Muslim men and women getting together for dance parties, hooking up, drinking, doing drugs, acting like idiots, etc., is not something new. What is new is for Muslim men and women to do this under the banner of being Muslim, associating their haram behavior with being Muslim.
Even in the time of the Khulafa al-Rashidun, there is a reliable report of a man and a woman being caught drinking together in Madina, but they were in private and they did not try to justify their behavior or try to associate being Muslim with it.
An important sahih hadith in this regard is:
“No adulterer/fornicator is a believer at the time when he is committing adultery/fornication; no thief is a believer at the time when he is stealing; no drinker of wine is a believer at the time when he is drinking it.”
Having shame and hiding sins from people is a good thing. Openly flaunting it in a proud way as if there is nothing wrong is disastrous.
Part of the blame has to be on those who have blurred the lines or equivocated on gender separation in Islam. This is also something new coming from faux traditionalists teaching the Muslim community that gender mixing is fine, no need to be “extreme” about it because “the Prophet’s mosque didn’t have a barrier,” etc. Are we surprised that some young Muslims feel no shame going to a “Muslim-branded” dance party with the opposite sex and openly advertising that as if there is nothing wrong with it?
In their minds, it must be exceedingly easy to justify:
Music? “Shaykh So-and-So says there is a difference of opinion.”
Dancing? “Shaykh So-and-So says it’s good exercise.”
Smoking? “Shaykh So-and-So says there’s ikhtilaf.”
Mixing? “Shaykh So-and-So says don’t be extreme about it and maybe it’s a good thing because you could find a good marriage candidate.”
Tight Clothes, Makeup, Perfume, etc.? “Shaykh So-and-So says NO MAN has the right to tell me how to dress and by wearing a turban hijab, I am an unapologetic Muslim sticking it to Trump!”
You add all these elements together and what do you get? A nightclub.
The sad part is the justification for these parties, which is always a sob story about how the Muslims attending are “so close” to leaving Islam and if they don’t have the chance to party *as Muslims*, they will leave Islam fully. This is the same excuse people in the MSA/ISoc hear so often regarding loosening up their programming.
How does this make any sense? If poor Ahmad or Amina’s Islam depends on the haram being embraced as halal, then I’m afraid there’s nothing that can be done. In reality, no situation is that dire and these are just emotionally manipulative tactics used to beat people over the head in an effort to water down and outright dismantle those aspects of Islam that contradict mainstream Western youth culture.
When I was in the MSA in college, I would respond matter of factly: If Ahmad and Amina need to go clubbing that badly, there are hundreds of outlets. If they want to get together and flirt and have fun, there are literally a thousand ways they can go about it. Why do they have to make the MSA another party club? If they want to do something related to deen, then that’s what the MSA is for. Ahlan wa sahlan. For haram things, take that outside the MSA. And no one will judge because no one has to know what else you’re doing on the side.
Unfortunately, these people of desire won’t stop their attack until the musalla itself is a dance floor.