The Elephant In Your Bedroom

We were created with temptations and desires, maybe as a test, or maybe as a way of enjoying this life before the hereafter, but ultimately for a wisdom that only Allah SWT completely knows. However, it is not suited for Allah SWT to create these temptations within us, then let us walk around seeking fulfillments without a prescription or a manual to follow.

With every test comes a solution,” a saying of the Prophet PBUH that is another witness to Allah’s SWT name Al-Adl – ‘The Just’.

Temptations take many shapes and forms whether they are manifested physically like food, alcohol and sex. Socially such as friends and status or psychologically such as love of power and control. Although, men and women share these temptations, the level of temptation varies between the genders, and manifests differently between men themselves.

Often, men share strong sexual desires, a desire that cannot be lawfully fulfilled for single Muslim men. This is one of the strongest tests of Allah SWT to men, as Allah SWT says: “Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: Women and sons, Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver, horses branded and cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals” [3:14].

While this is a desire in both genders, it is commonly stronger for men and has potential to lead us to engage in many un-islamic habits.

You might be self-content and say something like: ‘Alhamdulilah, I have not committed adultery and never planned for it’, but what you might not recognise is the associated acts that sexual desire might lead you to normalise, such as watching pornography, masturbation or listening to sex-glorifying themed songs.

While the devil wants you to dwell in the evilest of acts, he will not whisper to you ‘do this, or that’, but rather take you step by step. Something that Allah SWT has warned us about “Oh ye people! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the devil, for he is to you a clear enemy” [2:168].

Since Allah SWT will always send the solution to any problem, He created for us the right path to fulfil this desire through lawful marriage, instructing us to make marriage simple and not complicate the process or make unreasonable requirements.

And for those who cannot afford to marry yet, Allah SWT has instructed us to keep our times busy with beneficial work, for ourselves, for our communities and for our mission in life to occupy ourselves with higher ambitions that grant us fulfilment.

The prophet PBUH has also instructed us to fast, as fasting comes with the obligation of shunning away from human desires where he said: “Oh Youth, whomever amongst you can afford to, get married. And whoever can’t they should stick to fasting as it is for them a protection” [Bukhari].

And while fasting is the best remedy for those of us men who are not married, it is also a practice for other married men to control their desires and focus on seeking fulfilment through the remembrance of Allah SWT.

If we can remain steadfast in the month of Ramadan in staying away from unlawful and harmful sexual habits and behaviours, then this is an encouragement and signal of strength to continue the battle against our addictions and temptations.

Fasting is a great reminder of our weaknesses as humans and of our duties to follow the prescribed solutions drawn to us by our Creator.

Omar Lahham

Senior Behaviour Coordinator and Teacher with a graduate diploma in secondary education, a graduate certificate in management and a bachelor degree in software engineering. Has been on the executive committee of Famsy Victoria for over 10 years; 4 of which he was the president. Initiated, organised and lead many events and projects that served the Muslim community in Melbourne throughout his life in Melbourne. Married with two sons and continues his journey educating young Muslims at an Islamic school in Melbourne.

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