As-Salam ‘Aleikom sister,
Thank you for writing to us. I will answer your question the best I can, in sha’ Allah.
You seem to be a sensible girl who knows about your Islamic values, which is very good, ma sha’ Allah. Having friendship with the opposite gender (non-mahram) is not allowed. We, humans are social, and we need to be interacting with other people, but we have to make friends with righteous Muslims to stay on the right path. We should choose friends that are pleased and satisfied with our faith. Friends influence us, and we inherit their habits, behaviors, and even religion. He might be a good guy from a decent family, but the only way it can be good for you is if he marries you. I assume that you are not ready for marriage yet, and I do not think he is either. Everything that can lead to sin is better to stay away from. Allah (swt) says:
“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). And whosever follows the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan), then, verily he commands Al-Fahsha (i.e, to commit indecency, and Al-Munkar (disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam, etc.). And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and his Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies (guides to Islam) whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (24:21)
First of all, it is important that you are honest with him and tell him that you cannot be friends with him. Telling him the truth is not being harsh or rude. He might not like it, but you have to be firm with him. His opinion is irrelevant in this situation.
You made a mistake by talking to him and engaging with him emotionally is not permissible in Islam. You are still very young and your focus should be on your studies. If he is Muslim, then he will understand and respect your decision to quit the friendship. Tell him that you are uncomfortable to talk to him and that it is best if you stop. You cannot avoid hurting his feelings 100% when you are rejecting his friendship. Some men are full of pride and they find it hard when a woman rejects them.
He clearly told your friend about his interest in you, so he is obviously not just interested in friendship with you, but more than that. If you really don’t like him and don’t see it is time for you to get married, you have to tell him clearly that you are not interested. The longer you both talk to each other, the more attached he will get to you. Be honest and direct with him. It is the best way. I suggest that you send him a short e-mail and do not leave any questions for him to respond to. You haven’t been friends for very long, so it should not be a problem to end it.
Allah (swt) is the best of planners. Ask that He (swt) grants you someone who will bring you closer to Him and make you happy. Do not waste your valuable time talking to people who are no good to you. It is stated in the Qur’an:
“Pure women are for pure men, and pure men are for the pure women.” (24:26)
Be a better you by completing your studies, discovering your talents, and spending time with your family. Pray and get close to Allah (swt). When the time is right, you will find the right man to spend your life with, in sha’ Allah.
May Allah (swt) strengthen your faith and keep you away from all that is displeasing to Him, in sha’ Allah.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides.