Posted by: alqamardesigns | February 19, 2007

What’s it like for Muslims at Uni?

For students, going to University often means FREEDOM. Freedom to live life independently, to go out, to sleep and wake when they want, to experiment and to enjoy to the full without being questioned by anyone. It is a much awaited time and the beginnings of adult life for many young sprout; saying goodbye to all that is familiar and stepping out into the great and beyond.

Unfortunately for many Muslims it is a time when they come across countless dilemmas, obstacles and challenges. The very first week, known as Freshers week, is supposedly a week full of events designed to allow those beginning their university career to acquaint themselves with their new surroundings as well as with their fellow students. However, in reality Fresher’s Week is a hedonistic 7 days, which the pubs and nightclubs utilise to attract their prospective clientele for the following year. Muslim students are put to the test instantly when they are faced with parties and nights out, invites to go out and get drunk, to dance and intermingle with the opposite sex and to engage in much makrooh and haram activity. And all these activities are practiced by those who the rest of society deems as being ‘the leaders of tomorrow’! Subhanallah!!

Unfortunately many Muslims go out to University with the exact intention of living this life, embracing the ‘you only live once’ concept with Islam being sidelined and ignored until of course student life will come to an end. Rather than being classed as ‘anti social’ many go with the flow and focus on everything but the deen.

Some Muslims choose to take the middle ground and class themselves as the ‘Moderate Muslim,’. They enjoy the pubs and clubs and indulge in drugs but still pray the Friday prayer. They allow their deen to be compromised and pick and choose what and when to conform to Islamic teachings.

We all know applying Islam selectively in our lives is tantamount to burning the pages of the Qur’an. Although the haram path can be tempting because it is easy, we should remember that wherever Muslims live and whatever we do in life we should live according to the Shariah.

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala) says:

“The good and the evil are not alike even if the evil looks like the good and is followed by the majority. So fear Allah, O you that understand; that (so) you may prosper” [Al-Ma’idah: 100].

Life is not about living ‘comfortably’ or ‘fitting in’ so as to not be stared at or labelled with offensive terms, it is about pleasing Almighty Allah. One must ask her/himself:

Did Musa (alai hisalaam), ‘Isa (alai hisalaam), or even Muhammad (peace be upon him) compromise this Deen for the kuffar?

Did they shave their beards because they were afraid of what the kuffar would say?

Did they stop doing da’wah because they were afraid of what so and so will say?

No they had taqwa of Allah and fulfilled their Islamic duty. If one wants to play with the religion of Allah, let him or her play with the harsh Malaaika (Angels) who guard the gates of Hellfire on the Day of Judgment!

Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala has warned us in the Quran of the consequences of compromising our deen.

“So do you believe in some part of the Book and disbelieve in some. The penalty awaiting those who do this is nothing but humiliation in this life and the severest of punishment on the Day of Judgment” [Al-Baqarah: 85].

It is agreed upon that any activity that leads to, suggests or encourages behaviour contrary to the teachings of Islam or diverts one from Allah’s path is considered to be in itself haraam.

Consumption of Alcohol

Although peer pressure can be overpowering and temporary enjoyment is tempting we must remember that everything in Islaam has a practical and healthy reason behind it. For example, there is wisdom in the strait enforcement of severe punishment for drinking alcohol. The Prophet (peace be upon him) referred to alcohol as the mother of sins because after consuming it, man can indulge in other major sins.

The sayings of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) about wine and other intoxicants.

“Every intoxicant is khamr, and every khamr is haram (unlawful)” (Muslim.)

“Of that which intoxicates in a large amount, a small amount is haram” (Ahmad, Abu-Daud and Al-Tirrnizi,).

“Khamar (intoxicants) is the mother of all evils” (Bukhari)

Also It is stated in the Qur’aan:

“They ask you regarding wine and gambling. Say, in both of them is major sin, and there is some benefit for men, but the sin of them is far greater than benefit” [Surah Baqarah]

A man was once asked why he did not drink, and he replied, ‘By God, I am not happy with my mind when it is sound, so why should I corrupt it even further?’ [The Seventy-seven Branches of Faith – Imam Al-Bayhaqi, The Quillian Press – (1996, ISBN 1 872038 03 4) – Page 31]

Further in The Holy Quran it is stated in 5.91:

“Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?”

We should always remember and be aware that the alcohol and drug scene is closely connected to the high crime rate. An intoxicated person ceases to be a human being as consumption of alcohol clouds the mind, impairs reasoning and perception often leading to financial ruin and loss of innocent lives. Is it any wonder then, why alcohol is forbidden in Islam?

Whilst some people may not consume alcohol at university,smoking is seen as a pleasurable act which many people wrongly consider to be permissible but makrooh (extremely disliked) because it hasn’t categorically been forbidden by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). However, In Islam it is forbidden for a Muslim to do anything which causes his or her own death or inflict any personal damage on oneself. It is universally accepted that smoking has many serious health and life hazards amongst which is lung cancer, so smoking falls within the realms of causing damage to oneself or ones body which is absolutely forbidden in Islam.

The Qur’an says:

” And make not your own hands contribute to your destruction.”
[Surah, Al-Baqara, 2:195]

” Nor kill or destroy yourselves for verily God hath been to you most Merciful.” [Surah, An-Nisa, 4:29]

” And slay not the life which God hath forbidden…” [Surah, Al-Isra, 17:33]

Furthermore, Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) has said:

“Nor be hurt or injure others.”

It is scientifically proven that the exhaled smoke of the smoker is hazardous to non-smokers around him.

Furthermore, in Islam cleanliness and hygiene are emphasized to the extent that it has been considered a part of Iman (faith). It is very well known that a smoker’s mouth is unclean and foul smelling “like a cigarette ash-tray .”

In the Quran, Allah says:

“And forbid them what is bad.” [Surah Al-‘Araf, 7:157].

When the Quran states:

“And cast not yourselves into ruin with your own hands and do good.” [Surah Baqarah, 2. 196]

it indicates that smoking, being injurious to health, has been condemned in Islam even if it hasn’t been categorically forbidden by Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).

Music

As Muslims we should always be aware that nothing has been prohibited by Allah except that which is harmful to the welfare of a Muslim individual and the society as a whole. Today when we speak about music, it cannot be denied that the messages of today`s music follow a general theme of love, fornication, drugs and freedom. Many argue that music is not forbidden in Islaam but evidence and close analysis of Hadith suggests absolute prohibition of it.

Hadith from the Bukhari Shareef, the most authentic Book of Hadith, further confirms unlawfulness of music and singing:

“There will be people of my Ummah who will seek to make lawful; fornication, wine-drinking and the use of ma`aazif (musical instruments).”

Quite simply, if music was not prohibited, then it would not have been brought within the same context as fornication and wine-drinking.

Free mixing between men and Women

This leads to the last issue of pre marital relationships. A Muslim must take care to stay away from environments that are dominated by boyfriend-girlfriend relationships and pre-marital sex. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has encouraged us to control our lust and our speech and Islam lays a strong emphasis on modesty and chastity. Modesty in dress and behavior between women and men figures prominently as a means of exhibiting self-control. Unmarried couples are admonished against spending time alone in isolated places where they would be more likely to act on their feelings and thus be less inhibited. If prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) told us shaking hands with a strange woman is a form of zina we should understand the seriousness of anything which goes further than this.

“If any of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle, is better than that for him than to touch the hand of a strange woman.”

The body of evidence showing that women and men should not mix freely with one another is quite large. Some points are noted below, Allah says:

“And when you ask the ladies for anything, ask them from before a screen. That makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs.” [Surah al-Ahzab: 53]

For women to go about uncovered in the company of men is inarguably a gross violation of the command given in this verse.

“Beware that you do not call on women who are alone,” said the Messenger of Allah. One of the Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what about the younger or elder brother of the husband?” The Prophet replied, “He is death”. (Tirmidhi, Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet peace be upon him said:

“Never is a man alone with a woman except that Satan is the third party with them.”

The Qur’ân clearly forbids women from being soft of speech while talking to men. Allah says:

“Be not too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak with a speech (that is) proper.” [Sûrah al-Ahzâb: 32].

Sexual relations outside of marriage can be avoided if evil gatherings such as nightclubs, parties, bhangra do’s and raves are avoided where the consumption of excessive alcohol and suggestive dancing can lead to such acts.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

“No fornicator commits fornication in the state of being a believer so long as he is busy in committing it.”

Moreover, Allah says:

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them.” and says: “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty.” [Sûrah al-Nûr: 30-31]

This shows us how men and women are to conduct themselves.

So in conclusion we should always remember that although there are many good things in this life which we should utilise, Allaah, being Perfect, in His Wisdom and Knowledge, has set His limitations and rules, all of which are beneficial to mankind, and therefore, do not need changing. We should always remember that this life is a journey and will inevitably come to an end and the true end is indeed with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala in the next life when we will be held accountable for all our deeds. Thus we should strive to do good and to seek Allahs pleasure in order to gain eternal benefit no matter how many trials, tribulations and temptations we face in the Western culture.

May Allah grant us fear of Him, and grant us obedience to Him. May He forgive us our sins and our indulgences and make the halaal sufficient for us and accept our repentance and purify our souls. May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and upon his family and companions and all those that follow him, and all praise is due to Allah. AMEEN.

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By Sister S

Sources Used


Responses

  1. Masha’Allah, Allah has blessed you with an excellent talent of writing sister Sameha – keep it up! Jazaak’Allahu khair

  2. Subhanallah, such a great article and deals with all the core problems at university.

    May Allah Bless You
    Ameen

  3. this is beautiful and so useful for the young genaration. Mashaallah you are doing a very big khidmat for the ummate muhammadiyah.

    May Allah accept all your hard work and give you reward in this world and the hereafter.

    aameen

  4. Assalaaamualykum my kind, loving, giving sister Sameha.
    I pray that Allah swt grants you all the happiness in the world and the hereafter. You have helped me in my difficult times, you have listened and been my shoulder and you are good even when others are not so good to you. I love you for the sake of Allah and pray you will always be my friend.

    Jzk for sharing all of this with us, may Allah accept. Ameen


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