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A. Haroun (Abu Imran)

From among the things many of us are guilty of today is engaging in unnecesary chats and discussions both online and offline with the opposite sex! This is called تلذذ بكلام الأجنبية. Many who engage in this addiction intend by it to derive some pleasure, however little, from such unnecesary discusses and chats.

The only safe precaution there is in male/female exchanges is to stay within the limits prescribed by Allaah. There is no such thing as "I trust my self control" or "I know when to draw the line", as long as a thing has the tendency to degenerate into fitnah, do not even start it! All the doors to fitnah should remain closed at all times!

Men are the most guilty of this but the women aren't any less innocent! Some have become so addicted to chatting with women that they can not do without it! Even if these chats are harmless at first, a man doesn't indulge in it continously till he engages in improper chats at some point however careful he may be. 

The evil of this trend has continued to wreck havoc on homes and the integrity of many people! Exchanges that started from salamun alaykum, have many times degenerated to exchange of lewd pictures and erotic chats may Allaah forgive our shortcomings! In many instances, it has even lead to zina!

I have no doubt that many who are guilty of this will be reading this post! If you find that you are so inclined to chating with women (non-mahrams) and vice versa know that there is a disease in your heart, and it is a sin. A sin that may have covered your heart in total black because you repeatedly indulge in it (كلا بل ران على قلوبهم ما كانوا يكسبون). Nothing would save you from its hold than sincerely desisting and repenting from it!

However, it is not enough to say "I repent" even if you meant it sincerely! You have to take some steps.

1. Regret ever engaging in the filth, for it is indeed a filth that two people who are not married will engage in any form of inappropriate conversation. If you are guilty of this you will notice how distant you feel you are from Allaah. Even if you woke up at night to pray, you will feel ashamed to stand before Allaah because you feel impure! Such is Allaah's punishment for sinning, in the heart of the sinner and for this you have to regret!

2. Remove every link that connects you to it. Block ALL those with whom you engage in such discusses with. If need be, take a break or completely quit any social media outlet that predisposes you to it. If other people's secretes won't be at stake, consider giving access to your social media account to someone close (wife, brother, friend etc) and ask them to monitor your activities, do not feel ashamed to ask for help. If it happens in real life, cut ties completely with such a person and avoid places that remind you of it. Keep the company of pious people who you will feel ashamed if they saw you engaging in that. If you don't do this, your repentance would just be a temporary cessation and you will certainly return to it!

3. Make a sincere promise never to return to it. Make the promise to Allaah and yourself with firm conviction.

4. Repent! Please know that it is a sin in itself to delay repentance! No one is promised the next second so now is the best time to repent! 
Allaah says:

“O you who believe! Turn to Allaah with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)” [al-Tahreem 66:8]  

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allaah’s forgiveness, he will find Allaah Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Nisaa’ 4:110].

May Allaah forgive our shortcomings and rectify our affairs.

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