Many people ask: “Why can’t guys and girls just be friends?”
There are so many answers to that question, but I’ll touch upon one:
Friendship arises out of an initial mutual liking between two people. It starts with a smile, a conversation in class or over lunch and grows with each word spoken. When this friend makes you happy, you want to spend more time with them and be with them during their happy times, their sad times, their fun times and their down times. You want to buy them presents (which by the way “brings love” between people according to a hadith) and do things that make them happy.
For two people to be friends, they have to be really close. That’s just who a friend is: it’s someone you didn’t know before but who you took a liking enough to become close to, until they became closer to you than some of your own family members.
Imagine what kinds of problems would arise if guys and girls were allowed to be friends.
We, as human beings, are naturally nice people. We don’t avoid people as a standard; we mix with them and are nice to them, so when Islam tells us to“be firm in speech” with the opposite gender or to keep talk limited, we feel like we’re being rude.
But the Muslim brother knows and the Muslim sister knows what kind of talk is permissible and what is not. So throw the “rudeness” excuse out the window.
Remember: The nicer you are to a person from the opposite gender, the more fitnah you are creating for them.
- Do not smile at a person from the opposite gender, esp. Muslim. (If you must, then you can do it very reservedly, with pursed lips).
- Do not giggle at their jokes or “hang out” in the hallway with them, even if there are others in the “group.”
- Do not bump into them (yes, people do this stuff).
- Do not continuously go to them for advice when there are others available (the rest of the world is not dead).
- Do not be alone with them-ever.
- Do not beautify your voice when the need arises to talk to them.
- Lowering your gaze doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be fascinated by the floor (that will make you look retarded tbh); you can just look at the wall or some other object next to or behind them.
- Do not message them for no reason (if you must, keep talk limited, to the point and appropriate).
- Must you use smileys? The world will not end if you don’t. I have heard in more than one lecture: Smileys, hearts and winks make people “fall in love” online.
- Don’t stalk: how would you feel if someone stalked you? Or your sister/brother?
This is totally a reminder to myself before others.
May Allah make us all sincere people who not only call each other “brother” and “sister” but keep our interactions respectful as well.
*psst* funny side note: In India, the Hindus have a festival called “Raksha Bandhan” which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters in which a girl ties a bracelet called a “rakhi” on her brother’s wrist. So in Hindi movies (and maybe even in real life), every time a girl wants to get rid of a stalker or something, she calls him “bhaiyya” or ties a “rakhi” on him. It’s hilarious actually. I never figured out if that stops anyone from pursuing the girl.