How To Avoid Someone’s Advances Towards You
Divorce (Talak) is already a devastating social phenomenon in many liberal societies with deep psychological, financial and emotional impacts, the latter especially so on children. It is gaining ground in developing countries with the woman liberation movements, material prosperity and chiefly with the development of new modern views favouring individuality. In the majority of cases of divorce, the main cause is infidelity.
Considering the liberal society in which live, it is not always easy to ward off the advances of someone who may be attracted by you. Here are some tips that will help you to preserve your chastity and protect your marriage:
- The first and best way is to live as true Muslims, to create a climate of pure love and trust by being honest and devoted and to place the interest of the couple (We, not I) above all: “they are your garments and you are their garments” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:187). Garments provide protection, comfort, cover, support and adornment. Always try to find some time to pray together. Allah is the best Protector. “Verily, the prayer keeps one from the great sins and evil deeds” ( Noble Quran 29:45) What more a congregational prayer with your spouse?
- Build up a relationship of trust. Avoid any situation that may create suspicion or an appearance of wrong doing. For many people there cannot be true love without a little of jealousy (not possessiveness). If you know your husband/wife is jealous, avoid situations that will arouse his/her doubts, on the contrary do what you can to reassure him/her. Otherwise, there will be a climate of mistrust and tension where none will be happy. Be comprehensible and consider it as a sign of love rather than your spouse seeking to control or own you.
- Once committed in marriage, never do something to test him/her. You may test him/her before but never after marriage. This will only show you do not trust him/her.
- “Do not go near to adultery.” (Quran, 17:32). This succinct injunction can be extended at length given the multiple occasions where it can be applied in our life today. We can come across hundreds if not thousands of people everyday. Among them there will surely be many who either attract us or be attracted by us. An Islamic idiom (Usul Al-Fiqh) says: “Anything that leads to haram is haram in itself.”
- “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty …” (Quran 24:30-31). All love relationships start, it is said, with eye contact. Once the communication is established through these organs, the rest will easily follow. It is not without reason therefore that the Almighty asks us to lower our gaze.
- What to do if someone makes advances to you? She/he will naturally be very subtle and diplomatic, for that person will try to be good mannered. So, subtly and good mannered too, you inform him/her that you are married like : “You know my wife/husband thinks it is …”
- What if she/he makes as if not to understand? Then you tell her/him that you are married and that you are happy and content and that your spouse satisfies all your needs. Avoid this person as far as possible. Never be alone with him or her, even if you are tempted to. Bring to mind all the sacrifices and devotion your spouse has gone through to remain committed to you.
- What to do if you cannot prevent meeting him/her? Bring along your wife or husband.
“You’re really attractive but I’m married …”
Never give hope or leave room for doubt. That “but” is enough for the person to think you are unhappy with your husband/wife and that perhaps you could be happy with him/her had not your wife/husband been in the way. This is a wrong message.
People who know you are married and do such things would not mind riding over your husband or wife if they feel you are interested. Be firm and put an end to his/her advances at once. What matters indeed is your marriage. The reason why they are not with someone is probably that they are unfaithful or that they are not good enough for someone.
- Leave the situation. Remember that your faith in Allah (SWT) is more important than any job or friends. If you cannot stop the person’s interest in you, or worse, you start feeling the same for him/her, leave immediately. Not only are you endangering your marriage but your imaan altogether. ”Keep fast to the rope of faith” or you may commit zina.
- Remember that infidelity may not only mean physical infidelity but also emotional. With the ease of Facebook, MSN and other social media sites, conversations between sexes can occur in the virtual world. If not controlled or avoided, you may end up divulging more than you want and start to confide in other men or women besides your spouse. This can also be considered emotional infidelity.
[pullquote_left]At the bottom of it all, your spouse may not ever find out what you do behind his/her back, but Allah All-Seeing always knows, and He is Most Just.[/pullquote_left]
On a final note, always keep in mind that as much as you think you have to deal with advances and temptations from others, so does your spouse. Someone is always attractive to someone else, no matter what. Make sure both do their part to guard the marriage. At the bottom of it all, your spouse may not ever find out what you do behind his/her back, but Allah All-Seeing always knows, and He is Most Just.
May Allah keep away from us all harm of those things that would harm us, and bless our marriages with trust, and joy, and every good thing – we ask it, O Lord, because we know that You love us and want only the best for us. Help us to be aware of Your presence always.
Abdool Rahman Dauharry
Abdool Rahman Dauharry is Rector of Victoria College, Mauritius. Formerly, language and literature teacher, he also taught Islamic Studies at secondary level.