Never get intimate with anyone you are not married to.
Intimacy here takes the form of fondling, kissing and sex itself. I’ll need to start by mentioning that the main reason any individual should strive to stay away from these acts is because Allah asked us to. Its benefit to moving on is only an advantage I am leveraging. It shouldn’t be the main motivation; the main motivation should be that Allah has asked us not to get close to zina.(fornication)
No matter how certain you are of marrying someone, even if it’s a minute to the nikaah(marriage), don’t get intimate with them. “I’ll marry you” doesn’t change your status to a husband or a wife. Always have that in mind.
Intimacy is experiential and as such stays with you. Just like memories play back, intimacy will play back at some point. The more people we get intimate with, the more the memories we build in stock. These memories influence our expectations and tie us down to these people in one way or the other.
One of the reasons the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) advised young people to marry virgins is that
“They are more content with little” [Ibn Maja, hadith no. 1861]
Let me be quick to add that I’m not considering this as a gender placed thing. A man who stays chaste till marriage also has much contentment from his intimacy. Chastity enhances relationships in so many ways.
Today, it’s common place to read of instances where people have gone to have affairs with their exes because they are not satisfied where they finally landed for marriage. Trust me it has nothing to do with emotions; they are not in love with these people. They’re only there because they exposed themselves to it when they shouldn’t have. And now their expectations and standards are not being met.
When two people have to move on from each other who do not have any intimate experiences, they do so with respect and dignity. These individuals hardly hold malice against each other. On the reverse, when you get intimate with people a part of you stays with them and this part keeps calling you back to them no matter how hard you try to let go of them. Even when they’ve harmed you badly.
We need to learn to be creative about knowing people. We don’t determine a person’s deen(faith) and character via intimacy. We don’t determine hard work via intimacy, we don’t determine cleanliness, respect, etc via intimacy. It’s unfortunate but good people are getting into intimacy because the persons they want to end up with are demanding for it. Intimacy is a benefit we derive from marriage, not a test we need to pass before we are considered for marriage.
We need to stop demanding intimacy wrongly and we also need to stop giving in. Stop making your emotions the center of the relationship phase. If that’s what they want, let them go. Don’t entertain them. Shine your eyes and stop the “I don’t want to lose them” drama. It’ll be more painful if you should lose them after leaving a part of you with them.
Don’t share any inappropriate photos of yourself, don’t stay in secluded places, don’t touch, don’t hug, don’t fondle, don’t kiss and don’t sleep with anyone until you’re married to them.
No matter who they are they are not worth your peace of mind after things fail with them. Marriage is along term thing, in the decision making phase, let the long term be your focus.
©Ibrahim Abdul Rauf (Ari-J Tagba)