By Dr. Aneerah Ali
Aslaam u alaikum.
Let me introduce myself. First of all to those of you who do not know me, I am Aneerah Ali and I was born and raised in New York City. My husband and I with our two sons have been living on and off for about 9 years in Flint. I received my BA in Forensic Psychology form the City University of New York and I graduated fromThomas M. Cooley Law school in 1999. In addition I am active in Islamic work. I am a Board member for Muslim Family Services. I also have been a counselor for Islam Online. I am also the secretary for Michigan Muslim Bar Association.
I have been asked to write a column for sisters in this wonderful publication, The Muslim Observer. I am honored to do this and I will over the months share with you some thoughts that I hope you will find sometimes interesting or educational or sentimental or maybe even controversial but always will be with the best of intentions to inform and share with my Muslim sisters. I want to the column to be warm and inviting and therefore I will always write in a letter format, so that we all feel that we are united as one.
Boys & Girls
Today I want to share with you my thoughts about the freedom of boys and girls freely mixing with one another. Many of our children ask why can they not just be friends with the opposite gender. They say it is just friendship and there should not be restrictions prohibiting them from hanging out or just being friends with the opposite gender. I think as far as working with each in school, work or in the community there is no problem for young men and women to talk or meet with each other as long as they are wearing the proper Muslim attire.
However, one also must be careful because if we see what is happening in the society in the United Sates , you will understand why most of the problems that exist socially do so because of this one issue of men and women having the freedom to mix with one another without any limitations.
Have you ever followed a relationship which started as boyfrined/girlfriend?: In USA that is the culture, right? Let me tell you that this is the major problem with our society, the root of many other problems. And they are blind to it. You see, the young boys and girls meet freely, in their tender teenage years, when natural changes are occurring. They start developing interest in each other. When they are freely around each other this leads to exploration. Obviously this is natural for they are humans. They experiment. Then emotions also get involved. When they experience sexual contact it feels good. That is natural. Then what happens? Well, the girl might get pregnant. What happens then? The boy backs off from the responsibility. Boys and their families all of a sudden remember that boy is young and his future will be ruined. The girlâ€™s family can not support another life. If they can, they do, but most of the time in disapproval. If they canâ€™t then the girl is left on her own. Then girl goes on welfare, and most live on welfare most of their life and then their children go through the same cycle. But this does not end there. There are laws that the father of the baby has to be economically responsible and pay, but he will try his whole life to get away from paying but always worrying about getting caught.
Then these young single mothers do not have health insurance, childcare or money for even food. Then first there are the programs created to deal with these issue, that takes away all the money that could have been spent on education, security, caring for the elderly, the disabled, and all the other positive enrichments of the country. In addition, these women and their children do not get educated properly and that takes away from society by losing people to the failures of the value system.
Then you have the diseases which result from these relationships. And all the money being spent on cures for these diseases and then you have the abortion debate. Abortion is a very HOT TOPIC in USA. Because what may not be known to people outside of USA is that the US is much more conservative than Europe. You see they let boys and girls meet freely but when pregnancy occurs out of wedlock and in teenagers it is very much frowned upon, but what did they expect? Most people who live in the Bible Belt, areas in the US where Christianity is very strong, are very much against abortion. Anyhow thinking logically this one freedom of allowing boys and girls to mix freely without limitations leads to so much social chaos. And is the prime reason for all the problems in society.
Do not look at it in the way that Islam is against natural feelings and desires. Islam recognizes all that but it has set down the proper way to enjoy it. And that is through marriage, otherwise think about it, when you get married are you just signing a paper? No, in marriage you are recognizing the natural needs of humans and at the same time you are entering into a contract before Allah with witnesses which will ensure that the two individuals are now committed to each other totally. The man is responsible for the economics of the household, providing for the wife and children, and he can not turn his face from it. And the woman is responsible for raising and teaching the children and preserving the household to start with, and then whatever subsequently happens with mutal agreement between the two. If they are faithful to one another they will stay Insha`Allah, healthy, and they will enjoy a relationship in which they have completely and totally given themselves to one another and no one else. It is truly special and beautiful. This way sex is respected and honored. Otherwise let me tell you on college campuses sex has become a sport. It has lost its value and honor. How can it be special and wonderful if it becomes so common. They say it is freedom, but I think logically it is just like freedom of animals.
Actually, I believe Islam is more alive in the US and is practiced more truly in the US than in many Muslim countries–but through Muslim eyes we can see more clearly where this otherwise great country has gone astray.
May Allah bless you and all of your loved ones with all the happiness and success in this world and the next. And may Allah forgive me if I have made any mistake or error.
Please send questions to Muslimah@muslimobserver.com.