As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your problem. Your concern clearly tells me that you are keen on following the right path and sincerely hope to please Allah (swt).
Let me start off by describing a similar situation to you.
Imagine your husband knows a female actor from back home, and he constantly remains in touch with her, although seas apart. And you, as his wife, are completely ok with their conversation.
How much of the above sentence do you think is entirely true? Would you as a wife be forever free of any issues if your husband started befriending a woman overseas for no appropriate reason? Would you be alright if he started spending personal time on commenting and interacting on social media with her? Although this a hypothetical situation, it can very well become a reality, if he decides to follow in your example!
Dear sister, although many argue that befriending the opposite gender is completely ok, they are completely unaware of the consequences which sometimes surface as a result of their initial behavior.
It is not only Muslims who view the friendship between males and females a cause of Fitnah (trouble, temptation). There are many studies done by social psychologists which conclude that cross-gender friendships cross the friendship line 82% of the time and lead to marital conflict in an already married couple and confuse and misdirect those who are not married. In addition, to those who are not married, it blinds them and creates feelings of infatuation which is often mistaken as that of love. Unfortunately, when things do not go as planned, depressive episodes result.
Even in work related matters, unnecessary communication must be kept at a minimum such that interaction between the genders is not misunderstood or miscommunicated. You cannot completely avoid contact with males; however, there are serious guidelines that must be respected.
The Prophet (saw) said that when a male and a female are together, the third is always the Satan.
Allah (swt) knows His creations better than we know ourselves. He knows the nature and what attracts a male to a female and vice versa. Based on the psychological instincts of the female and males, He (swt) has ordered the observance of as much separation as possible. The eyes of both should not meet without a professional or appropriate purpose.
Allah (swt) says in the Quran,
“Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers that you might succeed.” (24: 30-31)
In this above verse, Allah (swt) clearly and explicitly provides the rulings when it comes to gender interaction. In addition, guarding private parts does not necessarily mean physical contact; it can also mean unnecessarily contacting the opposite gender such that it leads to the development of inappropriate thoughts and feelings, as well as communication through other means which crosses the set barrier.
Dear sister, if you are sincere in your love towards Allah (swt) and your husband, you must avoid contacting your friend from oversees. Although it might take him as a surprise, you must avoid communication with him politely. Perhaps you can let him know that you have not much time on hand and you are now preoccupied with other matter.
Constantly speaking to him will give Satan the ability to work with your mind and play games with your mind, and eventually his (your friend overseas). Although your intentions may be sincerely pure, you cannot back out once you fall into the whirl.
Perhaps the time that you once spent talking to him can be spent talking to your husband, or your other family members or engaging in other productive family matters.
Allah (swt) has placed such strict guidelines on us for our own good. Following in these guidelines will not benefit Allah (swt) in any manner, but will only lead to happiness and eternal peace in our lives.
I hope my answer provided the solution you were looking for. I hope Allah (swt) immensely blesses your married life!
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