Friendship between a Boy and a Girl

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil answers questions about friendship before marriage.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

Months ago, I met a brother in a seminar. We kept in contact and built a friendship with a lot of respect. A few days ago, I asked him how he would react if his sister had contact to a strange guy he doesn’t know. He thought about the question and suggested to break off. (We have written over WhatsApp.) We both are Muslims and he understood it and showed respect to me and my family. But we promised to stay cool if we’re going to see us again.

Now my problem is, since this happened, I feel broken. I feel pain inside me. But it isn’t just because of him. I’m really under stress and feel that it wasn’t the right time to ask him this question even though it’s Islamically right. I’ve lost a good friend. I want to write him again but I don’t understand why it’s Islamically incorrect. I want to have a clear explanation. I’m aware of the relationship between men and women. But I need him right now as my friend. And thinking a lot of Islam makes me just more sad.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Friendship between Opposite Genders

Dear sister, I am sorry for your heartbreak. Please know that you have done what is pleasing to Allah, even if it hurts.

For a clear explanation, I encourage you to read this answer by Shaykha Zaynab Ansari: Can a Young Man and Woman be Platonic Friends?

Emotional Regulation

Because you are in pain, I encourage you to treat yourself with love and compassion. Soothe yourself through the different aspects of your being – the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. You know yourself best, so write down the different things you can do for yourself, every hour, every day, until you feel more balanced.

I have some suggestions for you, to help you get started.

Spiritual Self-care

  1. Do everything in your power to have a good opinion of your Merciful Lord.
  2. Guard your obligatory prayers, and strive to perform them mindfully.
  3. Wake up in the last third of the night, even if it is 5-10 minutes before the entry of Fajr and pour out your sorrow to Allah.
  4. Perform the Prayer of Need as often as you need to.
  5. Read these duas as often as you need to: Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Mental Self-care

  1. Write down your troubling thoughts so you can see them in front of you.
  2. Investigate your beliefs, which have often been installed from childhood. Do you believe that the world is a safe place? Do you believe that you are more than enough, as you are? Do you believe that Allah is there for you?

Emotional Well-Being

  1. Journal about how you feel, allow yourself to feel those strong emotions, and let them go. Remind yourself that feelings are signals, but not fact.
  2. Reach out to close family and female friends.
  3. Listen to guided meditations on apps such as Calm and Headspace.
  4. Store your worry on apps such as Worry Box.

Physical Well-being

  1. Walk every day.
  2. Ground yourself in nature.
  3. Strengthen and relax your body through pilates and/or yoga.

Possibility of marriage

Please know that we are all hard-wired for connection. Allah has set loving limits on gender interaction because He knows our easily we can fall. If you feel so strongly about this young man, and feel ready, could marriage be something to explore? Do speak to your parents first, if you think that could be the case. It is far better to have them on board, from the beginning.

Also, please remember that marriage is another big shift. It is not a silver bullet that will heal all of your pain.

In any case, I encourage you to prepare for marriage through empowering yourself with knowledge through this course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages and reading this book Before You Tie The Knot.

I pray this has been helpful. May Allah ease your heartache, and gift you with a husband who is your dearest friend and your companion on the path to Jannat al-Firdaws.

Please see Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Why Does Islam not Allow Boyfriends and Girlfriends?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
Question: Why does Islam not allow boyfriends and girlfriends?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
Dear Brother,
Assalamu alaikum.
Thank you for your question.
The wisdom behind the strict rules pertaining to gender relations in Islam owe to core values of haya’ (modesty) and ‘iffah (chastity), legal principals such as sadd al-dhara’i (blocking the means), and objectives of the Shari’ah, such as preservation of honor and lineage.
A boyfriend/girlfriend relationship conflicts with all of the above.
It goes against values of modesty and chastity for a male and female to date, be alone together, or enjoy a physical relationship outside of marriage. Allah Ta’ala says in Surat al-Mu’minun, “Truly, to a happy state shall attain the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayer, and who turn away from all that is frivolous, and who are intent on inner purity, and who are mindful of their chastity– with any but their spouses or those whom they rightfully possess, for then, behold, they are free of all blame, whereas such as seek to go beyond that are truly transgressors.” (23:1-7)
The above verses, as well as others in the Qur’an, and authentic hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and give him peace, indicate that there’s a lawful outlet for sexual desires and that outlet is marriage. As for right hand possessions, that is not a relationship category that exists anymore (and, no, a girlfriend is NOT a right hand possession!)
Moreover, Islamic mores governing gender relations take the way of caution, i.e., blocking the means, or preventing trouble before it happens. A prohibition on fornication would make little sense if khalwa (isolation with a member of the opposite sex) were not proscribed. It would be cruel, actually, to throw men and women (or adolescent males and females) into compromising situations then expect them to be chaste. To preempt this, Islamic rulings limit the extent to which men and women can freely intermingle. One only has to look around at our society to see the consequences of unfettered access to members of the opposite sex.
As for Shar’i objectives such as preservation of reputation and lineage, our way of life takes these things seriously. A woman deserves to have her reputation remain unsullied. Entering into a boyfriend/girlfriend type relationship can harm her reputation in serious ways that won’t necessarily affect the male partner. Furthermore, children deserve to be born to married parents. This objective is compromised when people reproduce without the benefit of marriage.
Please see also: Should I Marry My Boyfriend, or Break Off the Relationship?
I pray this is helpful.
Zaynab Ansari
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.