How to communicate with non mehram?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
is talking to a nonmahrim termed as zinaa? Can one take a nonmahrim as a brother or sister and talk to him or her? Is it a very big sin to talk or to communicate with one of the opposite sex if the two can marry even if it is academics? How far is one allowed to communicate with one of the opposite sex and to what limits?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 24 Surah Noor verses 30-31: Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you who have believed! Turn you all together towards Allah that you may attain Bliss.
Allah commands the believing men and the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty in the above aayahs, and commands the women to draw their veils over themselves when in the company of non-mehram males.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 53: If you (the noble companions of the Prophet) have to ask the wives of the Prophet for something, ask for it from behind a curtain. This is a better way for the purity of your, as well as their hearts.
The above command is for some of the most noble and best people who ever lived on this planet earth; the companions of the Prophet, and the chaste and noble wives of the Prophet of Allah (saws). Allah commands the companions of the Prophet that if they have to ask for something from the wives of the Prophet, they should do so from behind a veil or a curtain, because this way is better and purer for both, the companions and the wives of the Prophet (saws). No people could have controlled their emotions and feared Allah more than the noble companions and the chaste wives of the Prophet; but even to such noble souls, Allah has commanded that it is purer and better that if they need to talk to the wives of the Prophet, they should do so from behind a veil.
Q-1: is talking to a nonmahrim termed as zinaa?
Islam does not prohibit the essential talking between non-mehrams, provided the laws of the segregation of sexes are honored. If one needs to talk to a non-mehram, one should lower ones gaze and talk to them in a business-like and straight forward manner. What Islam strictly prohibits is the free mixing of the sexes and vain and casual talk amongst non-mehrams.
Q-2: Can one take a nonmahrim as a brother or
sister and talk to him or her?
The sacred relationship of brothers and sisters and mehrams is created and chosen by Allah Subhanah only for those who are born of the same womb, or through a ‘foster’ relationship where both have taken suck from a common mother or woman. Other than these two, it is not permissible in Islam for one to choose for himself a member of the opposite sex and make them one’s brother (or sister) in Islam.
Q-3: Is it a very big sin to talk or to communicate with one of the opposite sex if the two can marry even if it is academics? How far is one allowed to communicate with one of the opposite sex and to what limits?
If one, in the order of genuine need, talks to a non-mehram member of the opposite sex in a straight forward and business-like manner; there is no harm and no sin; provided all the restrictions related to non-mehrams like donning the veil, lowering the gaze, and holding only essential talk, etc. are honored.
But if one, in the guise of academics, seeks to ‘befriend’ a non-mehram member of the opposite sex; or seeks to meet in private, or seeks casual or vain talk; it will give the Shaytaan the chance to urge one or both of them to exceed the limits. Seeking to form such an illicit relationship would indeed be a grave sin in the sight of Allah Subhanah; as this path could lead to the abomination and one of the gravest of sins in the sight of Allah Subhanah: ie. ‘zina’ (fornication or adultery).
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,