Does Islam Accept Dating? - 7th Muharram 1438/2016

Bismillahi al-rahman al-rahim. Salla Allahu alayka ya Rasul Allah. Salla Allahu alayka wa 'ala ahli baytik al-madhlumeen. Salla Allahu alayka ya mawlay ya Aba Abdillah. Ya shaheed, ya ghareeb, ya madhlum Karbala. Ya laytana kunna ma'akum sadati fa nafuza fawzan 'adheema.

Illuminate your hearts and enlighten your majalis with a loud salawat 'ala Muhammad wa'ali Muhammad [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].

Respected brothers and sisters, assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. Throughout history, marriage has always been a need, a necessary part of the human being's life. A young man, when a young man and a young woman would reach a certain age, the natural and important step was to get married, and society expected that from them. When they reach that age, they should get married such that if they did not get married, they would be looked down upon as if they have a problem in their life.

Nowadays, marriage is no longer seen as a must. Nowadays, marriage is a want. It is a luxury. People don't see marriage as being necessary in their lives. It is not that important as it used to be. And that's why there are many people that you know that never get married or they delay marriage to a very old age. They postpone marriage.

And that is why here in the US, the average age of marriage now is 28. While if you just go back 60 years ago, studies mention that the average age of marriage was 21. So in just 60 years, we have delayed marriage up to seven years and it is getting worse and worse. And what you witness is that we are going away from marriage.

But the question is why? Why are we going away from marriage? Because, as you know, marriage is a need. The human being, Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala has placed this need within him, the need for the other person of the other gender. A man needs a woman and a woman needs a man. They can only live together. Allah says is in the Holy Qur'an: "Hunna libaasun lakum, wa antum libaasun lahun"(2:187). So this is a need of the human being. So how are we managing, dispensing with this need, dispensing with marriage? How are we getting away with it?

Well, there are many reasons to this why marriage is delayed and sometimes we never even get married. But one of the most important reasons to that, is because we have found an alternative. And that alternative is what? Dating. Many people now, instead of getting married, instead of thinking about marriage, they opt for what? They opt for dating, and dating has become an alternative to marriage.

Now, why has it become an alternative to marriage? There is two reasons. The first reason is because in this free and permissive society that we live in, the Western society being so free and permissive, we are taught that any time you feel love or lust, love is more permanent and genuine, lust is more temporary and it dies down very fast. Any time you feel love and lust towards someone, do not shy this feeling and emotion away. Don't be afraid to express it, don't suppress it. In fact express it instantly.

For example, you are in fourth grade, as early as fourth grade, and there is a girl in your class where you think she is cute and you have a crush towards her. What are you taught in this society? This is "ayb", shy it away? No, go and tell her. Go and tell her 'I think you are cute', go and invite her to buy her some ice cream. Tell her I want you to come to my - so go and express this feeling. Don'y suppress it.

Now why? What is the philosophy behind this? As early as third, fourth, fifth grade, express this feeling as soon as you feel it. Their philosophy is the feeling is there, the emotion is there, why suppress it? Why wait? Because the other opinion is, wait until you are in your 20s and then once you get married only then you can explode and what? And express this desire. They tell you why, why wait all those years, it is a desire, it is there, express it now.

And what you will find is we human beings, we always want to express our desires and we want to enjoy our desires instantly. We don't like waiting. When I have a desire, when I have certain pleasures that I want to enjoy, I do not like to hear, wait, later, one year, five years, 10 years. No! The pleasure is there, the desire is there now, I want to enjoy it now.

So that is why you find, what many people they say, dating is good because why wait so many years until I get married? Let me start to enjoy this desire from as early as the age of ten, eleven, twelve. So this is one reason many people turn to dating because it comes very early. That is number one.

Number two, the second reason why many people opt for dating instead of marriage is because to many, this is how they see dating. Dating has all of the advantages of marriage without the responsibilities and the what? The complications. To many, this is how they see dating. Dating has all the advantages of marriage, meaning the desire is there, the pleasures are there, you enjoy it. But at the same time, the responsibilities and the complications of marriage are not there. How?

With marriage, there are lots of responsibilities. There are commitments. When you are married, you are committed to stay with this person, correct? When you are dating, there is absolutely no commitment. There is nothing to bind you to stay with this person. So you are free. You can leave anytime you want. There is nothing that, you never said till death do us part. No, it is a day to day relationship. I can dump this person any day I want because I am not married. I am dating this person, so I feel free. There is no commitment.

And likewise there is no financial obligations. With marriage you have to save for the wedding, you have to save for the honeymoon, you have to have a car, you have to have a house, you have to have so many things, education, career, blah, blah, blah. With dating, you do not need anything. You could be a poor peasant on the street and you can date someone. Correct? There is absolutely no financial obligations. You do not have to provide for anyone. You just enjoy the pleasures of dating. So these responsibilities don't exist.

Likewise, the complications don't exist. Many people, they think when I get married you know what? What if there are problems with this person? What if, for example, there is a child and this is what? This is an obligation. This is a problem for me and I have to raise this child.

Other people, they are afraid that one day I may get divorced. I know I met a young man once. He was probably thirty, thirty one. He hadn't gotten married. I told him, why don't you get married? He says, because I am wealthy, and every time I go to get married, I put a condition to the family that if the girl wants to divorce one day, then she will not take half of my money. This is the law in this country, correct? Half of the money is automatically given to them. I am a wealthy person, so when I want to marry a girl, I want to make sure she does not what? She does not abuse. She does not divorce after a few months, a few years and takes, obviously the families they do not accept. They consider this what? "Oh so you are thinking about divorce from now. We do not want you to marry our daughter." This is what, this is a form of disrespect to the family.

So you find with marriage there are complications. He knows that if he gets divorced, half of his money will go, there will be lawyers, there will be settlements. All of these complications with marriage. Why go through that valley? All these obligations, all these, you know, financial obligations and complications and commitment, I have to stay with one person. The better, obviously, the better choice is to date. It is free, there is absolutely no obligations, there is no responsibilities.

And that is why you find in this country marriage keeps on getting postponed and postponed and postponed. And many people, in fact, do not even get married. I read in one study that said that one in every five Americans over the age of twenty five, they never married. They never even get married. So this shows what? This shows that marriage to us is what, is something of the past where we are slowly, slowly moving towards that way, that we do not need marriage anymore.

And that is why many of our youth, they ask us, what is Islam's point? What is Islam's perspective, stance when it comes to what? When it comes to dating? Are we allowed from an Islamic point of view to date or not? Is a halal or is it haram?

Because you see, for all the parents, when we have children raising in this country, we have to be concerned about this topic. I probably was raised in the Middle East and India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Lebanon, wherever. In those countries dating was never a problem because dating was what, is looked as a taboo there. It's difficult for someone to even date in many of those countries, because it's you know, you can not even reach the opposite gender. The schools are separate. You know, there is strict laws in the house and so on and so forth. And it is it is looked down upon, so if they wanted to do it, they would have to secretly do it behind the back of the parents in a secret.

In this country, that is not how it is. Dating in this country is perfectly normal and acceptable to the society. So when my child is raised in this country, he will be raised with this mentality. What's wrong with dating? Everybody dates in this country. It is perfectly normal. As early as they are four or five years old they teach them that dating is fine. Go and open Disney Channel, Nickelodeon channel, look at their cartoons and their shows. Every cartoon and show has to have something about boyfriend, girlfriend, dating, kissing. I see some some shows, they are for kids. You find two six year old kids in the cartoon or in the show, six years old, the boy, the girl, and they speak about love and they kiss each other.

This is how they teach our children. In school as early as, I do not know, probably elementary school or middle school, they teach them that it is good to have a boyfriend, girlfriend. When the prom day comes, the prom day comes, you should have a date to that day. And if you do not have a date, you will be looked down upon, you are a loser, you do not have a boyfriend girlfriend. Correct? Valentine's Day comes. You should have someone that you gift to. You should have a boyfriend. So it is all about dating. Anyway you look, it's acceptable, there is nothing wrong with it. And this is how they teach the children from very, very early ages.

And that is why in one study I read it said that one in every three, one in every three eleven year olds in America, so over, it said over thirty seven percent. So one in every three eleven year old, they said that we have been at least in one boyfriend-girlfriend relationship in our lives. These are eleven years old, children, they do not even know how to take care of themselves. Eleven year olds, over one third of them, they said that we have been in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.

When my child is raised in this country, of course, these problems are problems that I have to worry about. It is no longer like the Middle East. And that is why these young ones, they come and ask us, does Islam accept dating or does it not accept dating?

Now, of course, when we come to Islam, Islam says dating is never the solution. Islam discourages dating. Islam says that dating is unacceptable because the option, the better option is marriage. You have this desire, yes? And the solution is marriage.

And there are many ahadith that speak about this. For example, the hadith of the Prophet that says "Al-nikaahu min sunnati, fa man raghiba 'an sunnati fa laysa minni". Marriage is from my sunnah, from my ways, from my teachings and whoever doesn't want to get married, then this person is not from my followers.

The other hadith of the Prophet says, "Ma bunniya fil Islam binaa' ahhab ila Allah min al-tazweej". There is no institution that Allah loves more than marriage. So we tell them marriage is the solution, not dating.

But many of our youth do not understand why. They tell us, why do you say dating is not acceptable? I see everyone, my friends in the school and on TV, everyone is dating. Some of our youth, they see Islam as just what? A restrictive religion. Haram, Haram, haram, correct? This is how this is haram, this is haram, it is all haram. Haram, Haram.

And that is why it is the responsibility of us, the parents to teach them the reason why it is haram. Do not just tell them it is haram, show them the harms of dating, and only then they will wilfully stay away from dating. You see, we have to do two things when it comes to showing them and explain to them why Islam says don't go near dating.

Number one is because we tell them that marriage is the solution. And sometimes, unfortunately, we, the parents and the society, we unintentionally and unknowingly we force our kids to go to dating. Do you know why? Because like I said, marriage has become so difficult in this world today. If you want to get married, there are so many conditions and criteria that you have to meet. And if you do not meet them, no one will marry you. We are making marriage more difficult day after day, and that is why a child, a young person growing up in this country sees this as available, the door of dating is open while the door of marriage is closed. Do you blame him if he goes and tries to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. Have we tried to facilitate marriage, or is it the same?

And I spoke about marriage last time in Ramadan, and how our understanding and what we do with marriage is all un-Islamic. I have to have what, I have to have at least thirty thousand dollars for the wedding. I mentioned this. Average American spends thirty thousand dollars on their wedding and in our Muslim communities, it is not too much better. Go to the weddings in Dearborn and see MashaAllah how much they spend. Now I see everyone needs 30 at least thousand dollars for the wedding, and then another 15, 20 thousand for the, I have to be 30 years old until I accumulate, unless I am lucky, I am wealthy before that. So when I place all of these financial obligations, of course, our youth aren't going to get married.

That's one thing. Another thing is what, I have to have a house. I have to have a car. I have to have a Ph.D. I have to have all these things before I could get married. When we place all these criterias for marriage, our youth can't get married until they are 50 years old. Of course, don't blame them.

When he goes to propose to a daughter of someone, the father says, how much money do you have? What is your job? Do you have thirty thousand for the wedding? Trust me, if he does not have that, most parents will say, no, we do not want you. We are the ones to blame, when our children go to dating boys, boyfriend, girlfriend. It is our fault. Because we have not made marriage easy. We postpone it so much.

That is why Islam says marriage is so easy. All it requires is three words. The girl tells the man she has the consent of her father. She tells him these three words. "Zawwajtuka nafsi 'alal mahril ma'loom" and then he says, "Qabiltu" which most of our brothers, they have a hard time saying this "Qabiltu." Qabiltu that's it. It takes ten seconds, wallahi, that's it. You don't need anything else. You don't have to write it. You don't need witnesses. You don't need anything. "Zawwajtuka nafsi 'alal mahril ma'loom" and you decide what the dowry is, and the man says "Qabiltu". That is it, husband and wife.

You do not need all of that spending. You do not need all of those prerequisites and the invitations and the honeymoon and the house, no. I mentioned in my lecture. They can start out simple. They why do not they start in the basement of their parents, let them start in one room. Why is it that with the day I get married, I have to have my own house? Why? Who said that? Allah said that? Who said that?

Half of our marriages end in divorce. Read the statistics about divorce. Why? Because we are doing everything wrong. No, if I want to do it this way, I don't want to listen to what Islam says, fine. But then when you have problems later, don't come back to the Syed and to the Sheikh that why do I have problems in my family, in my marriage?

Because we do not listen to the teachings of Islam. Don't place these obstacles, don't place these hurdles. And we the parents, we have to try to facilitate and make it easier for our children. Don't postpone marriage. Islam says get married at an early age. Do you know what age? As early as 17, 18, 19. But when you hear it now, what is this guy saying? Fine, go do it your way. And then 50, 60 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Do you have a better way? You don't. In every society, go to the Middle East even. The rates of divorce in the Middle East, in some countries are worse than America. Because they do nothing Islamic. They bring one singer to their wedding. They give them ten thousand dollars, twenty thousand dollars, thirty thousand dollars. And then when a young guy comes and proposes to his daughter, he is not that rich, no I do not want you. Fine, do it your way.

So number one, if we want to teach our children why dating is not the solution, first open the other door. Encourage them to get married early, help them. Help them in finding the right spouse, teach them what they have to do, make it easier, remove these obstacles that we have placed. Allah has discouraged and condemned these obstacles, mostly financial. Remove them. All they are doing is destroying our youth and society. So of course the youth goes to dating. So that is number one.

Number two, the second thing that we as parents have to do in order to teach our children why they should not date so that they willingly stay away from it, we do not have to force them to do that, is to show them the dangers of dating. You see, to many of us, this is like I said, this is how our children are brought up in this country. They see dating as very beautiful. It is very rosy. Imagine your child is seeing the beautiful garden and then you tell your child, stay away from this garden, it's harmful. They're not going to listen to you. They see a beautiful garden filled with flowers. Correct?

But what if you are able to change their perspective? And this garden, a flower, all of a sudden it turns to them a pit of fire and snakes. Will they go in it? No. So all you have to do is change their lens. So let them see dating in its true form, in its real essence. Show them. When you show them that this is harmful, they will stay away from it.

This is the problem. We do not show them. And that is why, brothers and sisters, tonight for the remaining minutes, I want to speak about the harms of dating. So that our young ones, when they go to school, when they say, I don't want to date, I don't need a boyfriend, I don't need a girlfriend, they know why they are seeing this. They know the harmful consequences. And especially for the young ones, there are so many harms to dating.

And as they say, after all, how old was Juliet when she started dating Romeo? Thirteen. Correct? And we all know how that ended up. Correct? She died, committed suicide. So that was only a joke.

So when we teach them at this early age, if you begin to date, you think this will make you happy, but it will not. Yes, maybe the desire urges you, but not everything that my desire tells me I do it, because I have 'aql, intellect. I have to be wise. At that young age, maybe they do not have the wisdom. We have to guide them. And that is why we will speak about the harms of dating so that we can willingly refrain from it. And I will mention four harms of dating.

The first negative consequence of dating brothers and sisters, is that it has proven that dating has a negative effect on your education. This is not my words. There are studies that were performed. They bring classrooms, schools, they divide the students based on their dating status, not marital status, dating status. If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you are in a relationship, stay on the side, stand on this side. The other ones on this side. And then they look at their grades.

What they have noticed is that the individuals, the students and this is in middle school, as early as the middle school. What they have noticed is the students that have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, they do much worse in school than those that don't, than the single ones. It is not a coincidence. It is a study, so they do it, they do it so many times until they know that the cause of this is what, or one of the major causes is the fact that they are in a relationship.

And there was a study done by the University of Georgia. This study said that what we notice is the students that had a boyfriend or girlfriend, they did significantly worse in their school, significantly worse, not a little worse, significantly worse.

And number two, this is what the study says by the University of Georgia, that what we noticed is those that used to date, they were four times more likely to drop out of school, four times more likely. Why? Only because they were dating. So number one, go Google it if you do not believe me. University of Georgia dating.

So number one, it has a bad effect on your education, why? And of course, if it has a bad effect on your education, the study said, and what we noticed that those individuals that start to date early, at the end of their lives you know, after they grow up, they don't get good jobs. They get the low level jobs, because if you are not doing good in school, you are not going to go to a good college, you will not get a good job. So it will affect your career just because you are dating.

Now, why is this? Now they d n't mention the reason, of course, but one possible reason is because what? Is because when you start dating at that young age, of course, this is time consuming. You are going to now with all the you know, the text messages, you are going to spend four hours a day text messaging your loved one. I love you. I love you more. Yes. This whatever. Let me buy you a gift. You are going to go out with your boyfriend-girlfriend. You are going to spend so many hours with that person. Correct. All at the cost of your study time. You should be studying in those hours. You are going to spend it behind the computer, behind the iPhone, just texting and sending messages.

So this is one. Another reason is because, don't think that always, you know, these love relationships are always going to make us happy. They are going to have their bumps. Correct. What if one day the girl or the boy is dumped by the other, this person is going to have one week of, he is going to be heartbroken. He can't function. He can't concentrate, he can't study. He can't do anything, correct? These 11, 12, 13 year old kids, they can't bear the responsibilities and the, you know, the complications of of these relationships. So that's why many times the toll is taken by what? By their studies, because it is more than they can handle, of course, he is not going to be prepared for the test, for the exam. So this is number one.

Number two, the second, according to the study, the second harm of dating is what? Not only does it negatively affect your education, but number two, dating, it negatively affects your behaviour. The same study done by the University of Georgia, and I saw another study done by the University of Toronto in Canada, they both said this. That dating, number one, they notice that those children or those teenagers that were dating, they were much more likely to lie and cheat. They were much more likely to lie and cheat just because they were dating.

And number two, what they noticed is that those teenagers that were dating, they reported twice as much alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use. So those students that were dating, they reported twice as much drug use, alcohol use, tobacco use.

Brothers and sisters, do you know how plagued our societies are with these problems with drugs? Every community I go to, they tell me one of the biggest problems we have with our youth is drugs. When they go into drugs, this destroys your life, it destroys your career. You end up in gangs on the streets if you don't overdose and probably kill yourself, if you don't commit suicide because of the depression that it causes. Every form and way in which my life could be destroyed is through drugs.

This study of two universities is saying one of the major causes to drugs for these young ones in school is what? It is dating. So if we want to eliminate these harms, we have to go to the roots. And one of the roots, we're not saying though the only reason why people go into drugs is dating, this is one of the reasons. It helps. They are twice more likely to what? They reported twice as much alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use. So this is number two, the harms of dating. That is why we have to be careful, our children in schools and what they teach them. This is number two.

And then number three, we go to the third negative and harmful consequence of dating. And this is not just for the young ones, but for everyone. When they ask why Islam is against dating? Why Islam says dating is never a solution? Is because dating can lead to many complications in marriage later on. You see many of us, even the individuals that date, they say I'll get married one day. Dating has been proven to complicate your marriage later on. You know that? Why?

You see, when we start young, remember we said one third of 11 year olds are dating. When we start to date the first time, you see we are very sincere. These young ones they are very sincere, they are very innocent, they're honest, they trust everyone. And when they start dating, they express their true desires and their true feelings. And now how does dating happen? Most of it happens online. So the guy when he likes this girl in his class, he does not go directly. Now, there is a much easier way. Go to Facebook, find her profile on Facebook and give her a like.

That is step one. Now, when that girl, she was 11 years old, it is the first time she has gotten a like from a boy. Now, what does she think? Oh, this boy loves me. He wants to get married to me. She is eleven years old. She does not know any better. She thinks this boy is going to be her happy husband for the rest of her life because he gave her a like. She is so happy for a week. And then he sends her, you know, those emojis, the kissing image, and now she is sure that this person should be her husband.

So now what does she do? Now she's fooled into opening her heart. Now she sends him a message. 'I like you, too'. And then she tells him, 'I love you'. So what does he do? So he sends her back a message and he tells her, 'I love you also. I love you more'. Now, what this poor girl doesn't know, 11 year old girl, is that this guy is on the computer and he has five screens open. He is doing copy paste. I love you. I love you. I love you.

But this girl does not know, she's 11 years old. Or it could happen to the guy. The guy could be speaking to her and she is doing copy paste to him. This poor girl thinks she is the only one. She truly thinks this person will marry her because she is innocent. She knows better. She does not know any better. She has no person to guide her. No person that told her, be careful, don't trust everyone. They trust anyone.

And that is why I always say brothers and sisters, social media is very, very dangerous to our children. And I'll speak more about this the day after tomorrow when I will speak more about raising children and how dangerous social media is and how we have to restrict it. I remember I read once on the Internet that there was this guy who had a two year relationship with a woman. This is an old guy like probably in his 30's, 40's. He had a two year relationship with another woman, but it was all online. It was an online relationship. After two years, he realised that that woman was not a woman, it was a man. Sending fake pictures, fake messages, and I do not know why that guy did it, just to have a laugh for two years, only after two years, that now everything could be fake brothers and sisters, the pictures you see, the comments. Don't trust anything you see on the Internet.

And I read once also a study that said one out of every seven married couples, married individuals, they thought of divorce because of social media, because of the social media of their spouses. I go on my Facebook and the Twitter and the Instagram and I don't know what all these new things that are coming out. I check my husband's account. I see, you know what, he is giving inappropriate comments, inappropriate likes, so on, so forth. I want a divorce. Or the husband goes on the wife's accounts and he sees there are inappropriate things. One in every seven married person has thought of divorce because of social media, Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all these other apps.

So we have to be careful. So this girl once again, so he tells her, 'I love you', but you know what? He tells, he sends it, every day he tells a girl 'I love you', but she does not know that or he does not know that because it is their first time. So what happens to this individual? This individual thinks that he is in a true relationship, that she or he is in a true relationship until a few months after that or sometimes a few days after they find out that they were not the only one. Do you know what happens to this child? Their heart is shattered. Their heart is broken. They're devastated. They become suicidal. They don't want to eat for the entire week. Oh, because I thought I was the only one. It appears I was not the only one. There is ten, there's fifteen just like me. He was playing me, he was fooling me or she was fooling me and playing me. They're devastated.

Now but what happens? Now they are scarred. Now that they are scarred, they want to go back again and date, because this is what you do in America. You just date and date. You have to have a date always. Now that they go a second time, they are a little more, what? Reserved. They are are a little more careful. Correct? Because they have been bitten once. They go a second time, but the second time they also have some problems, they also fooled, the guy dumps them, whatever. So now they are scarred a second time and then they go a third time. And the more they go, the more careful they become, because they have been what, their heart has been broken so many times.

Until the sixth or seventh time or the tenth time, they begin to mistrust everyone. Any man that comes to the girl, she begins to become suspicious of, why does he, why is he speaking to me? Is he one of those bad individuals that has 10 girlfriends? Does he just want to abuse me? Does he want to misuse me? All these what, all the suspicion that comes. Likewise the man thinks oh does she just, for example, want to benefit from me in a certain way from my money, whatever?

So we become what? We become so suspicious and we begin to mistrust everyone. Now, what does that eventually do? Eventually, when I grow up and I want to get married, I begin to develop a long list of conditions before I get married to anyone, because I have been what, because I have been hurt so much, I want to make sure I am no longer hurt.

I have all these insecurities, so I begin to develop a long list of conditions. I want my wife to have this, this, this, this, this. Five hundred conditions. I want my husband to have seven hundred conditions. Ten conditions. Why? Because I do not want to be hurt. I do not want to be naive anymore. I have to make sure he has all these qualities.

And brothers and sisters, the more we add to the conditions, the more difficult marriage will be. Sometimes I see in the communities certain brothers or sisters, they want to get married, but they have such a long list of qualities, I tell them, brother, sister, maybe this person doesn't even exist. You will have to search 10, 20 years. You won't find them.

That's why we are getting married at such a late age. And you ask some people, "why don't you get married"? "I haven't found the right person." You'll never find the right person with this attitude where you put 20 conditions. Why did he put 20 conditions? Because of his dark past. He does not want to be hurt anymore. You see what dating does to us? It creates this insecurity within you. I will not get married. And then once this happens, marriage will get postponed and postponed.

And once you get married, what happens? Once you get married you tell the wife, I have all these conditions, every day you keep on adding a condition. If you do not like it, get out of the house. Problems arise.

They mentioned, you know, that there was a woman that went to a shop and they were selling men in that shop. This is only a joke though, don't not worry. The story doesn't exist. They were selling men in that shop and she wanted to go and buy a man. So she sees there is a sign, there is a rule in the store. What's the rule? There are six floors in the store and each floor you go up, you will find different qualities. But however, the golden rule is if you go up, you can not go down. She says, OK.

She goes to the first floor, she sees a sign. It says that all the men here, she sees lots of men on display, they have this quality, they are religious. She says, OK, but that is not enough for me. She goes to level two. Level two, she sees a sign, all the men here are religious and they're what? They are good looking. She says, OK, that is better, but I want more. She goes to the third level. All the men here are religious, they're good looking and they're wealthy. OK, this is even better, but I want more. She goes to the fourth level. They are religious, they're good looking, they're wealthy and they're good with children. OK, this is even better, but I want more. She goes to the fifth level. All that was built in the previous levels, good looking wealthy, religious good with children, and they are strong physically.

So now she is tempted to accept it but then the greed once again, we want more and more and more. She says, let me go up to the final level. She goes to the final level. She sees there is absolutely no men. It's empty. And then there is a sign that says this level only exists to prove that you will never, ever be satisfied. You will keep on wanting more and more and more. Now, this is probably a joke, a story, but this is true for many people. They're never satisfied because they are hurt so much in their lives. They keep on adding conditions, conditions, conditions.

So I am losing time, brothers and sisters, this is number three. And finally, number four, what dating does to us is that it increases the chance of divorce later. How? You see, like I said, when you are dating, you are not bound to any what? You are not bound to any contract. Correct? You could leave anytime you want. This is what dating is. That is why we don't get married sometimes because we do not want to be in a permanent relationship. I want to leave whenever I feel like it.

Now, since you are in this type of relationship where you are not bound by a contract, there is nothing forcing you to stay with that person, then you can leave whenever you want. Let us say one day you are dating a girl, you see another girl who is more beautiful, who's prettier, what's going to prevent you from just dumping her and going to the second one? There is no divorce, there is no contract, you never said I won't leave you, you never said that because it is just a dating relationship. It is not marriage. There is nothing to prevent you. Correct? I don't want you anymore, too bad, I want the other one. It is so easy. You know, you just leave her. There is no divorce process or whatever.

Since there is nothing to prevent you. This is going to encourage you, you're not going to be afraid of leaving, changing. If you change once, you are going to say, you know what? This girl is more beautiful. But then again, there is a third girl, that girl, maybe she's better and then you are going to change a second time and a third time. And that's the nature of dating. Have you seen some person that just dates one person? No. You date, you try out everyone. You try out 10, 20 people. And that is why I read one statistic that said an average American dates before they get married anywhere from seven to 15 people.

So we keep on changing. Now, once you keep on changing three, four or five times, what happens? Eventually it becomes a habit. You become addicted to changing. Now that it's become a habit, you think all of a sudden, you could just settle on one woman and get married to her? You think you could just settle on one man and get married to him? Your whole life, you are used to changing, changing, changing this man to this man, from this woman, to this woman. All of a sudden you want to settle on one woman for the rest of your life? I don't think so!

It will be too difficult because you are so used to changing and changing and changing. And this leads to two problems. What? Number one, when you get married, you will feel like you are in a cage because before that, you were so free. I could change whenever I want and I change someone. Now I am stuck to this woman for the rest of eternity or else I have to divorce. And if I divorce, I have to - correct? First of all, you won't be too happy. You'll feel like you are stuck.

And number two, what will this do? The second thing that this will do, you will begin comparing your wife to the other ones. You see, if you had 50 girlfriends before, now you are married to this girl, you are going to say, you know what, number seven, she looked a little better in the morning, number 18, her smile was nicer. When I say jokes, number twenty eight, she laughed more.

Brothers and sisters, the more the selection, the harder is it for you to be satisfied, correct? If you have had 10 cars before and now you buy a car, you are going to start comparing it to the old cars. Oh, the cushion was you know, it was more comfortable in that one, the pedal was softer. I don't know what was.. Correct?

Versus if they brought you a car for the first time of your life, you have nothing to compare it to. You are going to love it. It's a car. It could take me from point A to point B, correct? The more the selection, the harder it is for you to choose and be satisfied. Try it with anything, go to a store. The more the selection, the more you do not know what to buy.

This is what dating does to us, because I have had so much experience with this woman and this man and this woman and this man, I am going to keep on comparing my wife to those individuals. And the likeliness of me being happy with my wife or my husband will be less and less and less because I will keep... When I run into a problem, will I try to solve it? Not necessarily because I say, you know what? The problem is in her, because the other one didn't have this problem. Versus if you are a rookie the first time getting married without any dates, when you see a problem for your wife, what would you tell yourself? You will tell yourself, you know, all marriages have problems. Let's try to solve it.

The more you have to choose from, to compare to, the less likely that you will be happy with it. And that's why many people, they opt for divorce. I am just not happy with her because I have so much to compare to. I am running out of time, brothers and sisters. And that is why we have to teach our youth why it is very important that we don't go down this road, this road, this route. It will bring nothing but what? But sadness, sorrow, it will affect our education and behaviour. So if we understand that and teach that to the youth, they will wilfully refrain from going this way.

We tell them the stories of Imam Ali ('alayhi assalam) and Fatima, the story of Imam Ali and Umm ul-Banin, 'alayha as-salam. Umm ul-Banin, do you know how he got married to Umm ul-Banin? It was the night of Ashura. Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas, he was guarding the tents of Imam Husayn. All of a sudden in the middle of the night, the women should all be sleeping, As-Sayyida Zaynab, 'alayha as-salam, all of a sudden she comes out of the tent. Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas thinks this is an enemy, he turns towards that person, he sees it is Zaynab.

"Zaynab, why are you awake?" How can Zaynab sleep during the 10th night of Ashura? Tomorrow, she knows all the men will be killed, Husayn, Abbas, all of them, they won't be there. She says, "My dear brother Abbas, I have something on my chest that is bothering me. I have to tell you." "What is it?" "I have to tell you the story of how you were born." "How was I born?" He tells her that "after my mother Fatima died, years after that, Imam Ali came to his brother Aqil, and he told him, I want you to find me a woman. I want to marry her, but I want her to be a special woman. I want her to be from a brave and courageous family." Aqil said, "Why?" He said, "Because I want her to give me a brave and courageous child." "Why?" "Because I want that child to protect Husayn on the day of Ashura."

"And this is when Aqil, and he knew all the families and the lineages, he went and found your mother Umm ul-Banin. So I just want to let you know that the reason why you were born, Abbas, was to protect Husayn." Imam Ali, thirty, forty years ago before Karbala, he is planning. Let me have a child, a strong child that will protect Husayn on the day of Ashura. So tomorrow, Abbas, don't bring any shortcomings towards Husayn. Save Imam Husayn, sacrifice your life for Aba Abdillah Al Husayn. I just had to tell you that."

Abul Fadhl al Abbas, the hadith says he took out, he put his hand on his sword and he put his feet on the stirrup of the horse and he told her, "Ukhtah Zaynab, you do not have to tell me this. I know this. Don't worry." He said, "Wallah la'an um manakki 'ayna." He says, "I will make you proud tomorrow. Let anyone come near Aba Abdillah and I will take care of that person."

The day of Ashura came, brothers and sisters, all the companions were killed. All the men were killed except one. Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas remained and Imam Husayn. Abul Fadhl al Abbas came to Imam Husayn, he told him, "My dear brother, give me permission to go and fight because I can no longer bear and hear the enemies and hear them and speak against us. I can no longer bear seeing that all the companions were killed. I can no longer bear hear the children cry out al-Atash! al-Atash!, the thirst, the thirst. I can no longer hear that. Let me go and kill them."

Imam Husayn tells him, "My dear brother Abbas, you are my last soldier left. Anta haamilu ul-wa'i, you are the man that, you're the warrior that holds my standard, you're the strongest of my supporters. How can I let you go and die just like that? I can't let you go." But then Imam Husayn told him, "If you must go, don't go and fight. At least go bring some water for the children."

Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas is happy, finally he can do something. He mounts his horse, he takes the bucket, he goes towards the direction of the Euphrates. History says that 4000 men were guarding the Euphrates. But this is Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas. He is a lion. He is the son of Imam Ali. He moves them just like that because they are afraid of him.

He reaches the Euphrates River. He comes down from his horse. He goes into the water. He places his hand. Can you imagine his condition for three days? He has not drank any water in that heat of the desert of Karbala. He is dying of thirst, he wants to drink, but look at the loyalty of Al-Abbas. Look at the Iman of Al-Abbas. Instead of seeing his reflection in the water, what does he see in the water? He sees Sukaina, he sees the children, he sees the parched lips of Aba Abdillah. So he wants to drink the water. But then he remembers that his brother Husayn is thirsty. He tells himself 'How can I drink while my brother Husayn is thirsty'? The hadith says, fa ramal maa' 'alal ma'a, he threw the water away and he began to read this poem.

He began to say, "Ya nafsu min ba'ad al-Husayn nihooni, wa ba'dahu la kunti an takuni, hadha Husaynun waarid ul-manuni, wa tashrabeena barida al-ma'ini, tal la, ma hadhu fi'alu deeni." He begins to tell himself 'How can I drink while Husayn, my Master is thirsty? Never will I do that'. He throws the water. He fills the bucket with water while he never drank. Look at the altruism of Al-Abbas, his loyalty to Imam Husayn. He fills the bucket and he goes back on the horse.

All he cares about is Imam Husayn, all he wants is to take the water to the children. He goes. Before he arrives to the tent, one of the enemies, he ambushes him from behind and he takes out his sword and he hits Al-Abbas on his right hand. Al-Abbas loses his right hand and he holds the bucket with his left hand, while he says this "Wallahi in qata'tamu yamini, inni uhaami abadan 'an deeni". Wallah, If you sever my right hand, you will never, ever stop me from going to Aba Abdillah. I will always defend Aba Abdillah, even if it is at the cost of my right hand.

And then he goes, continues with his left hand. Another one of the enemies, he strikes Al-Abbas on his left hand. Now he loses both of his hands. Now he is carrying the bucket with his teeth. He does not care about his hands. All he cares about is Husayn and the children. And then all of a sudden one of the enemies, he throws a spear and it hits the bucket. The water spills.

This is when Abbas considers himself, he's been defeated, because now he does not know what to do. The hadith says, Fa waqafa muttahayyira, he was confused. Should he go to Imam Husayn? But how he has no water? Should he go and fight? But he has no hands. What should he do?

All of a sudden, one of the enemies, he hit Al-Abbas on his head with a metal rod. Al-Abbas 'alayhi as-salam fell on the ground and he cried out "Alayka minni as-salaam ya Aba Abdillah, farewell my brother Husayn."

Imam Husayn, when he heard that he came, he rushed like a lion. When he arrived at the sight of Al-Abbas, he saw his hands are severed, there is an arrow in his eye, another in his chest. He sat down by the body of Al-Abbas. He took the head of Al-Abbas, he put it in his lap. Al-Abbas, he could not see because one eye there was an arrow, the other eye filled with blood. He told Imam Husayn, he did not know who it was. He thought it was an enemy. He told him 'Enemy, please give me a few minutes before you kill me. Why? Because I want to see my Master Husayn before I die. Just give me a few seconds with my brother Husayn'.

Imam Husayn tells him, 'Abbas it is me, your brother Husayn'. Abbas tells him, 'My dear brother Husayn, forgive me that I had to die so soon and I had to leave you between the enemies all alone. And then he tells him, 'I have two requests?' And these two requests break our hearts. What are they?

He tells him, Number one, 'My dear brother Husayn. I ask you that after I die, please do not take my body back to the tent'. 'Why Abbas'? Imam Husayn used to take all the bodies of the shuhada to the tents after they were killed. He tells him, 'Me, don't take my body back to the tent'. 'Why'? He tells him, 'Because I promised Sukaina I will bring her water. I am embarrassed that Sukaina sees me without the water. Please leave my body here'. And that is why you see Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas, he was left. The only one that was left by the Euphrates. He did not take him with the shuhada.

He tells him 'What is your second wish'? He tells him 'My second wish is please don't place my head in your lap'. 'Why?' Isn't this an honour? Your head is in the lap of Husayn. He tells him because in a few minutes, when you're all alone between the enemies, in whose lap will you place your head on Ya Husayn?

You see the love of Abbas, the altruism, the devotion. All he cares about is Husayn. And then Al-Abbas, he departed this world. Imam al-Husayn got up from the side of Abbas. The narrators say that he was placing his hand on his back and he said, "Al aan ankasara dhahri, wa qallat heelati, wa shamuta bi 'aduwi". He said 'Now my back has been broken. Now my enemies have defeated me because Abbas has been killed'.

And then Imam Husayn, alayhi as-salam went to the tents. Who came to greet him? Sukaina came out of the tent. She told him 'My dear father, where is my uncle Abbas? Did he bring us any water?' He told her 'My dear Sukaina, the hands of Al-Abbas are severed. There is an arrow in his eye, another in his chest, and I left him by the Euphrates'.

Inna lilLah, wa inna ileyhi raji'oon. wa sa ya'lamu alladheena dhalamu aale Muhammedin ayya munqalibun yanqalibun wal'aaqibatu lil muttaqeen. Nas'aluka, Allahuma wa nad'ooka bismika al-'adheem, al-a'dham, al-a'azz al-ajjal, al-akram. Ya Allah, Ya Allahu, Ya Allahu, Ya Allah! Ya Allahu Ya Allahu, Ya Allahu, Ya Allahu Ya Allah. Allahumma ighfirli al-mu'minina wa al-mu'minat, al ahya'a minhum wa al-amwat. Allahumma 'ajjil li waliyyika al-faraj, waj'alna min ansarihi wa a'wanihi wa mustashhideena bayna yadayh. Wa al-arwah al-mu'minina wa al-mu'minat nuhdi thawab al-Fatiha ma'a as-salawat [Allahuma salli 'ala Muhammad wa 'aali Muhammad].