Home Quranet Chapter 3 How should one behave towards women?
How should one behave towards women?
Chapter 3

وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا عَرَّضْتُم بِهِ مِنْ خِطْبَةِ النِّسَاء أَوْ أَكْنَنتُمْ فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ عَلِمَ اللّهُ أَنَّكُمْ سَتَذْكُرُونَهُنَّ وَلَكِن لاَّ تُوَاعِدُوهُنَّ سِرًّا إِلاَّ أَن تَقُولُواْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفًا وَلاَ تَعْزِمُواْ عُقْدَةَ النِّكَاحِ حَتَّىَ يَبْلُغَ الْكِتَابُ أَجَلَهُ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ (سورۃ البقرة, آيۃ 235)

You commit no sin by announcing your engagement to the women, or keeping it secret. GOD knows that you will think about them. Do not meet them secretly, unless you have something righteous to discuss. Do not consummate the marriage until their interim is fulfilled. You should know that GOD knows your innermost thoughts, and observe Him. You should know that GOD is Forgiver, Clement. (Surah, The Cow, Verse 235)

Miada is a neat, cheerful high-school student who enjoys talking and laughing with everyone around her. Recently she talks a lot about romance and love, proudly displays a new bracelet and ring to her friends, which she says she received from her boyfriend who is crazy about her. He wants to marry me, she says, but she isn't thinking about it yet. Miada says that many boys want her, but that she will definitely get engaged soon to her boyfriend.

One day she noticed that her friends were looking at her and whispering, as were the boys. It transpired that her boyfriend was going around telling everyone that he meets her secretly and that she is madly in love with him. He says that she writes him letters, buys him presents, and believes him that he really loves her. "She's building castles in the air because I told her how much I love her," he told everyone. Miada felt that everyone was laughing at her and relating to her completely differently from in the past. In her distress, Miada went to talk to the school counselor and told her that she does indeed talk to her boyfriend for hours on the telephone and that she meets him secretly. He tells her the whole time that he is dying to meet her and doesn't stop buying her presents. The last time they met he phoned her and said that he wanted to see her urgently because he had a surprise for her. He hinted that he wants to talk to her parents and ask them for her hand in marriage. Miada agreed that he would fetch her from school and told her mother that she had an extra lesson at school and would return later. The boyfriend drove her to a far-away place and tried to rape her. She was afraid to tell anyone, because she didn't want them to know she had met him secretly.
 The counselor spoke to Miada about her prohibited actions and how she is endangering both her reputation and that of her family, as well as the possibility of finding a good husband. She then opened the Quran at Verse 23 of the Sura, 'The Cow', and asked Miada to read aloud: "You commit no sin by announcing your engagement to the women, or keeping it secret. GOD knows that you will think about them. Do not meet them secretly, unless you have something righteous to discuss." If he really loves you, this is the way he should behave, the counselor said. Miada was stunned. She understood that the boy she loves and in whom she had placed her trust, had betrayed her and sold her in order to increase his status. She asked the counselor to copy the verse. "I don't want to talk to him," she said, "I just want to show him the verse from the Quran, so that he will understand what he did."

Explanation: It is not by chance that Miada behaves in a way that is different from what is acceptable in her society. Something seems to be bothering her inside. Often, girls who behave in this way are desperately looking for love they didn't receive at home. Girls who feel rejected in their families often try to prove to themselves in unacceptable ways that they are wanted and loved. They are thus likely to develop romantic fantasies about boys who offer them marriage etc. The school counselor acted correctly by first explaining to Miada the seriousness of her actions, and making use of the Quran for this purpose. She might also decide to involve Miada's parents in such a serious matter that concerns the whole family. Or, she might decide it is preferable to deal with the matter herself and not inform the family. It all depends on the likelihood, in her opinion, that Miada's parents will be positive and not destructive partners in the process of her development. First, however, Miada has to develop acceptable behavior norms. Only then can the counselor begin to understand Miada's inner pain, and what in her past and her family background led her to behave in the way she did. Without setting clear limits to protect her, there will be little value in clarifying Miada's inner feelings.