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become a reality. Usually, Muslims would avoid entering into these kinds of hookups with fellow Muslims of opposite or same gender, yet, these unions are not rare.

Single Muslim men often start facing the trouble, when their partner wants to declare their relations open. Most of the time such single Muslim men, who are not serious do not introduce their girlfriends to their Muslim circles. However, when girlfriends ask for declaring these relationship in open, they refuse and offer religious explanations admitting that they were wrong in maintaining these relations. This either terminates the relationship or assume different dimensions.

Ironically, many non-Muslim women take these relationship seriously and some try to familiarize them with Islam or even considering to become Muslims. Single Muslim men often avoid discussions about marriage under the plea that either they are not ready or their families are not. In this situation, the couple usually


Bakhabar : January 2014

breaks up.

So what needs to happen to address the situation? First of all, Muslim social scientists and leaders should acknowledge that the issue is real and take it seriously and conduct objective studies to assess the true dimensions of this issue. Simultaneously, we should also develop a curriculum that addresses the issue of relationship between boys and girls and men and women sociologically and pragmatically. This should happen from an early age because in public or private schools they are exposed to sex-related issues at a very tender age. While, we Muslims, generally, leave it to an individual to navigate his or her way through the maze of information on sex, others offer structured courses on the subject to students as young as nine or ten. By the time, we intervene, the children are already exposed to information far better than the one offered by us. In fact, intervention at this time becomes counter productive as it leads to stealth sexuality that no one would want to admit to one's elders. We have to decide

when it would be appropriate to introduce such subjects to students.

Only when one would have a strong foundations in a life style guided by the divine teachings, one can hope to reduce such incidents in real relationship. The solution lies in empowering individuals with a knowledge that would inspire them to be responsible and disciplined in every aspect of life. Where self-control would be an assertive way of life and where the relationship would not be used to serve feelings of selfindulgence. It is possible to control sexual urges but it would not come through condemning sexuality but giving it a positive spin within a moral framework that is useful for everyone. Humans are their best supervisors and controllers, but we have to be empowered with the knowledge that would strengthen those aspects of our character inwardly. 013/11/singles-sex-and-faith-living-together.html

Bakhabar, January 2014  

BaKhabar is the monthly magazine of Bihar Anjuman, a network of those who care for Bihar, India and Muslims. Website: http://bakhabar.bihara...