Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just Friends?: Relations Between Boys & Girls

 Can guys and girls just be friends? This question has come up many times throughout my life and still now as a college student. The answer to this question can be found in the Quran subhanAllah. People can argue back and forth about the matter of relations between boys and girls, but the truth is that during our relations with the opposite gender, at some point someone begins to develop feelings. 
     Relations between guys and girls are permitted in Islam, but only to a certain extent of course. An example of that is found in Sura Al-Qasa through the story of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him.) 
Allah Most High says:
“And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” And when he arrived at the water of Madyan he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” (Qur’an, 28:22-25)
The lesson behind this story is that relations between non-mahram men and women is permissible and not completely forbidden as some people believe. Prophet Musa lowered his gaze and helped the two daughters of Shu'ayb purely out of kindness, as Allah commands that we show compassion and mercy towards one another. Prophet Musa, interacted with them in a manner that showed hayaa and self respect.

Although the Quran states that contact with the opposite sex is permissible, that does not mean that it is okay to step outside the bounds Allah s.w.t. has set for us. What are the restrictions placed upon us? 
  • Lower your gaze
  • Avoid speaking in ways that could be taken as flirting. It has been said that laughter and joking should be avoided between non-mahram couples. 
  • Avoid being alone with the opposite sex, as shayan is the third. Meet in groups and within those groups, distance should be kept between the brothers and sisters.
  • Follow the dress code Allah prescribed to you and dress modestly.  
Baba Ali explains gender relations perfectly and humorously mashAllah. Please watch it to get a better idea of how boys and girls should interact through Islamic values.

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