Can We Be Friends with the Opposite Gender?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I’m a 17-year-old boy. A year ago, I was introduced to these two girls during a camp conducted by our school. With time we became good friends. Our friendship is almost unbreakable. Recently, I learned that friendship between males and females is prohibited in Islam to some extent. I don’t want to cut them off because I like them very much. I don’t know what to do.


May Allah Most High reward you for striving to improve your religion and act upon what pleases Allah Most High at your young age.

The following articles answer your question in detail about befriending the opposite gender:
Can a Young Man and Woman be Platonic Friends?
Friendship between a Boy and a Girl
A Reader On Gender Interaction
Guidelines for Interacting With the Opposite Sex
Mixed Gatherings: A Detailed Response Regarding Gender Interaction

In short, although your friendship with them entertains you and fills your heart with joy, these very feelings can easily morph into something impermissible.

Islam is eager to extinguish any form of fornication at its outset. Hence, the Prophet explained that fornication can manifest in a lesser form, such as inappropriate gazes, lustful words, or listening to the opposite gender. See the following link for details of this. What Exactly Is Zina?

You say that you don’t want to leave your friends, but I want to remind you of this hadith of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, “You will never leave something for the sake of Allah, but Allah Most High will provide you with something better in return.” [Ahmad]

Anything you do for Allah Most High can be hard at first, but the barakah of obeying Him will cause cascades of benefit and good that will become apparent later on. May Allah strengthen us all to make the right decision despite our desires and strive for Him every moment.

[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.