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Is It Permissible for Me to Whatsapp My Fiancé?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I recently got engaged. My fiancé and I live in different countries so we are not able to talk in person so we decided to message each other via Whatsapp. Does this count as seclusion?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you and your fiancé for having such sincere concern for your deen.

Khalwa (seclusion)

Congratulations! May Allah bless you and your fiancé with a loving and tranquil marriage.

I strongly encourage you and your fiance to read this article to clarify what khalwa (seclusion) is: What Is the Meaning of Khalwa (Seclusion) with the opposite Gender?

In short, it is permissible for you to Whatsapp your fiancé. However, please observe the appropriate limits between an unmarried man and a woman. After your nikah, you are both free to interact without any restraint.

When registration reopens, I encourage you both to complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life to help you both prepare for the next stage of your lives together.

Please see:

A Reader On Gender Interaction

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Should I Deal With Inappropriate Behaviour on Whatsapp?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Our family has a Whatsapp thread in which we all keep in touch with each other. There are male cousins on both sides, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws etc. How can one keep participating in conversations where male cousins often jab, provoke, flirt with the female cousins/sister-in-laws on the thread?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The Basic Ruling

In terms of having a Whatsapp group of this kind, the basic ruling is that it is not prohibited to have such a group in essence as it neither involves actual physical seclusion (khalwa) nor virtual seclusion that may lead to the impermissible.

Rather, the group you describe is composed of a number of family members, some of whom are of marriageable kin (non-mahram), such as cousins and in-laws, and others of unmarriageable kin (mahram), such as brothers, sisters, wives, husbands.

Your Circumstances

Yet, the manner of communication mentioned in the question is contrary to religious dictates. Flirtatious behavior is unacceptable. The same is the case with things like the “heart emoticons” (between other than siblings, spouses, etc.).

While our religion does not prevent people from being courteous and friendly with family members, it does prescribe guidelines regarding how gender interaction should occur, particularly when it relates to those of marriageable kin (non-mahram).

For more details on these guidelines, please see: A Reader On Gender Interaction

How to Respond

Regarding how you should respond, simply disengage when such conversations are taking place. If they do occur in the course of a conversation and you are unable to control it, simply pull back and do not be a part of it.

This does not necessarily mean that you have to leave the group entirely especially if it will cause problems between family members, but the least you should do is disengage when the conversations shifts in this direction.

It is also important here to take note of the principles governing promoting good and prohibiting that which is unacceptable. This would only be necessary if you feel that people will listen to you and your advice will not lead to a more negative consequences.

If you are reasonably sure that it will have a negative and harmful impact on others, then it is probably best to avoid advising these people.

You may, of course, try to discuss the issue in private with other family members who share the same concerns with you and then try your best to uphold a manner of conversation that is respectful, courteous, friendly, and within the limits of the religion.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani