One day a few years ago, there walked into my office at the College of Islamic Law a young woman who was feigning a hijab- or so it appeared to me- by covering part of her hair. She requested my permission to sit down and tell me about her situation in the hope that I might point her to a way out of her dilemma or aid her in finding a solution.
Her story in short was that she had been brought up in a household which had no understanding of the meaning of religion and which lived by none of its values. She received her education and cultural conditioning first in the schools, then in the university, without anyone to watch over her or advice her in a spirit of compassion and concern. She said, “From the time I started high school, boys started hovering around me, showing admiration for me and pushing me to be more ‘liberated’ in the way I looked and acted.
“So,” she continued, “I went along with all this, and my heart turned into a kind of ‘hotel room’ that was occupied by one boy after another.
“When I went to the university I got even more involved with young men, and they all liked my liberated style. At the same time, there was constant pressure on me to ‘liberate’ myself even more and strive for self-fulfillment. During this same period of time, I got attached to a guy that I felt I’d come to love, and my feelings for him took over my whole being. He used to assure me of his sincere love for me and attachment to me, so I suggested that he approach my family about getting engaged. His response to my suggestion was positive and enthusiastic. He said that marriage was what he had in mind and that he would approach my family about the matter in the near future. As a result of this growing trust, our relationship grew even stronger and deeper. Then during one of our trysts, he managed to take from me the most precious thing I possessed. I’d been sure of his love and trusted his promises, and I’d believed my dreams that he was the one I could depend on and come to for protection.”
“What happened during that one meeting happened again on other occasions and I started reminding him about the matter of our getting engaged and urging him to hurry in fulfilling his promise to me. As for him, he started putting me off and making excuses which I realized only later he was just making up.”
“Finally during one of our times together, I demanded that he do what he had promised me with regard to talking to me family about our engagement. In response, he looked at me contemptuously and said “When I decide to get married, I’ll look got an honorable girl, not one who makes herself into a plaything for all the guys.”
“What he said that day cut me to the quick. It was like a shout that wakened me out of a long deep sleep to find myself surrounded by a crowd of ‘playboys’ who only wanted to make sport of me. I saw that I was a stranger in this world, even to my family, who had let me wander about aimlessly with no one to show me the way. Even so, I know that if I told them what had happened as a result of their neglect and lack of concern, I’d be certain to face the worst fate imaginable.”
Then, with great emotion, she said “I know for sure now that if I had protected myself with the principles and wise counsel of Islam, no impostor could have taken advantage of me and I would have continued to have both happiness and honor. And now I don’t know what to do.”
I said to her, “Was it necessary for you to put God’s commands to the test and plunge headlong into this devastating experience in order to arrive at this certainty? Wouldn’t it have been enough to realize ahead of time that this religion, in essence, is nothing but the wise admonitions of the God who is the most Merciful of the merciful? Through these admonitions, God addresses His honored servants so that they can find happiness in the care and nurture they give and in the protection which they provide from all harm.”
“You turned away from God over the past years, preferring to be led astray by the deceit of wanton, disreputable individuals rather than to be obedient to His commands and precepts. Even so, you’ll find Him to be the only true Friend capable of comforting you in your alienation and of delivering you from your misery and pain. All it will cost you to find Him is for you to be reconciled with Him in sincerity and to obey His commands to the best of your ability and with confidence and assurance.”
She said to me, “From now on, I promise God in repentance and remorse to obey His commands and submit to all His judgments. Never again will I pay attention to Satan’s deception, and I won’t give into any sort of passion or enticement.”
I said to her, “Come by to see me from time to time, and I feel confident that God will provide you a way out of your difficult.”
Then, in an extraordinary demonstration of God’s grace, only three or four days later I was visited by a young man who had come to complain to me that he felt the need to get married but hadn’t been able to find the right girl with the religious commitment that he wanted in a life partner. It was apparent that the young man was devout himself and committed to Islam based on genuine awareness and understanding.
So I asked him, “Would you be willing to consider a young woman with a pleasant appearance and whose religious faith and conduct you can be assured of? By marrying her you would merit a reward the likes of which only the most righteous attain, and I’m willing to vouch for the marriage myself.”
“Yes!” he replied enthusiastically. “Who is she?”
I then told him the girl’s story just as she had recounted it to me, and I assured him of my confidence in the sincerity of her repentance. As I spoke, he grew more and more happy and enthusiastic and in the end, he gave me the go-ahead to handle the matter as I saw fit.
Glory be to the One Who changes people’s hearts! Praise be to my merciful, loving Lord, who opened people’s minds and brought this union to pass, wiping away the crushing sorrow that had threatened to quench the spirit of this unfortunate girl who had fallen victim to profiteers- profiteers of the call to “progress “ and the warning against “backwardness.”
In short, God gave me success in bringing these two together. In a single introductory session, they established a dialogue, affirmed their confidence in each other and exchanged pledges. The young man then arranged with her family for their engagement in the customary manner and God joined them in comfortable, happy marriage beneath the protective umbrella of mutual commitment to His blessed teachings. Truly did God speak when He declared, “O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he call you to that which gives you live” (8:24).
Taken from Ramadan al-Buti’s book “Women between the tyranny of the western system and the mercy of the Islamic law”(pages 246-251)
May Allah have mercy upon him.