Special File of Sexuality Test

Let us listen to this warning of God: “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption).” (the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32)

Allah does not say “do not commit fornication”; he says, “do not come near fornication”.

In our religion, there are forbidding decrees about weaknesses and habits which lead people to evil deeds. Those who obey these decrees save their worldly lives as well as their life in the hereafter.  They are trying to keep themselves and their children away from negative habits which are getting more and more common. Let us listen to this warning of God: “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption).” (the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32)

Articles, questions and answers on sexuality:

What are the ways of the right use of sexuality and keeping away from fornication?

Build empathy

Be chaste and live chastely

Give up your obsession with bodily appetites

Read books, consider things a lot

Control your imagination

Remember often the death

Get married, if not possible, perform  fasting

Do not stay alone, make good friends

Listen to the advice and read the books of those who are good examples with their lives

Fill your spare time with activities such as sports

Keep away from the places which stimulate lustful emotions

Do not fall into despair after commiting a sin

Pray a lot

A lesson for youth

1.      Build empathy

Let us close our eyes and mount on our steed of imagination and start our journey to the time when the Messenger of Allah lived, to the Era of Happiness. See there a young boy stands. His name is Julaybib. It is understood from his face and his behavior that he has a problem.

Julaybib goes to the Prophet (pbuh) and says “ O the Holy Messenger of God! Please let me commit fornication”

Believers around try to silence him by saying “ Hush! Hush!” because of such an expression.

Yet the Sun of the Both Worlds calls him by his side saying “ Come over here”

Julaybib comes and sits next to the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet begins to talk to him :

“Tell me then! Would you accept it if somebody had unlawful sexual intercourse with your mother?”

“I will sacrifice myself to you, no I would not”

“ Nobody would accept such intercourse committed with their mother. Then, tell me would you accept it committed with your daughter?

“I can die for you, O the Prophet of God!, No, I would not!”

“Nobody would accept such intercourse committed with their daughter. Then, tell me would you like anyone to commit fornication with your sister?

“I will be perished for your sake, no I would not!”

“Nobody would like such commitment with their sisters. Then, would you be pleased if somebody committed fornication with your aunt?

“I will sacrifice myself for you, no, absolutely no!”

“ Nobody would be pleased if somebody committed fornication with their paternal aunts. Would you consent to such commitment with your maternal aunt?

 “No, I would not consent to it”

“ Nobody would consent to such intercourse with their maternal aunts.”

Yes, with this dialog, The Prophet persuades Julaybib’s mind and satisfies him by means of mind and reasoning. After that, he puts his hand over the bosom of this boy and prays like this :

“O God! Forgive his sins, purify his heart and help him preserve his honor”

After this prayer, Julaybib becomes the symbol of chastity. He becomes so but nobody is willing to let their daughters to marry him because his past life is notorious. God’s Prophet also solves this problem of this believer whose mind he has persuaded. He sends a messenger to a person in order to make him allow his daughter to marry Julaybib and they get married.

Julaybib becomes a martyr in a battle that later takes place. At the end of the battle, God’s Prophet asks the people around :

“Do we have any losses?”

And the Honored Companions reply : “ No, O God’s Prophet, we are all complete in number”

However, God’s Prophet says “ I have a loss”” and comes by Julaybib. He kneels down with his head over his knee and he remarks :

“ Julaybib is from me and I am from my Julaybib”

Attaining this rank, Julaybib flies to the other world. (Ahmad b Hanbal, Musnad, 5:256-257)

What is the message that this event gives us? Do not do to others what you want for yourself! A person who wants to have unlawful sexual intercourse must always bear this in mind. He must emphatize.

According to the Prophet’s expression, the person whom somebody has an unlawful sexual intercourse is definitely one’s sister, brother, uncle or aunt. For this reason, people must always keep in mind the irritation by some other people’s deeming their own wives, children and relatives the same way.

I cannot control my emotions!

Here is the e-mail of a young boy who is distressed by today’s environment which stimulates sinful deeds. Let us listen to what he wants to say :

I am a 20-year-old student at university. I have an excessive interest in girls since high school. This interest leads me to different ways. I fear that I might lose control and do something wrong. How can I get over this situation?

These statements do not only belong to the young boy who sent this e-mail. This friend of ours has become the voice for all youngsters like him.

I must state this first. All the people have their own tendencies and hobbies according to their own standards and according to their abilities, minds, capabilities or weaknesses, desires and wishes. Some people desire to become soldiers and attain the rank of a general and some desire to become famous.

And all the males are known to have interests in the opposite gender. This occurs in different amounts; the expression of this feeling by every individual differs in strength and form. What it comes down to is that all the males should live with this according to standards of normal people just like obeying the rules of the tick-tack-toe game.

It is wrong for a person who is obsessed with cars to steal a car to satisfy his obsession and to ignore all the traffic rules, by having an accident and as a result of all these causing disorder against himself and the community; similarly, a man who has excessive interest in women must play the game by rules. He must not forget that he has his mother, aunts, sister, sister-in-law or nieces and they are women too. Limits, boundaries and balances are important.

Concepts like honor, religion or morals etc prolong the equation of testing to several unknowns. Perhaps, in this dilemma of excessiveness and deficiency, people rise with the wings they have borrowed from the angels in their journey of endeavors to find the middle way but they are unaware of it.

2.Be chaste and live chastely

We mentioned above that Julaybib became a symbol of chastity. Chastity means keeping away from bad words and deeds, staying within the limits of modesty and good manners and living obedient to truthfulness, honesty and moral values.

Moreover, some revered scholars express the situation of willingly abstaining from unlawful desires and cravings with the word “ chastity” beside its meaning of willing attitudes towards desires and cravings within legal limits. From this point of view, chastity, with its general meaning is taking materialistic and lustful desires under control by using the power of will and to abstain from fornication and a lifestyle which only focuses on worldly pleasures.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi says there are three basic emotions in humans : “power of intellect” which means the ability to see the reality and to distinguish what is wrong from what is right; “power of passion” which is the source of emotions such as hatred, rage, anger and aggressiveness; “power of animal appetite” which is considered to be the source of desires, cravings and bodily pleasures.

He also described the case of the power of animal appetite that is freed completely from chastity in the form of one’s lacking emotion of shame and thus becoming so indifferent that they might commit any kind of crime as “fisq and fujur” ( rebellion against God, committing sins), and the case of being insensitive and indifferent towards halal (religiously permitted) blessings and pleasures as “humud” (frigidity).

He described with the word “chastity” the situation in which a person stays willingly distant to unlawful desires and cravings along with being willing to taste legal pleasures and flavors in a destination and moderation in terms of the power of animal appetite. In terms of this point of view, chastity, with its general meaning, is taking materialistic and bestial desires under control by using the power of will and abstaining from fornication and a life style which only focuses on worldly pleasures. ( İşaratu’l İ’caz: Signs of Miraculousness, p. 142)

I do not allow people to say things against my chastity!

Chastity is agreeing that bodies do not belong to men or women but they are lent by God, The Real Possessor, as trusts. Whoever is the owner, he sets the rules. The chastity of those who know they are not the possessor of the bodies but God bears the meaning that they use their bodies not for the sake of its pleasures or temporary desires but for God, the creator of every organ and emotion of the body.

A chaste person uses his emotion of lust in a legal and acceptable way according to divine principles and within the framework of divine permission. Chastity for every emotion means their usage for the purpose they have been created for and within the framework of permission. For example, the chastity of an eye is not being inclined to lust and similar desires but seeing beauties and contributing to meditation.

The Qur’an states that believers are those who strictly guard their private parts, their chastity and modesty (al-Muminun, 23:5-7), and it gives the good tidings of God’s mercy and reward for those who live guarding their chastity (al-Ahzab, 33:35), and addressing men and women separately due to the importance of the issue, it warns all the believers to guard their chastity and avoid forbidden gazes which is considered to be a gate for unchastity (an-Nur, 24:30-31). Also, giving the examples of Yusuf and Maryam (Mary), who are the symbols of chastity, the Quran shows the believers the horizon of chastity and modesty.

Yusuf (pbuh) prayed God against the call for sin by the wife of the vizier : "My Lord! Prison is dearer to me than what they bid me to.” (the Qur’an, Yusuf, 12:33). He accepted the risk of being imprisoned instead of people’s saying things against his chastity and he became a symbol of modesty for all the believers who would be born until the Doomsday.

Maryam, whom God exalted with His statement :“And (mention) that blessed woman who set the best example in guarding her chastity. We breathed into her out of Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a miraculous sign (of Our Power and matchless way of doing things) for all the worlds.” (the Qur’an, al-Anbiya, 21:91) is also a good example for all the believers.

So, Maryam, our beloved mother who grew in a clean and neat atmosphere, guarding her chastity and honor became as if an embodied chastity with her cleanest nature and character. Therefore, against the rude words of the unfortunate people about the birth of Jesus (pbuh), she moaned grievingly : “Would that I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten, completely forgotten!" (the Qur’an, Maryam, 19:23).

Along with keeping in mind this general meaning of chastity, it is possible to deal with it more broadly. According to the criterion which Badiuzzaman described “ The circle of halal is wide enough to satisfy pleasures. There is no need to commit haram.”, chastity means living within the borders of legal area and not stepping or entering the forbidden zone. So, a chaste person should be content with the service of all organs such as eyes, ears, hands or feet within the legal circle and should not commit any bad deeds under any circumstances and avoid the situations which might harm his honor and self-respect.

One of the poisonous arrows of Satan

It is possible for eyes to see harams in marketplaces and bazaars. “There will be such a time that preserving belief will be more difficult than holding ember in the hand” says the Prophet ( pbuh) ( Ibn Majah, 2:1306). Yes, “ ember; if you throw it, belief leaves and if you hold it, your hands will burn.”

He also says : “ Gaze is one of the poisonous arrows of Satan”. If it is stuck in the heart or enters the hearth through eye funnel, it blurs the sight, stupefies the head.

And he becomes the voice for God : “ Whoever abstains it because of the fear of Me, I send such a pleasantness of belief to his heart that he will feel its pleasure in the depths of his heart.” ( Kanzu’l Ummal, 5:329)

See what our Prophet, who determines his attitude against these poisonous arrows of Satan and as in every deed, who begins with the people around, does in this case?

During hajj, while descending from the Mount Arafat, He turns the head of Fazl, Abbas’ son, whom He has placed on his camel, left to right and right to left repeatedly for fear that he might gaze at the women who are passing by them. Pay attention to this event : This kind event takes place during Hajj where such emotions are almost impossible.

Secondly, according to Aisha, the mother of believers’ statement, in such a period when women and men are walking separately without showing their faces, the Prophet turns side to side the head of Fazl, his uncle’s son about whom no one can ever think such a thing.

And this event takes place in the atmosphere of the Era of Happiness which is always caressing, softens the sights and hearts, smells inspiration and the breath of Gabriel fragrantly and which makes spirits be aware of the hereafter on the earth.

While it is impossible to think of bad things when we get to a mosque or to a religious community even if we want, how should we evaluate His turning Fazl’s face side to side for fear that unwanted illusions blur his sight, an arrow be stuck in his heart and seeds of sin be sprinkled inside him, when such a thing is never possible?

The meaning this event conveys is as follows: Dealing the issue radically, not allowing even a single match lest forests should be set on fire; even when there is no possibility of war, standing guard and watching every second in the headquarters where thousands of soldiers are present.

Yes, eradicating all the causes which lead people to forbidden deeds, prostitution, murders and so many more. Filling holes in case a snake or an insect sneaks in. Placing insurmountable blockades in order to protect numerous lives and destruction of many families because of a gaze or a smile. In other words, eradicating the causes which lead to evil deeds and preventing sins to be committed ; this is the line that God has drawn.

Do not go outside whenever you are bored.

Should a person who is bored go outside? This kind of thought is a hole for satan to easily sneak through and get working. A person who thinks he can get rid of his boredom outside is like one who jumps out of the frying pan into the fire.

Boredom generally occurs because of dissatisfaction of the heart, of not establishing a contact with God and His Prophet, not sticking to worshipping, not actually reading and considering things, not being preoccupied with anything, and not working for the religion. For those, holes that satan can sneak in are present. A person wandering around the same places where satan’s arrows rain despite being shot there before is like a person who runs back to the sea where salty water burned his tongue in order to quench his thirst,. 

3. Give up your obsession with bodily appetites

Desires and habits of body is like a lethal poison for people and weight that pulls people down. Spirit matures and rises despite the body. In other words, the more body is fed, the smaller spirit becomes; it squeezes and becomes heavy. As a result, spiritual sentiments like heart and emotion become awkward.

According to the Prophet’s ( pbuh) statements, satan flows through human’s vessels. In this case, he says “ You should narrow the places where he flows through” (Bukhari, Ahkam 21). Squeeze him by depriving him from his desires with hunger and thirst. It is very normal for a person who eats whenever he wants, who feeds on various food and snacks, to be obsessed with lust.

For this reason, by giving will its right and fighting for it, it is important to reduce the amount on which the soul feeds. Otherwise, the soul will be an open gate for satan. Satan and the soul will not be good friends for man . Knowing that the soul is an enemy which leads people to evil deeds and which people must battle against the most severely and keeping away from it and from satan are the first steps on the path to God.  

Our Prophet’s (pbuh) statement “ Your biggest enemy is your soul, which is in the middle of your eyebrows” (Kashfu’l Khafa, 413), and after a battle his words “ We are returning from the smaller battle to the bigger one.” And the statement “For assuredly, the human carnal soul always commands evil.” (the Qur’an, Yusuf, 12:53) from the voice of Yusuf ( pbuh) in the Qur’an are important lessons for us on the issue that we must always be alert against it. Therefore, we must know when to say “no!” to our soul and we must endeavor to teach it and discipline it. 

4.Read books, meditate a lot

Every person should follow the path of the prophets and saints that God sent by getting deeper in meditation and thinking every day and collecting beams of talent from the book of the universe spread in front of us just like a bee collecting pollen from flowers. With the help of this path, they can bring about vitality in the spirit and every step taken will be a source of strength for it.

While the lancet of the Book and Sunnah that our conscience holds in its hands removes all our spiritual wounds, the works of guides and renewers with their various methods of treatment that change based on the ages, and the immortal facts in these works should always be kept within reach as medication which will certainly heal our spiritual wounds immediately; the priority must be arranged according to the prescribed criteria and principles, and these works must be read without getting sick and tired of them.

So after this operation that needs repeating every day in the spirit and the heart, we become stronger against the tricks and ruses of satan. Otherwise, we might fade, grow pale be dispersed and end up like those who do not read, think and renew themselves.

For the stability and liveliness of our hearts and thinking, it is very important to read, to listen to, to consider and to add color and pleasure to our lives through the great life of our Prophet and the pictures of the life of the first believers and good people who respectively lighted the way through the ages. A person who can compare himself and his life to those great examples with a thought like “They were in that way. What about us! How are we?” will obtain a power to question himself and a power to push from behind and pull from the front.

Not only to commemorate and to feel pleasure, but also with a decision to be actually like them,  it is an important issue that needs to be particularly dealt with to read and listen to their legendary lives with excitement and consequently to arrange our lives according to theirs.

Question yourselves

When it comes to the issue of meditation, you can find numerous verses in the Qur’an on this issue. For example, in one of these verses, people who repeat God’s name and who contemplate a lot the creation of the earth and heavens. ( the Qur’an, Aal-‘Imran, 3:191).

At some nights, our Prophet woke up to pray; citing that verse; he used to cry and say: “ shame on those who reads this verse and do not meditate” (Ibn Hibban, 2). There are also some hadiths which express that an hour’s meditation might be equal to a thousand year’s prayer. For this reason, we should meditate things we read from time to time and listen to ourselves.

Indeed, we can call it “accounting of the soul”. This accounting of the soul which is called self-criticism today is quite important in terms of people’s determining the point they are on. We should ask ourselves the questions “ where have I come from? What is the purpose of my being sent to this world? What am I doing? Where am I going?” and start meditation; preparing a balance sheet of pluses and minuses of our lives, we should evaluate the present condition we are in. Thus, we could have the chance to clearly notice  the mistakes and sins we committed.

Can you see how sensitive one who sails in the sea of meditation and questions his soul becomes. For the people who set themselves new goals every day and who endeavor to fulfill them, these matters we are discussing are out of question any longer. Such people have already built protective mechanisms in their spiritual worlds and they are servicing these mechanisms. 

What to do to build such mechanisms?

1. We should read the Qur’an by understanding it. The Qur’an is a remedy for what is inside ( sins, discomfort etc.) a person’s heart. We should make use of this remedial feature of the Qur’an and know that it is an elixir of life. The Qur’an is not all about commands and prohibitions.

2. We should perform our prayers in the way the Qur’an suggests, with awe and satisfaction and by fulfilling all their requirements. We should practice tasbihat, which is a sunnah of our Prophet, after the prayer. It will be a protective armor for us.

3. We should always keep in mind that praying has a function that strengthens the connection to God.

4. We should remember in every opportunity and by every means, Allah, His greatness, mercy, compassion, glory, power, justice rage, etc.

5. We should try to consolidate our love for Him. This can be done through tasting this feeling of love. The mood of those who love and the strength of winds blowing inside them are different than others.

6. We should read every day at least a part of the books which tell about the facts of belief and we should therefore satisfy our hearts, our spirits and other feelings of ours so that satan cannot find any hole to sneak through into us.

7. We should not forget that we have our wills to be disciplined; setting to discipline it as a goal for us and determining the ways to carry out this goal, we should do our best to be successful in it for the sake of Allah.

5.Control your imagination

Imagination is a mental process which is not bound to logic and limit of power and which is not subject to the concepts of time and place. Under the impact of our five senses it may sometimes produce motifs that are not completely contrary to the true nature of things and events.

For example, any image that we see produces some sort of pictures and visions in our imagination. Sounds that we hear bring some kind of scenes and pictures to our mind. An event that a friend tells us about reminds us another event or a similar event and so we go deep after that imagination.

When we see image of a person who performs prayers, some images and pictures about the first believers come to our minds and we get into meditation. Duties and services that we are to do for our nation fill our minds.

For this reason, we should use our imagination for the sake of the good things. For instance, while performing prayers and supplication, we imagine the rings around the Kaaba or dream ourselves to be in those rings, worshipping our Lord together with all creatures. In the same way, even while performing our prayer alone, we imagine ourselves among millions of Muslims and while saying “Ameen”, it is as if we do it along with millions of mouths repeating at the same time.

Thanks to such a spirit and consciousness, even if we are alone, this sort of imagination brings us such strength and comfort that we feel as if we pray with millions of people. This is the imagination of a believer and it brings benefits to him.

Imagination might also be used for evil and sins. A person who lives alone and who does not have good friends might become a victim of imagination which can lead him to sins and he may become deep down with imagination which can make him fail due to a gaze or a single sound. Such imagination of sins might lay the groundwork for commitment of such sins.

As we have stated above, a piece of image or scene implanted by satan into our imagination becomes a film out of the imagination camera and causes prostitution tree to sprout. And once the soul captures it, it will become easier to come into reality.

For this reason, man might become a rebel because his imagination is filled with such images of sin, although he is not a rebel indeed. So, we should deem such thoughts, images or ideas as serpents or scorpions and we should try not to be tricked by them; if we are, we should try to rescue ourselves.

Images or scenes of our imagination depends on the atmosphere or impact of the magnetic area we are in. 

Suppose, we have been without food for three days; do you think we would be dreaming of ourselves to be in jewelry shops or in a spaceship on an odyssey in the space or we would be dreaming of a pitcher of water, a loaf of bread or a plate of meal?

Imagine you are on the operating table and waiting to be cut and sawn; meanwhile, people are mentioning you about delicious desserts and sweets; what would you be dreaming of in this case?

You are in a cinema or surfing the net or you are in front of a television and you are watching obscene images which call you to the world of lust; would it be possible then to reflect to your mind the rings of people around the Kaaba?

Then, those who desire to imagine things about Allah should be in the places where this is easy and they should accompany such people.

6. Remember the death a lot

The Lord of the Universe, want us to remember the death a lot. ( Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 26) As people believe in the fact of death, they allow it rule their imagination and thinking by implementing it into their senses, emotions and their minds and if they can convince themselves about the fact of life in the grave that will last until the Doomsday, they can change their consideration and attitudes towards the world and hereafter.

The thought of death is like an antibody which may at least reduce the effects and harms of the accustoming and delusions and also the viruses of sin and similar germs which may become existent in the human spiritual vessels and which satan makes look attractive.

With a thought like: “Of course, I will die and I will be called to account for what I did in this world; so what is the point in seizing worldly pleasures and committing sins? Why should I go into the forbidden zone while I am supposed to be in the desired one; why should I gaze at obscene images which is sure to blacken my life in hereafter?”, the death is in a way a strong repellent of evil deeds and an energizer which triggers people to do good deeds.

However, if our spiritual vessels are filled with sins and germs that are the forbidden flavors of this world at a degree which antibody cannot be effective and if a cellular anarchy has occurred in all parts of the body and a wall which even antibodies of death cannot be effective has formed, then neither death nor the dead people make any difference; and passing away of our beloved ones one by one becomes only a few days’ temporary mourning and sorrow.

And after that, with consolations of clichés like “ you do not have to die together with your loved ones that died. It is the very place we are all supposed to go; may Allah bless us with belief and the Qur’an”, all the eyes and hearts go back to unwariness.

Why is death not recalled?

People do not want to remember death because it makes the tastes which body likes become bitter, it depresses people, and it forces people to quit bodily appetites and some sort of bodily pleasures and habits. It also narrows the eyes of the heart which gaze at the world; and blurring the thoughts, it blackens sweet dreams.

I am calling out to death!

Look how a heart which is filled with love for people and has devoted itself to the salvation of youth evaluates death:

We kiss the death in the forehead: we call him “what a dear friend, a good company you are”. Let some people look at you with their prickly eyes; you are the rose! Let others call you “ black face”; you are a pair of wings of light which fly us beyond, to the enlightened lands.

Do not be sad because they call you “cold face”; to us, you are pure and white as snow with your flowers of good tidings. Some calls you a pit and some “ a hole”; yet we call you “a corridor which leads to palaces of eternal happiness”.

“Separator” they may call you, but you are indeed the reuniter to the thousands of friends and lovers who emigrated to eternal world. You firstly take us to the prophets whose faces angels admire and then to the first believers, to who guided us in this world and finally to our dear lovers and relatives. You get us close up to the Face of Allah (Jamalullah).

You are  the separator though you are a discharge paper which takes us to the real life from this quarter of anguishing world which bears the burden of longing. You are like a tasty drink to pour God’s light on us during our journey back to the One Who Sent us. 

And you are not the end but the end of the end; an end which can be equal to eternity and to the beginning of eternity. You are a horizon which gets the end and the eternity lip to lip and a liner for the eyes to be opened to the Beautiful Face. And you are the one who makes the Voice of troubled generation say “ Alas! I am not yet dead today though”.

While the thought of death, as we stated above, makes us bent down with worries about accounting to our Lord for our sins, our feeling of responsibility and deeds we committed for and against our Lord with its deterrent and stimulating features, it also gets us refreshed, shaking our hearts in accordance with the relation of hope and fear, rears them up and sets positive effects on our feelings along with our hearts and our behaviors along with our thoughts.

We will be saved from accustoming and maintain our liveliness and abstain from possibilities of prostitution and satan and the harms of sins with by continuously remembering death which is also called “thinking of death”, visiting graveyards and taking lessons from the situation of the sick people and the disabled 

7.Get married, if not possible, perform fasting

Our Prophet states : “ O the community of young people! Get married; if you cannot afford it, fast because fasting is like a shield against sins” ( Bukhari, Sawm, 10). In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah states : “ The satan of a young person who gets married at a young age will yell like this : “Alas! He saved his faith from me” ( Ibn Asakir)

If a young person begins to get troubled by his bodily wills, it is recommended that he should get married immediately. If he is not threatened by such a danger, and if he is virtuous and chaste just like prophets and great people who served for the religion and if he has duties to fulfill and if, in a sense, his atmosphere is protecting him, even if he may be allowed to remain single, he should be encouraged to get married because of today’s threatening condition which is easy for people to be deceived by satan and he should be protected by this shield and this armor. Otherwise, fasting might be recommended as another way of protecting.

I am fasting but in vain!

Fasting is a shield against sins. However fasting must be practiced fulfilling all of its requirements so that it can serve as deterrent against unlawful intercourse.

For example, if a person stays with a empty stomach all day and fills his stomach in the evening by eating a lot more than normal and at dawn if he eats as much as he has eaten in the evening, he will definitely not get good results from fasting because the purpose of fasting is to cut down the feeling of lust. Nevertheless, daily consuming of food over a certain amount of calorie serves as aphrodisiac, let alone cutting down the feeling of lust. Thus, it becomes impossible for one to benefit from fasting if he keeps on consuming this much.

Man should keep a good track of what he consumes at normal times. Eating less, drinking less, and sleeping less is an unchangeable principle of Islam. Our Prophet suggests people to leave one third of the stomach for food and the other one third for water. He advices people to leave the remaining one third empty.( Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 23). So, in this case we must act in accordance with these criteria while fasting.

However, since some people have been created with particular features, their bodily desires are higher than others. Such people might have a strong desire to get married, which can drive them mad. It is possible that fasting might not tranquilize them. Such people need to get married immediately even if they are poor and have financial problems; people should not allow them to commit sins for this reason. 

8. Do not stay alone, make good friends

God created man as a social creature and sent him to live together with other people. Man can only live in a community regarding in terms of his spiritual and materialistic features. Therefore, since Adam (pbuh), community has always been at the front and individuals in the background. In some periods and epochs of time, this issue even became comparatively more important than other issues and became just like an obligation.

Firstly, it should be known that an individual cannot protect himself against  destructive opinions and groups which make people stray from the right path. A person, even if he is at a high level of quality, cannot live alone with his own intelligence and capacity of culture and knowledge among our century’s deviations and storms of sins; even if he can, he is always in danger of becoming a prey for the wolves whenever he separates from the herd.

Moreover, he may be deprived of the prosperity, advantages and favors which being in a community brings. A person whose feet do not stand on the ground of community is like a leaf or a feather under feet; he is dispersed from side to side whenever the wind blows.

That is why even the strongest, the most powerful people of the period of first believers who would make angels envy required to become socialized and form a union. For this reason, only becoming part of a community can rescue us from becoming victims of the numerous traps that evil committees set on our ways through various channels and branches, and their attacks as a community and from satan, our souls and storms of sins, which are our spiritual enemies. Invitation to this idea is today’s one of the most vital issues.

Good friends lead to Paradise

We should make friends but we should choose good friends. How nice are these proverbs: “he that lies down with dogs will rise up with fleas”, “a rose grows among roses” and “tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are”. Yes, everybody acquires something good or bad from their friends.

For instance, you might have such friends that you feel filled with love and enthusiasm and strength when you are with them as if you are sitting by a revered believer in God. Their good words and behavior immediately destroy bad deeds and thoughts which are about to sprout like moss. A good friend is one that makes your heart beat faster and that releases love and enthusiasm to your heart and enlightens your thoughts. Friends, pals who enlighten our spiritual world. Yes, what we need are such people.

Do have a good friend. Whenever you have looseness in you and a distress in your heart and even emotionlessness, you should find him and tell him “tell me something” and talk him about your problem; and you should have no doubt that such a friend is sure to hold your hand and lead you through various whirls and labyrinths of life to the enlightened climate again.

You can find tartness and distress in his words seemingly; however, what it all comes down to is the result itself. After bearing the very first cut of the lancet, your wounds which hurt you hundred times more will be healed and your religious discomfort will be replaced by a spiritual pleasure in a sense.

9.Listen to the advice and read the books of those people who are good examples with their lives

There is an expression “acting in accordance with what he knows”. You must surely have heard it. We use this expression for those who can bring their knowledge into life and who become good examples for the people around. Listening to the advice of such people is protective and nourishing remedies for us to be freed from our habitual routine deeds, soften our hearts and defend ourselves against satan’s delusions and forcing us to commit sin.

Man is an important creature with his mind, logic and reasoning; he is also a combination of heart, spirit and emotions with his enthusiastic heart, shuddering conscience and weeping eyes. In this respect, he is prone to get deeper inside and enrich his spiritual world and expand in meditation.

Man needs to melt the icebergs that have formed in him; he also feels a strong desire and craving for fountains giving spiritual milk which are to quench his spiritual thirst. The Qur’an commands many times the Prophet to “tell” and he, the Sun of the two Worlds says “ Religion is advice” (Muslim, Belief, 95). 

While on the one hand, the command of “telling” until the breaking point is given, and on the other hand an advice from a hadith “become a teacher or a leaner or a listener but do not become the fourth one” is conveyed, these two ends are made to meet at one point and attention is attracted to either telling or listening.

In this case, it is of vital importance like food or water or air for man to listen to those who can get his hearts excited and remove the stains and dirt of emotions and sentiments inside him and who can increase his enthusiasm for eternal worlds and who meanwhile can enlighten his consideration with religious issues and issues of knowledge.

For this reason, man should not say “ I know this; why do I need to listen to it again?”; we do not stop eating and drinking, we need them every day let alone getting tired of them;  similarly, it is perhaps a thousand times more necessary to listen to the talks and advice which are deemed as nourishment for the heart and the spirit and which also play a protective role against evilness of satan and sins. We always witness dialogues among people about those who have quit consuming alcohol and gambling thanks to sermons and talks that they attend continuously.

Even if they are not bodily alive, there are a number of great people, saints of Allah, who are still alive thanks to the service they made and books they wrote and who inject us with belief and hope. Moreover, there are also great people in our country whose words and talks people listen to and who live according to the sunnah of our dear Prophet in every period of their lives. Their works and advice will arouse our hearts.

At this point, you can say “There are such great works but I cannot find any time to read them and even if I can, I do not understand them” or “There are such great people but to attend their talks is hardly ever possible”.

However, you should not forget that we need to read these works which tell us about the facts of belief like air, water of food because, our spirits, our hearts and our minds and our other feelings also need to be nourished. You can find some sources and works which are likely to help you understand these works easily.

We strive for months or even for years for a test regarding worldly life. We must understand the importance of preparation for the test of which our eternal lives are in question and which passing or failing is of utmost importance.

Furthermore, today’s technology has improved so much that by means of radios, CD players, walkmans or voice recorders, etc you can listen to the talks of the great people we mentioned and you can maintain your metaphysical excitement.

10. Fill your spare time with activities such as sports

A person without a preoccupation lives open to sins and gives satan opportunities to deceive him. For this reason, we should always fill our spare time and we should always be after pursuits which keep us excited, enthusiastic and refreshed.

Satan particularly attacks lazy people and those who spend their time lazily and in indolence. He falls upon those who do nothing and who kill their time aimlessly and who spend their time in smoky places, uttering nonsensical words.

He also picks on those who do nothing about their religion, belief, country and nation and those who live distant from religious services and deeds of belief and tempts them because such people are the easiest prey which satan has long been after.

Considering that satan makes use of indolence, laziness and idleness and sprinkles seeds of inappropriate thoughts and worries inside us and distracts our imagination that has nothing to do for his own sake and leading us to commit sins by having us think about sins, we, therefore should always fill every hole that he can sneak through, with occupation, action and activities and sweating due to working so that he cannot find what he seeks for.

“A rolling stone gathers no moss”; a person who always acts and who is constantly after spreading the true word and the truth attains energy and joy in both his body and spirit and his food becomes abundant and his family home also becomes a domicile like the ones in Paradise.

Remember that as long as we remain obedient to Allah and serve His religion, we will find Allah faithful to us and He will not let us alone against satan’s delusions and desires of our souls. He will not let us become spoiled, tainted and dead in foreign lands.

Look at this sweet word: “ Fulfill my covenant (which I made with you through your Prophets), so that I fulfill your covenant” ( the Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2:40). If we try to do our best with love and enthusiasm in order to spread His Name and Word and to have hearts filled with His light,  we hope our Lord will not reproach us with our sins that we commit knowingly and He will not let us alone in the swamp, in the hands of satan.

11.Keep away from the places which stimulate lustful emotions

Keep away from the places which stimulate you, from being the “audience” of media broadcasts or publications which incite sexuality or acts like a seducing imagination, a gaze or dialogue.

For example, suppose you have gone to the cafeteria of your school to have some tea. You notice a magazine or a newspaper on the table. You already know due to your past experiences that that newspaper or magazine includes obscene photographs. The thing you must do in this case is not to touch that paper or magazine. If you open it to read, you are surely to encounter inappropriate images which will contaminate your eyes and heart.  

Besides, do not use internet unless you have a really important thing to do with it. Do not open e-mails which includes sexual content in your inbox. Load programs and applications which block access to such sites.

Unfortunately our televisions are full of commercials and other programs that arouse sexual feelings all day. Therefore, prefer to listen to the radio instead of watching television.

We can give more examples of such media we might encounter in everyday life. Our Lord bestowed a will upon us. What we should do is to use our wills to do good deeds and to keep out and away from the evil atmosphere that calls us to sin.

12.Do not fall into despair after committing a sin

Man may gaze at an obscene image intentionally or unintentionally. Or he may have taken a step further and committed the sin of fornication. They might even have committed such sins several times although they have regretted. At this point, satan plays his role and he can make man say :

“I am finished. I am incorrigible. Allah will never forgive me. I am the most horrible person in the world. Allah will never forgive such a sinner; so what is the point in repentance? Let it go ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’.”

Actually, such statements are satan’s most fatal strike. Desperation is his most insidious weapon. One of the things he dislikes most is a person’s repentance and turning to his Lord after committing a sin. Repentance as you know, is a refreshment or a internal restoration against sins. By repenting, we take refuge in our Lord’s favor from His rage and in His mercy and benevolence from His calling us to account for them.

We all open our eyes to this world in a sinless and innocent condition. We find two paths in front of us when we reach our age of responsibility. One of these paths leads to abysses and the other to Paradise. We may sometimes go out of the way which leads to Paradise. When straying from that path, we should remember this verse : “Turn to your Lord in penitence and submit to Him wholly before the punishment comes upon you (when it will be too late, and an acknowledgment of faith will no longer avail you); for after (that), you will not be helped.” (the Qur’an, az-Zumar, 39:54) and we should immediately turn back to the right path. This turning back makes our Lord pleased a lot.

Look what our Prophet states in one of His hadiths : “Allah becomes ultimately pleased with a person’s repentance. A man is on a journey in the desert. His camel on which his food, goods and water are loaded leaves him and runs away. This man runs here and there looking for his camel but finally because of exhaustion and despair, he falls asleep under a tree. Opening his eyes, he sees his camel has returned and standing by him with all the goods on him. This man becomes so happy that while thanking God for returning his camel, he exclaims by mistake: “ I am your deity and you are my slave”. Our Lord’s happiness and joy is much more than this man’s joy and happiness when a person repents.” (Bukhari, Daawat 4)

We remove the dirt caused by sins in our hearts  with the eraser of repentance. The Messenger of Allah indicates this fact as follows : “when a person commits a sin, a black point appears on his heart. If he does not erase it by repentance, that black point remains there. And if he commits a second sin, another black point appears on his heart” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 29)

For this reason, it is of utmost importance that we should erase our sins without insisting on them. We must not forget that feeling remorse due to sins is in fact the repentance itself. In this case, God’s Messenger’s glad tiding in this hadith “ A repenting person due to their sins is as if they never committed those sins” cheers us up. ( Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 30)

However, we might stumble again. In such a case, thinking that “ I have come to this point because of my straying from Allah’s path. So I can get out of this only by turning to Him again.”, we should operate our mind and conscience and try to strengthen our contact with God Almighty.

Commit a good deed after any sin.

We should remind you of this. The Prophet informs us that good deeds done after committing sins eradicate those sins. The Prophet states the following: “ A person who repents and does good deeds after committing sins is like a person who wears a tight armor. If he commits a good deed after a sin, one of the ties of this armor comes undone. And if he commits another good deed, then another tie comes undone. After all these good deeds, this armor falls over the man to the ground.” ( at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 4:106)

If a person who either commits sins against his Lord or treats a person unjustly does beneficial deeds after commitment of those sins and feeling regretful and increases his service for the Qur’an and belief, the ties of his armor of sin on him come undone one by one and he becomes free from those sins. Do not fall into despair and do not give the satan opportunities. Why should we feel desperate? The verse below states this fact :

“Say: "(God gives you hope): ‘O My servants who have been wasteful (of their God-given opportunities and faculties) against (the good of) their own souls! Do not despair of God's Mercy. Surely God forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, the All-Compassionate. ' " (the Qur’an, az-Zumar, 39:53)

Sins should be eradicated by repentance and atonement. Every sin includes a path that leads to denial. First of all, repentance means one’s abandoning the atmosphere of God’s benevolence and his rejecting divine assurance. Besides, committing sins makes a person the target of satan; the more the sins increase, the less Allah’s support and protection becomes.

Sin is like a stain or dirt; according to a hadith, if these stains pile up and are not cleaned by repentance and atonement, they enter between our spirituality and our Lord’s sight over us and block His manifestations; they draw a curtain in front of winds of blessing and they deprive us of His benevolence. And a heart without protection assumes a state which satan is able to attack with his weapon of denial.

Secondly, a person who commits a sin which may make him feel ashamed does not want anybody to be aware of this sin. However he is aware that Allah and the angels have seen what he has done. Satan, who always looks for his weak point, makes him say “ If only there had not been anyone who witnessed my sin; or if only this had not been a sin.”

In fact, a sin becomes a sin when it is insisted on and when it is regarded to be harmless and not eradicated by repentance and atonement. Otherwise, it may be forgiven if God wills and on condition that it is not insisted on and its harm is known and is feared and when it is forsaken with a intimate repentance, atonement and regret. There is no sin – except for polytheism – which Allah does not forgive even if the sins are as big as mountains. However, we should go to His door of forgiveness, mercy and grace.

13.Pray a lot

Praying is a way of worshipping and the essence of serving and adoring Allah. God Almighty informs us about how important praying is for us with His verses in the Qur’an such as “Pray to Me ( and) I will answer you” (the Qur’an, al-Mumin, 40:60) and “My Lord would not care for you were it not for your prayer.” (the Qur’an, al-Furqan, 25:77).

When we observe the lives of our Prophet and great people who served Allah, we see how important praying is.

Adam ( pbuh) and Eve who prayed as “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and do not have mercy on us, we will surely be among those who have lost!" (the Qur’an, al-A’raf, 7:23) ; and Jonas (pbuh) who got out of the stomach of a dolphin, saying “There is no deity but You, All-Glorified You are (in that You are absolutely above having any defect). Surely, I have been one of the wrongdoers (who have wronged themselves). " (the Qur’an, al-Anbiya, 21:87); and Zacharias (pbuh) who asked God to bestow upon him “an upright offspring” with his supplication “My Lord, bestow upon me out of Your grace a good, upright offspring. Truly, You are the All-Hearer of prayer. " (the Qur’an, Aal-‘Imran, 3:38); and Job who is the hero of patience and who sought remedy from Allah praying “Truly, affliction has visited me (so that I can no longer worship You as I must); and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful. " (the Qur’an, al-Anbiya, 21:83) and all other prophets always prayed Allah and sought help from Him.

He is the one “who gives dominion to whom He wills, and take away dominion from whom He wills, and who exalt and honor whom He wills, and abase whom He wills; in His hand is all good; surely He has full power over everything.” (the Qur’an, Aal-‘Imran, 3:26)

Man is in need of praying. Because, praying is the nourishment for the spirit. Prayer is one of the basic elements which contributes power and strength to people’s will against all the erosion of time and the events. By means of praying, man can reach a fresh, spacious climate from the suffocating atmosphere of things and events; he refreshes himself once more and enters in spiritual excitement.

Man needs the Lord of the Reals, Who is always with him wherever and whenever he is: either at night or during the day, either in the summer or winter, either on a mountain or a plain, either in a village or a city. For this reason, a believer only knows Him, and deems obeying a person other than him as a disloyalty to Him. He knows that as it is stated in the Quran “ Pray to Me ( and) I will answer you” (al-Mumin, 40:60) Allah, Who commands people to pray to Him, will answer all those who come to Him and declare their slavery for Him and who open their hands and pray to Him.

Nowadays, the balance of power between the abundance of sins and us is too weak. Our most effective weapon against such a balance should be prayer –with all sorts of it. As stated in a sacred hadith, if we remember Allah when we are in comfort and He will remember us and He will help us at the hardest time and when we lack causes like the time of Abraham ( pbuh) and He will convert the heat of fire into blessed coolness.

For this reason, we must entrust everything to Him and turn ourselves to Him in a total surrendering so that we can abstain our eyes and hearts from obscene things and we can perfect ourselves and our community.

Let us say “ Ameen” to this prayer altogether from the depths of our hearts:

My God! Save my heart, my mind, my hands, my waist, my feet, my tongue and my ears from inclination to the forbidden things!

Save my eyes from betraying and my hands from sins and my tongue from bad words and my spirit from evil inclinations and my heart from sinful desires from going astray and my soul from rebellion, from denial and from polytheism and unbelief.

Accept me as your slave! Forgive my sins! Show Your mercy on me! Give strength to our minds, our memory and our brains! Increase the taste of belief in our hearts!

Bless us with your guidance both in this world and in the hereafter! Keep us on the right path! Keep all of us away from the evilness of the forbidden things and from the ugly face of sins and from awful delusions of satan and from blindness of our soul and from loss of our minds and from the severity of the might of rage and from strength of lust!


14. A lesson for youth

There is no doubt that youth will abandon you; it will change into old age and death just as the summer gives its place to autumn and winter, and the day changes into evening and night. All the revealed scriptures give the good news that if transient youth is spent on good works, in chastity and within the bounds of good conduct, it will gain for the person immortal youth.

A murder resulting from a minute of anger causes millions of minutes of imprisonment; similarly; if youth is spent on vice, apart from being called to account in the hereafter, and the torments of the grave, and the regrets arising from their passing, sins, and the penalties suffered in this world, the unlawful pleasures of the youth contain more pain than pleasure; every youth with sense will approve it based on his own experience.

For example, the pains of jealousy, separation, and unreciprocated love transform the partial pleasure to be found in illicit love into poisonous honey. If you want to know how they end up in hospitals due to illnesses resulting from their misspent youth, and in prison due to their excesses, and in bars and dens of vice and the graveyard due to the distress arising from their unnourished hearts and spirits not performing their right functions, go and ask the hospitals, prisons, bars, and graveyards. More than anything, you will hear the weeping and sighs of regret at the blows youths have received as the penalty for abusing their youth, and their excesses, and illicit pleasures.

You will generally hear ‘alas’es, crying and repentance due to the punishments they received because of using their youth in a wrong way, their exuberance and illegitimate pleasures.

Foremost the Qur’an, with numerous of its verses, and all the revealed scriptures and books, give the glad tidings that if spent within the bounds of moderation, youth is an agreeable Divine bounty and sweet, powerful means to good works, which yields the result of shining, immortal youth in the hereafter.

Since the reality is this, and since the bounds of the licit are sufficient for enjoyment, and since an hour of unlawful pleasure leads sometimes to a punishment of one, or ten, years of imprisonment; surely it is absolutely necessary to spend the sweet bounty of youth chastely, on the straight path, as thanks for the bounty. ( The Rays, 11th Ray, 5th Topic) 

What are the disadvantages of misuse of sexuality and fornication? Does it cause Allah’s rage?

Prostitution and fornication destroy homes and families

They harm the brain and the mind

They cause forgetfulness

They kill Islamic love and enthusiasm

They cause people to suffer from compunction

Their becoming a sector causes incurable wounds

They cause abortions to increase

They threaten human health

They cause Allah’s rage

They aggrieve women

1.Prostitution and fornication destroy homes and families

As you know, an atom has a nucleus (core) and electrons revolving around the nucleus. Interfering electrons causes changes in the structure of an atom; chemical reactions occur as a result. This causes a number of damages. However, the major damage occurs when an uncontrolled interference is made in the nucleus. This sort of interference causes the atom to explode and results in a complete disarray.

A community is like an atom- too. The nucleus is the family. Social life is dynamited when this nucleus is interfered; and this destabilizes social balance. And when the social balances are damaged, the foundation of the nation which that community constitutes and the state composed of that nation is shaken.

If the family is not given importance, the order of the community becomes deteriorated; and as the philosophers say, individuals become monsters one by one. Western communities are at their high speed in individuals’ becoming monsters. In magazines published in France and Germany, this issue is frequently brought into question. They attempt to rescue the foundation of the family which is gradually collapsing. If the essential precautions are not taken, people are worried that concept of the family will vanish soon in Europe where the rates of divorce are high.

Strong bases on which the family is established shows the strength of the bases on which the community has been founded. Internal and external enemies who desire to destroy a nation begin with destroying the concept of the family. The role of prostitution in the degeneration of the community is indisputable because prostitution targets the family which is the cornerstone of a community. 

The ultimate danger against the family

Family is the core of the community. Healthy generations are raised in this domicile. A child primarily obtains his physical development as well as his moral discipline inside this domicile. The source of love for human is the family. The ultimate danger against this domicile is prostitution and fornication. Fornication, first of all, hinders the family to be built. A committer of fornication does not desire to build a family.

As in other religions, preserving the generation is the main principle in our religion as well. And this can only be achieved through marriage. Marriage is a blessing for the social life. Unlawful intercourses and relationships abolish the institution of family.

Furthermore, fornication causes a family to disintegrate and to be destroyed. What is left behind this destruction is men and women who are in deep useless regret and grieving due to the pain of cheating or being cheated and children who grow deprived of the interest and compassion of the parents who are separated.

Today, because of fornication and prostitution, a number of people have lost their honor, self-respect and self-confidence and they have adopted a disgraceful lifestyle. Due to prostitution, many homes and families have been destroyed. A general case of happiness, discomfort and pessimism caused by not being able to find what one seeks dominates people.

Nonetheless, if they entered the path Allah showed them, and chose the upright one, in other words if they made the halal choice, they would get in comfort psychologically and their respect for themselves would increase and the respect and love for one another would be restored and it would help people to build well-established families and communities.

These lessons are remarkable in this case:

If you want the pleasure and enjoyment of life, give life to your life through belief, and adorn it with religious duties ( Risale-i Nur, The Words, Thirteenth Word)

Events that true enjoyment, pain-free pleasure, grief-free joy, and life's happiness are only to be found in belief and in the sphere of the truths of belief. While a single worldly pleasure yields numerous pains. As though dealing ten slaps for a single grape, it drives away all life's pleasure. (Risale-i Nur, The Words, Thirteenth Word) 

The media spoils youths’ morality

Unfortunately the media in our country is causing deep destruction to the family with its broadcast and publications. The worst damage of obscene broadcasts and publications is their destruction in our culture and belief which is the source of moral values. Since the audience of the media broadcasts are generally young people and children, it is them who are being effected the most by this destruction.

Besides, since young people in puberty and children are not yet mentally and physically developed, they are affected by such broadcasts more than adults.

Modeling plays a great role in the developmental stages of children and youngsters. While media instruments were not as wide and various as they are today, the models of children and youngsters were perhaps their parents or sisters and brothers, that is, people who were close to them. Especially after the advent of television, relatives whom children and youngsters take as models have been replaced by famous singers, football players, fashion models, and even fictional characters from TV series, movies and cartoons. Considering the lifestyle and attitudes of these people, it is obvious that they cannot be deemed as suitable models for children and youngsters.

Both on television and press, famous people’s lives in luxury and wealth are being introduced and on the other hand, their illicit relationship and scandals are being displayed. For this reason, people envy their illicit lifestyles and their luxurious lives.

Moreover, the plot of TV series which we are exposed to at least ten of them every day are always focused on the same subjects. Extramarital relationships, consumption of cigarette and alcohol, violence, lies, slanders, gossiping are the common plot of such series on TV; and sexuality is emphasized more than previous years. 

With such broadcasts, media which has become more effective on the development of personality than family, school and people around are making children and youngsters become accustomed to illicit relationships and attitudes that damage both individuals and the community and making them being considered to be ordinary and finally to be normal.

Young people who begin to practice the behaviors which they see on television and which they read on newspaper in their daily lives, unfortunately do not end up happy as in the fictional world. The consequences are also presented by means of media. Every single day we witness news about youngsters who are involved in a crime or suicide or honor killing. Researches also prove and display this destruction of moral values. For example, it is reported that the age of abortion has decreased to under 14 in our country.

All these stand as the most important obstruction in front of the improvement and progress of Turkey because a community which lacks in moral values and belief cannot display cultural and technological development. It is obvious that the damage of obscenity does not only affect individuals but also the present and the future of a community

Here is an outstanding example: In the supplement titled “ Cumaertesi” of the newspaper “Zaman” dated 27th, August, 2006  Osman Yağmurdereli, who introduced show programs on television to the audience, states that there are no show programs worth watching on television; complaining about the lack of tv programs to be watched, he continues his words:

“ Producers of TV programs should give something to the community in which they live. Unfortunately, good programs are not being produced. Television channels must produce programs which are suitable for Turkish morality, customs and traditions. Programs today bring negative effects particularly on young people. They are likely to cause wounds which we will not heal in future. Everybody must be aware of it. The mentality “ do not watch if you do not like it” is nonsense.”

Yes, these are the words of a person who is in the show business in our country and we should take lessons from these words. I hope these words will be paid attention to and the decisions will be applied.

There is no excuse for cheating on one’s spouse

Cheating on one’s spouse is an extremely bad, painful and hideous thing no matter which gender, woman or man, commits it. There can be no excuse for and explanation to this. Trying to introduce logical explanation to cheating after commitment is incredibly funny and tragic. A common consideration is man’s cheating on his wife and wife’s having psychological problem as a result of this. However, we should remember that men cheat on their wives with women. It means women are also as guilty as men are regarding the issue.

We would like to state with these words of ours that cheating is not about gender, that both men and women can commit it and this concept of cheating is a psychiatric case. However, men are likely to try to make people consider it not as an individual commitment but as a characteristic of all men just in order to make people think the mistakes they made are innocent and normal and in order to cover them so that the nature of men will be held responsible.

However, men’s being in the question on this issue never means that all the men have cheated or will cheat on their wives. Unfortunately, it is the moral values and messages of the community that introduces this to men as a “right”. Despite being very few, the elaborated presentation of bohemian nights and wrong relationships in the media does not make it innocent; nor does it mean that all of the men commit it.

The case that we intend to point out is the damages of unlawful relationships on individuals and the whole community. Sometimes a man attempts to commit suicide because of it. In fact, if we had the chance to talk with his wife, we would see that she was not pleased with what she had done. She must have tasted a bit of happiness at first but she will regret afterwards.

Sins are like poisonous honey. And people cannot comprehend the pain of the poisonous honey right away. At first, it tastes sweet and nice. But then, the convulsive pain of poison begins and people are drifted into dark whirls, to dead-end streets and shores with no port to take refuge. In conclusion, they spoil their lives both in this world and in the hereafter.

Here is the confessions of a man who cheated on his wife : “I married my wife, loving her. We have been married for almost five years. We have a very happy family and a strongly built boy. We have started to quarrel with my wife for a month because of my parents. Actually it is me who is wrong. I could not be a bridge between my wife and my parents.

Anyway, in order to punish my wife because of her attitudes against my parents, I started an emotional relationship with a woman whom I work with at the same place. At first, everything was so sweet. As they say ‘a sin is poisonous honey’. And I was deceived by the sweetness of this honey though I realized soon that I was intoxicated. I became so remorseful. What do you think is the point in remorse? I definitely had serious problems. My family was on the verge of being destroyed. I finally managed to make my wife forgive me; however, my greatest fear is whether God also forgave me. This worry is eating me up. I am so ashamed toward her.” 

2.They harm the mind and the brain

Keeping on seeing half naked bodies, on hearing obscene words and on dreaming about erotic images that cannot be erased from the mind, many young people whose bodies are constantly producing testosterone and who are going under more pressure of lustful emotions every day, are being drifted towards sexual deviation day by day and becoming the black sheep of the community.

The widely-known function of fornication is its destroying minds and brains and bringing them to a state which they cannot produce and even think. The generations that are closely involved with prostitution can only operate the genital parts of their body. All their words and actions are focused on the genital parts. They get their brains occupied with empty deeds or even harmful ones when they are at their most productive age.

Prostitution corrupts bodies which are the physical power of a nation and puts lethargy on them; it also blunts minds, blackens hearts and kills the sense of virtue. You can make people who are infected with this disease do whatever you want.

Especially young people must strive to avoid the image that seduces them and the environment that stimulates them.  A young person whose eyes deliberately witness a wide range of obscene images goes toward the edge of an abyss. Those young people who do not care the limits of privacy, mingling with strangers and meeting them in isolated places go toward that edge.

Why do they go there? Do not they have their wills? They have belief and will. They will not go; they are sure to turn back. No. There is a significant warning of the Messenger of Allah regarding the issue. It is right to the point:

“Once a person is sexually seduced and flames of seduction rise, they come to such a level that they become as if they have lost two thirds of their minds. They become mad people.” ( Kashfu’l- Khafa, 2:129)

 “Alas! I have been deceived!”

After the seduction of sexual emotions of a person becomes like that, this person will make the worst mistakes just like a mad person does. He commits the worst sins and commits things which he cannot forget until the end of his life. After that, just as a person who pulls the trigger and kills a person comes to his senses and regrets, so too does he regret but the bullet has already come out of the barrel of the gun, hit the target and the murder has been committed.

For this reason, young people must avoid obscene images, and keep away from obscenity and seductive scenes as much as possible. In other words, they should not become mad people who are out of their minds. If they become so, the brake fails and they start to roll down the abyss.

Here is the deep moaning of a lucky young person who once rolled down that abyss and who later managed to rescue from that swamp:

 “Dear brother. I want to share with you a trouble I once had. I committed very bad sins in the past. All started when I became friends with a bad person. He introduced me to his friends. I started smoking at first. Then alcohol came forth. Meanwhile I started taking drugs. I had girlfriends. I had sexual intercourse, which Allah has forbidden, with them.

I do not want to illustrate the bad things but I committed all the evil deeds my Lord has forbidden. Then, I was filled with a sense of regret inside. I always relate this to my mother’s supplication because, my mother saw the state I was in and she always wept and prayed for me.

I made radical decisions in my life. I ended all sorts of my relationship with my old friends. I repented. I began to pray. Now I am so thankful to my Lord that I am trying to practice my prayers. And I also pray to Allah to save my old friends from that sinful atmosphere.

As a person who committed all kinds of sins Allah forbade, please deliver this message of mine to especially young people: They should not be deceived by worldly temporary pleasures. Sins are like poisonous honey. At first, a person is deceived by the sweetness. However, then the pain of the poison occurs and you say “Alas! I have been deceived”. This case get a person out of humanity and makes him forget the reason why he has been sent to this world. My brothers, please do not be deceived by satan and do not blur your mind with images of sin.”

Keep your mind away from sins

Mind is blurred with mistakes and evil deeds. Each sin, each mistake and each evil deed definitely leaves a scar in mind. Even though a person is not often aware of such blurring of the mind, he can sense in time its manifestations in his own heart and emotions. Such blurring cuts down the desire to carry on doing good deeds and reduces the wish for continuality of such deeds and increases the inclination to evil ones.

Yes, people today have come face to face with a disaster like the blurring of the mind. Today, each time they go out to the streets, they are likely to encounter forbidden images they may see with their eyes. Scenes which might cause sickness in their spirituality are widespread and common. This bad situation sets the suitable ground for satan’s interference and he uses these blurred minds for his own interest.

People, therefore, never become able to turn to God Almighty with a pure heart. What is more, those sins which are stain and dirt in our hearts, , pile up in the form of a curtain which obstructs Allah’s manifestations unless they are purified with repentance and atonement; and the hearts which then remain defenseless turn out to be open targets for satan’s arrows of sin.

We should abstain from becoming that much careless and carry on our fastidiousness to keep our minds clear with as much attention as possible. Otherwise, habits become moral values and minds come to a state in which they cannot be cleaned from stain and dirt. 

How correct is masturbation?

Here the young people whose minds are blurred with stain and dirt and filled with obscene images, try a different way to satisfy themselves since they know that fornication is such an evil sin to commit. It is called istimna which is masturbation in English. Then, how correct or wrong is masturbation? Let us investigate this matter from sources without going too deep in detail.

First of all, we should say that the imams of Islamic madhhabs made the judgment that masturbation was forbidden. Regarding the issue, see Al-Mughni of Hanbali school, Mudawwana al-Kubra of Maliki school and Hidaya and Fathu’l Qadir of Hanafi school.

These great imams decided this action to be qualified as haram (forbidden) depending on the verse stating “whoever seeks beyond that, such are they who exceed the bounds (set by God)” (the Qur’an, al-Mu’minun, 23:7) and on the hadith “ Whoever of you reaches the age of marriage and can afford to marry should get married, and those who cannot afford, should fast”. (Bukhari, Nikah, 2).

In the hadith, it is obvious that fasting is suggested as a solution. Besides, in another verse, God Almighty commands people who cannot afford to marry to guard their chastity until they can afford it. (the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:33). Furthermore, today medical researches show that masturbation give both psychological and physical damage to people.

When we examine the religious sources, in contrast to the view of the imams of four major schools of Islam considering masturbation to be forbidden, we can see that some scholars reluctantly consider masturbation to be permissible for single people whose sexual motives are strong and who are likely to commit fornication and who are in a state of becoming unhealthy due to this and for the married people who cannot have intercourse with their wives for a long time due to various reasons. (Ibn Abidin, Raddu’l Mukhtar, II:399, IV:27; Qadihan, al-Fatawa, I:46; Ibn Hazm, Al-Muhalla, XI:392-393; Ibn Taymiyah, al-Fatawa’l Kubra, I:73)

Yes, the youth today is in a great test regarding sexual matters because, there is a wide range of obscene images and scenes which stimulate lustful emotions everywhere from printed media to visual media and thereto internet and to streets. And this is the test for the youth today. It is natural that the reward for this test will be that much great.

For this reason, young believers should definitely avoid masturbation and they should try to find ways to get married as hard as they can. If it is not possible, they should keep themselves away from such images and scenes which stimulate their lustful emotions and they should not allow them to get in their minds. 

This can be said regarding the issue: “ It is esay to say them…How can I be patient?”. However, we should keep this in mind that the Prophet (pbuh) likens living in the period of the end of the world to ember in the hand. This show us how difficult the case is. However, some revered people say that today’s people who remain patient against this test will rise perpendicularly and attain a high rank. Yes, may my Lord give patience to everybody especially to young people and preserve them. 

3.They cause forgetfulness

Misuse of sexuality and gazing at the opposite sex damages human memory and attention. Memory experts deem the increase of forgetfulness and weakness of the memory today as a gift of the twentieth century.

According to them, factors like weakening the capacity of the brain and the habit of undisciplined thinking due to things like blocking the operation of the brain, watching television a lot, uncontrolled imagination cause forgetfulness in human beings.

Many scholars like Imam Gazali, Imam Rabbani, Imam Shafi’ and Badiuzzaman indicate that one of the factors that affect memory is gazing at the forbidden images.

Today, television screens, pages of newspapers and internet sites are full of images which stimulate lustful emotions. Gazing at such images insistently causes serious and radical forgetfulness in the human memory and they destroy man’ spiritual faculties as well.

When eyes are focused on the forbidden image, it means that his will has no protection and the mind enters the gravitational field of bodily appetites. These bodily desires are not likely to become satisfied unless – God forbid- they reach the end.

For instance, Imam Shafi’i complains to Waqi b. Jarrah, one of the students of his master Imam Azam, due to his weakness of memory.

Imam Shafi’i expresses his situations with these lines:

“Shakawtu ila Waqiin sua hifzi, / Fa arshadani ila tarki’l-maasi, / We qala inna’l-ilma nurun, / Wa nurullahi la yu’ta li’l asi.”

It means : “ I have complained to my master, Waqi, about my weakness of memory. He advised me to abandon sins. And he said : “Knowledge is the light Allah has given. And Allah’s light is not given to those who constantly commit sin.”

We should not understant interpret it as Imam Shafi’i having a lifestyle which he committed sins. We should consider it in accordance with the phrase “Hasanatu’l-abrar sayyiatu’l-muqarrabin” which means that an action which is deemed to be good in terms of good people is considered to be a sin for the saints who are at higher levels.

The actions of people differ based on the point where they stand. Imam Shafi’i might consider an action to be a sin which we deem to be normal due to the point he reached towards God Almighty.

Our Lord commands us to keep our eyes away from the forbidden images in the 30th verse of the surah an-Nur from the Qur’an. For this reason, we must pay great attention and protect ourselves from harams.

We should pay attention to the decree of our religion regarding the issue and protect ourselves. We should obey the rule of our religion regarding the isue and make it our habit to protect our eyes from haram  even though we may encounter such images around us because of our duty and job. The following hadith should light our way in this case:

“There are three kinds of people whose eyes will not see the fire of hell in the Day of Judgment. They are:

1.Eyes which cry due to fear of Allah.

2. Eyes which keep guard for the sake of Allah.

3. Eyes which abstain from gazing at things Allah has forbidden.” (Tirmidhi, Fadailu’l-Jihad, 12; Jamiu’s Saghir, 2:878)

Disorder of forgetfulness (Amnesia)

A young hafiz of the Qur’an (a person who memorised the whole Qur’an) came to Badiuzzaman and asked him “ I have amnesia; what should I do?”

And he replied: “ Do not gaze at the forbidden things as much as possible because there is hadith: as Imam Shafi’i (may Allah be pleased with him) says gazing at haram causes forgetfulness”.

Yes, today this disorder which everybody suffers from more or less, keeps on increasing its severity in paralel with obscenity. The cure for this problem is keeping away from gazing at haram.

This comment of Badiuzzaman is remarkable:

The more Muslims gaze at haram, the more excited the desires of the soul become and as a result of mis/overuse, the body becomes damaged. So, ghusl (full ablution) becomes necessary for several times in a week.  Memory, therefore, becomes medically weak.

In this century, due to obscenity, mis/overuse (of sexuality) because of gazing especially in hot countries a general disorder of forgetfulness (amnesia) starts to be appear. Each person starts to complain about it. Here, in this case of the increase in this disorder, we can see result of the terrific news that the hadith informs us about. Our Prophet (pbuh) said : “ In the period of the end of the world, the Qur’an is leaves the hearts of the hafiz and becomes forgotten.”

That is, this disorder will become more severe, and in some people because of this “evil gaze”, memorization of the Qur’an will be blocked. 

4.They kill Islamic love and enthusiasm

As committing the forbidden actions due to fornication occupies a person’s heart in time, the secret of this verse becomes clear : “what they themselves have earned has rusted upon their hearts (and prevents them from perceiving the truth). (the Qur’an, al-Mutaffifin, 83:14). The heart becomes unable to sense and to feel. After the sins blacken the heart, it is impossible for one to have Islamic love and enthusiasm inside.

We should not forget that with each gaze, a black point appears on the heart of a person who does not care much about the issue and who does not discipline himself regarding the issue. We cannot think of any other situation that weakens a person more than the heart’s getting hurt every day. In this case, we can say that the resistance of the heart which is hurt every day will decrease and people will be in a recession regarding the issues which they showed sensibility beforehand (e.g performing the prayer as correctly as possible) because they are all interrelated.

The prayer performed either makes a person be careful about gazing at haram or on the contrary, gazing at haram causes a person perform his prayer in a careless way. If we become aware of it, in case of gazing at haram, we will prepare ourselves for the next prayer to purify this sin and we will take precautions so as not to repeat this sin.

Otherwise, a concession compromise brings about another concession because our soul is already too weak to avoid gazing at haram. Those who preserve themselves in this issue gain higher levels with respect to their spirituality. It does not seem to be a coincidence that many people say that they do not feel the tranquility while praying.

They cut down the spiritual pleasure of the prayers

If you have a television set in your house and if you waste your time zapping through channels, your eyes become blurred with not the first gaze but with a thousandth one. And you who become accustomed to this situation live your bodily life without a spirit. Your heart turns into a stone and you do not even shed a tear while the world around screams with pain; death wanders around you but you keep on making plans for further long years you think you will have.

This bad condition sets the suitable ground for satan and satan makes use of these blurred minds for his own interest. As a result, people cannot ever find the chance to turn to God with pure hearts.

What is more, those sins, which are stains and dirt in our hearts,  pile up and form a curtain, which obstructs Allah’s manifestations, mercy and help unless they are purified with repentance and atonement; and the hearts which then remain defenseless turn out to be open targets for satan’s arrows of sin.

At the time when people, women and men, gave great importance to guarding their chastity and when they were turning from Arafat after the hajj, our Prophet, who was so sensitive in the matter of preserving his people against the attacks of sin, turned the head of Fazl, a son of Abbas, from side to side who had mounted on the same animal as him for fear that he might gaze at the women passing by.

It was the Era of Bliss and it was the season of hajj; Fazl was on the same animal as the Prophet, and the head of Fazl, whose chastity no one could ever doubt of, that was turned from side to side for fear that he might gaze at haram. In a situation that such a thing was impossible and just for fear that different images could enter his mind and a stray arrow could hit Fazl, our Prophet’s turning Fazl’s head from side to side shows how sensitive he was in this matter and serves as a great example for the believers.

Badiuzzaman calls our attention to this danger with his statements:

“And He gave to your nature immaterial powers and subtle faculties that are such that if some of them devoured the world, they would not be satisfied; and some of them cannot sustain even a minute particle within themselves. Like the eye cannot bear a hair although the head can bear heavy stones, those faculties cannot bear the weight of even a hair, that is, some insignificant state arising from heedlessness and misguidance. They are sometimes even extinguished and die. Since it is thus, be careful, tread with caution, be frightened of sinking! Do not drown in a mouthful, a word, a seed, a flash, a sign, a kiss! Do not plunge your extensive faculties, which can swallow the world, in such a thing.” (Flashes, 17th Flash, Third Sign)

“Just as looking with lust and desire at the corpse of a beautiful woman needy for pity and compassion destroys morality, so too looking lustfully at the forms of dead women, or the forms of living women, which are like little corpses, shakes to the very base the elevated human emotions, and destroys them.” (Words, 25th Word, Fourth Principle)

What we understand from this statements is that factors like gazing at haram which harms chastity, cuts down the power of impact of belief and hinders people from benefiting from Islam and makes the function of some subtle faculties in man unable to operate. Badiuzzaman calls us to be more careful with his statement “Step carefully as there is a possibility to slip and fall down.”

5.They cause people to suffer from compunction

These confessions below belong to a young person who suffers from compunction due to  the swamp of sins he has been in. Read what he says:

“Since the first class of high school, I have been to the cinemas showing obscene films from time to time. And this gives me unbearable pain later. I forbid myself not to laugh for days. I always run away from people and I live with palpitations. I consider myself to be lower than the good people around. I do need not happiness but a bit of comfort. I am in such dilemmas that I fear one day if I cannot bear all this and I will tragically leave everything behind.”

These words come from the conscience. Actually, they are the screams of belief in this person. It is a fact that the majority of the people who are involved in the sins of prostitution and fornication suffer from compunction in their subconscious and feel discomfort since they know they are forbidden. Even if they deny it, their losing their self-confidence gradually stands as proof to it because each sin damages the inborn nature of man. The damage makes people suffer from compunction and say “I am not actually a simple person who can do such a thing. If only I had not done it.”

In fact, this compunction is nice to some extent because it works as a trigger for people to lead them to the gates of repentance. And our Lord’s gates of forgiveness and mercy are open wide. What we should do is to knock on these doors even if we are stumbled many times.

However, if this compunction becomes a delusion, if it causes such a despair as “I am hopeless. Allah will never forgive me”, then a new danger occurs. Such expressions are the second trap for people prepared by satan. A person who has been trapped in the first one should rescue himself from the abyss he has fallen into with the help of repentance and should not let satan deceive him once more. 

6.Their becoming a sector causes incurable wounds

One of the damages that prostitution causes to a community is places prepared for this purpose. The number of the places for prostitution increase directly proportion to degeneration and it accelerates the collapse of the community. People who can be considered as children by age swarm these places and family ties are damaged; and as a result, disobedience and disloyalty increase.

Today, prostitution is deemed to be the sector of the easiest way of making money. So, with the motive of earning money and leading a luxurious life, many people prefer this immoral lifestyle. Allah warns people in the Qur’an as follows:

“Satan frightens you with poverty and bids you into indecencies, whereas God promises you forgiveness from Himself and bounty. God is All-Embracing (with His mercy), All-Knowing.” (the Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2:268)

However, if man chooses God as a mentor for himself and intends to live with the honor of a believer, Allah will bestow upon him His blessings through some means which they do not expect and grant them many opportunities with which He will make them rich. And the life of a Muslim who guards his honor in this world and in the hereafter will be full of blessings and favors through the will of Allah. However, Allah may bestow limited prosperity to test people. In such a case, if a person remains patient considering the fact that this world is temporary and short and the infinity of the hereafter, the reward he will attain from Allah will be great.

Nevertheless, it would be good to remember: A person can make all the mistakes in this world. He might have committed all the sins which are forbidden by the Qur’an. He may have even spent most of his life in agony by committing fornication. However, if he repents with an absolute atonement when he is invited to the right path and beg Allah to forgive them, they will find Allah as the one who accepts repentance, if He wills. In this case, people should not forget this:

Satan whispers to those who are struggling among sins as soon as a sense of repentance inside them comes into existence: You have committed so many sins. Do you think Allah will forgive you? Do not try in vain. Suppose you have repented. You cannot easily abandon this atmosphere you are in. For this reason, you will turn back to the very same sin again. So, why should you repent?” We must never listen to such delusions of satan and go to the door of repentance with determination. Those who came to this door before has never regretted. Yet, those who did not are the ones who regret the most.

7.They cause abortions to increase

As a result of prostitution and fornication, women may fall pregnant even if they do not want it. Naturally, nobody wants to raise a child without a father. So, in this case, the matter of abortion occurs.

Scholars of Islamic jurisprudence do not consider abortion to be permissible whatever the condition is. This is also the common point of view among the schools (madhhabs) of Islam. For example, Ghazali says having a deliberate miscarriage from the first period is not permissible and is a murder. Islamic scholars are in agreement that it is forbidden to deliberately miscarry or abort a child after its spirit has been blown into it and such behavior is considered to be a murder.

However, in case of a medical and certain necessity like saving mother’s life, then it is permissible to remove the fetus from the mother’s womb with a surgical operation. Nonetheless, in this case, the decision of the doctors who are experts in their fields should be taken into consideration instead of the decision of the parents.

When we look at the statistics on abortion, we may see this picture: According to a report of the World Health Organization released in April, 2005, around 50 million pregnancies are ended medically. 20 millions of these operations are carried out illegally and in inappropriate conditions. Over 200 women every day lose their lives due to abortion in inappropriate conditions. What is left behind are tragic stories.

In Turkey, the situation is not much different. Abortion was made legally permitted with the law enacted in 1965, a time limit of 10 weeks was introduced with an amendment made in the year of 1983. In other words, abortion until the 10th week of pregnancy is deemed to be legal. According to the report of Research of Population and Health in Turkey (TNSA), in the year of 2003, every 15 pregnancy in 100 were ended because they are unwanted. Besides, it is stated in the report that the rate of abortion in Turkey is increasing in comparison to other countries. Married couples are also included in it.

It damages the psychological health of women

Abortion seems to be a way of deliverance for women who have become pregnant due to illicit intercourse. However, the situation is not as it seems. The body begins to discharge maternity hormone from the very beginning point of pregnancy and it builds a connection between the baby and the mother beginning from the moment of insemination. Abortion does not only destroy this bond of love but it also destroys the balance of hormones and as a result, it damages the psychological health of the woman. After abortion, every woman ends up with depression.

According to the psychologists, the severity of the trauma depends on the woman’s attribution of meaning to the baby. If the woman has put the baby at the center of her life and feels its presence all the time, her life loses its meaning due to abortion. According to the research made in 34 provinces of Turkey by Life Foundation (Hayat Vakfi) which is known for their work on abortion, 47,3 percent of women who aborted their children are regretful whereas 36 percent of them are not. The remainder cannot express their feelings. 

Each abortion is a destruction

I want to tell you about the report Tuba Kabacaoglu made in the 574th issue of Aksiyon magazine. In this report, a woman named M.Y is mentioned. The story of M.Y. (27), who lives in Ankara, begins with her relationship she had in the senior class of the university. M.Y. finds out that she is pregnant for three weeks. And it has been two weeks since she broke up with her boyfriend. The test she applied after the first signs of pregnancy turns out to be positive.

“There is nothing more embarrassing than applying a pregnancy test with no ring around your finger” says M.Y. She informs her boyfriend about her pregnancy. Since they have no possibility to get married, they decide to abort the baby: “ When I opened my eyes, they were putting me on the gurney. I laid for an hour. When I got out of there, we had dinner with my friend. He took me home. And I never saw him again.”

Stating that she sees her baby which she left when it was three weeks old in her dreams despite four years, “it is impossible that a woman remain unaffected after abortion. Those who has the coldest hearts cannot get over it for weeks. You cannot share it with anyone. You cannot forget it. I try not remember it for my psychological health but there are many things that remind me of it…” says M.Y, who is still single today. Even if she wants to get married, she thinks she cannot easily find a person whom she can tell about this secret and who will understand it.

According to the psychologists, abortion damages every woman since they experience its pain all by themselves. Since a minority of woman are willing to have an abortion, all of them regret when they come to their minds and they never thank the doctor. They prepare themselves psychologically to become mothers beginning from the point the ovum is inseminated. Even though the organs of the fetus have not been existent yet, it has already become an image of a cute baby in woman’s mind.

Experts remind that, even if it is rare, there are some women who can get over the psychology of abortion in a short time and add “These women become pregnant because of either extramarital relationship or of the desire to force the man whom they want to marry. When they do not get what they want, they want to get rid of them as soon as possible and they make themselves believe it. However, beginning from the point when they lose their ability to become pregnant, depressed feelings of the youth reveal themselves and this results in depression. 

8.They threaten human health

Illicit relationships damages human health. It is a medical fact that many venereal diseases are caused by fornication. Even AIDS, which is the major threat against human health today, is generally transmitted by genital organs. Our Prophet, who informs us that death cases will increase in a community where fornication has become common, calls our attention to this point.(at-Targhib wa’t Tarhib, 3:286)

Today, more than forty sexually transmitted diseases have been known. During sexual intercourse, it is possible for one partner to transmit factors of disease to the other. Some of these sexually transmitted diseases are gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamdia, AIDS and some types of hepatitis. These diseases begin with various inflammation and long lasting serious health problems and result in various types of cancer.

AIDS has not been able to be eliminated

Illicit intercourses like fornication or homosexual relationship are the cause of a number of dangerous and painful diseases. AIDS chooses its victims among the groups of people who commit illicit intercourses like fornication or homosexual relationship and it is also a disease which is transmitted by means of viruses. AIDS, the name of the disease, is the abbreviation of Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome. In this disease, the body loses its immunity and becomes an open target for various diseases and cancer. After severe pains that cannot be cured, this disease results in death within several years.

Countries where the disease of AIDS has become common, allocate billions of dollars from their budget to find a cure to prevent AIDS. While they must give up the consideration of regarding fornication and homosexual relationship to be free and normal, which is the healthiest and the most useful way to get rid of this disease, they, on the contrary, permit homosexual people to legally marry each other. What is more, they allow newspapers, magazines clubs and societies involved in homosexuality and fornication.

AIDS is a disease caused by a virus so small as to be seen after being magnified hundreds of thousands of times in the electronic microscope. This virus has an interesting ability to exploit human cells and reproduce there. It does this by taking the control over the present components in a cell. After intense attacks on the supplementary cells, it decodes the secret of the cell and it reproduces inside it. And this makes the cell destroyed. Finally, numerous viruses which have been reproduced in the cell begin to attack new cells.

9.They cause Allah’s rage

Fornication is one of the major sins. Our Lord warns us insistently not to commit it. As we learn from the verses in the Qur’an, God destroys the tribes which commit this action commonly. In other words, each illicit relationship is like an invitation for our Lord’s punishment. For this reason, quitting every sort of illicit relationship is a duty of a believer. Examples : the tribe of Aad and cities of Sodom-Gomorrah and Pompeii.

What does Pompeii remind us of?

Pompeii was a city built around B.C 500 on the foothill of Vesuvius Volcano over a lava plain near the bay of Naples. Romans occupied the city 159 years before the volcano erupted and the whole city was buried with lava. When Romans started to live in this city, they made it become an unprecedented center of amusement.

Every week, various entertainments took place at the center of the city; these entertainments were sometimes a slave’s fighting against another slave or a lion till the death of either one. Deathly screams of people and animals made the people of Pompeii to lose control, applause and acclamations became higher. Every sort of savageness was being displayed for the people of Pompeii.

One day, the Vesuvius volcano erupted with a loud noise. All of a sudden, rocks, stones and hot lava began to fall upon the city. Around 200 thousand people of Pompeii did not know what to do. At the moment of panic, nobody was thinking about the old or the disabled and the sick; all they cared was their own lives. Ashes which in some places reached up to three or four meters of thickness and sulfuric vapor was making people unable to move.

People who gathered in the wine bazaar died under the weight of a collapse that took place there. After tremendous explosions for two days, the city was buried under lava which reached up to eight meters of height. Solidified corpses, wall paintings, mosaics, furniture and kitchen equipment are now displayed in the famous museum of Naples.

According to the archaeological excavations, we learn that Pompeii where richness and prosperity rose to incredible amounts gradually became a place of immorality and in every corner of the city were brothels.

People who visit the city today can still notice forums, temples, theatres, streets, workshops, slums, shops in these slums, small dark bath houses, pubs, laundries, mills used to grind corn, bakeries, heating systems of houses and bath houses, casinos, dens and inns. Here people witness the most tragic event in the history. On one side are the magnificent villas of the noble and on the other are poor houses of servants and slaves.

Can we take lessons from Pompeii?

When the people of Pompeii were removed in the solidified forms, they were found in the exact state of what they were doing at the moment of death. Some were found in the state of sitting desperately with their heads between their hands in front of the lava and some were found in brothels and some were stuck by the lava while they were shopping with their children. And on a wall is the script of Sodom-Gomorrah, which can still be seen today. According to the historians, some pious slaves who lived in Pompeii, wrote this due to the situation and in order to remember Sodom and Gomorrah.

First Sodom and Gomorrah and then Pompeii…All ended up the same. Allah sends His punishment to the places where spiritual misery and immorality reach this level. You cannot find an alteration in Allah’s laws.

In the Qur’an, the fact that there is no alteration in God’s laws is stated as follows:

“They swore by God with their most solemn oaths that if a warner came to them, they would most certainly follow his guidance more than any of the communities (to whom a warner came). Yet, now that a warner has come to them, it has increased them in nothing but aversion.Growing in arrogance in the land and devising evil schemes. But an evil scheme overwhelms none but its own authors. So, can they expect anything other than the pattern of (events and outcomes that overtook) the people of old times (whom God destroyed)? You will never find in God's way any change; you will never find in God's way any alteration. “ (the Qur’an, Fatir, 35:42-

Yes, “You will never find in God's way any change; you will never find in God's way any alteration”. Those who act against His laws and who rebel against Him, will be subject to the same Divine decree. Pompeii, the symbol of the degeneration of Roman Empire was stuck in sexual deviation like the tribe of Lot. And they ended up the same.

However, today, in the place where Pompeii was once, things are not much different. The quarters of debauchery in Naples are like the ones in Pompeii. The Isle of Capri is like a headquarter for homosexual people and camping zone for nudist people. In tourist advertisements, the island is described as the “Paradise for Homosexuals”.

Today, unfortunately, homosexuality is becoming a common thing. Such deviant relationships which our religion clearly forbids are promoted as “sexual liberty”. This is a disorder which leads communities to destruction. Almost in every corner of the world, such moral disorders are taking place and people insist on not to take lessons from the disaster that happened to past communities. And we? While we have the chance to live the paradise life in our beautiful country, we seem to insist on the actions which cause Allah’s rage and punishment. 

10.They make woman become aggrieved 

Unfortunately, there is a wrong consideration in our community. People consider that if men commit fornication, it is normal; but if it is a woman who commits it, it is abnormal. We should say this firstly: there is no difference between them no matter who and what gender commits fornication.

However, here we are going to talk about an event which is considered to be acceptable by the community even if it is wrong: A woman who commits fornication is cast out of the community and she becomes under more negative effect compared to men. It, thus, becomes harder for a woman who has had extramarital relationship to have a happy marriage in future and this situation may cause this woman prone to live in an extramarital relationship all her life long.

 “I hate men and I do not want to get married”

This statement belongs to a girl. This girl has had an unfortunate event. She tells about this event to an author who tries to find solutions to the problems of young people with the books (s)/he wrote and with radio programs, seminars and conferences:

“I have never directly talked to a man. In high school, when I was to talk to my teachers, I used to bow my face down and talk to them in respect. In my life, I had only my father and my elder brother as a male. When I began the university, I met a man who studied in an Islamic department. We met in a serious state. During these meetings, I tried to be very careful about my behavior and attitudes and the way I talked. I tried to describe the religious facts and facts on belief as much as I knew.

After all, the person I was talking to, was only aware of some facts of belief but he was not aware of the contents of them very much. We discussed about our marriage, our lives in the future, our happiness in this world and in the hereafter, in short, everything in a legitimate way. When these meetings started to take place more frequently, satan and the soul were involved in them. I was trying to tell him that some of his behavior and attitudes were wrong, that he should not do them, that illicit pleasures were forbidden and that it should be him to advise them because of his branch which he studied, but in vain…Finally, since I had a soul too, I could not resist too long. When things turned serious, some problems occurred because of his family. Our words and dreams came to nothing. What was left behind were sins and mistakes I made and forbidden pleasures.

Even though a long time passed over this, I still feel the guilt in me and I always repent in every prayer that I perform. There is no night and day in which I do not cry. How can my Lord forgive me when I cannot forgive myself; I am pondering about it and I feel so grieved thinking of it. What I am sorry for is how come I did such things as a person who is aware of facts on religion and belief? There are hundreds of girls like me. I am now in great sorrow and regret that I cannot tell you. This is something that only God can know.

My fault was thinking of marrying seriously. My fault was trusting a person who was aware of the facts of religion and belief. My fault was being from the Eastern part of Turkey and his family’s not accepting me as a bride. My fault was trying to attain happiness in the world and in the hereafter and not desiring a luxurious and rich life. You can add many faults.

For this reason, I started to hate men even if they are pious. I had a grudge and enmity for them inside. I closed myself to marriage.

I had the blows dealt by divine compassion and I came to my mind. I am writing this letter to provide an example for them. No one should get carried away saying “The person I am talking to and meeting is a good, honest, pious and conservative person. ” because, things slide to different areas. When people look back to their past, all is left in mind is sighs, sorrows, scars which they cannot forget for years, tears and black dirt of sins.

This lesson taught me how weak and vulnerable and desperate I am and that the world makes you taste from its pleasures for once and it slaps you a thousand times and what deep scars it leaves to be alone, with the soul and satan for a moment. It showed me that we should repent constantly against troubles and nuisance and that the door of repentance is always open and everything has a good side and wisdom in it and one of the Allah’s beautiful names is Tawwab (Who accepts repentance), and after making a mistake, by making a self-questioning like Jonas (pbuh) and by remaining patient like Job (pbuh), I reached their fruits. ( Genclik ve Ask, p 163)

Where did I do wrong?

Yes, this sister had such a bad experience and we hope our young brothers and sisters will listen to her lamentation. This letter shows that in the friendship of a boy and girl, there are numerous traps and problems which can make them unhappy. Exceeding the legitimate bounds might cause loss which are hard and even impossible to recover.

This girl says in her letter : “When these meetings started to take place more frequently, satan and the soul were involved in them. I was trying to tell him that some of his behavior and attitudes were wrong, , but in vain… Finally, since I had a soul too, I could not resist too long”.

Had she not heard the hadith “When two non-mahram people meet, the third is the satan.” (Bukhari, Nikah, 111)? This warning of our Prophet is closely related to people’s knowing their own nature. Man has been created this way. His nature is like it was yesterday and will be the same tomorrow.

When things turn out to be serious, problem by families is almost a common one among all man-woman relations. Young people’s “ reckoning without their hosts” does not bring a positive result. It is necessary that relationships should be managed by mind not by emotions and should have a strategy which wisdom and reasoning has formed. Considering love to be only composed of materials and emotions makes it hard for people to fight against difficulties. A person should know how to fight difficulties and that prevent a healthy and permanent happiness as much as he knows how to love.

If we do not pay attention to them, we may end up sighing as the girl who says “What was left behind were sins and mistakes I made and forbidden pleasures”, but the unfortunate result does not change.

This warning of the same girl is a dearly-paid experence :” “The person I am talking to and meeting is a good, honest, pious and conservative person.” because, things slide to different areas.”

If a person is honest and pious, does this exclude them from the people to whom religious decrees and bans are addressed? No one can be as clean and honest and pious as our Prophet (pbuh) and his people. Were they not firstly addressed in the matter of decrees and bans on sexuality, chastity and good morals? For whom can an action which is forbidden to God’s Prophet be permissible?

It is not permissible for young people who are under a great pressure and temptation to satisfy themselves exceeding the bounds of the legitimacy. However, it is also hard for them to carry out this test without getting married. But do not forget that completing a significant sunnah like marriage will also cause you to confront a number of tests as well. So, in order to be ready for these tests and to carry out them with success, you must obtain the necessary knowledge and skill.

The damage of fornication, prostitution and illicit relationship is not limited to these. We only attempted to tell you about the most important ones.

Is there a type of covering of which Islam has prescribed? What is the purpose of tasattur (covering)? What does “garment of piety (taqwa)” mean? “Why should we cover our bodies in this age?”

Covering (tasattur) is a necessity of creation

Covering is one of the factors which blocks the paths leading to fornication. Covering is a natural thing; it is the necessity of creation. Read how Badiuzzaman explains the issue :

To veil themselves is natural for women and their innate dispositions demand it. For women are weak and delicate, and since they are in need of a man’s protection and help for themselves and for their children whom they love more than their own lives, they have a natural desire to make themselves loved and not loathed, and not to be rebuffed.

Also, seven out of ten women are either old or ugly, and they do not want to show their age and ugliness to everyone. Or they are jealous, and they do not want to appear ugly in relation to others who are more beautiful. Or they are frightened of assault or aspersions, and want by nature to cover themselves so as not to suffer assault, nor to be accused of unfaithfulness in the eyes of their husbands.

It is clear that people are discomforted by the looks of those they do not like or find tedious; they are upset by them. Also, since a woman whose morals are not corrupted is sensitive and easily affected, she will certainly be distressed at dirty looks whose effects have been physically experienced, indeed, are poisonous. We even hear that many women are fed up at being the object of attention, and complain to the police, saying: “These brutes keep staring at us and disturbing us.” This means that present-day civilization’s unveiling women is contrary to their natures. And together with being in accordance with their natures, the Qur’an’s command to veil themselves, saves women—those mines of compassion who may be worthy companions for all eternity—from degeneration, abasement, what is in effect slavery, and wretchedness.

Furthermore, by nature women are fearful of men who are strangers, and anxious at them. Fear naturally demands the veiling of women. Being weak, their creation demands that through veiling themselves they do not excite the appetites of men outside the stipulated degrees of kinship, nor allow any opportunity for assault; their weak creation gives powerful warning. It shows that their cloaks and coats are shields and fortresses.

Today’s miserable condition of women, moral depression in which our youth are in, and side effects as a result of this depression deals a slap in the shameless faces of those opposed to the veiling of women and who consider covering to be “slavery”.

The authentic and extremely intense relationship, love, and affection between men and women does not arise only from the needs of worldly life. Yes, a woman is not only a companion to her husband in this worldly life, she is his companion also in eternal life.

Since she is her husband’s companion in eternal life, she surely should not attract the looks of others besides her husband, her everlasting friend and companion, and should not offend him and make him jealous.

As a consequence of the mystery of belief, her believing husband’s relations with her are not confined to this worldly life and his love is not only animal and temporary, during the time of her beauty; he holds true, earnest love and respect for her in regard to her being his companion in eternal life. And he bears that love and respect for her, not only during her youth when she is beautiful, but also when she is old and ugly. Certainly in return for this, she should show her beauties to him alone and restrict her love to him; this is demanded by humanity. Otherwise she would gain very little and lose much.

Happy family life is perpetuated through mutual confidence between husband and wife, and heartfelt respect and love. Immodest dress and free-and-easy behavior destroy the confidence, and spoil the mutual respect and love.

It is clear that everyone wants lots of children. There is no nation or government that does not support increase in population. In fact, the Most Noble Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Marry and increase, for at the Last Day I shall take pride in your large numbers.”(Ibn Majah, Wedding, 1). However, the abandoning of Islamic dress for women does not increase marriage, it decreases it greatly.( Today it is a certain fact that European countries try to revive the wedding foundation by promoting with wedding contributions)

Our country cannot be compared with Europe, because the people of Europe are cold and frigid, like the climate. Asia, that is, the lands of Islam, are relatively torrid countries. It is well-known that the environment has an effect on people’s morality. Perhaps in those cold countries immodest dress does not stimulate the animal appetites and carnal desires of those cold people, and be a means of abuse. But immodest dress which continually excites the carnal lusts of the easily influenced and sensitive people of hot countries is certainly the cause of much abuse and waste and the weakening of the young generation and a loss of strength. Instead of answering natural needs one a month or every three weeks or so, a person considers it necessary every few days. And then, since he is obliged to avoid his wife for perhaps two weeks out of every month due to contingencies like her monthly period, if he is defeated by his appetites, he will incline to houses of ill-fame. ( The Flashes, 24th Flash, 1st-4th instances of wisdom) 

Is there a type of covering for which Islam has prescribed?

We cannot say that there is a fixed type of clothing in form. Neither the Prophet nor the Companions of the Prophet had a particular type of clothing. Besides, assessing a universal religion like Islam which surrounds all humanity within obligatory clothing is contrary to its universality. When we look at the way of clothing of the Prophet, the Source of Pride of Humanity, we do not see one particular type. The Messenger of Allah used to wear sometimes a loincloth and sometimes a dress and some a nice loose robe.

Abdullah b. Jabir says: “I swear by Allah that I saw the Prophet in the moonlight with a robe and a shirt on him. Nobody could not look so beautiful with the garment on him except the Prophet .”And one day, another companion saw a nice shirt on the Prophet and he asked him to give it to him. The Messenger of Allah took it off and gave it to him as a present.

It is impossible to find a standard of clothing and such a suggestion in his life. The Prophet used to be dressed in the type of clothing common in the community or similar to it. And sometimes he used to be dressed altering it or improving it. It is not right to attribute wearing black cassocks to the Prophet. He usually used to wear bright white ones; and sometimes he used to wear white, red and green clothes. 

We should not remain focused on the shape and the color of the garment. We should not give rise to conflicts and contradictions by making them a matter of discussion. Ottoman people, our ancestors, took the teachings of Islam and integrated them with our culture. They took not the way of clothing but what should be learnt; they kept on the style of clothing of Kai tribe, which they used to wear in their land and improved it in time. With their garments of our magnificence period, with their garments and robes made of leather, they set examples for European people for a long time. 

Covering is the command of Allah

Woman who used to cover their heads in the period of Jahiliyya tied their headscarves on their necks or they let them loose down their backs. Forbidding this habit before Islam for sure with the 30th and 31st verses of the surah an-Nur in the Qur’an, Allah has commanded women not to display their charms – except that which is revealed of itself – and to draw their veils over their bosoms in order to cover their hair, head, ears and necks.

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) says : “May God bless the first migrant women. When God revealed the verse “ the believing women should draw their veils over their bosoms”, they ripped a piece of cloth form their skirts and with that cloth, they covered their heads.” (Bukhari, Tafsir-u Surati’n-Nur, 13, Abu Dawood, Clothing)

Migrant women and women from Medina ripped a piece of cloth and with that, covered their heads when this verse was revealed, and our Prophet said  “it is not permissible for a woman who has reached the age of puberty to display her body except for her hands and faces”(Abu Dawood, Clothing, 32) to Asma, the sister of Aisha; they all show that women are obliged to cover their parts of the body.

In addition, the fact that the Prophet pointed to two inches over the wrist, and said “ it is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and in the hereafter to uncover her body except for her face and  their hands up to this point when she has reached the age of puberty” (Abu Dawood, Clothing, 33) proves that the commands in the related verse are binding.

Here at this point, we will explain the Prophet’s phrase “Kasiyatun ariyatun” (“dressed but naked”) with one or two sentences. The purpose of a woman’s covering her body is concealing her charm and not letting people be seduced by her. Considering the statements of our Prophet, we understand that the clothing must not be transparent and must not also display the outlines of the body. 

What is the purpose of covering?

The purpose of covering which our religion orders is that women must not display their charms and bodies to non-mahram men and they must not make it possible for non-mahram men to see the parts of their bodies that need to be covered. For this reason, covering must be thick enough not to display the hair, the color of the skin and their charms; and it must be loose enough not to display the shape of the body as well. Regarding this issue, there are many more hadiths apart from the hadiths mentioned above. (Muslim, Clothing, 34; Jannah, 13; Musnad 2:356)

In the 59th verse of the surah al-Ahzab from the Qur’an, the following is stated:” O (most illustrious) Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters, as well as the women (wives and daughters) of the believers, to draw over themselves some part of their outer garments (when outside their homes and when before men whom they are not forbidden to marry because of blood relation). This is better and more convenient for them to be recognized (and respected for their decency and decorum) and not harassed.”

In this verse, Muslim women are commanded to draw over themselves some part of their outer garments which do not display the shape of their bodies and not to go out of their house with garments which they wear in the house. In the 60th verse of the surah an-Nur, it is stated that old women can go out of their houses without taking their outer garments (coat, topcoats etc.) over on condition of covering their parts of the bodies that are necessary to be covered and charms as commanded in the 31th verse of the same surah :

“The women advanced in years, having passed the age of child-bearing and no longer feeling any sexual desire, incur no sin if they cast off their outer garments without making a display of their charms. But even so, it is better for them to abstain from this. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:60)

In conclusion, it is an absolute decree of our religion with agreement of the Islamic scholars of the book and sunnah that women must cover their bodies except for the face and the hands near non-mahram men, with a garment which does not display the color of the skin and the shape of the body and they must draw their veil over their bosom lest their hair, heads and necks should be seen. To obey these commands are Muslims’ religious duties.

“The best garment is the garment of piety”

God commands in a verse of the Qur’an : “O children of Adam! Assuredly We have sent down on you a garment to cover your private parts, and garments for adornment. However, (remember that) the garment of piety and righteousness – it is the best of all. That is from God's signs, that they may reflect and be mindful.” (the Qur’an, al-A’raf, 7:26)

It is the sense of piety and modesty which is more important than the garment. Covering the necessary parts is the first condition of preserving honor. The wisdom of Allah gave a sustainable, nice and natural covering to many creatures except for human leaving them without the sense of shame and covering.

He created only man, upon whom He bestowed the sense of shame, in a naked form. Thus, man might both benefit from the test of covering and they also prove his duty of being the caliph of God in the world. Man has the ability to produce clothing from all the animals and plants and other materials spread on the earth and by doing so, he displays his power of benefiting from and ruling over all the creatures, which is a manifestation of his being the caliph of God. 

Covering is a characteristics of man only among all the living creatures. Nudity has always been considered as uninhibitedness and impudence by the conscience and common sense in every period of humanity.

The decree of covering in our religion aims at preserving the psychological health of man, his honor due to his creation and public morality and maintaining the balance among humans and between genders; and also, establishing an honorable way of sexual life and family life. The fact that the bounds of covering are based on different decrees for man and woman is a distinction made due to the differences between these two genders.

Is a woman who does not wear a headscarf not chaste? It is doubtlessly impossible to consider a woman who does not wear a headscarf to be unchaste. Moreover, considering every woman who wears a headscarf to be chaste might be incorrect. Since there are chaste and honorable women among women who cover their heads and who do not, there may be some who lack honor and chastity.

However if we consider the matter with respect to Islamic morality and decrees, this decree changes a bit. Islam informs people that some parts of the body of men and women are private and these parts must not be displayed to those who are non-mahram and points out that people may also commit an illicit intercourse with their hands and eyes.(Bukhari, Istizan, 12; Muslim, Destiny, 20) 

Since there will always be people in the community who might lustfully gaze at the private parts of men and women, a Muslim, who goes outside knowing it and displaying these private parts is a sort of behavior which damages the concept of Islamic honor and chastity. Besides, since the headscarf is a clothing item which covers women’s head and bosom which are to be covered by a woman, the matter should be understood this way. (Hayrettin Karaman)

Why should we cover our bodies in this age?”

I suppose you must have heard of this question in different places. I was in a public bus. Two old people were sitting right in front of me. They were talking to each other. Meanwhile two girls whose heads were covered got on the bus. They were standing at the front part of the as there were no seats left to sit. The old woman who was sitting in front of me, poking the other woman next to her with her arm, asked : “ Do you see them?”. The other woman replied : “ Yes, I do and I do feel so sorry for them. I feel pity for such young people. We also used to cover our heads in the past but now, we are in the modern age. How come do you think could such dressing still exist? We cannot even take a single step forward with this outdated habits.”

Unfortunately, there are still such people who think this way. We should state firstly that covering is not something that can be dealt according to the age. People may put on different and strange dressing and their intelligence might still work. For example, in Germany, everyone, men and women, used to wear kalpacs in a particular period in the past. German people who wore kalpaks did not become less intelligent; they become developed in industry and technology. European people used to cover their heads until recently. Covering their heads did not hinder their advancement. This matter is not related to the age we live in.

It is impossible to associate this matter with civilization. The expression “civilized people wander uncovered” is too meaningless. If civilization means being distant to the previous ages and their lifestyles, the age of savageness has been abandoned with the advent of Islam. Islam was revealed and it commanded people to cover their bodies. Covering was made attractive, perfect and mature and made to become a style of dressing which women would like.

For this reason, if civilization means living contrary to archaic ages, nudity today was something which was before Islam, in the time of Jahiliyya. If nudity and living uncovered is civilization, cannibals and tribal people in the jungle live displaying even their breasts.

What do people who strongly disagree with the way a woman is dressed defend? Why do they still insist on this matter? It is not possible to understand it. We presume that the owners of such ideas falter in the bigotry which they defend against others. Bigotry means supporting ideas which have no proof and bases. The proof of a believer on a matter which he claims are very strong.

Is marriage without flirtation not possible? What are the disadvantages of flirtation? Does Islam permit flirtation?

Flirtation brings about harms instead of benefits

The sentimental relationship between a woman and a man is called flirtation. When we look at the Western communities, flirtation was considered to be an experience and a type of education which was supposed to enable young people to become sentimentally mature, to get rid of their various complexes, to inform them about sexuality and to enable them to establish a conscious relationship by getting to know each other more before marriage and it was commonly tolerated.

However, sentimental relationships turned into physical relationship by leaps and bounds and fell off the agenda as if they were proclaiming the collapse of all the opinions and hypotheses regarding it. Western communities nowadays, on the one hand, are struggling against the social problems caused by the issue of flirtation which they used to consider as innocent relationships, on the other hand, they have begun to discuss the concepts like sexual liberty which has now replaced sentimental relationship. 

Today, flirtation, in other words, temporary illicit relationship with the excuse for young people to get to know each other before marriage has become common. Although it is against Islam, it might even appear among the people who are religiously sensitive now. Here at this point, we should say that the claim that “ young people have the opportunity to get to know each other if they meet and flirt before marriage. If their habits and perceptions do not match, they can end it before marriage, when they have not started it” is absolutely wrong.

Experiences show it is not like that. Today, the rate of divorce is the highest in the Western countries where people do not get married without flirtation. Both sides try to seem tolerant and conceal their bad habits when they meet in order to look good, on the stage of getting to know each other; in other words, they deceive each other. However, after marriage, the truth reveals. Yet, it is too late.

For this reason, the real faces of people to marry should be seen before marriage. And this is only done with investigation about those people by the experienced ones and by asking people who know them.

Furthermore, a man or woman who met many people when they were single will still have the desire to meet many people even after they get married. Living with a single person begins to make them bored in time and they begin to look for a change. As a result of this, cheatings, quarrels and murders which we see every day full page on the newspapers occur. An instant of carelessness, and desire for change blackens the life of people both in the world and the hereafter. Be careful!

They may seem meaningless to many people who are young because an advice given to a person who become infatuated is like nonsensical words of a mad man. For this reason, the Prophet says “ Infatuation makes people go blind and deaf”. (Kashfu’l Khafa, 2:129)

No matter what you tell a deaf person, he will not hear. A blind person cannot see no matter what you do. In this case, we should listen to the advice of our parents, relatives and friends who are far-sighted and experienced. Parents do not see the person with whom their son or daughter is planning to get married, the way they see them. They see it with the lessons of bitter experiences. Parents do not only look at the appearance but also at what is behind the curtain because the curtain prevents seeing what is real.

Is marriage without flirtation not possible?

The period of flirtation does not always reflect the real relationship. If flirtation could be lived the same as the real life, it might possibly provide us with hints and clues on how the marriage would be; however, this has several prices to be paid as you know. If flirtation is as we know it, that is, meeting sometimes and having a chat together, it is actually a period in which people perform a sort of personality which they do not display in their real lives.

For example, if a person spends twenty-three hours alone in a calm and quiet lifestyle and if they leave their need to have a chat or to wander into this one-hour meetings daily, he may behave like a talkative, lively and amusing person. And if the person “whom he dates” like lively, venturesome and social people, he may look good to her.

However, when it comes to marriage, she understands that the person who appeared to be active can only put up with one-hour wandering and chatting and he actually likes a calm and quiet lifestyle and this results in conflicts between this couple.

I have seen a plenty of people who flirted for three or four years but who became disappointed when they got married in several months. When marriage life begins, it is like the announcement “ you have watched the commercials and now the news”. 

You may say “ how can I choose a person to marry even without flirtation?”. Actually, it does not take too long for one to get to know a person. Researches have shown that especially women have the ability to assess a person and categorize him/her within the first three minutes.

For a careful person, features of the face, gestures, tone of voice, the way of speech even word choice may bear a number of signs about the character of a person. Especially women can evaluate these particular signs very well.

For instance, suppose you have asked the person whom you address “ It is nice today, isn’t it?”. You may receive various answers which refer to different personalities.

-It really is a nice weather. It fills human with enthusiasm. ( Lively, optimist)

-Do you enjoy such weather? (interested in the person he is talking to)

-Yep. (Reticent)

-You’re right, it really is, isn’t it? (Responsive, participative)

-It was nicer three days ago. (Living in the past)

-Yeah, but we’re stuck in the house in such a good weather. (Complaining, pessimist)

See, how many clues you can get out of even a single sentence as long as you look carefully, listen carefully and evaluate the clues. ( Dr. Yusuf Karacay)

What are the harms of flirtation?

Flirtation has many disadvantages: there is a trap in flirtation. In flirtation, women are mostly deceived and abandoned by men. The opposite is possible as well.

Flirtation may cause bitter experiences in young people. And many of these experiences may result badly. A person does not risk his life by putting gun powder in his pocket just to have an experience. It would be a bad idea to keep the powder next to fire. And it is also a bad idea to play with a snake just to learn how a snake stings.

Flirtation destroys the sense of logic and reasoning. A person who gets used to flirtation often changes partners. The man who deceives and abandons the girl is deemed as malicious and the deceived woman is considered as fool. For a Muslim woman, this is the most destructive disaster. Flirtation makes most of young people awful, extravagant and distraught. It causes inferiority complex, jealousy, grudge, hatred, pessimism and various psychological depressions among young people.

The desire of flirtation calls people to meet in isolated places. In the end, many young people fall into trouble, which cause them regret and pain afterwards.

In a research carried out at Pennsylvania University in USA, 1400 people who got married between years of 1964 and 1997 were asked about their experiences when they married.

Scientist Claire Kamp-Dush states that couples who share the same house before marriage are less happy than other couples and their rate of divorce is higher. He also states that considering that a separation might be easier, couples do not care too much about the relationship when they decide on it and their endeavor and children are effective on their decision to get married.

A young man who only cares for his satisfaction is easily done with the flower he smells and he looks for other flowers. He cannot be satisfied by this scene anymore; the secret, temptation, ties and knots in it come undone. He now looks for another attraction and a more mysterious tie and some other amusement. For this reason, girls or women should be careful about flirtation.

Does Islam permit flirtation?

Our religion does not permit such relationship by any means. Two strangers meeting in isolated places conduce to rebellion of their emotions and sentiments which they have in their nature to rise up. No one can make out what could happen after the rising of sexual emotions and their rebellion. A proverb says “do not keep the gunpowder next to the fire”.

Such relationships begin innocently but they end up with disappointment. Daily events stand as evidence for the fact that a majority of regrets even murders and evilness in social life are caused by not heeding this warning and exceeding the bounds between. Newspapers and television programs are full of such events, aren’t they?

Is there not any exception, is every woman or man like this? We cannot surely claim it. Every rule definitely has its exception. However, exceptions always remain exceptions; they do not change the rule itself.

Women should stay away from levity which might make them look suspicious and they should not become an object of amusement which is easily obtained and easily abandoned. Besides, men should not consider life as a place for lust only; they should not waste their energy that Allah bestowed upon them on such simple thoughts and emotions and they should use their mind and step onto the future this way.

Can I have a secret religious marriage with my girlfriend?

Today, plenty of young people ask this question. I am going to tell you a real story. A young boy asks Ahmet Hodja this question: “My Hodja! I want to have a religious marriage with my girlfriend with whom I would like to marry in the future. However, we know that our families will not allow this. Would it be acceptable if we have a secret religious marriage for now and establish our relationship and think of the official marriage when its time comes?”

Ahmet Hodja replies the boy : “I consider your wanting to have a religious marriage instead of the official one at first, wanting it to be secret as the deception of youth desires that you are under the pressure of. If a person is under the effect of his desires, he will find a way to realize these desires no matter how negative and untimely they are. It should be known that marriage is not that simple. You should consider it thoroughly.

In a religious marriage even if it is secret, rights of marriage completely come into existence and parties now assume the rights and responsibilities for each other. They even have their right of heritage. However, is it possible with the laws today to prove this marriage and to secure incurring rights?

And if one party gives up saying “I do not want to continue this secret marriage; it is not as attractive as it seemed!”, then what will the solution be? Men mostly lose their passion after a while and it then becomes easy to give it up for them; however, women become obliged even bound to be left-off and regret fills them with all its severity; but this regret does not help anything.

Meanwhile, when families who find out about this marriage are also included, then problems cause a deadlock. As it is expressed in the saying “a mad person throws a stone into a well but many clever people cannot take it out”, people become entangled in this miserable event. One solution remains and it is official marriage with witnesses in order to take back the incurred rights.

For this reason, according to Shafi’i school, people cannot get married without permission and acceptance of the family. According to Hanafi school, if parties are found to be unequal when families learn about the marriage, the right of divorce occurs. The best is to wait patiently for the time when families permit the marriage.

However, in order to bear such patience, people should keep away from levity which may cause them to exceed the bounds of legitimacy and from places which may stimulate emotions so that they can patiently wait for the time of marriage.

Otherwise, if secret meetings which lead to rebellion of emotions continue, people cannot obtain the patience to wait and they feel obliged to have a secret marriage untimely and they may end up complaining “why did the experienced elders not warn us?”. 

Do not become a victim of your temporary emotions

For this reason, keep away from places which may get your emotions our of control; do not make yourself obliged to make decisions against your mind and logic and even against your family’s acceptance, by exceeding the bounds of legitimacy. You should remember that if sexual emotions inside man are secured within legal bounds and kept away from temptation, they will not force the owner to make decisions out of mind and logic and to commit deeds which they may feel ashamed.

When these bounds are exceeded and they turn into suspicious intimate meetings with strangers, then motives of emotion which cause people make illogical decisions take place.

This warning of the Prophet (pbuh) also indicates its:

“A person who exceeds the legal bounds and make his lustful emotions rebel, is like someone who has lost  his mind completely or two thirds of it.” ( Kashfu’l Khafa, 2:129)

His decisions which he will make are not of his mind and logic but of his flaming emotions. Emotions are blind; he comes to his mind later but this time, it is too late for him. The only solution in order not to be exposed to such tragic events is to avoid meeting people suspiciously in isolated places and abstaining from tempting images and places, and to secure themselves.

Briefly, those who know the bounds of what is permitted and what is forbidden protect themselves and those who do not, feel obliged to make mistakes.

Why does Allah command people “not to draw near to unlawful sexual intercourse” instead of “not to commit unlawful sexual intercourse”? Why is “not gazing at haram” insisted so much? What does religion consider about gazing at the obscene images?

Here is the painful scream of an eighteen-year-old boy: “Dear brother. I am writing this mail with my eyes full of tears. One of my teachers used to tell me to take Joseph (pbuh) as a model. However, I could not be as obedient as he was to God. I betrayed my eyes. I made them dirty. I regret so much. Now I am trying to clean this dirt with my tears. I request you to pray for me. May God save today’s Josephs for the sake of Joseph (pbuh).”

The Qur’an reminds us that the creator of the universe and the creator of man in this universe and the one who bestows “eyes to see” is Allah and It calls to us: ”They should restrain their gaze” ( the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:30). The One Who gives this command is the creator of man with this nature. Who else can know better than Allah, the most natural and suitable state for man? Who can speak a word over the One Who bestows this nature?

The Sublime Creator invites us to the state which is the necessity of our nature, with this command of His. Not restraining the gaze from forbidden, gazing at whatever one sees is something that conflicts with the nature the Divine wisdom deemed appropriate because it makes one single emotion rule over the infinite emotions bestowed upon man. It leaves the will inoperative. It causes personalities which focus their world and their thought on a single point.

Gazing at haram is caused by a weakness of belief and it feeds this weakness; besides, it has a feature which degrades people in humanity. It is because it makes people who are equipped with emotions and abilities whereby they can surround the universe slaves for lustful desires and emotions; and it shows the opposite sex as if they were only sexual objects. It reduces the description of man to this simple and absurd state.

In addition, a meaningful side of the command “restrain the gaze from haram” is its commanding an internal endeavor. The first word for both believing men and women is not “destroy harams which you may gaze at” but “restrain your gaze”.

This is a meaningful reflection of the general approach of the Qur’an which gives the priority to man and which undoes the tie in individuals because, the root of the problem is not in the outer world but inside us. A person whose inner world and whose fortress of belief is strong does not deviate even if the whole world is full of forbidden images and scenes.

As a matter of fact, the parable of Joseph (pbuh) is an example for this. Against a very beautiful woman who offered herself with all the charms she had, Joseph’s reaction was to turn his gaze away. Joseph (pbuh) gives this lesson to humanity: If people know the Owner of their eyes and His commands correctly, they are not tempted by the most tempting scenes.

As eyes see…

The most critical point in all the lustful things is approaching it. Once the threshold is passed, the rest comes easily and quickly. For example, eyes which gaze at bare legs are not satisfied with that and they seek for more because in thresholds like not restraining the gaze from haram, there is an evil gravity which inactivates the will and which pulls man to the lowest level of sin even if he does not want it in his heart and conscience.

Generalization of a specific shame comes into existence by means of seeing. With eyes seeing, the wrong becomes the rule and what is abnormal becomes normal. This command of restraining the gaze addressing both men and women ceases this general degeneration right from the beginning.( Metin Karabasoglu)

The 30th and 31st verses of the surah an-Nur in the Qur’an, presents us an enlightened way based on conscious believing against the delusion of obscenity which damages many believing hearts. Our Lord commands: 

“(O, My Messenger), Tell the believing men that they should restrain their gaze (from looking at the women whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others' private parts), and guard their private parts and chastity. This is what is purer for them. God is fully aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women that they (also) should restrain their gaze (from looking at the men whom it is lawful for them to marry, and from others' private parts), and guard their private parts, and that they should not display their charms except that which is revealed of itself; and let them draw their veils over their bosoms.” ( the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:30-31)

The verses above informs all Muslims either men or women that unlawful sexual relationship is forbidden. Also, both men and women are commanded to restrain from actions which may lead them to an unlawful sexual relationship. Furthermore, we learn that one of the most important things that lead people to unlawful relationships is gazing at haram. Stating in a hadith “the fornication of the eyes is gazing lustfully”(Bukhari, Istizan,12), the Prophet (pbuh), describes gazing at haram as the fornication of the eyes.

Depending on the verses mentioned above and hadiths regarding the issue, scholars of Islam are in an agreement on the matter that lustful gazing of both men and women at haram save for their husbands and wives is forbidden. Necessary gazing in situations like medical treatment, witnessing or marital purposes is permitted within the conditions and measures stated in the Islamic Jurisprudence. 

It all begins with a “gaze”

Gazing at haram is the beginning of fornication. For this reason, it is important to restrain our gazes. Those who are careless by saying “What could happen with a single gaze?” end up with great destruction.

People are not held responsible for the first indeliberate gaze. However, repeating the gaze is forbidden. The Prophet says to Ali “ O, Ali! Do not add another gaze over a gaze. The first is for you but the second is against you.” ( Tirmidhi, Manners, 28)

However, we should state this right away : This first gaze is the one which a person needs to look when in marketplace or on a street, which his eyes encounter unwillingly. Since man cannot walk with his eyes shut, gazing for necessary issues, indeliberate but necessary situations and situations in which he is unwillingly need to look at is considered to be the first gaze. This case, is especially in question in the Era of Bliss.

However, gazing with consideration that “ the first gaze is permissible” like monitoring all around is wrong because, today a case like encountering suddenly and unawarely is not in question; we may encounter forbidden scenes anywhere anytime. For this reason, we should take control of our gaze.

God commands “ do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse”, not “ do not commit it”

In Islam, there are prohibiting decrees regarding weaknesses and habits which lead people to evil deeds. Those who obey these decrees can save their life in the hereafter as well as in the world. They protect themselves and their children against the negative habits which are getting commoner. We should listen to the warning of our Lord: “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption).” (the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32)

God commands “ do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse”, not “ do not commit it”. For this reason, gazing at tempting and stimulating scenes which might be a leading or and invitation to an illicit relationship is not permissible in our religion because the main issue is not to draw near. If you do not approach it, it will be easier for you to be saved from it. It becomes difficult to endure the stages after approaching; a person who approaches the fire may fall into it. 

Eyes should restrain the gaze from the obscenity so that imagination will remain clean and minds will be protected from being polluted. Great scholars: “ People should not only shut their eyes of their minds and only avoid but they should also not let forbidden images into their minds; imagination should be protected as well.” 

Why is “not gazing at haram” insisted so much?

Because all the sins and moral corruption begin with gazing at the obscenity, develop due to insisting on it and turn to active sins.

Moreover, eyes take the picture of what they see and they store it in their archives of imagination. No matter where they go and where they are, these pictures they have taken are in front of the eyes of their minds.

The student becomes unable to study his lesson, workers cannot do their jobs and intellectual people cannot come to their minds to think clearly; and in every matter people can have a drawback and a decrease. In order to protect people from this state, religion has prescribed rules against obscenity and saves the believers from such degradation.

According to Islam, taking photos or filming a video which exceeds the bounds of nudity whether they aim at temptation or not, is forbidden. Looking at such images or videos and marketing them is forbidden as well.

They are forbidden because direct nudity and nudity by means of images and videos fundamentally aims at the same illicit purpose. It only differs in effect. Direct nudity is more effective than indirect one. However, indirect nudity has continuality and commonness.

We should not limit nude pictures to only those of women. There is not such a thing that looking at the nude images of a woman is sin whereas looking at those of a man is not. Displaying private parts and gazing at them is forbidden and sin whoever is in the picture. However, being forbidden and sins increase and become strong by getting close to the most private parts.

Is gazing at the beauty rightful or a betrayal of the eyes?

What is beautiful, who is the beautiful, according to whom is it beautiful and for whom is it beautiful? Is the beauty the object that the soul like? Or, is beauty the thing the heart acquires through a pure mind and knowledge? We should deal with the question in the title in accordance with these questions.

The first one of them is the beauty according to the soul which suggests evilness and the second is the one according to the heart. In the first one, the soul looks at the beauty it sees on its own behalf and uglifies it. And in the second one, the heart looks at it on the behalf of Allah and makes it more beautiful.

In the first one, the starting point of the soul is its own view; its intentions and sight are its own pleasures and infinite desires. Here, the eyes are reduced to an instrument of temptation. There is no goodness in this look. This look is thankless and ungrateful and that is why it is forbidden. No matter if non-mahram is covered or uncovered, beautiful or ugly; looking at it on the behalf of the soul is forbidden.

In the second one, the starting point of the heart, its intention and sight is to reach Allah’s infinite beauty; the deed it does is knowledge, skill and thanking. Its purpose is to gain Allah’s consent. According to Badiuzzaman, if people sell the eye to your All-Seeing Maker, and employ it on His behalf and within limits traced out by Him, then your eye will rise to the rank of a reader of the Great Book of Being, a witness to the miracles of Dominical art, a blessed bee sucking on the blossoms of Mercy in the garden of this globe.(Words, 6th Word)

In this second approach, everything is beautiful. In this sight, blessing is nice as well as grief. Peace is fine as well as trouble. The eye says “He makes excellent everything He creates” (he Qur’an, as-Sajdah, 32:7) like the Qur’an and it seeks His manifestation in everything and finds beauty. He observes Allah’s holy names and attributions in happiness and peace.

In this sight, the heart says like Badiuzzaman “In respect of reality and the face that looks to their Creator, everything is transparent and beautiful” (Words, 22nd Word), and it collects the honey of knowledge, talent and thankfulness from the manifestations of Allah’s names. The heart, in this sight says “Let us see what God does, whatever He does, He does it beautifully” like Ibrahim Hakki and surrenders to God’s deeds.

Gazing at non-mahram on behalf of the soul is not rightful but sin. Looking at the beauty of one’s spouse or looking at the beauties of creation, inborn nature and nature which is not forbidden to look at on behalf of the Creator is rightful.

The Qur’an describes this forbidden gaze as “treacheries of the eyes”. God says: “God knows the treacheries of the eyes and all that the bosoms conceal.” (the Qur’an, al-Mumin, 40:19)

The expression of “treacheries of eyes” means slipping of the eyes to haram secretly, in the Qur’an’s unique language. Here, the despotic soul uses eyes which are divine miracles on its behalf, leading these two pearls to haram.

However, Allah sees the slipping of the eyes to haram. The despotic soul does not consider that or it forgets that Allah sees what the eyes see. The Qur’an describes it as “ treacheries of the eyes”. 

What does the religion say about gazing at the obscenity?

Gazing at obscene images, watching obscene movies and entering the sites which contain such content is forbidden. The Qur’an states clearly that prostitution and fornication are forbidden, using the expression of “indecent, shameful deeds” in two places and using clearly the expression of “illicit sexual relationship”,.

“Say: "Come, let me recite what your Lord has made unlawful for you: that you associate nothing with Him; and (do not offend against but, rather) treat your parents in the best way possible; and that you do not kill your children for fear of poverty – it is We Who provide for you as well as for them; and that you do not draw near to any shameful thing (like fornication, fornication, and homosexuality), whether committed openly or secretly; and that you do not kill any soul, which God has made sacred and forbidden, except in just cause. All this He has enjoined upon you, that you may use your reason (and so believe, know right from wrong, and follow His way).” (the Qur’an, al-An’am, 6:151)

“Say: "My Lord has made unlawful only indecent, shameful deeds (like fornication, fornication, prostitution, and homosexuality), whether those of them that are apparent and committed openly or those that are committed secretly; and any act explicitly sinful; and insolence and offenses (against the Religion, life, personal property, others' chastity, and mental and bodily health), which is openly unjustified; and (it is also forbidden) that you associate partners with God, for which He has sent no authority at all, and that you speak against God the things about which you have no sure knowledge.” ( the Qur’an, al-A’raf, 7:33)

Indecent, shameful deeds mentioned in the verse, are fornication whether they are houses of ill-fame, mistress, secret bedmate, etc. Such secret deeds are the name for all of the things which lead people to unlawful relationships. Both fornication and things that lead people to such relationships, and things which stimulate lustful emotions illicitly are forbidden.

As a matter of fact, numerous scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence since the beginning of Islamic history have dealt this issue in this way. The usage of the plural form of the word fuhush (prostitution) as fawahish (indecent, shameful deeds) shows that there are plenty of ways which lead to illicit relationships.

And the third verse is : “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption). ( the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32)

Considering it carefully, the assumption anyone can make is the fact that not only unlawful sexual intercourse but also drawing near to it is forbidden. This is to emphasize once more the fact that things that lead to such intercourse are also forbidden along with the intercourse itself.

When we examine the hadiths, we see that the Messenger of Allah indicates that gazing at the obscene images is forbidden and even if people are not held responsible for the first gaze since it is unwilling, the second gaze and the next gazes are forbidden. (Tirmidhi, Manners, 28)

In a sacred hadith, it is stated that gazing at the forbidden is like a poisonous arrow of satan; if people avoid this, God will make them taste the belief in the depths of their heart due to their attitude. (Munziri, at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, III:63)

Another hadith is more general: “There is no doubt that Allah has written for man his share of fornication which he will commit inevitably. The fornication of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the fornication of the tongue is the talk, and of the soul wishes and desires; and the private parts testify or deny it." (Bukhari, Asking Permission, VIII:74:260)

There are the following additions in a different narration of this hadith : “The fornication of the hand is holding and touching,  the fornication of the feet is to walk (to the place) where he intends to commit fornication the fornication of the tongue is, kissing the fornication of the ears is listening.” ( Muslim, Destiny, Book 33, 6422)

Why is gazing at the obscene fornication?

Acting upon what has been told thus far, people who weaknesses regarding sexuality and who seek different forms of satisfaction may ask “What is wrong with such gazing unless an illicit sexual intercourse is committed; what is the point of these harsh commands?”. Or, they might ask “ Why is the Qur’anic approach to fornication and sexuality so harsh?”

The answer is this: First of all, the family is, as a common expression says, the base of the community. If the base moves, it means the complete building is to quake. It is not possible for a family and a community live in peace and happiness if either spouse has an apparent or secret illicit relationship; the secrecy will be apparent sooner or later.

Secondly, as is or should be known, if Islam states a decree about whether an action should or should not be done, it also provides decrees and regulations which support and set the ground for it or to preserve it.

Thus, on the matter of encouraging people to get married, Islam provides direct commands and prohibitions regarding the issues of equality of the couples who are to get married, their meeting before marriage, their compliance with all sorts of cleansing, not doing things which the spouse dislikes, not allowing strangers in the house without the permission of the husband and so on. Islam has forbidden things that will lead to fornication when it has forbidden fornication.

For instance, Islam forbids men and women from dressing in a form which displays their sexual attractiveness, their adornment and from going out in public in this state, obscenity, immodesty, lustful touching and gazing of people who are not married couples and so forth.

It deals this issue in such a detailed way that women are limited in their adornment, wearing scent, tempting gazing and speech and levity since they all contribute to other people’s seduction. Watching obscene movies, surfing through the websites which address human’s sense of lust are also forbidden.

Thirdly, judging the issue with respect to social aspects, it is the duty of a government to establish social order in accordance with principles of public morality; it is also the right of a community which asks for a healthy life.

It is certain that fornication, opinions and executions which stimulate all sorts of lustful emotions, notably obscenity which lead people to fornication and which permit such emotions describing them as sexual liberty despite human nature and without setting limitations are against the principles of public morality and they will definitely damage public order.

If the input and output of these excessive things ranging from homosexuality to extramarital children and from houses of ill-fame to obscene publications bring to a community are compared, it will be clearer to understand what we want to say.

This is the very reason why Islam sets such harsh decrees on the issues of sexual deviation and intemperance in question. Actually, it would be more appropriate to say “those decrees help people on the surface which is slippery to the utmost and where slipping is always inevitable, hold their hands and provide them with a destination” than to say “they are harsh and they leave no liberty and limit freedom.”

Why does a married person look at indecent pictures?

After dealing with the religious aspect of the issue above, we should deal with the issue with respect to another perspective. Why does a believing heart that knows it will called to account in the hereafter for all that he committed here attempt such things?

It is a widely-known fact that lustful emotions are natural and because of the creation and nature for anyone who is a human. It is certain that the satisfaction for such emotions is a legal marriage. The reason why a married and believing man attempts such a thing might be his dissatisfaction with his wife or not finding what he has sought.

Since he considers it to be an embarrassing issue, he might not be able to tell anybody about it and perhaps he might not even talk to his wife. He might satisfy this feeling of his with obscene movies just because of the fact that he believes fornication is forbidden.

Please do not underestimate this possibility because today, there are a number of couples who end up in court due to sexual dissatisfaction. Polls and statistics conducted among people who have secret mates despite being married, and who have adulterous relationships and who go to houses of ill-fame proves that this matter is not a hypothesis or a prediction.

Naturally, addiction to such a case is not a disease which is only particular to men. Though comparatively less than men, women may also be addicted to looking at obscene images.

However, the result does not change. If such a reason lays beneath attempting to satisfy in a sense with obscene images, the thing that should be done is that spouses should be honest and bold to each other as much as possible. They should tell each other about their expectations and desires, and they should meet their expectations within legal bounds. 

Obscene images cause addiction

However, if there is not such a problem, there is another possibility left : This person is psychologically ill and has a deviation in his sexual emotions. Although gazing at such indecent images begins as a temporary pleasure when they are young and when sexual emotions for the opposite sex come into existence or when they have been stupefied by lustful emotions, it later may have resulted in addiction.

This case might have caused a sexual deviation in a person who has lived long years open to obscenity and might have turned him into a person who becomes satisfied with only gazing at and seeing the obscenity. As a matter of fact, today, the number of such cases in our community is not low.

What should a person who suffers such kind of a disease do? In deed, in such a case, the thing they must do is to go through a psychological treatment. According to the Prophet’s indication, “sense of bashfulness which is a branch of belief” (Bukhari, Belief, 16) should not prevent this either because this is really a serious disease which is particular to our century and which needs to be treated.

Is belief not sufficient in this issue? It should certainly be and it should leave no need for a psychologist. This is the very reason for us why we have reminded you of the Qur’an and the Prophetic values and why we have constantly emphasized on them, so far.

Belief in Allah and in the Day of Resurrection should be integrated with mind and will and this problem should be overcome by applying all the commands and prohibitions that Islam introduces with no unclear point left. Such kind of sexuality which the West and Western values made become a commercial sector should not be promoted and exploitation of sexual emotions by others should be prevented.

Thus, we should have an honorable life style as a Muslim individual and we should not attempt things which we cannot account for in the hereafter and which will make us embarrassed when reports of our deeds are to open in the presence of our Lord.

 Furthermore, by doing so, we might prevent awful pleasures, sexual deviations, illicit relationships, children born out of wedlock, psychological depressions, and divorcement and sucide etc caused by them, which today threaten humanity more than ever.

A virus which drags people to abyss : what is prostitution and fornication? How should we consider the sexuality factor? Why did Allah create fornication, which is such an evil deed?

Sexuality is being aggravated

In our century in which sins surround all over, sins especially related to sexuality attack people through thousands of ways. From streets, squares, cars, houses, ships, billboards, newspapers, magazines, televisions, CDs, posters, advertisements, movies, shop windows, wedding ceremonies, social clubs, exhibitions to the internet, almost every place is full of tempting images and scenes. The place where we live commodifies the woman, degrading her to meat and bone on the one hand, it leaves men with no protection against their souls on the other hand.

Due to this general picture whereby sexuality is reminded all the time in a plenty of places ranging from TV screens to people on the streets, from pages of newspaper to the working place and from the internet to holiday places, believers are filled with a case of pessimism. While inclinations awaking inside due to the sins which reveal themselves in such an illicit state, slipping of the eyes and forbidden gazes make believers agonize in the pain of lowering themselves to a state of ignoring and rebelling their Lord; satan whispers constantly the desperation of the situation. “In such a place” he says, “ it is impossible that you remain unaffected. You cannot get rid of this.”

Recognize satan well

-Drink it! A single sip would not hurt anyone..

-I just held her hand for once. What is wrong with it?

-One bite, just it! Eat it… if it is a sin, I will take it on me…

-Take a swig of it! Do not worry, you will not die…

-Nothing happens if you miss the time of the prayer! You can perform it later…

- You are exaggerating! I just glanced at her from here for a second.

You must have encountered such expressions or you must have seen people whom these expressions are addressed. Essentially, they are satan’s strategy of getting people to take their first step towards the abyss. For him, this first step is of ultimate importance because the next steps come right after the first one on their own.

Satan is a very insidious creature. He does not set forth the things he will do straight out. He does everything insidiously, without hurrying, step by step based on a plan. Thus, it is impossible to sense right away what he wants to do with his insidiousness. He takes a step and gets people to take a step as well. Underestimating this step, people who are subject to him, say “ What is the big deal? Just a step” and follow him.

However, satan gets them to take the next steps one after the other; counting two-three, he makes them gradually become his slaves. therefore, underestimating this advancement, people become stuck in these sins, in a swamp.

The following verse from the Qur’an reminds us of this kind of tracing: ” O you who believe! Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. Whoever follows in the footsteps of Satan, (let him know well that) Satan insistently calls to all that is indecent and shameful, and all that is evil.” (the Qur’an, an-Nur, 24:21). This following is just like an unaware walk. It is a walk which becomes a habit and a custom in man in the end.

People are mostly unaware of it. Since sinning takes place gradually, their reaction reduces. Perhaps, they may find it odd at first but later they are accustomed to it and it becomes normal for them.

Yes satan is the very devil. We should always keep this in mind. Satan usually makes use of our laziness, indolence and inactivity. He dislikes our craving to serve for humanity and he throws into us inappropriate thoughts and delusions when we stay inactive. He preoccupies our imagination which is not busy with rightful actions at that moment and making it think inappropriate things, he forces people to commit sins. For this reason, we should fill holes where satan can sneak through with rightful deeds, actions, occupation and endeavor to serve for the religion so that he cannot find what he seeks in us. 

Immorality becomes normal in time

In the last century, we encounter a connection between pages of newspapers and magazines, movies, TV programs, and garments and lifestyles of people : All the debauchery, disgracefulness and obscenity are only able to express themselves in only a small segment of the society. An excessive image taken in the small segment of the society is exhibited to public in the pages of newspapers and magazines.

On the other hand, such excessiveness are included in the movies at the same dose. People who witness this excessiveness displayed through means of mass media become used to it by being exposed to them frequently. The thing which they react against at first considering it to be immorality becomes normal for them later. When it becomes normal, they do the same thing.

Meanwhile, in the small segment we mentioned, a more excessive thing is displayed; people start to react against it this time. Beginning gradually to consider it as a normal thing in three or five years, in the end, they start to do it themselves. We should remember this : He who sees something often becomes used to it, he who becomes used to it considers it as a normal thing and he who considers it as a normal things applies it himself.

For instance, on the way to mini skirt, there were skirts that were only one span above the heels. Then, knee-length skirts replaced them. Then skirts that were a few inches above the knee followed. Skirts are shortening day by day. In short, a special kind of shamelessness becomes widespread through seeing. As the eyes see it continuously, what used to be an exception becomes a rule; what used to be regarded as abnormal becomes normal.

Obscenity is being legalized under the name of art

In reality, obscenity, which is against Divine commands and human inborn nature, has always sought legalization under the name of art. They even found a seductive yet inviolable disguise as eroticism.

It is strange that a work which is aimed on behalf of art at first turns into an industry soon. In the same way, obscenity, which occupies today all the places ranging from posters to pages of a newspaper and from a filmstrip to TV advertisements and from scenes to streets, and from the shelves of the distributors to shop windows and to the internet, has come into existence by means of art and it later has turned into a huge industry. The progress of art like painting, sculpture, photography, dance, cinema, theatre and so on displays the history of this process.

And today, the supreme object for numerous industries like media, television, textile and advertising is obscenity. Advertisements like the ones of a tire or rice or even shaving foam which men only use are presented with an immodestly dressed image of a woman. ( Metin Karabasoglu) 

Are women the objects of forbidden pleasures?

“People come to this world once. There is no beginning of the end. Laugh, enjoy yourselves, spend your lives which begins and ends as quickly as a thunderbolt in pleasure. Do not consider the concepts like belief, the other world, prayer, licit, illicit or death, which are to remind you of your possibilities and which limit your pleasure. You should be as free and careless as a butterfly.”

The statements above are of a philosophy of life and it is named “hedonism”, which deals with pleasure and satisfaction. It dates back to Ancient Greeks. There is a large number of people today who support this philosophy and who consider life to be only for pleasure and satisfaction.

We should remember that when (selfish) pleasure becomes the sole purpose, the concept of the family weakens because the concept of family, the core of the community, can stay sustainable only by means of sacrifice (and selflessness). The mentality which accepts women as objects for “forbidden pleasures” does not recognize the mother character of the family, the compassionate heroine. For them, children are enemies who reduce the amount of money that is the vital instrument for pleasures; they need to be killed before birth.

Those who establish states out of clans are heroes. Those who turn enslaved nations into masters are idealist men. Those who wake communities from their deathly sleep, who enthuse them and have them go for sacrosanct goals are believing combatants. Those who stray in pursuit of personal desires and those who lay on the couch of libertinage cannot sacrifice anything. Selfish people cannot understand the way of those who smile to death and who live for the Meaning and die for their ideals they believe. A community that consists of those kinds of people decays inside.

The minds of those who consider the purpose of life to be pleasures reduce their eyes and their brains into their stomachs. They do not think of the possibility that there are pleasures other than materialistic ones. They are aliens to the pleasure of feeding the hungry, caressing an orphan and helping those who are in need. They like loud music, toilet humor and literature that smell lust. They spend their lives, dreaming of new pleasures.

Pleasures have no limits. Repeated pleasures subside and give no satisfaction at all. In this case, people seek new and different pleasures and this search causes many kinds of disgracefulness. However, pleasures are supposed to be means. Pleasure has been created for the purpose of the continuality of the individual life and reproduction. If there had not been any pleasure in food, eating and drinking them, it would have been a torture. You would have become unable to eat or drink and partake in necessary food. Life could not have continued. In the same way, if there had not been pleasure in marriage, people would have not set families, reproduced and shaped the earth. The human generation would have been extinct. (Ömer Sevinçgül)

With Badiuzzaman’s approach, man controls his emotions by means of the “power of animal appetite”, which is related to the protecting his feelings and interests, and the “power of passion”, which is related to self-defense, the “power of intellect”, which is related to distinguishing the good from the bad. In such cases, restraining from excessiveness engenders the state of tranquility. The effects of these powers which are integrated in the ideal density balance each other, producing a harmony. Limitless desires of the power of lust which do not become full even after partaking in the whole world are to be restrained by means of  the power of anger and the power of intellect and this is due to form a basis for prevention of violations. (İşârâtü’l-İ’câz: Signs of Miraculousness, p 45-47) 

How should we assess the “gender” factor?

Assessing the gender factor in terms of the concept of sexuality would be at least narrow-mindedness because this issue leads people to both misusing their lives and becoming a toy for some foci whether knowingly or not.

Immorality is the most dangerous way which is used by some dark powers that desire to remove honor and dignity from men and chastity and purity from women. Human gender is just a ring of creation in pairs and reproduction, which are both Divine laws. We should assess it thus and we should appreciate it to that degree.

Regarding the issue of gender, this following verse from the Qur’an is so meaningful: “(There is such intimacy between you that) they are a garment for you (enfolding you to protect you against illicit relations and beautifying you) and you are (in the same way, for the same reasons) a garment for them” (the Qur’an, al-Baqarah, 2:187)

Garment, clothing, covering... Man and woman are the covering for one another. The covering, as is known, protects people from dangers that may reach them. Both man and woman should protect each other from entering illegal paths.

Marriage is a reciprocal agreement in terms of honor. Today, some people are in a struggle for emptying the concept of marriage. Young people need to be very careful lest they should rise to their baits. So do the adults because, sexuality is a non-aging emotion in the human spirit.

Otherwise, the number of people who unfortunately think that the sole purpose of life is just having illicit relationship with the opposite gender might increase. This, therefore, may damage the future of our nation as well as their spiritual lives.

We are under the bombardment of illicit relationships

Today, illicit relationships, unfortunately have become highly popular. However, it is a virus which leads people to abyss in every way, form and branch.

Against this sort of relationships, there are a number of principles that Islam has prescribed. As long as people apply these principles, they will not – if God wills – sink into a whirl and they will not be drifted away by the tide of illicit relationships.

It is inevitable for people to be drifted away by the flood of illicit relationships like wooden logs unless Islamic principles and Qur’anic decrees are complied with. Such a result is something that we must worry the most, as Muslims.

Is it not a fact that many nations in the history were destroyed just due to such commitments? Roman Empire, Byzantium, and lovely Andalucia were collapsed into ruins because of lust and lustful emotions. Drawings all over the places on behalf of art, paintings which expressed lustful emotions clearly show how morality had been trampled on. When God sent Ferdinand, the king of Spain in that period, as a trouble for them, they had already been swallowed by lustful emotions.

According to some people who hold wrong claims, in order to prevent illicit relationships, it is necessary to keep men and women together so that both parties will become accustomed to each other and the possible danger will be averted. This is, in fact, such a horrible claim. Prevention of this kind of emotion by stimulating lust in people is a very afflictive interference like attempting to quench thirst with salty water of the sea.

The plague of the century : Illicit relationships

What is an illicit relationship? What should we understand from illicit relationships (e.g prostitution, fornication)?

An illicit relation means man’s getting carried away with illicit pleasures and satisfaction. In this sense, all the things which the religion regards illicit are included in the definition of an illicit relationship. Any kinds of immorality, bad-manners, nudity, obscenity, attempts to spread such immoralities into public life are covered by the term “illicit relationships”. However, most of the time, this term is used in the meaning of fornication.

Adultery particularly means the action of sexual intercourse committed by people who are not legally married and those who do not have wedlock. Fornication is a hideous action which destroys the foundation of moral values and which enslaves people by means of bodily, bestial motives. Our religion orders marriage and prohibits fornication.

Our Lord says “Do not draw near to any unlawful sexual intercourse; surely it is a shameful, indecent thing, and an evil way (leading to individual and social corruption).” (the Qur’an, al-Isra’, 17:32) And clearly stating “He forbids you indecency, wickedness, and vile conduct (all offenses against religion, life, personal property, chastity, and health of mind and body)” (the Qur’an, an-Nahl, 16:90), He blocks the roads to illicit deeds.

Our Prophet states in a hadith : “ There is no one who protects believers from evil more than Allah. For this reason, Allah forbids open or secret illicit deeds ( fornication)”. ( Bukhari, Wedlock, 107)

One of the seven great sins

Illicit sexual intercourse, which is one of the seven great sins that Allah’s Messenger mentions, was regarded hideous by previous religions and communities despite being described a bit differently and having different extents.

Even in Yathrib (Medina) where Jewish culture and laws dominated, Jewish people would punish those who committed fornication. However, they did not apply the punishment honestly and fairly. Although the punishment for such commitment in the Torah was lapidation, it was only applied to the poor and slaves whereas nobles could get away with it by being only painted in the face to be displayed.

Christianity deals with it the same way. The following statements are from the Matthew Bible:

“"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery. 'But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." ( Matthew, 5:27-30)

Interesting, isn’t it? 

Why did Allah create fornication which is a very evil deed?

We may ask such a question at this point. Essentially, this action is not fornication in creation. It was created as a action of sexual intercourse so that human generations could be reproduced. It is a very beneficial deed in terms of its result.

The thing Allah created is not fornication. Fornication is a deed which a person decides to commit of his own accord. What Allah created is sexual intercourse and it is bestowed just for reproduction. It is a God-given blessing for people to continue their generation.

The pleasure therein is an advance payment to people in order to continue their generation. Humans are obliged to use this pleasure and satisfaction within legal bounds. When they misuse it in places which they do not own, it is the commitment of fornication.

Allah creates things based on general results and general benefits. It is man’s own faults due to his actions if they result in some sort of unfortunate evil. See how our Lord states this fact in a verse from the Qur’an : “(O human being!) Whatever good happens to you, it is from God; and whatever evil befalls you, it is from yourself.”( the Qur’an, an-Nisa, 4:79)

In other words, the committer of fornication is the human, so the hideousness, therefore, belongs to human. However, while human commits it, the action is created by Allah. Since it is he who commits fornication, it is him who should be punished.

(See Gençliğin Cinsellik İmtihanı, M. Ali Seyhan, NESİL YAYINLARI)

M. Ali Seyhan

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thanks this was very helpful god willing il be able to stop

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