Islam, like every religion, has different kinds of practitioners. You've got the Muslims who only ever go to the mosque when it's one of the "big" holidays, or maybe for someone's funeral. Then you've got the people who never miss a single Friday prayer.
The one thing I noticed, however, is that every single person in my religious community, to some extent, was a "cherry picker", including me.
When I was more "devout", there were certain religious practices I adhered to more strictly than others. I wouldn't date or romantically pursue someone unless the intention was marriage, but then I'd also eat food that wasn't strictly halal (still no pork). I had other friends who would flip out if their food wasn't Islamically blessed, but had no problem smoking cigarettes and cheating on college exams.
And while you had some people who would straight up say, "yeah I know this is against the rules of the religion but I'm going to do it anyway", there were others who found some kind of excitement in finding a "loophole" to get away with doing things that were, Islamically speaking, not-so-kosher.
One of those things is spending time alone with members of the opposite sex when you're not married. Big no-no.
There's a saying in the religion, and it goes a little something this: "if a man and woman are alone together, then the third person in the room is Satan." Now that might be a comforting thought depending on what your opinion of Lucifer is, but there are some people who really take that moniker to heart.
The thing is, human nature is very difficult to deny, and if you're attracted to someone, and you're both consenting adults, you're going to want to spend some time with them.
The thing is, some stricter Islamic practitioners, depending on what community they're from, are really, really serious about not breaking this rule. Some of them adhere to it and actually wait until they're ready to get married before romantically pursuing anyone. Families/matchmakers get involved, there's an invitation to dinner, or word spreads so and so will be at a social gathering, all that good stuff.
Others find a loophole instead. Like this guy who approached TikToker Alina Steinberg.
She talks about how when she went on a date with a Muslim dude from Lebanon and as she went in for a hug he told her that he physically couldn't touch her according to his religion and needed to go through a ritual to "show a sign of respect". He has her repeat some words in what's most likely Arabic (she says "Lebanese") and then gives her an item as a "sign of respect" after writing down some stuff on a sheet of paper.
Well, as it turns out, the "item" he gave her was actually a marriage dowry and the paper was a temporary marriage contract, otherwise known as Nikah Mut'ah. While most Muslims don't recognize Mut'ah's as being "valid" today, there was a time when disciples of the Prophet Muhammad utilized them so they could get their freak on with other women who weren't their wives back home while away on military campaigns (polygamy, and all).
It's something that Alina discovered only after contacting a fellow Muslim friend of hers but then her story gets even weirder. After a while, she starts talking with another guy, who just so happens to be Muslim as well. It turns out the guy was weird about physical contact with her too and she asked if it had to do with the temporary marriage thing. He sounded surprised that she knew about Mut'ah, and as it turns out, the OG dude she was married to was New Guy's roommate.
So Alina saw this as the perfect opportunity to get out of her temporary marriage with the first dude, because it just felt "weird" to be married to someone, even if she stopped talking to him entirely and it wasn't official. A phone call later and she was divorced.
Her story went viral, and Muslims on Twitter couldn't stop laughing about it.
Some people couldn't believe the mental/spiritual gymnastics people would perform just to feel like it was "OK" for them to talk with a girl.
While others thought the entire situation was just hilarious.
Do you have any stories of uber-religious friends trying to find loopholes for things they really want to do because they don't want to incur God's wrath?