Thursday 19 December 2013

Twitter, teens, hormones & marriage


First and foremost I would like to apologise for the sensitive nature of this topic, within its context of being written by a youth who is equally just as fuelled with hormones and inclined towards social networks. And endless threads of cats on tumblr. So, without further ado I will plummet into a discussion (held mostly with myself) in regards to the 4 clashing words of the title. *gulp* 

(Despite using twitter as my prime website mentioned, I feel this will fit into many other digital doings. The reflections encased within this article are from my own personal experiences. Any good of it is from Allah and any errors are from myself and the shaytaan.)

Looking a year back from now, I remember someone (who I probably shouldn't have listened to, considering all the time neglecting deadlines due to this) recommending me this thing called 'twitter'. Now, up until this point I was quite happy spamming everyone's newsfeeds with complete and utter frivolous garbage.  Of course there came a point in time where people decided they had enough of this and started a rebellion against me. I like to think of this time as the 'revolution of facebook as Yusuf had finally realised no one cares about his anime rantings or deep meaningful quotes' phase. So, upon hearing about this revolutionary thing, 'twitter', I was told I could just 'tweet' my heart out and nobody would bat an eyelid.

 As you can imagine, I wasted no time in creating (multiple) twitter accounts and soon I was enthralled into the cyber garden of RT's, favourites and micro blogging. This appealed to me the most, as at the time of creating an account I was (feebly) managing a tumblr blog (Managing=Re-blogging cats and bashing Karate). This whole concept of 'micro-blogging' as we call it put me in a Journalistic state of mind, so suffice to say I was using twitter like a blog. Eventually, as I came to grips with to what a hash-tag actually was and how people didn't ever plan on using twitter like a 'micro-blog' I jumped down the rabbit hole and caused about a good third of the internet to slow down due to my fingers smashing up my keyboard with a succession of tweets strung one after the other with the content of each 'micro-article' (let's keep it within context, people) showing possible signs of ADHD or just a bad case of insomnia. Or a very unhealthy anime obsession. Whatever. 

Like I mentioned previously, the hash-tagging got me a fair few followers with frequently used hash-tags such as '#BengaliProblems', and '#YouKnowYoureAsianWhen' alongside with my self acclaimed one '#RishtaTips' *cringe*. This lead me onto another discovery of twitter through the ethnically focussed hash-tags. I had discovered 'Muslim twitter'. A land where Shaykh Google Abu Bing is your prime source for fatwas and everyone falls under the category of either: 

  • Being a twitter sheikh/Ustaadha because your display picture is edite- displaying natural beauty to the furthest extent
  • Being a twitter sheikh because you somehow gained a lot of followers (due to that spiffing display picture)  
  • Being a twitter sheikh because you have a turban on in your display picture 
  • Being a 'Vahabi' if you have a slight difference in opinion on a matter
  • Being considered religious with a boom-ting profile picture and tweeting about marriage and not judging others. 
  • Being considered knowledgeable as you can  use a few words in Arabic (poorly) and copy and paste something in Arabic off the internet 
  • The list goes on I'm afraid

So that's how I viewed all this 'Muslim twitter' buqwas ordeal. Of course I sound very judgemental here and, I completely understand that wearing a turban does make you think you're an internet sheikh. I myself, do not consider to be a part of Muslim twitter or any other denomination created on twitter (how severe does that sound?). My reason for this is because, if it really was to be a valid and recognised group (oh this sounds so serious, it's twitter for goodness sake) it would be an embarrassing feat for Islam, because; 

It's largely comprised of teenagers. With hormones. Raging hormones. That can't stop thinking about (wait for it...) marriage. 

That's right. I said it. marriage.  

A swift flick of the TL (or newsfeed, if you will. It's all the same) on your phone and you'll be blown away by the amount of 16 year olds giving you expert advice on the matter, from kissing your wife, to racing with her and other mentionings of having fun in ways you can't with the same gender. You will also find a distinct lacking of discussion on what actually happens post marriage after you've had the first week and realise how all those soppy marriage pictures of couples hugging in wedding clothes in some generic bollywood location mislead you. 

Now so far, I haven't really said anything constructive as such, and I don't want this to go to waste like all those tears of a brother who didn't get a reply off that fair skinned sister for Dawah purposes and beneficial reminders; so where can I lead this too that will be of some relevance? 

The underlying fact of life is that; being Muslim does not mean you're not human. Case closed. What does this mean? You're just as charged with hormones as the teens next door. The ones that your mum tells you not to be friends with. You know the ones. 

 Yes, you will naturally desire a relationship with the opposite gender. Yes, Ma Shaa Allah it's good you understand there's only the halal way for it. Yes, it's great you attend these Islamic charity dinners looking for a spouse. But the thing many do not realise, is that throughout the long, painful years of yearning for someone to dress up like a bollywood actor with and hug in strange locations (e.g, a mountain top), those dragged out nights refreshing your mentions looking for a potential are all building up a false idea in your head. And when the reality hits you, it hits you like a brick launched by whatever NASA use for their space shuttles. Right in the face too. 

I understand that, I myself am inexperienced in life, and with the subject matter at hand (marriage). But like many young 'uns, I've been in the same position. I've been 16, and I've gone through phases where all I did in my spare time was post about marriage on facebook, listen to talks on marriage, create my ideal marriage scenario in my head (I'm cringing so much now I look like a duck that ate a lemon). 

And, well, let's say I found myself once in a situation that lead to a rather awkward and much needed confrontation with my Mother. This was the day I came to my senses and (and also a rather swift meeting with my mother's sandal). But, all jokes aside it was a much needed discussion. I don't want to give the full details for a few reasons: 1)There are many things in life that do not need to be told to the world and 2) It's embarrassing. 

So as I said previously, I don't want this to go to waste and become a rant/life story. I hope to put down some home truths as a reminder to myself first and foremost, and the reader. This is for you, who gets butterflies in their stomach checking their messages and notifications. Or just has to hide their phone from their Mum. (Mum if you're reading this allow telling your friends OK)

Through the internet, you 'fall in love' with your perception of the person (in your mentions).

Yes, I know I've used the rather explicit word 'love' but I don't want to sugar coat anything or beat around the bush. Time after time, many will think they have 'fallen in love' over the net. This is either because of physical appearance or like I said, our perception of the person you're 'interested' in. This will lead onto my next point. Love is something that is placed in the hearts between a husband and wife by Allah after marriage when everything is done Halal. Surely you've seen this quote by Ibn Al-Qayyim Jawziyyah Rahimullah:  

''To fall in love is a disease, and the only cure for it is to marry the one whom one has fallen in love with''
The likelihood is that this quote itself is known more than Ibn Al-Qayyim himself and his great works based upon Tawheed. 

Through the internet, we only know of people what they decide to show us.

This is a very important aspect. It's important because the reality (keep note of this word) of marriage is that you are living with a person. A real life human being. It's not a stranger you've come across on the internet; you're sharing your life (that's everything you do) with someone that needs to be cared for, given their rights, respected, understood, fed, clothed (of course I'm writing from a Man's perspective but both sides have roles to fulfil).

The most important thing to look for is deen as we know from the hadith I needn't quote because we're all so marriage obsessed we've seen it as many times as a samosa on eid day. Coinciding with deen is character, we've all heard stuff like 'An ugly heart ruins a pretty face' (don't lie, yes you have many times). A person's character cannot be shown on the net. There's no conveying of tone, social attitudes and mannerisms etc, a person can and will lie through their back teeth about themselves many times. You only know of them, what they want to display of themselves; whether it be what is typed or displayed through filters.

With the internet, the likelihood is you see a person's face before their character.

Let's be strait up and honest. Looks are important. Of course this will differ from person to person with different degrees of expectation. It's not uncommon to become swooned by a person's looks. It can happen. There is a distinct confusion between love and lust. There arises another situation many single marriage experts will encounter; and this is not seeing the other person they think they have fallen for. I understand I am writing from a perspective that seems as if finding a 'potential' on social networks is standard or a double up use of using it for beneficial reminders; I want to make it clear now I do NOT advocate the use of using social networks on your own amends to find a partner! (Especially considering, the target audience of this article is teens who can't keep a single pen for a week; as well as any other social network user) Social networks are used mostly by those between the ages of 18-29 and make up 89% of accounts as of May 2013. 

Back to my original point of not seeing a person's face. I write in this manner as if it is going to happen because it does happen. Many will fall into the fitnah of private messaging and become encompassed by mixed emotions from both sides leading to the telling of someone so both sides can get DTR (Down to Rishta). Where does the problem arise now? Well, when it comes to meeting face to face or seeing pictures; the moment of truth is revealed! You've either got that wide-eyed fair maiden with silky raven hair your pictured or something that resembles Golem from Lord of The Rings. If this is the case, you've the stalemate of either going ahead with it all from the pressure of the other side or your own words said previously in private messages, or you drop it all and leave the other person in a state of being upset and uber self conciousness.

If the situation is created with lots private messaging and high built hopes there will be a big crash at the end of it all. 

You probably don't even know them except from the internet.

It's now common to add/follow those who we don't even know in real life. I myself, do believe that friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood (not together, I could tell you were getting excited then) can be formed through these sites as I have experienced this myself and many a times I have had brothers correct me and support me in plenty of times. But, does it really seem so wise to 'go ahead' with a person you know practically nothing about? It's harder to pick apart a random person over the net than someone local found through the Masjid. This is really an extension of my previous point; you simply cannot get to know a person well enough over the net. They could be from the other side of the world. 

Clashing plans.

Many times a young, possibly beardless brother will make the ground breaking definitive decision of telling his parents he's found the one. Parents are a major part of finding a partner. They are a blessing from Allah and are there for our guidance. Yes, yes before you start panicking no one is saying you're going to be forced to marry a top class roti spinner from Pakistan, I'm saying that parents are there to guide us and help with our decisions, so hence it only makes sense parents will have some sort of a plan for their never growing children (in their eyes of course). This means if you whip out your genius master plan of bringing some random sister you found online home from another part of the world and you get a strait up 'No' in the face written on the back of your Dad's hand don't be surprised.

You probably have missed the whole point of marriage and have very little understanding of the matter. 

I know this sounds harsh and blunt, but it's very much applicable to me too. If you are around the tender teen years and reading this it is more so than likely to apply. Marriage is an act of Ibaadah, it is half of our deen and should be done to please Allah first and foremost and to follow the Sunnah of Muhammad Sal Allahu Alayhi Wa Salam. It is to create a happy and secure environment for children to grow up in and also have a society on the foundations of loyalty and family life. It is to increase the Ummah and bring up the next generation as our leaders. It is a matter that can only be truly explained and understood by those who have experienced it themselves. 

People will easily abuse the privacy of a social network.

You can be as vague as a sloth's view on global warming on the internet. Many young boys (and girls) will abuse a social network by manufacturing a plan. It may not simply be that this young brother pouting in his display picture wants to get to know you better before he tells his Mother, he could just be after some fun and games.

Many of the youth today will simply want to seek out a 'Halal boyfriend'girlfriend' in which then do all the fun lovey dovey stuff without the responsibility. Please, do not get me wrong. I understand this is the better way and that marriage IS a state of growing together. But, to say the least the youth have a warped perception on what it means to be single and 'taken'. Being 'single' (I'm too bashful to mention any other synonymous words. I've already used 'love' enough times) is considered no longer as being pious or self reserved, it's now seen as a display of anti-socialism or being a miserable git. We live in a society where music, TV, films, novels and our peers feed us this hyper-sexualised (there I used the 'S' word get over it, stop giggling) concept and idea of what it means to have a relationship. To be 'taken' mean to be constantly engaging in acts not suitable for the park. This leaves the youth in a confused state. It's not a mere case of 'You look good in that flowery high-jab with filters', wham, bam, wedding bells  celebrative daff playing, it's a case of 'This is a part of my deen I must fulfil in order to please Allah and as an asset to help my Imaan grow and assist my entry to Jannah. I must find a suitable person through a Halal way and ensure we are compatible as we will be living together and raising a family. I must be fully aware of our rights and the traditional Islamic teachings.'

Doesn't seem so simple now, does it? 

My aim here is not to put anyone off marriage, rather, I hope to at least wake up some of us to the reality and remove the fantasy that many youth are deluded by today. I agree in that marriage should be simple, and I believe that Islam makes it simple, and also believe that the Islamic way of dealing with relationships is the best way. 

Many will become 'heart broken', from the combination of being a teen, having hormones, a twitter/facebook account, and last but not least marriage on the brain 24/7. To avoid this, follow the Qur'an and Sunnah, for these are a clear guidance for those who recognise their Lord, and those who desire good from this World and the hereafter. The shaytaan and our nafs will constantly try to rope us into fitnah and sin through meeting privately, dating, private messaging all within the hopes of 'making it halal one day'

The one who is reading this, realise that our time on this earth is short and what lies ahead is greater than what we can ever fathom. The pleasure of sin does not outweigh the regret held afterwards. 

Do not forget, that Allah is the one where our destiny is held, he is the best of planners and does not ever plan anything ever to hurt us. He only decrees what is best for us in this world and the hereafter. 

''But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.'' [Al-Qur'an 2:216]

''And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak.'' [Al-Qur'an 4:28]''

Here's a video of a cat jumping and failing.


  1. More people should read this article, it's a very accurate portrayal of the teens in the ummah unfortunately, but part of me doesn't blame them due to environment. The consequences and regret never seem to be held in their minds whilst doing these haram things, subconsciously or not.
    Really good article brother :)

    1. Many thanks for the feedback! :) Please do share the article if you find it beneficial!

  2. Honestly written well done bro and quite funny

  3. Mash'Allah tabark'Allah keep up the good work.

  4. This is so accurate, being that 16 year old.. I can fully envision that which you have written.. Amazing :)

    1. Jazakh Allah kharyn for the feedback! I miss being 16!