Dear brothers and sisters, there is no taboo in Islam.

No topic or issue is a taboo, or is ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’ when you are dealing with adults, especially when you have learned or qualified people monitoring the debate or discussion.

No-one should be embarrassed to discuss anything which concerns the Muslim community; whether it be at home with your parents, at mosques, and with your scholars and leaders.

Of course, we ought to consider locality and the audience prior to starting the discussion but the point is that issues need to be discussed if we are to resolve them.

The topic for today’s discussion was Fornication, in other words having intimate relations with someone outside of marriage.

We live in a society here where this is considered normal. In fact, the institute of marriage is considered more and more abnormal to the majority. So, how does one get to grips with this important, yet often taboo, topic?

You see, dear brothers and sisters, one of the things we learn of Shaytaan is that he is extremely patient. He isn’t out to corrupt us in one shot. He will come at us and put a little bit into us to throw us off track and little by little he operates until he destroys your character.

Why is that important? Well, firstly Allah SWT has mentioned Fornication specifically in Sura Al-Furqan, ayat 68:

And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty.

But elsewhere in the Quran, Allah SWT warns us about fornication again but this time He says don’t even go near it.

Think about that for a moment. To not even go near it means to not allow Shaytaan to progress to take us off that path with that first step. As mentioned before, he is relentless and he is patient. Don’t wait until the sin is performed before you realise his hold on you.

Dear brothers and sisters, fornication comes in many forms. It’s not just the physical act but can be performed with the eyes and the ears too. In fact, it’s starting there that Shaytaan attempts to have us all travel this path of obscenity and lewdness until he reaches his end goal with us.

And for those of us old enough to see this, we can testify how low the standards have gone in recent years. Now, when a movie comes out for example, you see a trailer for it and in them there is a couple of unsuitable scenes and you tell yourself “there is just a single bad scene in it, it’s OK. It’s a 12A rating, its’ not an 18.”

But that’s what an 18 rating film was 10 years ago! They put filthy scenes into everything now. And if it isn’t visual, we are subjected to lewdness in the language we hear. Slang words for adult terms, phrases that are adult-themed are in all types of media from TV shows to Children’s movies.

And most of us aren’t even aware about the spiritual price we are paying. It’s affecting our prayer, duas, character and our family life.

However, we can take steps to rid ourselves of this and to stop the cycle towards this sin. In order to rid ourselves of the sin of fornication, we ought to rid ourselves of all the paths towards it.

So what follows are 3 practical steps we can all take to help ourselves in regards to this:

  1. Reacquaint yourselves with the Quran

You see, in a Muslim’s life, the Quran acts like a Wi-fi router connecting him or her with Allah SWT.

The more you are near the Quran, the stronger the connection will be. You move away and the connection becomes weak until you are completely disconnected.

Dear brothers and sisters, hold onto the Quran. Whether it is through memorization, recitation, understanding or simply listening to it – it is the best step you can take to protect yourself from this and any other temptation of Shaytaan.

  1. Get Married

OK, so this is without doubt a protection as it is the natural and permitted way for us to be in relation to this desire. However, for those of us whose circumstances do not permit them to commit to marriage, then fasting helps with lessening the urge to submit to these desires.

  1. Assess your lives

Dear brothers and sisters, we may have eyes and ears that are susceptible to Shaytaan’s traps but we are also blessed with critical thinking. Take a time out away from overloading your five senses which we can all be guilty of now and again, and really look at yourself and the life you have chosen to live.

What do you see and hear, who are your friends, what is your interests and hobbies? These answers will help you determine where you are and where you need to head in order to correct yourself. There is no shame in being caught out by Shaytaan, the key is to self-audit and seek Allah’s repentance and help in fixing up and getting back on the straight path.

Dear brothers and sisters, fornication may be a taboo subject for some but as Muslims we should be able to talk about it, recognize it as a illness of our society and work together in eliminating it from our community.

May Allah SWT protect us from fornication. May Allah SWT enable us to recognize the steps towards fornication and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in keeping away from fornication.

Ameen Walhamdullilahi Rabilalameen.

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