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March 19, 2006
Hiz ya Wiz

by Talal Sarwani


Note: You can read the complement to this article here.

In the aftermath of many conferences which are meant to focus on Islam, the youth usually find themselves discussing their clubbing experience at that conference. Clubbing at a conference, however, doesn't entail getting drunk, committing zina, or bouncing to some fresh beat. The Club at a conference isn't a smokey haven, with hypnotic lighting and a bare-minimum of clothing on some very fatale femmes. The club in this case is actually a space where a gathering of youthful spirits takes place, usually an area left unchecked by the organizers of the conference (by accidental or willfull neglect, only Allah subhanahu wa ta'la knows). Usually, this area is the lobby of a hotel or a conference, where it's only logical for people to be walking through and leaving a crowd in their wake. We'll call this club Light for the purposes of this writing, because whatever we do, the light of Islam is apparently always alive in our heart.

At Light, brothers and sisters dance the night away to a seductive rhythm of words and glances. In this dance, sisters pretend to possess the innate shyness they know brothers go ga-ga mad over. Brothers put on their best Brad Pitt imitation, pretending not to notice the fresh meat making itself available to them. Now usually, dancing at a regular club comes in the form of bodily movement, but in the case of Light, it's a dance of the Gaze. All over the place, eyes shift up, down, left and right. Duets take shape from across the lobby, with constantly stolen glances and smiles. "Tee hee hee" say the girls, "Yeah playah" say the boys. Zina also doesn't take its usual bodily shape (well, at least most of the time), because at Light, zina of the eyes is the intoxicant of the night. Instead of the haze of smoke and strobe lights (again, for the most part), perfumed air entrances the brothers, while sisters are swept off their feet by Sweaty Samsons. Then the conversations -ahem, flirting- begins, but for now this description shall suffice.

Brothers and sisters in Islam think the seduction that takes place at Light is that of a boy to a girl, failing to see that the seduction they embroil themselves in is the seduction of Shaytaan. They aren't moving closer to each other, physically or figuratively, they are getting closer and closer to Shaytaan. It's not for naught that boys and girls try to identify each other as "hot" in these kinds of situations; "hot" is precisely the temperature of Shaytaan's abode. The fire is also very bright, so I guess Light is an appropriate name in more than one sense.

On one of the last nights of Ramadhan, I, along with a couple of dear brothers, visited a person of much knowledge for a couple of hours of nasihah. Among the questions we asked had to do with the issue of gender interaction, since that is an obvious concern when living in today's society. This mashaAllah brother said one thing in his answer which put the issue in a framework which made a whole lot of sense. To put it simply, we have to understand and accept that we are Muslim. Accepting this means not shying away from it in public, and not conforming to something which goes against the identity of a Muslim.

Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.
(Recorded by Muslim, Attirmidthi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad)

This hadith of the Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) tells us that we are supposed to be different. It's a litmus test for us, especially in regards to the interaction between brothers and sisters in Islam. If a group of brothers and sisters have some legitimate reason to meet, and look no different than any other group of guys and gals meeting, then there is a problem. The rules of modesty imprinted within us do not allow us to get free and bubbly. If we call ourselves Muslim, and at the same time laugh and giggle in gatherings between two genders, then we need to question our understanding of being a Muslim. If we lack the rules of modesty, then we are no different that any other group of men and women. There is no difference between Light in an Islamic conference and any club in Las Vegas, Miami, or Dubai. Light is simply a precursor to that stage of haraam.

The organizers of such conferences need to be proactive in setting the tone of modesty at their conference. It begins with the way the organizers deal with each other, then the volunteers, and finally the attendees. It's never impossible to do what is right, because we are never burdened with someting we cannot bear. Not only will the effort to exert hayaa' bring benefit to the people, but the angels will not find reason to keep away from such a blessed gathering. The strengthening of hayaa', with the focusing of conference programs into being more than just feel-good weekends, will inshaAllah set the stage for a transformation of the Ummah. The lines we have drawn between ourselves will wash away with the tide of time, and knowledge will lead us back to a condition worthy of being vicegerents on earth (Surah AlBaqarah, Verse 30), and most importantly, to be worthy of the divine mercy that will allow us into Jannatil Firdaws. Ameen.

Allaah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the hearts conceal
(Surah Ghaafir, Verse 19)



of and relating to...
gillette said

"At Light, brothers and sisters dance the night away to a seductive rhythm of words and glances. In this dance, sisters pretend to possess the innate shyness they know brothers go ga-ga mad over. Brothers put on their best Brad Pitt imitation, pretending not to notice the fresh meat making itself available to them. Now usually, dancing at a regular club comes in the form of bodily movement, but in the case of Light, it's a dance of the Gaze. All over the place, eyes shift up, down, left and right. Duets take shape from across the lobby, with constantly stolen glances and smiles. 'Tee hee hee' say the girls, 'Yeah playah' say the boys. Zina also doesn't take its usual bodily shape (well, at least most of the time), because at Light, zina of the eyes is the intoxicant of the night. Instead of the haze of smoke and strobe lights (again, for the most part), perfumed air entrances the brothers, while sisters are swept off their feet by Sweaty Samsons. Then the conversations -ahem, flirting- begins, but for now this description shall suffice."

This really happens?

Damn.

Astaghfirullaah and damn.

on March 19, 2006 7:15 PM
Justoju (am either really old or just too damn pious) said

Whats a Sweaty Samson?

on March 19, 2006 11:03 PM
gillette said

"Samson" as in "Samson & Delilah." I don't have the slightest idea what the "Sweaty" part means.

on March 19, 2006 11:31 PM
Talal said

Okay, too many people have been asking, so let me clarify :)

Samson, as Br Gillette elucidated for us, is indeed a reference to Samson & Delilah. Now about "sweat"... in clubs and "heated" gatherings such as this, people are always sweating (yet others still find them appealing). The reference to being "swept off thier feet" is a play on words to do with the sweat falling onto the ground and sweeping them off, as well as the perhaps incomprehensible state of mind that causes a Sweaty Samson to look good.

My bad.

on March 19, 2006 11:56 PM
Justoju said

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

on March 20, 2006 10:17 AM
gillette said

"The reference to being 'swept off thier feet' is a play on words to do with the sweat falling onto the ground and sweeping them off, as well as the perhaps incomprehensible state of mind that causes a Sweaty Samson to look good."

Note to self: run a few laps before the AlMaghrib class.

on March 20, 2006 2:51 PM
Justoju said

Maybe I didnt get my point across with my last comment. Maybe I didnt include enough e's or w's or something.

Anyway, my point was that not all women find men with their own personal sprinkler system to be attractive. Sometimes we just think they need to bathe more. Or maybe not get worked up to the point of perspiration from a conference.

Think about it. Sweaty men later become fat sweaty uncles. Attractive? I dont think so.

on March 20, 2006 7:08 PM
Bint Saeed said

LOL JUSTOJU that was hysterical...lol subhanAllah..but well said:)

Br. Talal, great prespective.

on March 20, 2006 10:05 PM
Justoju said

I wasnt trying to be facetious. I just dont want maritally-frustrated men reading this article, leaving their anti-perspirant at home, and stinking up our conference halls.

on March 20, 2006 11:20 PM
sweaty samson said

Assalama alaikoum warahmatu allahi wabarakatuh

I think u guys missed the point of the article if you are discussing sweat and how appealing it is. Especially with opposite genders. Fear Allah.

on March 20, 2006 11:30 PM
Donald Duck said

Salamualaikum Wa Rahmatullah

MashAllah well written Talal Bhai. Keep me in your duas. Take care .

Ma Salaam

on March 21, 2006 11:00 AM
amatullah said

jazakAllah Khair for highlighting this issue, it's a pandemic that needs to be addressed

---> "Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.
(Recorded by Muslim, Attirmidthi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad)

This hadith of the Prophet (salAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) tells us that we are supposed to be different. It's a litmus test for us, especially in regards to the interaction between brothers and sisters in Islam. <----

Let's liberate ourselves from our base desires, let's liberate ourselves from the desires of others, let's bring true inner and outer modesty in ourselves and experience what freedom really is...

Oh Allah convert all our immodest desires and attractions into good and direct it towards You and Our Beloved Rasulullah (Salallahu 'alayhi wasallam)

on March 21, 2006 1:04 PM
writer#34 said

Salaam:

Br. Talal, very very interesting piece...Alhamdulillah, that you mentioned this.

I have some comments and reflections, If I may:

1- If we were in a muslim country, and we had a group of brothers & sisters talking/chatting with each other, in a public space, this would probably not seem out of place...I am referring to countries like Egypt and/or Pakistan. Same could be said about Malaysia and Indonesia....These may be similar to scenario depicted above.

2- Weakness of the heart leads to all kinds of compromises, especially on something that is tempting and against the Shariah. Our young brothers & sisters have found a way to reflect this within a public setting. This is their way of hinting to their parents and family members their coming of age. Meaning they are at an age where they can be married to the right person....Surprisingly, many parents choose to ignore this tell tale signs from their offsprings.

3- What you sow is what you reap...if parents have not brought up their daughters and sons to be modest and deliberate in their interactions with the opposite gender (under all circumstances/settings), what then is the use of blowing the gasket on similar actions suggested above?

4- Opposite will attract, this is how Allah has made this among a sign for Humans. What nobody talks about is HOW to Channel this attraction to the right person at the right time...Subhan'Allah.

Anyways...Human relationship Dynamics is very complex, but the Best examples of how it is done, is reflected in the life of our Beloved prophet Muhammad (sal-lal-la-hu-wa-sal-lam).

Hey I just attended FOL, and that class rekindled many of my thoughts on Gender Interactions...Alhamdulillah.

on March 21, 2006 5:57 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Just wanted to say salam and that I have not forgotten Hidaya. Please keep me in your prayers as I will be flying tomorrow to get my nikah done.

Later everyone...

Nice piece Talal but I think a fire article will do more justice to this topic.

lol.

on March 23, 2006 11:34 AM
Talal said

Ya akhee writer#34, there's never a reason to compromise in this issue. All you listed are excuses, but no excuse justifies a haraam.

Even if we're in a Muslim country, such interaction isn't permitted, and if we engage in it, or encourage it, we're wrong. The majority isn't the rule in Islam.

The reason to "blow the gasket" is because accepting the existence of these "clubs" is nothing but detrimental to the present and future of the Ummah. This is just the condition right now, you don't want to know what it evolves into.

on March 23, 2006 2:24 PM
writer#34 said

Salaam:

Br. Faisal, May Allah Bless you in this marriage, and may this union be a vessel for you and your wife to come closer to Allah as HIS humble servants, in this life and in the hereafter...Ameen


Br. Talal, I agree with you completely, excuses can never justify a haraam act. May Allah save all of us from falling in this trap...Ameen

My comments were merely a reflection (and not what you suggested) on our Ummah, of us being reactive and not pro-active in addressing the core issues that begets vices and ill actions, when it comes to gender interactions among us muslims.

on March 23, 2006 7:33 PM
gillette said

"On February 19, 2006 12:36 AM Talal said:

Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaah

As it was suggested in the comments that were removed, this is not the place to have a discussion for the sake of discussion. The issues mentioned are meant to be addressed to those with knowledge, and there is no benefit to be derived from our lackluster attempts at answering.

The learned do not have the time to ponder hypotheticals, and nor should we. If an issue exists, it should be sent to those who know, not HidayaOnline.com

There's just too much chance for something dangerous happening.

questions/comments to info@hidayaonline.com

salaams,
Talal
Editor-in-Chief, HidayaOnline.com"

http://www.hidayaonline.com/badr/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=435

on March 24, 2006 10:56 AM
writer#34 said

Salaam:

Very predictable :)

***** J U M M A H --- M U B A R A K *****

Ma'Assalaama

on March 24, 2006 12:03 PM
Mohammed Irfan Shariff said

Howchanmanowchan

on March 24, 2006 8:50 PM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

Jazakallah bro for digging out the dirt about these issues-its about time we stopped seeing these things happening and just looking the other way.Whats wrong is wrong.The gaze is a poisoned arrow of shaitaan.And what does poison do? It spreads. So never can we say its 'just' a glance.How long is our Iman going to be strong enough to take these poisonous wounds we inflict on it? Can any of us claim it is strong enough to even take just take one arrow? Without Iman we are doomed to destruction. It it worth it to put our Iman,our most precious asset,at stake for a few moments of pleasure? Never ever.

We are also told that Allah is with the broken hearted,thus when we lower our gazes out of the fear of Allah,we CRUSH our desires and weaken our nafs.That is when,insha Allah,ALLAH TA'ALA will enter that broken heart and what sweetness of Iman is felt after that can only be experienced to be explained.

Subhanallah...

May Allah grant us all Hidaya and Taqwa in all facets of our life.Ameen.

Was salaam


on March 30, 2006 4:15 AM
writer#34 said

Salaam:

"We are also told that Allah is with the broken hearted,thus when we lower our gazes out of the fear of Allah,we CRUSH our desires and weaken our nafs.That is when,insha Allah,ALLAH TA'ALA will enter that broken heart and what sweetness of Iman is felt after that can only be experienced to be explained."

Masha'Allah wal Alhamdulillah...spoken like a believer.

May Allah bless you sister, and your family, and loved ones in this life and in the hereafter...Ameen

Ma'Assalaama

on March 30, 2006 9:29 AM
amatullah said

masha Allah to the editors , good decision. May Allah guide us all to success.ameen

on March 30, 2006 2:23 PM
writer#34 said

Salaam:

****** J U M M A H --- M U B A R A K ******

I stole this from another site that I sometime visit:

"Learning is the beginning of knowledge ...
knowledge is the beginning of understanding ...
understanding is the beginning of wisdom."

Ma'Assalaama

on March 31, 2006 3:20 PM
Bint Saeed said

SubhanAllah well said ...well said.

on March 31, 2006 7:14 PM
saima said

Asalaam alaikum everyone,

I was looking for a specific hadith this morning, and although I didn't find it, I came across this one. Wanted to share it with my fellow hidayans. Pure motivation to start the day:

The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: "Some people will come on the Day of Judgement and their Imaan will be outstanding, it's light will shine from their chests and from their right hands.

So it will be said to them, 'Glad tidings for you today, Assalamu 'alaikum and Goodness for you, Enter into it (Jannah) forever!'

So the Angels and the Prophets will be jealous of the Love of Allah for them."

So the Sahabah asked, "Who are they, Ya Rasoolullah?"

He [sallahu 'alayhi wasalam] replied,

"They are not from us and they are not from you. You are my companions but they are my beloved. They will come after you and will find the Book (the Qur'an) made redundant by the people, and a Sunnah which has been killed by them. So they will grab hold of the Book and the Sunnah and revive them.

So they read them and teach them (the Qur'an and the Sunnah) to the people and they will experience in that path a punishment more severe and more ugly than what you (O Sahabah) have experienced.

Indeed the Imaan of one of them is equivalent to the Imaan of forty of you.

The Shaheed of one of them is equivalent to forty of your Shuhadaa'. Because you found a helper towards the truth (the Prophet) and they will find no helper towards the truth.

So they will be surrounded by tyrant rulers in every place, and they will be in the surroundings of Bait-ul-Maqdis (Al-Quds, Masjid al-Aqsa). The Nussrah (Help and Victory) of Allah will come to them, and they will have the honour of it on their hands."

Then he [sallahu 'alayhi wasalam] said, "O Allah, give them the Nussrah and make them my close friends in Jannah."

- Reported in Ahmad

on April 1, 2006 8:43 PM
gillette said

Where'd you read this? Who narrated it? Is it authentic?

on April 1, 2006 10:24 PM
gillette said

Reported by Ahmed #17561, chain #77. Hasan according to Ibn Hajr al-Haythami.

on April 1, 2006 11:52 PM
Reading said

Subhan'Allah that is beautiful! Jazaki ALlahu khayr for sharing. Also, great article, the day I read it I had just come back from some crazy 'islamic' fitnah and was greatly disturbed that some practicing Muslims give very little thought to gender interaction.. It was so refreshing to come home and read all my thoughts in a peice that gave me hope there are still ppl out there who think similarly.

on April 2, 2006 1:51 PM
a_muslim said

Jazakum Allahu khayr for addressing this issue. I can honestly say that gender interactions between Muslims are getting even worse and worse, no matter where you go. Props for the analogy in your article and for putting things in perspective.

on April 6, 2006 9:35 PM
Ibtisam said

Hey folks Assalaamu Alaikum,
wow, hidayaonline is pretty much the same, huh?


First off, Congratulations to Br. Faisal for his marriage, may Allaah bless your spouse for you and you for her, ameen.

Second off, interesting articles, I have'nt read this one yet but I read the "mating ritual" one of Br. Talal(ok really partially though) and I must say with the language and expression Br. Talaal uses, he doesnt need anyone else for hidaya (I mean when he writes and the beat goes, wow, very poetic and with imagery). But that doesnt mean all the other writers are not superb, bil aqs, they are excellent.

Third off, you guys cannot get off the topic of marriage. Once ALL the staff of hidayaonline is married, they will realize it is no big deal. It is like having a semi-permanent roommate, except if the roommate doesnt work, cooks, cleans, then you have a semi-servant, which is really excellent.
Just kidding.
I am in jolly mood, no sarcasm, irony, bitterness.

Oh, I know Br. Hassan doesn't advertise Masjid Rahma event, but if you dont mind putting up the conference info for the summer by Masjid Rahma, I'd greatly appreciate it.

on April 20, 2006 3:29 PM
Ibtisam said

oh, I meant that if the roommate does all of those above things mentioned, then it is excellento! not to mean sarcastically, etc. TYPO

on April 20, 2006 5:10 PM
Ibby said

I wanted to ask a question on the hadith sister Saima, shared with us, ma shaa Allaah, very powerful hadeeth.

I think, could it mean the people at the time of the mahdi? as people near baitul maqdas. Did anyone verify where the hadeeth is mentioned and the context.

i had heard that people from later generations will be rewarded more as the Prophet SAW is not with us to teach us and our imaan and what we go through, wallaahu alim, I had heard of that before, not sure though.

on January 12, 2007 6:05 PM
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