I seek refuge with Allah from satan the accursed
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate Most Merciful.
I remember growing up listening to my elders advising young children to never lie or steal because it was a bad thing to do. We were repeatedly told that doing bad things made Allah SWT upset with us, and that could land us in a very humiliating torment on Judgement Day.
As I grew older and turned into a young adolescent, I was taught that I must guard my body and private parts from others, and was especially advised never to have physical contact of a romantic or sexual nature with members of the opposite sex, because that was considered as one of the higher levels of sins in the eyes of God Almighty. I was taught that God Almighty has allowed sexual relations as a private matter between a husband and wife, and therefore, anything outside of that boundary would be a grave sin.
This teaching of the younger generation of Muslims about the dos and don’ts of life, and especially training our youth to refrain from engaging in any situation that could lead to sexual relations outside of marriage is a normal part of parenting, especially for Muslims living in Western countries where the concept of chastity and modesty in relations between the two genders before marriage is pretty non-existent in the mainstream society. But now I realize that there is something most Muslims as parents and role models forget to include when telling their children to stay away from all forms of sinful acts. What is missing is that most people do not realize that just because something is “bad” or wrong for us, does not mean it will feel bad if one does choose to engage in the sin. I believe that this is an extremely important point that most parents disregard in their training and discussions with their children.
For some reason, growing up, I always felt like a sin was not just meant to be bad, that somehow I would know it is bad right away and stop, because it would actually feel bad. But in real life, human beings are sometimes engaged in a sinful act, and as a result, change their perspective on it once they themselves experience living with it, thinking thoughts like “This isn’t bad at all, In fact, it is good. I am following my heart and living a fulfilled life by not restricting myself to so many rules.”
The mind, for some reason, expects that upon committing a sin, the earth will open up and swallow us, or the whole world will glare at us while pointing fingers, or a bolt of lighting would strike us every time, because we tell ourselves that “I could never do something really bad. I would know and keep away from everything that I should be away from.” So when you first steal, or lie, or hold hands with and kiss that someone who is not your spouse, your heart that was beating really fast in anticipation of your immediate punnishment, calms down, and beats slower, and you catch yourself saying, “Hey, there is nothing wrong with doing this! Why do so many people keep saying that is wrong to do this?”
Remember that a sin is not necesarily meant to make you feel bad, but in fact, so many of us commit sins over and over again because they actually make us feel good to some degree. Many of us who have stolen, lied, engaged in illegal sexual encounters, or any other sin, have initially gotten a high from behaving in such ways, often feeling bliss and ecstasy while commiting our sins. It was usually looking back at the action that we felt the guilt or shame, and not so much while we were in the moment. It is time that we tell ourselves and our youth the full truth about the sinful temptations that lurk in our lives. We must be mentally ready to feel pleasure from encountering sin, and perhaps if we prepare ourselves for the real feelings behind the sinful acts, we will be better prepared to fight and turn away from them. May God Almighty make it easy for us all to tell truth from falsehood, and may He guide us to make the right choices in life. Ameen.