Men befriending women

Q 4: What is the Islamic ruling on friendships with the opposite sex, (Part No. 17; Page No. 67) if this friendship is decent, chaste, known to all, and there is nothing hidden about it?

A: This is one of the most serious of Haram (prohibited) acts and the worst of Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect). It is not permissible for a woman to befriend a non-Mahram (not a spouse or an unmarriageable relative) man or vice versa, because this is a means that can lead to Fitnah (temptation) and to falling into immoral deeds. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.