A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|“I Need Love!”|
|12/13/02 at 09:37:47|
|[center]“I Need Love!” [/center] |
Smokey dance floors with dim lights, loud music and a sickly sweet smell of aftershave, perfume, hair gel, sweat and cigarette smoke draw the crowds as university freshers arrive on campus. From Rocky Horror and Toga parties, to “mummies and daddies” night, up to a fortnight of hedonism has been pre-planned by university student unions to ease the new arrivals into student life. For the majority it is why they came to university, for others it has become clichéd and out of date, while others find the parties degrading. However, one thing is certain; the alcohol will be flowing and the teen arrivals will be flirting, exhibiting themselves to their new colleagues.
University has become a human experiment. A generation of children is brought up with the idea that life is about having a good time and that they should be free to live it any way that they want to. After they all go through puberty and begin obsessing about the opposite sex, the most intelligent of them are taken away from their families and all of their friends and placed in a totally new and unfamiliar environment with some money and a lot of spare time. They are accommodated with each other in densely populated youth hostels called “halls” where their only semi-private space is their bedroom. Before having time to unpack they are bombarded with an itinerary of parties and social events and physically dragged to them. The lights are dimmed, pop songs are played, people dance and everyone becomes paralytically drunk night after night until the experiment yields results.
If Hollywood is to be believed, the way relationships occur is as follows. Two people meet by chance. They like each other based mainly on appearances. A quick sequence of events leads them to sleep with each other. Then they may or may not have a long relationship based on the success of the previous steps. Since this procedure is seen to have logistical problems in day-to-day life, alcohol and parties are used to catalyse the reaction in order to reach the final result as fast as possible.
Everyone knows the result of this experiment. Many of the freshers expect the result of this experiment, being willing volunteers in it. For many freshers this is the first time they have lived away from their parents. It is the first time they have had their own accommodation. It is the first time they have had the opportunity to disperse their oats and everyone wants to do it – so it’s not difficult.
It is astounding that the same people potentially responsible for intellectual advancement are, in their personal lives, amongst the most primitive of all human beings. Secular society has created immense insecurity in many young women, who define their success according to their ability to attract men. Thus, they decorate themselves with dresses of light materials, make up and appropriate hairstyles to make themselves available to approaches. Boys embellish themselves in similar terms and go fishing – using themselves as the bait and the attractive girl as the prize.
There are three different types of relationship that are sought after by both the boys and the girls. The first is simply physical. It may last one night or several nights or be ongoing over several years with no personal commitment. The next is a pseudo-relationship where each person commits to the other in sincerity, but the defining feature of their relationship is physical which lasts for a few months and is ended by some sort of infidelity. The final sort is a real relationship where both people truly commit to each other, believe that they love the other and build a strong personal bond to each other aside from the physical. These relationships are often characterised by strong emotions, “creeping”, mistrust leading to possessiveness and jealousy, culminating either in marriage or a painful break up.
Most male students veer to the side of the first two types while many female students look for the third, but this is by no means the rule. The only rule is that the vast majority of students are looking for one of these three.
“He say, she say”
Every year, arrival at university is going to lead to misery, pain, the spread of disease and immense promiscuity. Many female students will be raped, probably whilst heavily under the effects of alcohol by a male student she met at a party. Recent home office statistics put the probability for each female university student to be raped in each academic year at 2%; that’s 1 in 50! The culprit will probably have been drunk and excited by the nature of the fresher’s parties. They would probably have mutually decided to go to one of their rooms in halls. Such a high statistic is not surprising. It will probably never be reported, the victim feeling guilty and responsible for what happened and seriously affected by it.
Many will also suffer from emotional torment. They may sleep with someone after a drunken party, thinking that it would lead to a serious relationship and finding the next day that person is off with someone else. Students arriving at university already in long-term relationships with people from their hometown will begin to cheat, causing emotional distress for both in the relationship. There will probably be hundreds of unwanted pregnancies up and down the country, requiring either the “morning after pill” or surgical abortion. The spread of genital warts, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV will accelerate, colonising a new young generation.
If the physical and direct personal aspects are not enough to worry about, reputations will be under attack. Rumours will fly; gossip and backbiting will be rife amongst the student body. Everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing, whom he or she slept with, whom he or she cheated on and how he or she did it. Stories will stir up distrust and even hatred between individuals, sparking off arguments and fights.
“Those who slander chaste believing women carelessly are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty” [TMQ An-Nur: 23].
Fortunately, student unions have all encompassing solutions to all of these problems…namely free contraceptives and student helpline telephone numbers. In reality, it is the student union members who revelled in the activities of previous years so much, that they wanted to provide it to all of the new students arriving on campus and so they are the last people that can be relied upon to deal with these problems.
The Problem of Trust
It is banded around in reality and on chat shows that relationships are about trust. If two people can’t trust each other, how can they go on together? It’s fashionable to talk about it but few students can truly trust the person they are with. Almost everyone has cheated on a boyfriend or girlfriend at some point in their lives. Men know that other men will be trying to seduce their girlfriends and the women know that their men like looking at other women who in turn are trying to seduce them. So where does the trust come from. It’s like putting a child in a sweetshop, telling him not to eat any sweets and leaving him there for a week with a pile of carrots.
The simple fact of the matter is that men and women get together in such an environment because of some benefit that they can get from the other. It may be image, sex, money or good conversation but it’s always some benefit that is fulfilled by the other. So what happens to that relationship when an outsider comes along who can give something extra, or the same thing but better? It’s natural for any individual to go for the bigger benefit. Sentimental reasons may hold that person back at first but it is likely to be for a very short time. Further to this, if a man or woman can get away with it without the other half finding out, it is simple business sense to maximise the benefits by mining several sources. The only thing that inhibits individuals from doing that is the fear of losing something that could not be replaced – but if they think they can get away with it, these inhibitions melt away.
How can true “trust” exist in such relationships? It is romantic fiction. It is true that trust is vital in relationships, but it cannot exist between two secular, capitalist ideologues that base their decisions on maximising benefit. This is why the divorce rate in the UK is now well over 50% of all new marriages and is still climbing. You cannot trust a secular capitalist!
“Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry any but a woman similarly guilty or an Unbeliever, nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden” [TMQ An-Nur: 3].
What do Muslims do?
Any relationship between two people is based on the thoughts that they carry. Those who carry secularism and capitalism believe in following the maximum benefit and so it is natural that the anarchy described above arises. In Islam, the objective of life is the pleasure of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala) and the attainment of Jannah. This is achieved by believing in the core beliefs of Islam, sticking to what has been obliged and avoiding what has been forbidden. As long as the Muslim does this, he or she is tranquil and content.
The relationship between man and woman in Islam is marriage. It is held amongst the youth in the West that marriage should be reserved for the late 20’s or 30’s, that the teens and early 20’s should be reserved for the aforementioned debauchery. This is a stupid misconception. The only difference between two people having an extra-marital relationship (if they are serious about each other) and having a marital relationship is that when they get married they pledge to show each other a degree of respect and dignity and afford each other certain rights. It’s natural for men and women to want to get together, but Islam filters this through marriage. Thus neither of them can abuse the other in a one-night stand or a purely physical relationship without any guarantee that the next day it wouldn’t be over. While they are married, the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala) demands that they provide the other with certain rights. These include that they should be faithful, truthful, kind and supportive. Because these things are done for the sake of the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala), and pleasing Him (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala) is the objective of life, one can easily trust that if the other is conscious of his or her accountability before Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala), he or she will fulfil such rites.
Those who say that they are too young to get married are effectively saying “I am too young to treat a woman (or man) fairly, justly and kindly.” They are effectively professing their lack of determination to commit, to be faithful, fair or just. Some may argue that both people in the relationship just want to have a bit of fun and are not ready to commit, so what’s wrong with that? The reality of that is that people get seriously hurt, abused and exploited. Freedom backfires again.
Islamically, when a relationship begins the man and woman should respect each other and treat each other well. In Islam, men and women do not socialise freely as this is the first step in the path of fornication. Muslims don’t drink alcohol, they don’t gossip or backbite, they don’t sleep around, go to nightclubs or pubs. Hence, the situations in which unwanted pregnancies are obtained, STDs are spread and young girls are raped and abused are avoided.
Thus, men have loyal, supportive, kind wives who are trustworthy irreplaceable companions. Likewise women have strong, kind, devoted husbands who dedicate themselves to their wives’ comfort and happiness. And on top of that, they love each other.
This is the way the Creator (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala) organises relationships between men and women, in perfect harmony with the rest of the universe. It is not the author of this article who has decided that a relationship of this form is perfect, rather it is the One, the All-Knowing, all-Seeing, Lord, Master and Sustainer of the universe who decided that this is the way that men and women should relate. May His (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala) guidance protect us all from the misery of secular ideologies.
“Which then is best? He that lays his foundation on piety to Allah and His good pleasure? Or he that lays his foundation on an undermined sand-cliff ready to crumble to pieces? And it does crumble to pieces with him into the fire of Hell. And Allah guides not people that do wrong. The foundation of those who so build is never free from suspicion and shakiness in their hearts until their hearts are cut to pieces. And Allah is All-Knowing Wise” [TMQ at-Taubah: 109-110].
Hani Jamal Uddin
Source: Khilafah Magazine October 2002 Edition
|Re: “I Need Love!”|
|12/15/02 at 15:26:08|
|Thought I might add: (the site I got this from, doesn't exist anymore...it's an old article.)|
On Campus, Facing Mecca: Muslims Make Gains
February 13, 2001
By JODI WILGOREN
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 9 ù At 1 a.m. on her first night as a student here at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sarah Ibrahim panicked.
Her roommates were entertaining friends in their cramped triple. A committed Muslim who covers her hair around men outside her family, Ms. Ibrahim feared she might never be able to remove her head scarf and go to sleep.
"I just called my dad and said, `O.K., take me home,' " Ms. Ibrahim recalled.
But she soon returned to campus, the only freshman with a single room in the all-woman dormitory. Now a sophomore, Ms. Ibrahim often cooks Islamically approved food, or halal, in the suite she shares with eight other women, three of them Muslim. Men are banned from the restroom on her floor, and a suite-mate's boyfriend is careful to announce himself rather than barge in.
"The second you say religious reasons," said Ms. Ibrahim, 18, a chemical engineering major from Wayne, N.J., "people are quick to accommodate."
The number of Muslims at American colleges and universities has more than doubled over the past decade, and although they remain a tiny minority ù under 1 percent ù their presence is helping reconfigure many campuses in substantial ways. Arriving from around the globe and including African-Americans, they are creating vibrant hubs for what is the nation's fastest-growing religious community. But they are also presenting new problems for administrators eager to embrace diversity.
>From the College of Wooster in Ohio to Southern Methodist
University in Dallas to the University of Southern California, students struggle to avoid classes during Jum'aa, the Friday afternoon congregational prayer. Dining halls provide boxed meals for takeout during Ramadan, a month of fasting from sunup to sunset. And then there is the delicate matter of using shared sinks to wash one's feet before prayer.
Dozens of colleges and universities have hired part-time imams to minister to Muslims. At least 75 colleges have dedicated space for Muslims' prayers, said five times daily, whether it be a basement dormitory room, a stairwell landing in the library or a specially designed room like the one at M.I.T., which includes tiled areas with thigh-high faucets where students rinse their forearms, face and feet before kneeling toward Mecca.
While any devout student is forced to make compromises and choices, Muslims face particular challenges because essential elements of campus life, like drinking and dating, are prohibited by their religion.
Tensions often flare between Muslims and Jews on campus over conflicts in the Middle East, but now the two groups are beginning to forge links over common interests, including similar dietary laws and accommodation for religious practice.
At Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., the first halal and kosher dining hall is scheduled to open this fall.
"It's not coming at odds with the rest of the campus," said Altaf Husain, national president of the Muslim Students Association, which has 500 chapters throughout North America. "It's almost like saying while everyone else has their rights, we would like to have our rights."
In part, the changes reflect a religious revival among students of all faiths, and a new trend of campus centers where Baptists and Buddhists, Seventh-day Adventists and Zoroastrians pass each other in the hallways of a shared building.
Colleges typically do not keep track of students' religions, but an annual survey by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles shows that .9 percent of first-year students nationwide identified themselves as Muslims last year, up from .4 percent in 1990 and .1 percent in 1974. (Jews, meanwhile, have decreased from 5.4 percent of freshmen in 1970 to 2.8 percent in 2000.)
The growth comes as a generation of children of Muslim immigrants reach college age and is fueled by an increase in international students. There are an estimated 6 million Muslims in the United States.
Muslims are a diverse lot, with immigrants from Bosnia, Asia, Africa and the Persian Gulf praying shoulder to shoulder with American blacks and recent converts like Jennifer DiMarzo, a freshman at Simmons College in Boston.
Yet Islam remains shrouded in mystery for many students, and Muslims often complain of stereotyping and discrimination. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington, received reports last year that a student was expelled from class after rebutting derogatory comments about Islam; that a college employee poured glue in the shoe of a Muslim who was praying, barefoot, in the library; that Muslim-sponsored posters about the Middle East were ripped down on campuses; and that a professor used a textbook tainting Muslims as terrorists.
Still, students report nascent partnerships with other religious groups on campus, particularly Jews, who were among the first to diversify American colleges in the 1950's.
At Dartmouth, the president of the Islamic student group, Al-Nur, and the Jewish president of Hillel began having dinner together last year, and this fall the two led a candlelight vigil promoting Middle East peace. In pushing for the kosher-halal meal plan, a $300,000 project, they capitalized on the strength of their combined numbers, as well as the college's desire to promote harmony among diverse groups.
Judaism and Islam have many parallel dietary restrictions, including ritual slaughter and a prohibition on pork, and many Muslims eat kosher meat. But after the combined dining hall was approved, Dartmouth was unable to find a butcher anywhere in the world that provides simultaneous rabbinic and Islamic supervision.
So the college plans to provide separate halal and kosher meals under the same roof, with chefs respecting both traditions, by keeping milk and meat separate (a Jewish stricture) and avoiding alcohol (an Islamic rule).
This fall, organizers hope to arrange what may be the first ever halal-kosher Thanksgiving, with a ritual slaughter at a turkey farm near campus involving both an imam and a rabbi.
"When I close my eyes and pray, it doesn't really matter what Yousuf is praying next to me," Jason Spitalnick, the Hillel president, said of his Muslim counterpart, Yousuf Haque.
At M.I.T. this afternoon, Jews in kippot waited for Sabbath services a few yards from Muslims putting on their shoes after Maghreb, the sunset prayer. Earlier, the hallway was filled with hiking boots and sneakers, loafers and lace-ups, as more than 100 students, employees, even cabdrivers, gathered for Jum'aa.
Fadilah Khan, a junior, arrived late, slipping boots off from beneath cuffed jeans and taking a black scarf from her backpack. She had rushed from a lecture, stopping to drop her r*sum* at a job fair, and left quickly for a computer workshop.
Similar scheduling snafus abound. Numan Waheed, a doctoral candidate in chemical engineering, skipped the Friday sessions of a required course, Transport Processes, until his grades slipped. Then he skipped Jum'aa.
"I was completely lost that semester; when I came back in the spring, everything fell into place," said Mr. Waheed, president of the M.I.T. Muslim Students Association. "I honestly believed that I was failing the class because I was missing the prayer."
Whether they come from a Muslim country like Pakistan, or grew up the only student wearing a head scarf at a public school, many students flock to the insular Muslim Students Association, which sponsors intramural basketball teams, ski trips and paintball along with religious events.
Tonight, M.I.T.'s Muslims shunned fraternity parties for a feast of spicy stewed chicken, kefte, curried potatoes and yogurt sauce. Seif Fateem, a graduate student who once opted out of a game in a Microeconomics course because all the prizes were beer, tossed candy to those who correctly answered trivia questions: How many times did the prophet make Haj, or pilgrimage? (One.) What is the most common name in the world? (Mohammed.) How many brothers did the prophet Joseph have? (Eleven.)
Men and women naturally segregated, gossiping in English and Arabic, but as the evening wore on, a young man approached a young woman, asking her to go talk to another young man, who was wondering the name of another young woman.
Ms. Ibrahim posed for a photograph with Belal Helal, a graduate student from Saudi Arabia who was handing out Muslim literature those first weeks of freshman year, when Ms. Ibrahim was commuting from her father's home in Quincy, Mass., because of her roommate problems. They are engaged to be married next summer.
"There's a whole culture of being different," Ms. Ibrahim shrugged under her mauve and vanilla head scarf. "You're considered somewhat cooler if you don't do what everyone else does."
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board