How Should I Behave with a Friend When I’m with the Ladies of My Family?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


When I am with a mahram lady, like my sister, mother, daughter, aunt, or wife, and a male friend of mine passes us by, how should I behave in this situation? Should I introduce them, or should I greet my friend and allow them to decide whether or not to exchange greetings on their own? Additionally, what should I do if I were in my friend’s position? Is the rule the same if we reverse the roles, with a woman in the presence of her mahram and a female person passing by?


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your scrupulousness, and guide you to do the right thing, as there are many areas of gray here.

Gender Interaction

Gender interaction rules in Islam rules are in place to limit unnecessary interaction, especially that which leads to temptation, but there are times when this can be weighed and judged by context or `urf (local custom). Introducing your female relative to a friend largely depends on age, marital status, comfort, how religiously strict the parties are, and whether there is any benefit in the introduction. I would leave this to you to figure out. For example, if your male boss is walking by, and you are with your mother, I believe an introduction would be in order.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Wabisa bin Ma`bad, “Ask your heart! Virtue is what the soul and heart feel at ease with, and vice is that which is dubious in the heart and unsettling in one’s chest, even if people keep telling you [otherwise].” [Tirmidhi]

Please see the many answers in this reader as well:

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 and completed her Master’s 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.