Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I am under 14. About a year ago, my mom’s best friend’s son asked me to be his girlfriend since we grew up together from age seven. I told him I didn’t think that was allowed and ran out of the room. For a couple of months now, I feel like I like him, and he does, too, although I haven’t told him. Is it ok to be in any relationship?
I see your question is coming from someone as young as yourself made me smile because you are so innocent and pure-hearted. May Allah Most High keep you this way. I will, however, answer your question from adult to adult.
Girlfriends and Boyfriends
I don’t recommend that you agree to the boy’s wishes because, in Islam, you must be distant from the opposite sex, even if you have not hit puberty. In Islamic cultures, modest gender interaction is taught to children from seven years old. See these links to understand what Allah expects of you:
What Are the Principles of Gender Interaction in Islam?
Mixed Gatherings: A Detailed Response Regarding Gender Interaction
The biggest test for our nation is the attraction and temptation between Muslim men and women. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “After me, I have not left any trial more severe to men than women.” [Bukhari]
Please see this excellent answer in the link as to why girlfriends are not allowed:
Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?
Marriage Honors Women
A boy and girl who are unlawfully alone together would undoubtedly want to be physical; it’s in their human nature. Usually, one thing leads to another, and over time, they want more and more until one day, they find they can’t resist having intercourse.
Once this happens, they have lost their virginity, to the displeasure of their future spouses, and risk getting pregnant, resulting in the child being a bastard, and staining their reputations with their families. Allah’s displeasure at this enormity is the worse of all.
No boy deserves to have your attention, time, innocence, or sweetness unless he is married to you and financially supports you. I suspect this boy looks to show off, experiment with you, or can’t control his desires. I doubt this is true love. Instead, try to focus your attention on what Allah has told you that will help you for all eternity.
Learn Islam and Worship Allah in your Youth
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Seven are (the people) whom Allah will give protection with His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection), and they are: A just ruler; a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosque; two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom a beautiful and high ranking woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying): ‘I fear Allah’; a person who gives a charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand might not know what the right has given; and a person who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes well up.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
One scholar explained that the above means the young man was guided from the beginning to do righteous deeds and disliked committing evil acts. Allah supported him because of his excellent upbringing, companionship, or something else. Allah safeguarded him from the diversion and frivolity of youth, missing prayers, and indulging in lusts and pleasures. Allah Most High praised this kind of person when He said: “Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” [Quran, 18:13]
Dealing with this boy is only your first test. You will come across other boys at school, university, or work who want to be with you or be intimate with you. Restraining yourself from their company and desires is more significant than performing an obligatory act, such as praying. I pray that you are busy yourself with learning the knowledge of Allah Most High and taking some free courses at Seekers during your free time and applying it in your life.
If you continue to have feelings for this boy over the years, you should pray istikhara and talk to your parents about considering him for marriage. See if and when the time is suitable. Protect yourself, don’t succumb to the Shaytan, and wait for your wedding.
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.” [Ahmad]
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqida, 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.