Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My non-Muslim childhood best friend of over 15 years, recently disclosed to me that they want to start using a new name because they feel it is gender-neutral and they like that better. They also want to use they/them pronouns. It was a quick comment, and I haven’t spoken with them in a lot of detail about this.
I am feeling very conflicted because, on one hand, this person has always been a supportive, caring friend. On the other hand, I feel like I am doing a disservice to my faith and beliefs about gender, and am not sure if I can sustain a close friendship with this new dynamic.
Am I wrong about possibly wanting to end our friendship over this? We are too close for me to slowly distance myself.
Thank you for your question. You are definitely not wrong for wanting to end your friendship over this. You are simply not comfortable with her blatant perversion of gender, and you should be proud of yourself for upholding the truth and refusing falsehood. Unfortunately, this might be the first step to her becoming homosexual.
I recommend that you not cut her off, but tell her that you must distance yourself because of her choice. If she ever has questions about Islam, or about why the three Abrahamic religions denounce this, she should be able to come to you, and there should be no hatred or enmity between you. Always have a glimmer of hope that she will find the truth and become Muslim. It may be that she needs to go to the other extreme first, in order to discover true balance. So instead of hanging out with her all the time, let her know that you are available if she ever needs you or wants to talk about her values.
As for yourself, try to have Muslim girls as your main social company, and choose decent girls who are confident, kind, intelligent, and inspiring. If you ask Allah, He will certainly bring them to you. Remember this prophetic hadith about the importance of company, “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk would either offer you free of charge or you would buy it from him or you would smell its pleasant odor. And so far as one who blows the bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell. [Muslim]
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.
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