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Friendship Between a Man and a Woman?

13 July, 2016
Q Dear sir/madam, I want to know about friendship between male and female. Is that allowed in Islam? I have lots of friends both male and female. I belong to the Hindu religion. I have Muslim boy and girl friends in real life. No problem in that. I had one online chat-friend from Pakistan. She is also Muslim. We were talking for more than 6 months. Mostly about spiritual things, but she left me by saying the reason is religion. She always called me as a brother. She never accepted me as a boyfriend. I want to have her friendship. She is such good girl. How can religion become a barrier for our friendship? Why don’t people have trust in the friendship between male and female? Is there no possibility of good friendship between male and female? Why the negative thought of sin. Please answer me.

Answer

Salam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

You sound very upset that you can’t keep your online-chat friend, because of what she explained as religious reasons. I really appreciate your sincere feelings. It is not common nowadays to have faithful people who don’t take it easy to lose their old friends.

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Still, I don’t want your sad mood to make you unjustly blame it on the religion of Islam, from which you have many good friends. First, Islam does not have this obsession with the idea of “sin” whenever any male and female come into contact. The Muslim society is a “regular” society made up of two genders, mixing together, in all fields of life.

We should not be dominated by such a Freudian mentality. It has never been a segregated society, in the sense you are referring to. But, as it must be the situation with your Hindu religion, there are special characteristics in each culture that may not be in common with other cultures or religions. Islam also has its special cultural characteristics, regarding many issues including its value system.

Although this male/female relationship normally exists in the Muslim society, yet it has a different nature than many other societies. It is actually regulated by certain ethics and heavenly directions that should be respected by Muslims and should not be considered as offensive by people in other religions.

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If you want to know more details about this issue; of the ethics of chatting between men and women, please check my answer of a similar question in this section: Online Chatting

In my answer, you’ll realize that Islam is the furthest from being a barrier for people’s friendships. On the contrary, it encourages people from different nations, to come for more and more knowledge of one another, as long as there is a mutual respect for the uniqueness of each other’s culture.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.