How Should I Interact With My Male Cousin?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I used to like my cousin, but don’t anymore. He got my number and is texting me, and I feel guilty when I respond to him. He isn’t religious so it doesn’t bother him. He likes to ask my advice and doesn’t say anything inappropriate. Am I doing something wrong?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah reward you for wanting to do what is pleasing to Him.


Listen to your conscience. If you are feeling guilty, then this is an indication that it would be better for you to stop responding to his texts. You don’t need to be awkward about it; when he comes to visit you in your family home, just explain that you don’t feel comfortable texting him, and you’d appreciate it if he would stop.

Be polite and kind, but don’t go out of your way to give him advice via text message. InshaAllah he will respect your decision and find advice from elsewhere. Use this as a lesson in setting boundaries with non-mahram men. This is a useful skill which you’ll get better at with practice.

Liking someone

It’s normal to like boys as you grow up. What’s important to remember is that for Muslims, the only acceptable romantic relationship is between a husband and a wife. Pre-marital relationships are impermissible, so anything that can lead to that is also impermissible (e.g. being in seclusion, flirtation etc).

If you like someone enough to want to marry him, then let your parents know, and inshaAllah they can help you arrange chaperoned talks with the young man in question. This course is also very helpful for you to learn more about marriage: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

Please refer to the following links:

How Should I Interact With Non-Mahram (Marriageable) Males?
Limits of Relationship between Males and Females


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani