their teens are financially and emotionally mature enough to handle the writes laid down in it and also reflect as to whether they can even deal with a marriage. I’m not being anti committal but marriage is a huge responsibility that many people in their late teens are not ready for. Sidi Faraz Rabbani wrote an article on this. He also mentioned at a conference once that there was in Imam in Toronto who was noticing many young people dating. He had the [sarcasm]brilliant[/sarcasm] idea of making all of these young people get married in accordance with Sharia’ law. It turned out to be a disaster. One girl ended up being married five times by the time she had turned 19. Furthermore, if one does not weaken their ego then one will run into problems later in life, including marital problems. I’m not saying this applies to everyone across the board. I have met some very mature people in their late teens and some very immature people as far as their late twenties so there are exceptions.
So what other alternative do the young unmarried youth have? Our rightly guided scholars did not leave us hanging. They gave us advice as to how to deal with this. This advice will make the struggle easier according to our scholars (give it a shot, what do you have to lose?).
General Treatment of the Nafs
This part is on general treatment on weakening the desires so I think everyone should read this part. My annotations are in parenthesis.
- lightening the stomach by diminishing one’s food and drink (eating less. Do not eat until you are full. Always be a little hungry. Fasting is good too. I can go on very long about this but I think it is interesting to mention that I have lost 10 pounds since I first read this.)
- taking refuge in Allah from the unforeseen when it befalls
- shunning situations involving what one fears to fall victim to (leaving what is doubtful)
- continually asking for Allah’s forgiveness and His blessings up on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) night and day with presence of mind (stare at the ground and do this while walking anywhere, not just college campuses)
- keeping the company of [people] who guide others to Allah (He means scholars but hanging out with good people also helps)
Remember, these are not just for getting over your hormones. This is for everything (even staring at the ground because Sheikh Hamza Yusuf told me it is how the Prophet
Treatment Specifically Regarding the Above Stated Problem
Sheikh Ahmed Zarruq
- Recite Surat al-Falaq, Surat al-Tariq, and say Subhan-al-Malik- al-Qudus.
The Other Extreme
On my campus, there is a huge bipolarity between the between the brothers and the sister because they were always taught when they were young that it is haram to talk to the other gender period. Ironically, their parents go into the business world and always speak to the other gender and then go to the mosque and condemn anyway who so much says “salams” to the other gender. This is what Imam Zaid Shakir rightly calls a schizophrenic society. Then there is the other extreme where brothers and sisters will mix without any restriction. Extremism is bad in Islam. The Quraan tells us in the second chapter something to the extent that this is a religion of the middle path. In terms of the rulings on mixing, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi gives a good answer on it (click me!). There is also the question on giving salams. The answer is “yes”. Give salams to your Muslim brothers and sister because there are valid opinions that allow it. Sidi Faraz Rabbani told us at a conference in Miami that the two things that are allowed between the genders are formalities and conversation that benefits. Imam Zaid Shakir said that it is better to in an interview on MeccaOne called “Muslim Brother Shortage?! Part II” (which you should look at once Omair posts it). Imam Zaid went on to say that they might be the only Muslim they saw all day. He even mentioned a problem that many of the Muslim sisters are being pursued by, what will be called, potential Muslim (what I will start calling non-Muslims) boys. This is where the Muslim brothers need to step up and protect our sisters. The Quraan mentions how Muslims men and Muslim women are protectors of each other. Therefore, there has to be healthy coexistence, ipso facto, within bounds of the Shari’.
Lock the doors and no one leaves single!