Fatwa ID: 05060
Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Are Muslim males allowed to have female friends?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Having non-Mahram friends from the opposite gender is not allowed, whether it is over the phone, chatting on the Internet, or face-to-face meetings, or any other prohibited means of communication between a man and a woman.
Allāh says in Sūrah an-Nisa verse 25:
“…. and give them their Mahr according to what is reasonable; they should be chaste, not adulterous, nor taking boy-friends…”
Allāh also says:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts . That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” (Sūrah an-Nur:30)
The Messenger of Allāh (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
‘A man should not seclude himself with a woman except that there be with her someone who is of unmarriageable kin (mahram).’” (Muslim Hadith No.1341)
The only contact that can be allowed between a man and a woman is to speak when there is a necessity and in a place open to all people, without suspicion or desire, and without contact, closeness, handshake, or anything more. This necessity of communication can be due to education e.g. speaking to the teacher, work, or an official matter.
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other woman. If you keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.” (Sūrah al-Ahzab:32)
Imām Ibn Kathir explains that:
“This is the etiquette (mentioned in the above verse) is a command from Allāh Almighty to the wives of the Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and to the women of the ummah who followed them in this”
Al-Binayah Sharh al-Hidayah, Vol. 12, p.159, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah
Tafsir Ibn Kathir Vol.6, 408, Dar Taybah
Only Allah knows best
Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham