(16) And why, when you heard it, did you not say, “It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, Oh Allah; this is a great slander?”
• The Prophet (saws) asked Zaynab, “Ya Zaynab, what do you know and what have you seen?” She said, “By Allah, I know nothing but good. She is the one that used to compete with me amongst the wives of the Prophet (saws), but because of her piety, Allah (swt) protected her.”
• Allah in this ayah is reprimanding the believers for what they should have said.
(17) Allah warns you against returning to the likes of this conduct, eve, if you should be believers.”
• This is a lesson for the Muslims to never repeat it or repeating anything like it.
• Therefore, if anyone is to ever come back to revisits this issue, then they are not amongst the believers.
(18) And Allah makes clear to you the verses, and Allah is Knowing and Wise.”
(19) Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know.
• This ayah is referring to those who like to kill the culture/mood of haya’ (modesty), which in turn leads to behavior that is indecent.
• Haya’ is the moral immune system of a believer.
The sacredness of Marriage
- Those who love to spread immorality among the believers will have a great punishment in both this world and in the Hereafter.
- If you spread immorality especially amongst the believers, who should be setting the standard, then Shaytan has won.
- Allah knows us, He created us. He has set our character, he knows our psychology. So when He sets the principles and guidelines down, they are to protect us from ourselves – from the evil in our nature. If Shaytan and your nafs joined forces, you are destroyed. What Allah swt tells us is better for us.
- Any group that will spread fahisha amongst them, Allah will send them calamities and great diseases that were not known before. All of these diseases have cures, we do not know their cure; but the greatest cure of any disease is prevention; so if you know what would spread the disease, then we should stop that (ex. sexually-transmitted diseases).
- “…If it were not for the mercy of Allah, you would have suffered a severe punishment...” Allah closes this section of the surah with a reminder about His favors upon us. Therefore the rules that are put down in this surah are blessings from Allah because they protect the entire society.
- The believers are just as susceptible to fahisha. These guidelines are from the mercy for you.
- “Oh you who believe! Follow not the steps of Shaytan. Whosoever follows the steps of Shaytan, he indeed leads you to fahisha and evil deeds.” (ayah 21) There is someone out there who does not have your best interests in mind and wants to ruin you. These steps that you are taking in the wrong direction – where does Shaytan want to lead you? Don’t set yourself up, don’t fall for Shaytan’s tricks.
- Once it happens, you cannot blame Shaytan. It was your choice to overlook and ignore the warning signs, and to water things down. On the Day of Judgment, Shaytan will say he has nothing to do with you – he did not force you to do anything. Do not blame him, blame yourself. Allah swt warns us against these steps of Shaytan.
- Ibn Qayyim (ra): “We should resist temptations from the beginning, before it even happens.” We do something, we violate one of the basic rules. You may see something or someone, but do not let it affect you. Remedy the damage that it causes within you. “Resist the thought.” We still have control over this at that point, we do not have control over what other people do. Control your reaction. “If you do not resist the thought, then it will become an idea.” If it becomes an idea, then we need to fight it – an all out war! Allah swt will not judge us on our thoughts, so long as we do not speak about it or act upon it. “If you do not snap out of it, then it will become a fantasy. If you do not fight it at that point, it will become an urge or desire. If you do not wage war against it at that point, then it will become a plan. After this, then the next step will be that the event will actually happen. If this happens, make tawba and remove yourself from the environment and never allow for it to happen again. Or else it will become a habit – an addiction. After this, it will be extremely difficult to change a habit.”
- “Do people think they will believe without being tested?” Do not test yourselves, please – or anyone else. You test yourselves and each other when you put yourself in awkward situations such as “friendships.” You cannot control the thoughts going through the other person’s mind.
- A man will never be alone with a woman, except that Shaytan will be the third.
- We need to bring back our culture of haya`.
- “Had it not been the grace of Allah, none of you would have been purified...” Right now we have so many forces going against your purity. Don’t take your purity for granted. Just like you protect yourself from diseases, you need to protect your emotions and heart – your spiritual purity from anything that might compromise it.
- If someone is trying to spread fah’sha, then it is our duty to stand against it. We must fight it, stop it. We cannot be passive, because if we are then we are included in the punishment. If you are of those that do not love it, do not spread it, but do not speak against it – then you will be included as one of the people who are apart of it.
- We live in a time and place that is anti-haya’. It is good for people to have shame, to feel guilty. When the rumors would begin, someone would automatically resign to kill these rumors so that they would not be destroyed. These days, we have a reelection of an openly cheating husband – he was reelected as mayor! We need to revive the culture of haya’.
- The Sahaba did not come from a culture of haya’ but it was cultivated and promoted – this is what brought back the haya’. One thing you can do is to stay around good people. They will give you the courage to suppress these behaviors and help bring out the goodness. Stay around them because they are good for you. We should not hang out with those who make us feel good about the bad we are doing; who do not make us feel shame about what we are doing.
- Also be careful about what you watch on TV, listen to the radio or read in the books. If you come from a haya’ background, at first you will be disgusted by the disgusting things. But through constant exposure you become desensitized.