Friendships between Boys and Girls
What do you think about relationships between girls and boys – friendships, chatting, meeting, and even, in cases, touching one another. What does Islam say about that?
The issue is very confusing indeed and needs to be handled carefully. I have seen some healthy relationships between boys and girls, but in almost all such cases, I find that their families are on friendly terms. The friendship between families extends naturally to friendship amongst children. In such cases, I see no harm in girls and boys sitting together and discussing issues of mutual interest.
Having said that, I do not think the inquiry was about this kind of a relationship. When boys and girls spend too much time together alone, it is inviting trouble. People may argue that boys and girls need to sit and work together, and there is something wrong with our thinking when we say that it is not right. I believe that Allah understands us better than we understand ourselves, and when we involve ourselves in such relationships, with no other purpose than to have fun, we put an unnecessary strain on ourselves, and bring ourselves to the brink of harm.
Allah discourages us to put our time and energy in such pursuits, just as everything else, which is purposeless in life, has been discouraged. Allah has put a natural ‘barometer’ within us, which tells us what is right and what is wrong. That should be used to decide our behaviour in such relationships. Do not condemn all such relationships to be bad, for ‘niyyat’ plays a great role. There may be no harm in chatting or talking, but what is being said during the conversation, and what your ‘niyyat’ is, makes the real difference.
Having said that, even if a ‘controlled’ relationship is allowed to take place, it must abide by the instructions given in 24:30-31:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.”