Short answer: You should try to be a good friend to everyone, but realize that friendships have boundaries. A friendship between a boy and a girl must stay within the boundaries of what is permissible. You can be friends only for the sake of Allah –to help one another in staying on the Straight Way and advising one another in ways that help you each live closer to Allah. Do not engage in flirtatious behavior and do not be alone with a boy or man. For your safety, keep your parents informed of your location and get their approval of your friends.
Alaykum asalam, and thank you for sending us your question.
You are to be commended on your desire to have proper relationships.
Many of the problems that people have are due to unhealthy and even immoral relationships.
A Muslim should try to be a friend to everyone, but there are different kinds of friendships, and each kind has different boundaries so that you will not be led astray and so that you will be safe.
Prophet Muhammed (peace upon him) said,
A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so be cautious about whom you befriend. (al Tirmidhi)
A friendship between a boy and a girl must stay within the boundaries of what is permissible.
You must not engage in flirtatious behavior or inappropriate touching.
You can be friends only for the sake of Allah –to help one another in staying on the Straight Way and advising one another in ways that help you each live closer to Allah.
You should ask that Allah blesses your friendship to keep it protected from any influence from Satan.
You need only break the friendship if the boy cannot respect that Allah comes first in your life and if the boy wants to lead you outside the realm of Allah’s commandments.
What if a boy asks you for a date?
Casual dating as it is practiced today is not permissible in Islam, because so many boys have expectations that fall outside the scope of what is moral and ethical.
If you went on a date, you may find yourself in a situation that you do not know how to handle.
No matter how well you think you know a boy, he may turn into a completely different person once he gets you alone.
Prophet Muhammed (peace upon him) said,
Whenever a man is alone with a woman, the devil makes a third. (al Tirmidhi)
Date-rape is a very real crime; don’t put yourself in a position where that could happen to you.
When your parents do allow you to have a proper courtship with a boy to get to know him as a prospect for marriage, the date should be chaperoned.
Chaperoned dates also protect your reputation. Some boys like to brag about things that never happened.
When You’re Hanging Out Or Attending a Party Where Boys Are Present
Although Islam discourages casual mixing of boys and girls, realistically, you may find yourself among a mix of boys and girls in places such as a bowling alley, a skating rink, or even at a party.
Whenever you are invited to a party or other gathering, ask questions.
Will there be responsible, adult supervision? Will there be alcohol or drugs? Who else will be there?
Decide, with a parent or guardian, on a code word that means ‘I’m in trouble’.
For example, a code word could be “red shark”.
Have an understanding that if you call or text your parent or guardian with “red shark”, it means that you are in an unsafe situation and you need to be picked up immediately.
Don’t go if you cannot be sure it is an appropriate atmosphere for a Muslim girl.
We Teach People How To Treat Us With Our Conduct
Conduct yourself with the knowledge that you are a special creation of Allah and not someone who can be exploited as a sexual object or influenced to do wrong.
The best protection for yourself is to show others a life beyond reproach.
Do not engage in gossip, do not tell or laugh at dirty jokes, do not listen to music that has vulgar lyrics, do not use curse words.
Dress and act with dignity and grace.
Once you have a reputation for being a moral and righteous person, people will respect you and will be less likely to approach you with a request to engage in behavior unbecoming of a believer.
Trust Your Parents’ Wisdom
Always make sure your parent or guardian knows exactly where you are going to be at all times.
This is not about a parent’s control over you; it’s about being safe.
Friendships are important in Islam, but it takes experience to know how to choose friends wisely and to keep proper boundaries.
As a teenager, you should trust your parent or guardian if he or she disapproves of a person you have chosen as a friend.
The adults in your life have more experience than you and can help you select friends that will be a good influence on you and will be loyal to you.
Pray for Allah’s help in surrounding yourself with friends that will be a blessing to you, and also pray that you are a blessing to them.
May Allah bless you always with good friends that have honor, integrity, and loyalty.
About The Author: Linda “iLham” Barto is an author, illustrator, and editor in North Carolina, USA. Her books are available from www.Lit-by-Linda.com. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force. As a third-degree black belt in Shotokan karate, Linda teaches karate in her community, and she offers a free Rape Evasion Class to girls and women.