I’m 19 and Not Allowed to Hang Out with Friends!

24 August, 2021
Q I am 19 years old and my parents say that I can not hang out with friends even if they are of the same gender and we are studying. I have a job, I volunteer at the mosque and a hospital, why can't I spend time with friends?

I devote time to the family and do everything they say but spending a couple hours grabbing food or watching a movie is not permitted. Shouldn't there be a middle ground? My parents do not compromise, it's their way or no way. Help!

Answer

 In this counseling answer:

Talk to them as if they are your friends because, at this age, they are supposed to be your friends as well as your parents.

Respectfully ask them what is their reasoning for not wanting you to have any social time.

You may wish to bring a trusted third party person in for a second discussion with their permission to help sort out what is the real reason they are against you having social time.


As-salamu alaykum sister,

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Thank you for writing to us with your issue with your parents.  It sounds as if you do have a balanced life in terms of work, studying, volunteering and Islam.

I'm 19 and Not Allowed to Hang Out with Friends! - About Islam

While I am not sure how long they have been in this mind set, at 19 you are a young adult as with that comes certain rights. 

Everyone needs friendships and halal social times.  It is human nature to desire friends and closeness with others for fun times.

I would kindly suggest that you make a list of the positive things you do, how you spend your time, and what you feel is a fair amount of time for you to socialize. 

How to Talk to Your Parents

Next, sit down with your parents when things are calm and discuss your list with them in a non-threatening or angry way.

Talk to them as if they are your friends because, at this age, they are supposed to be your friends as well as your parents. 

You may want to read hadiths about the Prophet (pbuh) and his advice on friends, companions, and healthy relationships in terms of  Islamic benefits.

While your parents may still say no, you may wish to simply ask them “why?. 

Respectfully ask them what is their reasoning for not wanting you to have any social time.  Please do listen as they speak, take notes on their concerns, and address them appropriately.

You may wish to bring a trusted 3rd party person in for a second discuss with their permission to help sort out what is the real reason they are against you having social time.

This could be an imam, a neutral family member, or other trusted person.  Trying all venues to work out our differences with our parents is desirable and there are blessings in it.

While it is true you are living under their roof and need to follow their rules, you also have rights to healthy friendships. 

If after you have tried several methods to resolve this issue, you may have to determine if you can live without social time, or if it is time to get your own place. 

While this is a hard decision to make, please do stay close to Allah, seek His guidance and make duaa in this matter.

We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.