Two stories that I stumbled upon recently were particularly distressing. Both involved sisters, practicing sisters, who wore the hijab and by all accounts, were "good" Muslims. Yet both of them stumbled, may Allah guide them back to the truth. And stumbled mightily. One sister took to prostitution, in fact, she showed up to "work" on the first day with her hijab on! I grieve for her, I grieve for her naivety, her innocence, I grieve for her life in the brothels, where the body's hijab is stripped away for the pleasure of men acting like animals. The other sister, though she kept her worldly integrity, lost much more in the akhirah. She belied her own fitrah, and she took to the religion which denies God Himself. We should all grieve, we should all feel for these women who were misled by the denizens of sins and evils. But, while we grieve, we should learn, we should take away lessons to apply to ourselves, to our communities, and to our societies. So, after recounting the two stories, I'll put forward one out of the many lessons that I take away from this, and I'll count on the readers of this blog to put forward their thoughts and lessons as well. I am especially interested in lessons form a common thread in both stories:
Narrated by Yahya Ibrahim in his lecture "Death is Near"
[distributed by Muslim Audio; highly-recommended buy]
I wish to begin by narrating to you a saddening story, that should fill your heart with sorrow and fear. It is the story of a Muslim story that I received an email from about 3 months ago. This Muslim sister writes: I have an older sister… alhamdulilah, we were raised as Muslims, and my sister was a very bright student, and she received a scholarship to the most prestigious engineering school in
She took off the hijab, didn’t inform the parents, and all the people she lived with, who by the way were non-Muslims, were overjoyed, “Now you can come out with us” So she used to attend their social gatherings. Three months ago, I told you the sister emailed me, she said that my sister has just sent us a hand-written letter, saying, and this story began 2 yrs ago, saying “I cannot live like this anymore, I cannot live a lie, I must inform you that I no longer believe in your God, in fact I believe in no god.” Inna lilah wa inna alahi rajioon. Say it, Inna lilah wa inna alahi rajioon. This is the greatest calamity. O Allah, the Prophet used to teach us, do not make our calamity in our religion. What causes more sorrow that the parents of this Muslim girl ask, “can you please ask the shayookh, could you please translate our questions and ask, is it permitted for us to marry her off with a Muslim man and not tell him of this deviance.. just make a contract, so maybe she would become infatuated with her new husband and forget all this stuff she is doing”. Look at how naive they are [in their grief]. “Do not die except you are in the state of Islam.”The Prostitute
Sex workers enjoy pastoral retreat
"JULIE" entered an arranged marriage when she was 15. She says pressure from her strict Muslim family meant there were few options if she chose not to marry.
But when she later became pregnant and decided she would not have a baby in that loveless marriage, her husband was outraged.
"My husband told the sheikhs," she says. "And there was all this guilt trip, 'You are a Muslim lady, you shouldn't do that, you have killed a human being, how dare you … you are going to go to hell in this world and then to hell in another life.' "
Julie had the abortion and divorced her husband, later moving in with a friend who seemed inexplicably wealthy. "I saw guys dropping her off but they never came inside," she says. "I asked her where do you meet these people? Where do you go when you disappear for hours? Where do you get this money from?"
Her friend reluctantly told her she worked in the sex industry. "I thought if she can do it, then so can I," says Julie.
On her first night at the brothel she wore her hijab. "The owner said to me, 'Look, I know you are different and you have got a different belief, but in many ways we are a lot alike.'
"She gave me a room and told me I didn't have to do a job straight away, just to get comfortable. But it was so hard for me because, except for my husband, the most I had said to another man was 'Hi, how are you?'
"It took me six months to learn how to say 'Hi I am (Julie), how are you? I do sex, massage, oral with condoms."
Julie says shifts were soothed with methamphetamine, or ice, and she gradually became more comfortable.
Two years into the work she became pregnant again and decided to quit the industry — and the drugs.
She says it is tough. "You miss the money, so much … sometimes you think I will just go back to pay this bill off …"--------------------------------------------------------
The necessity and importance of good company. All of us have friends, need friends, and enjoy friends. But, it is indeed the friends that led one of our sisters into prostitution, and the other into atheism.
So, by all means, have friends, lots of them if you wish. But, for Allah's sake, choose them wisely. Choose a friend that will remind you when the prayer time is, not one that will tell you to postpone it until the football game is up. Choose a friend who will remind you to lower your gaze, not one who will rush your attention to that 'blond chic'. Remember, friends will also serve to console you when you need consolation. How they console you will affect you at this time of emotional weakness. Are they going to take you to a night-club to 'relax, and take your mind off things', or will they remind you about lessons from the Quran, Sunnah, the Sahaba, scholars or even regular people who took their grief and turned it into something positive. Remember what the Prophet (S) said, "The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk would either offer you free of charge or you would buy it from him or you would. smell its pleasant odor, and so far as one who blows the bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell. [Sahih Muslim Book 32, #6361].
Further readings: Here and here