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December 1, 2004
He's Just a Friend, Part 1

by Sister Munazza

“He is just a friend”, said Sophia to her best friend Farah as they crossed the street to enter CAC campus center. Farah smiled, “Right, that’s why you can’t stop talking about him and when you aren’t talking about him you're talking to him. Why can’t you two admit you like each other and get the party started? Sophia’s face changed as she contemplated an answer to the blunt question her friend has just asked her. “I don’t know, I don’t think he has the guts to tell his mom he likes me, I mean we’ve known each other for 5 years now and his parents don’t know. All our cousins know even my parents have a hint of what is going on and yet he keeps his parents in the dark. Why do I get stuck with a guy with no backbone?”
Farah looked hopelessly at her best friend. How could she tell her friend how she really felt, that guys like Tariq really don’t ever get the party started. He is using her for emotional partnership and yes he might really like Sophia, but if he hasn’t told his parents about her in five years he isn’t gonna tell them. Sophia and Tariq’s relationship was one of weird dynamics: he was a religious medical student with the beard and all, he woke up and prayed tahajjud for Sophia every day and he loved her but never really said. Sophia was the cute hijabi who walked out of his dreams doing pre-med at Rutgers but she just was not light enough to be his wifey (well she was fine for him just not light enough for his mom). She wasn’t khandan either and his family only married in the khandan. To make matters worse, Tariq’s older brother was still unmarried and Tariq couldn’t even bring up marriage until he was out of the picture.
“I don’t know Sophia maybe he’ll come around. I mean you're just 20 you have ages before your mom really gets on your neck about marriage.”

Tariq walked into his dorm, dropping his bag on his bed. He picked up the phone and pressed "1" on speed dial. Ring, ring, ring “Salam hun how are you?” answered Sophia. “Wasalam love, I’m good how was your day?” answered Tariq. They talked for hours about everything from missing the EE bus to Tariq’s colon cancer project. Tariq looked up. It was 1 AM and he had to finish his reading for tomorrow. He hated hanging up with Sophia she really made his day, the way she made him laugh at her silliness and they had come a long way. He couldn’t believe he had known her for five years. He told his girl cousin about Sophia over the weekend. But Saira wasn’t too happy; she thought Tariq was leading Sophia on to think there was marriage in the future... was there marriage in their future? He could see himself marrying Sophia, she would make a great wife anyone would be lucky to have her as a wife. How could he tell his controlling khandan he wanted Sophia, not the 100s of cousins they wanted him to pick from? “Sophia babe I gotta get going you should finish studying, too, love, shaba khair muah sweet dreams” said Tariq. “Allah hafiz Tariq, be good muah Shaba Khair”, said Sophia into the phone piece. “Allah hafiz Sophia” said Tariq as he looked over at Sophia’s picture on his bedside.

Just as Tariq pressed end on his phone Ahmad barged and jumped on his bed. “You done talking to your girl?” asked Ahmad. “SHE IS NOT MY GIRL!” screamed Tariq “We’re just friends”. “Right ahaan tell that to your cousins. Come on man, what’s so different between you and Sophia’s relationship and dating, I know you guys aren’t physical and all but all you two think about is each other. Isn’t that dating?” asked Ahmad. “Dating is fornication Ahmad, I wouldn’t do that. I love God too much to do that. Me and Sophia are just friends. She keeps me grounded and I keep her from doing stupid stuff. We’re good for each other” replied Tariq. “Dude, you two are nuts! I don’t get what the problem is. Just tell your dad to tell your mom,” said Ahmad. “I can’t and there’s nothing to tell anyway I never told her I love her or anything.” answered Tariq.

Two years later….

Sophia is being pushed to get engaged to her cousin, he is an educated pious man and seems to be a good match for her. Tariq is being forced in a tight spot, he has to tell his parents he loves Sophia or marry their choice for him, a cousin of his from Pakistan.
“He has no backbone. He isn’t gonna tell his parents. I should just say yes to this rishta, I mean why should I go waiting around for someone who has no guts?” says Sophia to Farah during their usual lunch. “Girl, see I don’t think there is a such thing as a guy and girl just being friends its never that simple that’s why Islam encourages the separation of the sexes, that’s why there is a curtain at ISRU meetings. Look, if a guy is serious he isn’t going to wait seven years to tell his parents about you. He’s gonna call his mom the second he meets you and get her to come over to you place. I love you Sophia and I don’t think Tariq is going to come around he’s a dork who is going to kick himself for it later. Just marry the cousin, Sophi. He’s good looking and everything,” says Farah. “Yeah, I know, he’s everything, but he’s not Tariq. If I marry him in the back of my head, I’m going to compare him to Tariq all the time. That’s unfair to him,” says Sophia.

“Man, this is soo screwed I don’t know I cant marry anyone but Sophia and here she is telling me she’s gonna say yes to this cousin!” says Tariq to Ahmad. Ahmad looks across at his best friend and shakes his head. “Man you saw this coming and you didn’t do nothing. Now deal with it! Ahmad throws the phone at Tariq “CALL YOUR PARENTS! Just tell them man!”

End of Part I

Question: What do you think is Tariq and Sophia’s problem? Is it just their problem or is this the problem of their parents and the generation gap between them? What would you do in Tariq and Sophia’s shoes?

of and relating to...
plz make Dua 4 me said

As salaamu alaikum

O wow masha Allah this story is almost the exact replica of what is happening to my friend right now.Plz make Dua 4 her.

A brief ans. to your question...

*both Tariq and Sophia as well as their parents are at fault.

T and S were reminded by their friends that they are heading for a major dilemma...they chose to listen to shaytaan instead.Those of us who persist in following shaytaan and our nafs are only to blame when we eventually hit a brick wall and crash.That doean't mean that we must lose hope in Allah...

i'm not sure wot i'd do if i was in either tariq or sophia's position ( coz i fear the state of my imaan if i sinned for 7 years without a thought of regret and even justifying my sin)...but my advice 2 them is...turn to Allah...EVEN NOW , Allahu Akbar turn away from sin and turn to Allah and REALIZE that you were wrong, don't justify your sin...abhor it...regret and for your own sake...Refrain and never go back, that is true repentance.Repentance is not true and sincere if at the back of our mind we still intend to commit the sin.If , by mistake we fall in2 sin again , then we should turn again to Allah .HE is Most Forgiving...but we should never intend to commit the sin again.

The parents are not correct as well coz they are confusing culture and religion .If the girl or boy has no problem marrying his/her cousin then it's fine, but to force marriage to cousins is not found any where in Islam at all.

Just my opinion
was salaam

on December 1, 2004 3:00 PM
saleem said

kudos on tackling a taboo subject.

i don't have time to get into the real answer - but tariq's major problem is that he talks like a woman.

what type of guy talks like this?: "Sophia babe I gotta get going you should finish studying to[o] love, shaba khair muah sweet dreams”

astagfirullah. its bad enough to be talking to sisters like that... but if you're gonna do it.. at least talk like a man.

;) jk great job. unfortunately i do believe there proobably are alot of kids at ru who do talk like that.

khuda hafiz.. muah brothers and sisters.

on December 1, 2004 3:15 PM
Ibtisam said

Very nice reply plz make dua' for me.
I dont think the parents are forcing, etc. They dont have a clue about what is going on except Sophia's parents. What kind of hijaabi is that?
what kind of "religious bearded" guy is that?
This is American interpretation of Islaam by American Muslims. you wear hijaab, or get a beard, stop listenign to music, or watching t.v
but get in love romantically with someone so much so that you cannot think about marrying anyone else. And if you are talking about mixing Islaam and culture, American Muslim kids do the same here. They mix American cultural values with islaam. A cloak of hijaab with disobedience to parents,and un-islaamic activities such as this.
Tariq and Sophia are doing shirk, because they have a disease in their hearts, that of passionate love(Read Ibn Taymiyyah's Disease's of the heart and their cures). You are not suppose to love anything soo much that you cannot live without it or your life is ruined. Love is only for Allaah Aza wa jal and not for any thing else
If I was in Tariq and Sophia situation.
Day 2 of saying salaam to the person, I would tell mom or dad
or older relative that can beseech on my behalf.
If I was a guy, I would definitely tell mom or dad.
Unfortunately, marrying within relatives is a tradition of some high lineage families, there is nothing wrong with it, however, like u said it should not be forced.
what is wrong with tariq is that his female cousins know about this, tsk tsk, American culture at work. I never even said salaam to any of my male cousins and I always wore hijaab in front of them. I visited back home when I was 16 and this time I went I got married and I married within relatives.
The reason for separation, I am glad you guys understand are clear and that is to avoid this mixed environment that creates this atmosphere of "getting to know the person." In Islaam, there is no such thing as friendship between men and women. Unfortunately, due to American cultural influence and indeed cultures from back home, this has developed.
We have to end this sort of atmosphere.
I feel immensely sorry for Sophia more than Tariq because she wasted 7 years of her life over this person and she is right, she will feel compelled to compare him with the guy she is going to marry.
Tariq: I think he has double standards. If he was not willing to tell his parents, why did he make friendship with this girl.

on December 1, 2004 3:37 PM
asif said

I dont have much time...but here goes:

The answer to your question lies at the end of your 1st paragraph (and beginning of 2nd last paragraph); Basically, Tariq is a Spineless GOAT!!!!

If he were my brother, or son I would twist his legs around his neck and hang him dry for the vultures.

What a useless, gutless, pathetic excuse of a muslim man.

He is so self-centered and selfish that he doesn't want to loose his comfort zone, even though Sophia is depending on him to be the MAN he should be. I have seen many baby girls who have more guts then this mullah doctor waanabe!

It aint the parents or family who are at fault.
Sophia ia also at fault, in not demanding the respect and honor she deserves from this "Goat" (Sorry I refuse to call him a man).

Okie doke...keep posting

on December 1, 2004 3:49 PM
Humayun said


Of course the bulk of the blame goes to Tariq and Sophia for intermingling with each other without being it necessary for them to do so. Theres a reason why Allah (swt) has laid down laws for us, I mean its for our own good, what is the the Most High, Most Great, and the Self Sufficient gonna get out of us obeying him? Its not gonna increase his kingdom one bit. So we all must know and internalize this idea.

This generation gap of marriage will hopefully last only a generation. Think about it, our parents are mostly immigrants, so most of them dont want (at least the desis that I know) their children to marry someone that is not of the same liking (culture, language, etc.). However, when when the people in out generation will start having kids I think Inshallah there will be less of this problem, there will be by Allah's will more inter-cultural and inter-racial marriages because language wont be a big barrier since most of our generation is fluent in English. So my personal advice to our generation is that since our parents sacrificed their their homelands (and many were comfortbale as it was in Pakistan, Indian, Egypt etc.) for the betterment of our lives, especially comfort, security, educational, and economical wise, we owe our parents generation BIG TIME. So brothers and sisters, lets put our trust in Allah (swt) and try to marry whom our parents want us to marry or are at least very pleased with (to a humanly reasonable point of course).

on December 1, 2004 7:47 PM
Justoju said

Somehow I find myself not feeling sorry or sympathizing with either one of them. I gotta admit, I had a visceral reaction every time they talked to each other so incredibly informally.

Their problem is that they are emotional idiots. Its not the parents fault that they didnt tell them anything or ask them for their help. Stupid dumb idiots. I can only see one thing being the parent's fault and that is that they might not be as 'approachable' as they should be. That and that they raised idiots.

If I were in Sophia's shoes I would get some self-respect and try to work on my deen. If I were in Tariq's shoes I would probably slap myself around until I stopped the hysterical girly whining. Then I would try to work on my deen.

on December 2, 2004 1:16 AM
asif said

Salaam Humayan:

Great Point bro...great point!
You are thinking strategically, which is a sign of a leader/visioner. Keep it up!

on December 2, 2004 7:10 AM
Munazza said

I think the discussion is going towards bashing the two individuals instead of giving a solution to this problem. Now that they are in this situation what should they do. I'm sorry to say that though most of us here say that it is unislamic to mingle with the other sexes but we go out and do exactly that. Just walk around on campus, what do you see, the muslim youth openly socializing with each other, going out, dating etc....tariq and sophia didnt come to the point they are at intentionally...no one does...it just happens, hence islam kills the problem at the root by seperation...i wasn't trying to say the fault is towards the parents here...but i was trying to push people to discuss parent/children problems in immigrant/1st generation american muslims...i dont how much i agree with humayan on his viewpoint...i think its a bit radical to completly let ur parents decide who you are to marry as muslims we do have a right to who we marry and we need to use that right.

on December 2, 2004 4:03 PM
neosport said


on December 2, 2004 4:09 PM
ibtisam said

tariq and sophia should do istikhara, they should let their parents know what is the deal. If their parents dont agree, do istikhara, as it is the solution to all problems there are. I have also heard of muslim youth eloping, this is against Islaam, the marriage is invalid if Sophia's father does not agree. One option is that tariq can marry Sophia and still agree to marry his cousin, could have two wives, one to please himself another to please his parents. Or he could just marry sophia against his parent's wishes and hope they will eventually forgive him.
Wallaahu alim

on December 2, 2004 4:44 PM
Humayun said


Sister Munazza said:
"i dont how much i agree with humayan on his viewpoint...i think its a bit radical to completly let ur parents decide who you are to marry as muslims we do have a right to who we marry and we need to use that right."

I didnt mean that everyone HAS to have their parents decide completely, this was just my advice to return the favor to our immigrant parents who in addition of doing their normal parental duties, also decided to immigrate to a foreign land. How many of us living in the Eastcost would be willing to move to the midwest for the comfort and safety of our children? Not only that, I didnt say we should have them COMPLETELY decide nor I was suggesting an arranged marriage. I was just merely saying that it would be difficult for many of our parents to communicate with some of the spouses we bring in our house and there wouldnt be that openness or "comfort zone." So we should just be very careful of the spouses we choose. After Allah (swt), our parents should be the first one on our mind of whom we have to please, so how can we choose partners whom our parents are not pleased with and claim we love Allah (swt)? Ibn Abbas (ra) has said:

"There are three verses in the Quran which are associated with three things, and none is accepted if the other is missing.........(then he gives ayats about obeying and Allah and His Messenger then the example of Salaat and Zakaat).....The third one: Allah (swt) says "GIVE THANKS TO ME AND TO YOUR PARENTS" so whoever gives thanks to Allah and does not give it to his parents, Allah will not accept it from him. Therefore the Prophet (saas) said: 'If your parents are pleased with you, Allah too will be pleased with you, if your parents are displeased with you, Allah too will be displeased with you." {Ad-Dahabi, "The Book of Al-Kaba'ir.")

Again I dont mean to be radical and I am not suggesting everyone has follow this model, heck what if I myself dont in the future? This is just some advice that if people want they can consider.


on December 2, 2004 5:34 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I think Munazza is right. These charachters may be fictional but the roles they play mimic those of many of our brothers and sisters in the muslim community who have inadvertantly lost their way.

Ostracizing the characters in the story is like ostracizing the brothers and sisters in the same terrible situation...and if they were to come onto HidayaOnline they could perhaps find some help or enlightenment in bettering themselves and following the Huda. Many people have fallen onto the wrong track and found themselves back, only to become better and more fervent in their deen than those who used to belittle them.

Islam is a religion of invitation, and who better to invite then all the, masha Allah, amazing people that write, read and comment on this site. I don;t think I've witnessed as much mutual brotherly (and sisterly) love, honesty and brotherhood here than anywhere else....and given the fighting nature of Muslims that is more than impressive. Let us invite others to guidance...not push them away. The strong lifting up the weak, the weak pushing up the strong...creating a greatening of taqwa that gets stronger by every man and woman.

I heard someone saying recently that 'If you see someone leaning towards the edge of a cliif about to fall...you don't push him over...but rather try to pull him back'

I worte these two article some time ago on this very subject; "Harry Potter and the American Muslims, Part 1 & 2". Anyone who hasn't read it should.


Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on December 2, 2004 5:52 PM
Munazza said

Im sorry brother humayun i didnt fully understand where you were getting at before thank you for explaning it further :)

ibitsam :hmnm second wife...i wanna know what people think about that...a lot of sisters make the excuse that multiply wivies were only for the time when there is a shortage of men available...but now a days alot of girls are left single because there are more females in the world then males..

Rami :)!!! thank you SOOOOO much, i felt the same exact way; i felt...people were getting wayyyy to judgmental :) JazakAllah for raising such an important point

on December 2, 2004 6:54 PM
ibtisam said

I think Munazza, you hit the right point, one way to solve the problem of so many single girls is multiple marriages. If it is okay in this case, then the tariq can actually do that, however emotionally it will be hard on sophia and maybe even the cousin of tariq. one thing is for sure, tariq should let his second wife know that he is married even if he hides from his parents, this is obligatory in islam.there should be no treachary involved. but i think we should start being more acceptable towards polygamy given the circumstances now a days. A woman in love will go far in order to be with a the man she loves. Perhaps if Sophia is such, she would not mind, unless she has extremely high self-esteem. wallaahu alim

on December 2, 2004 8:06 PM
asif said

This is rather amazing...the notion of sisters "accomodating" Polygamy.

Well, If I were given a choice to have 1 wife OR 2 (or more) wives. I think I will choose one companion over many. It just makes life that easier, I think.

And Man...I am not here in this life to marry multiple wives, I will get plenty companionship in jannah (if I make it there, Insha'Allah). Otherwise its a moot point.

Hey I had a question, if a man has a wife back in Pakistan (but they are Separated).
1) Can he marry someone here in US, without telling the wife back home, even though they are separated?

Someone had asked me this scenario and I wasn't sure whats the ruling on this.

on December 2, 2004 8:28 PM
Munazza said

i am by no means saying that i would personally accept polygamy...but just trying to rationalize it...if one is to seperate ones emotions from marriage then it could be possible and would solve many problems in our society...one being the fact that the spectrum to choose a spouse for females is slowly decreasing where as the spectrum to choose a spouse for males is very very large leading to a powerful role for men, sorta unfair....
i dont however think this is a rational answer for sophia and tariq lol
any other suggestions i mean we all know istekhara is essential but why is that our generation is full of "spineless goats" lol
and girls who have nooo self respect for themselves...wut are the underlying causes for these character flaws?

on December 2, 2004 9:05 PM
ibtisam said

american upbringing? i dunno

but to answer your question Br. Asif, go to www.islamqa.com.I know the sharee'answer to that but I dont want to give without proof and I dont want to hurt a sister inadvertantly.wallaahu alim

on December 3, 2004 11:48 AM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

as Salaamu Alaikum

MasHALLAH Very interesting.My 2 cents worth..

1-If Sophia and Tariq are truly deeni inclined they will realise that what they have been doing over the last few years was wrong and make sincere tawbah,regretting their actions.

2-They should stop their communication immediately no matter how hard it might be,with ALLAH'S help anything is possible

3-Tariq(I advise him to read 2 rak'aats of namaaz and supplicte sincerely to ALLAH before doing this) should explain his situation to his parents in a responsible, respectable way making sure he does not come across as a rebel and an an ungrateful son.He should Let them know how he feels about Sophia,what type of girl she is and about her family etc.He should be humble and should nake it a point to ask thier advice.They might be abit angry at first but if he sincerely turns to ALLAH and trusts him things can only get better..

It may be that Sophie is NOT the one that ALLAH has ordained for him,for HE knows best..Tariq in his infatuation may think that she is but ALLAH knows and we do not know,so Taqdeer will take its course.Dua is the weapon of the believer.

5-If the parents agree and he has their duas he should phone the parents and arrange for a proper proposal.

Sophie should also make Istikhaara and lots of Dua.What ALLAH wills to happen will happen.she shouldnt be 'Pushed' to marry anyone,no matter how good a match it may seem.Marriage is a life long decision and her approval of her cousin should come from her heart.Things might be unpleasant for her right now but deep down she knows that if she hadnt started her relationship with Tariq she wouldnt have been in such a situation right now.With difficulty comes ease...
And ALLAH knows best.

Looking forward to a part 2

Was Salaam
Bint Abdul Khaliq

on December 3, 2004 3:57 PM
Johny Bravo said

Assalam alaikum
this is a very good story mashallah. It hits home for alot of people...maybe not as long... or people in similar situations... as for the 2 they need to just come out and tell the parents.... cuz everythin is gonna happen thru the parents as they both seem to be saying that.

-Johny Bravo!

on December 4, 2004 1:34 PM
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