Crushing those Crushes

39

A word of advice for our sisters (and brothers), on the topic of those “innocent crushes.”

Someone I know used to have a “major crush” on an Indian movie star. When her friends reminded her he wasn’t even Muslim, that he was an idol worshiper, she was fine with it. “He’ll probably convert to Islam one day,” she would say. This same person used to love a particular boy band. She knew all their songs by heart, and hung their posters on her wall. She saved her pocket money every month to buy their merchandise, and spent so much time reading up on every aspect of their lives she could find.

In parts of the word, this would be considered “normal” behavior for young girls. But this isn’t the type of thing we expect to see in our Muslim sisters, in families that care about values and manners and Islam. Yet this is exactly where we see it happening. In our religion, we’re taught the importance of haya, of modesty. And yet instead of learning to lower their gaze, our sisters are learning to stare at posters of half-naked men, and thinking that ultimate happiness lies in a union with “him,” or someone like him.

Honestly speaking, this isn’t a pleasant thing to talk about, but how wide-spread of an occurrence is this? How common is it for Muslim girls (women, really, and men, too) to have crushes? How many of us know – or have been, even – that girl with the crush on a movie star? How many of us “fall in love” with the cricket player, the football player, the insert-whatever-sport-here player?  It’s a passing crush, or a long-lasting one, or a series of crushes, one after the other. Fantasies about meeting the objects of these crushes and interacting with them, daydreams of Bollywood-style meetings where it’s “love at first sight”… don’t these things exist?

My dear sisters, many times, we look for our future in a lot of guys, and that isn’t a wise thing to do. At best, having crushes and occupying our thoughts with men who are “so hot” is a waste of time. When we wear the hijab, and when we believe that it’s our full-time commitment, then why do we fall for the opposite sex with whom we have no future? It’s such a waste of time, resources, priorities. Allah created us in the best manner; He blessed us with sound intellects and hearts inclined to His worship. And it’s an insult to the honor we’re given, a waste of our minds, and corruption for our hearts, when we run after images of people we’ll never meet, and wish for lives that we’ll never have (and are contrary to Islam anyway!).

And it can get much worse, too. What start out as passing thoughts, daydreams and fantasies, could lead to much worse. We see young girls with a strange vocabulary, learning to say things like “that guy’s cute” or “hot” or “sexy.” Where did they learn this from, if not from the corruption in society around us, corruption some of us expose ourselves or our children to? And since when is it ok for Muslim girls to talk that way, to gather in groups and discuss things like this? And where else does such behavior lead to?

Brother Nouman Ali Khan talks about the importance of keeping our shame in tact. He says that shamelessness is a problem for married and non-married couples. And for those who are non-married, he says, “When you get married you’ll have messed up married lives.” If we live as youth in such a shameless way, things won’t change overnight. We’ll still be the same person, with the same habits and the same heart, after we get married as we were before, and that’s a problem.

However, when we believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, when we trust Him, when we rely upon Him – when we do dikhr, when we think of Him day and night – this is the way a believer should be. These are the thoughts and behavior that will earn us reward and happiness in this world and the next. The haya that is an integral part of Islam has such a sweetness to it. If you’ve tasted acts of shameless – whether it’s running after crushes, or worse – and then given those up for modesty and haya, then you know the difference. You know how your heart lights up when you stay away from sin.

Sheikh Safi Khan gives a beautiful reminder when he says, “A lot of us are careful about how we appear in front of others. We spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, making sure everything is in place; we wear clean clothes, and we’re very careful about the way we talk in front of other human beings. We’re shy in front of other human beings and we don’t want anybody to know our faults and don’t want to be exposed. How about Allah? What happened to Allah? Allah says: ‘They didn’t care or value Allah the way that they were supposed to’ [6:91].”

Time is short, and youth is fleeting. All the posters people collected in their youth, all the “love songs” they learned by heart, all the images they fed their eyes with – what’s the use of all that? Some of us who are a little older look back on the years lost and realize it would’ve been better if we had memorized some surahs instead, read some tafseer, learned the seerah of Rasool Allah salla Allahu alayhi wasallam, read up on the stories of the Prophets instead. The Prophet salla Allayhi wasallam tells us in a hadith narrated in Bukhari that, on the Day of Judgment, when there is no shade but Allah’s Shade, a youth who grows up in the worship of Allah will be among the seven types of people who earn Allah’s Shade.

It’s time to crush those crushes. Let’s get rid of those useless, unproductive thoughts because, let’s be honest, there’s no way they can be of any good to us. We need to invest our time in our deen instead, we need to keep our thoughts pure. The world we’re in teaches girls to be so naïve, to sell their hearts cheaply. But it isn’t too late, alhamdulillah. Let’s just prevent this cycle of stupid crushes, let’s repent and go on. Let’s love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala the way we are supposed to love Him. Let’s work for His approval, let’s live and die for Him. Let’s work hard to be among those who are given His Shade, on the Day when there is no shade but His Shade.

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