Advice from the Scholars
One of the essential aims of sharee’ah is to protect people’s lineage and honour. For this reason, Allaah has forbidden zinaa and ordered that it be punished by whipping or stoning. And He has forbidden the means that may lead to zinaa, such as a man being alone with a non-mahram woman, sinful looks, and women travelling without a mahram or going out of their homes wearing perfume and make-up, clothed yet naked, seeking thus to attract young men and provoke their desires and tempt them away from their religious commitment. This also includes a man speaking to a woman in a deceitful manner, and her speaking to him in a soft voice so as to tempt him and provoke his desire, so that he will fall in her trap – whether this is done in person, over the phone, via correspondence or in some other manner. For this reason, Allaah forbade the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), even though they were good and pure, to make a display of themselves in the manner of the first Jaahiliyyah, or to speak in soft voices so as to provoke the desire of those in whose hearts was a disease; and He commanded them to speak in a manner that was honourable. Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allâh), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.
And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance…” [al-Ahzaab 33:31-32]
So Muslim youths must fear Allaah, protect their chastity and lower their gaze. They should refrain from speaking or writing any obscene words of immoral romance or deceit. Muslim girls are obliged to do likewise, to remain chaste and not to go out wearing make-up, clothed yet naked.
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell that I have not seen yet: men with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they strike the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait, with something on their heads that looks like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will never enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.”
(Narrated by Ahmad and by Muslim in al-Saheeh
If young men and women obey Allaah and His Messenger, and rise above worldly matters, keeping away from fitnah and sources of suspicion, that will be better for them, purer for their hearts and better for their reputations and their societies.
It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman who is not his mahram, because that affords temptation to do immoral and evil actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a (non-mahram) woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.”
It is not permissible for you to correspond with a young man who is not a mahram for you through what is known as the “Pen pal corner”, because that is something that leads to fitnah (temptation) and to evil and corruption.
It is not permissible to correspond or converse with a non-mahram. If a man intends to propose marriage then he should follow the Islamically-prescribed means of doing so. If the woman whom he wants to marry is one of his relatives, then it should be more straightforward because either he will knows about her or he will be able to find out about her from the women of his own family.
It is not possible for a man or a woman to find out about the real character of one another through correspondence and conversing before marriage, because neither of them will show anything but their best side.
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen was asked:
If a man corresponds with a woman and they fall in love, is this regarded as a haraam action?
This action is not permitted, because it provokes desire between them and makes them hope to meet and get in touch. This often leads to temptation and sows the seeds of zina in the heart, which leads to immoral actions or the things that lead to them. We advise all those who want to protect themselves to avoid corresponding and the like, so as to protect their religious commitment and their honour.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah
, 2/578, 579
Dr Riyaadh al-Musaymeeri said in an answer to a question:
Note – may Allaah bless you – that our great religion firmly warns us against forming relationships between the sexes outside the framework of marriage and firmly closes the door to the calamity of introduction programs that are propagated by means of newspapers, magazines and the internet. These warnings are a means of warding off fitnah (temptation and tribulation) and preventing love affairs which usually lead people to commit acts of grave immorality and transgression of the sacred limits set by Allaah – Allaah forbid – or they lead them to marriages that end in failure and are filled with suspicion and mistrust.
First of all, you made a mistake by entering the chat room before knowing what the Islamic ruling on that is.
Then you made another mistake by forming a relationship and friendship with a young man who is not related to you.
Beware of making a third mistake by marrying him because he claims to love you sincerely and you are afraid that he may commit suicide!
Marriage that is not based on a sound Islamic foundation is doomed to end in failure and regret. A young man who has spent all this time forming a relationship with a girl through chat rooms and telephone calls is in fact a young man who has no religious commitment, modesty or manners, and he cannot be entrusted with the honour of the Muslims.
If you were to marry this person, it would not take very long before suspicions arose which would lead to him losing trust in you and not having a peaceful or relaxed life with you. From his point of view, a girl whom he gets to know through talking on the phone or through chat rooms cannot be trusted not to form relationships with others. This will occupy his thoughts and make him anxious.
You should learn a lesson from the experience of other girls who have fallen victim to love relationships and lost their honour as a result. You should give up this young man/woman immediately and repent to Allaah and ask His forgiveness, and praise Him for saving you from committing immoral actions even though the means that lead to them are easily available. You should also praise Him for putting obstacles in the way of this marriage, through your family’s refusal. Start a new life filled with purity and chastity, regret and prayers for forgiveness, keeping away from the things that lead to temptation and immorality. Do a lot of righteous deeds, read a great deal of Qur’aan, and attend many righteous gatherings.
With time, your relationship with this person will fade, for it is based on emotions that are not based on shar’i guidelines or wise thinking. Beware lest the Shaytaan ensnare you and makes you think that you cannot forget or sever the relationship forever;
these are just whispers and tricks, and devilish attempts to keep you in the hell of love and emotion, and distract you from the higher aims of sincere devotion and submission to Allaah and constant striving to please Him. We ask Allaah to give you a way out from your distress and anxiety.
The conditions for speaking to a woman to whom one is not related are mentioned in the following aayaat (interpretation of the meaning):
". . . And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen; that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts . . .
" [al-Ahzaab 33:53]
". . . then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner.
" [al-Ahzaab 33:32]
may Allaah have mercy on him, said in his Tafseer: "This means that they should not speak softly.Allaah commanded them to speak in a concise and decisive manner (i.e., they should be serious and brief in their speech, and not be vague or talk aimlessly). There should be no possible indication on the face that could be taken to indicate any softness in the heart, as the Arab women (before Islaam) used to do when speaking to men, by making their voices soft like women who are taking care of small children, or like prostitutes. Allaah forbade women to do that.
The phrase "lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire" means lest such a person should hope for immoral deeds, indecency or romance. "Speaking in an honourable manner" means speaking in a way that does not go against Sharee’ah or offend people. Women are encouraged when speaking to men to whom they are not related and to mahrams among their in-laws to be somewhat rough or abrupt in their speech, without raising the voice, because they are commanded to lower their voice.
Speaking with a woman to whom one is not related (i.e., not mahram)should only be for a specific need, such as asking a question, buying or selling, asking about the head of the household, and so on. Such conversations should be brief, with nothing doubtful in either what is said or how it is said.
One must also adhere to the conditions set out by the Sharee’ah even in instances where such conversations are necessary, such as in da’wah, giving fatwas, buying or selling, etc. And Allaah knows best.
There is nothing wrong with a Muslim woman making use of the internet and entering the Paltalk website for that purpose, so long as that does not lead to anything that is forbidden in Islam, such as talking privately with men.That is because talking to men may turn into chat which usually leads temptation.Hence it is essential to be strict and avoid that, seeking the pleasure of Allaah and fearing His punishment.
How often have these conversations lead to bad results, and even caused people to fall in love, and have led some to do things that are even more serious than that. The Shaytaan makes each of them imagine attractive qualities in other, which leads them to develop an attachment that detrimental to their spiritual welfare and worldly affairs.
Sharee’ah blocks all the ways that may lead to fitnah (temptation, trial), hence it forbids softness of speech and does not allow a man to be alone with a non-mahram woman. Undoubtedly these private chats are not regarded as khulwah in the sense that he people involved cannot see one another, but they are one of the greatest causes of fitnah as is well known.
Fear Allaah, and do not speak to non-mahram men. This is safer for your religious commitment and purer for your heart. You should note that marriage to a righteous man is a blessing from Allaah, and a blessing cannot be acquired by means of sin.
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked:
What is the ruling on correspondence between young men and women, if this correspondence is free from immorality and love?
It is not permissible for any man to correspond with a woman who is not his mahram, because of the fitnah (temptation) involved in that.A person may think that there is no fitnah, but the Shaytaan will keep trying until he tempts him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded those who heard of the Dajjaal to keep away from him, and said that a man may approach him as a believer, but the Dajjaal will keep trying until he leads him astray.
Correspondence between young men and women involves a great deal of fitnah and danger, so we must avoid it, even though the questioner says that this correspondence is free from immorality and love.
From Fataawa al-Mar’ah
, compiled by Muhammad al-Musnad, p. 96.
Undoubtedly correspondence via chat rooms is more dangerous than correspondence by mail, but both are bad.
And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)