Can boys and girls be “just friends”?


A schoolgirl wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, “In Islam, women are only commanded to generally cover themselves. Then, why do we observe purdah by wearing headscarves etc.? Why can girls not be friends with boys at school? Moreover, can I dress up as a fairy on Halloween?” 

Huzooraa, in his letter dated 26 January 2021, offered the following guidance regarding this topic:

“[…] As far as the [ruling regarding] friendship between girls and boys is concerned, the primary logic behind it is to safeguard the chastity of women [and men]. Free-mixing is likely to result in a variety of evils. Therefore, Islam distinguishes between mahram and non-mahram relationships in this regard and defines the limits of male-female relations. Allah and His Messengersa imparted very clear teaching to their believers and followers in this regard. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa said that a person should not meet a non-mahram woman in seclusion for Satan was always the third companion in such a  rendezvous.’ (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Fitan)

“The Promised Messiahas explained the wisdom behind this instruction of the Holy Prophetsa in the following words:

“‘It has often been heard and observed that such societies see no ill in a non-mahram man and woman remaining alone behind closed doors; they call this civilisation. It is to counter these very adverse effects that the Founder of Islam has forbidden an individual altogether from approaching anything that may lead them to stumble. In this relation, the Holy Prophetsa has stated that where a non-mahram man and woman sit in seclusion, the third with them is Satan. Just reflect on the harrowing outcomes that Europe is having to bear as a result of this non-restrictive and unbridled teaching. In certain places, an utterly shameless life of promiscuity is led. This is due to teachings of the sort just mentioned. If you wish to protect a thing from misuse, it must be safeguarded. However, if one does not watch over a possession – and considers the world to be innocent – then keep in mind that it will surely be ruined. The Islamic veil is a truly holy teaching indeed, which, through segregation, saves man and woman from stumbling. It has delivered mankind from an illicit, grievous and bitter life.’ (Report Jalsa Salana 1897, p. 48) […]”.

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