As members of the opposite gender interact more, incidences of adultery and unfaithfulness have skyrocketed. Here are some thoughts on how to avoid the problem.
By Nabi Raza Abidi
Satan does not throw us into a deadly sin like adultery in one shot, he guides us to it step by step. At first, he starts it with something that is apparently permissible, say an innocent conversation between two members of the opposite gender at the office. Slowly but surely, he will lead them into a lesser sin, and then eventually a greater sin. This process can take weeks, and sometimes it can take years. This is how adultery can come to fruition. It begins with a professional conversation, but years down the road it can lead to a deadly sin like cheating on your spouse, either emotionally or physically (yes, there is such a thing as emotional unfaithfulness as well). I will write about emotional unfaithfulness next week insha’Allah.
Don’t take small mishaps, risks or gray zones lightly, with the right push (which is surely to come from Satan, and/or some kind of crisis in your life) it will lead to the destruction of your soul and your marriage. Try to be as conservative as possible even if you think it irrational. I have met plenty of people who have made light of it thinking this kind of conservatism is irrational, but have come to realize its wisdom when things in their lives or the lives of their close ones break down. DO NOT take the risk, it is not worth the break up of your family.
So what can you do in a work environment that necessitates interaction?
1) Whenever you are emailing a colleague of the opposite sex, try CCing another member. If this is not possible, BCC them.
2) Instead of personal texts, try group chats where others can see your texts.
3) Whatever happens, make sure never to go into personal conversations, do not reply to such texts. This means that you should not discuss anything OTHER than work if communication is necessary.
4) Allow your spouse free access to your phone and email. I know this may be harsh and invasive to some, but it will keep your behavior in check. Having your spouse surveil your communications will keep you in check. This is important just in case some of the above points are not possible.
5) Tell your spouse about all the members of the opposite gender you have communications with. Let them know where these communications are happening, and inform them if they try to talk about personal things. This will ensure that trust remains between you and nothing is left to their imagination. Remember, Satan can play with your spouse’s mind making them think that you are being unfaithful when you are not. So do not give the devil the opportunity to use this as ammunition against you.
Nabi Raza Abidi
Resident Imam of the SABA Islamic Center
San Jose, California