Friday, May 15, 2009

'Harmless' Chatting.

Alhamdulillaah. I’ve got the answers to the questions that have been ringing in my head. The answer is simple and clear, and no doubt, I’ve came across it and pondered about it before, however, I’d probably disregarded it back then trying to look for an alternative. Maybe I was just not ready to accept it then.. Hm.

I’ve decided to cut down on chatting on MSN with the opposite sex especially when it leads to unnecessary chatting about almost everything and anything at all.

“What? Absurd!! First no BGR, no dating, now no chatting? C’mon man!? ” some might think.

Wait, wait.. it's not no chatting at all.. if you refer to the statement just above..

"especially when it leads to unnecessary chatting about almost everything and anything at all"

Have a look at this article from islamonline.net;

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Name of Questioner: Nihad
Title: Talking with Members of the Opposite Sex
Question:

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. Many Muslim husbands order their wives not to speak to visitors or with any non-mahram man, while the husband addresses any woman. What is the ruling on this matter? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Date: 10/Nov/2005
Name of Mufti: European Council for Fatwa and Research
Topic: Relationship between sexes, Mixing

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

It is to be stressed first of all that Muslims, men and women, must observe haya' (shyness or modesty) in all their correspondence and conversations. Islam does not forbid women from talking to men, nor men to women if the situation calls for it and the conversation abides by the boundaries of Islamic Shari`ah.

In response to the question in point, the European Council for Fatwa and Research issued the following Fatwa:

In the authentic Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), he said: "Shyness is from iman." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In another Hadith: "Shyness brings only good." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

This shyness is a beautiful manner for both men and women, but more so for women, because it agrees with their feminine nature, which is why women do not initiate a conversation with strange men.

However, traditions and customs govern this matter, and these change from one country to another, from one time to another and from one situation to another.

Nevertheless, it is important to realize that Islam does not forbid women from talking to men, nor men to women if the situation calls and the conversation abides by the boundaries of Islamic Shari`ah. Allah addressed the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):

{O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty to Allah, then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.}
(Al-Ahzab 33: 32)

Thus, despite the special position and laws which govern them alone and which place more restrictions upon them than any other, Islam did not prevent the wives of the Prophet from speech, but forbid them to speak in such a way which would move those with illness in their hearts with desire and lust.

However, honorable and reasonable speech falls within Islam as stated by the previous verse.

There are many Hadiths which confirm the permissibility of men greeting women and women greeting men, as well as the lawfulness of men visiting sick women and vice versa.


However, this does not imply the lifting of all boundaries so that women start speaking to all men who come and go or that men start speaking to all women, as this is rejected by logic and good taste before being rejected by Islam.

It is permissible for a woman to speak to a male relative, a teacher, a neighbor, a supervisor at work, and others according to the requirements and needs of everyday life and complex relations amongst people in our days, as long as trust is established, troubles (fitnah) are restrained, and conditions are normal.


Indeed, the custom in many Islamic countries is for men to greet women and for women to greet men when they meet. They also exchange conversation (honorable speech) regarding important and relevant matters, all with the approval of fathers, husbands and brothers as well as the scholars.

We do not deny that some countries have very strict traditions regarding women so that they become more like prisoners in their own homes until death comes to them.

However, even though some scholars may agree with this, it remains that clear, covert and correct legal evidence contradicts these traditions in addition to the objectives of Shari`ah, the interests of mankind, and the development of age and people.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.ecfr.org

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Some may say, chatting on MSN or Y!Messenger is different from talking! We don’t even hear or see the other person. How can it be the same with reference to this article which is on talking?

Yes, we don’t see or hear the other person. And chatting is definitely safer than meeting face-to-face, keeping ourselves within the limits.

The problem comes when we overdo it.

Have there ever been cases whereby we’ve exceeded the relevant matters of discussion with unnecessary and prolonged conversations that it leads from one thing to another?

Has there been a case during those ‘discussions’ whereby we shaped the words that we typed in the form of teasing, banters and jokes to make the other person laugh? Hm, what's wrong with this? No matter how you look at it, this is flirting.

Have there ever been cases whereby we’ve answered those banters and jokes with emoticons and replies that will make the person on the receiving end be entertained as well? Maybe we're just being friendly and polite replying this way but if we're not careful, it could be misinterpreted. Normally this can be considered as a form of flirting too.

Maybe some might think.. what's wrong with harmless flirting among friends just having some fun? Rilek ah..Chill ah, Go fly kite ah.. tak salah pe? It's normal what this flirting?

However, have there ever been cases whereby chatting with the person becomes more and more engaging that it grew from chatting once or twice a week to chatting almost every day that it even made you neglect more important matters in your life?

And girls, have there been cases whereby someone, whom you regard just as a normal friend but a fun and engaging chat buddy, suddenly confesses one day that he has a thing for you?

How did it get so engaging and fun in the first place?


Errr, its because of the many interesting, serious discussions we had on matters of Life and Islam...Really? Oh c'mon..

With the few examples above, how can it not be transgressing the boundaries? Is it in conjunction with the examples from Hadith and the Noble Qur’an in the article above about observing haya' (shyness or modesty) and being honourable in speech?

Lastly, if we ponder on the Hadith, No man and woman are allowed to be together in a place where no other males exist, for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “(Doing so) their third mate will be Satan i.e. leading them to sin.”

Isn’t it possible in a situation whereby two persons of the opposite sex chatting privately on MSN would be in danger of this? Even though the sin may be smaller, but all sins no matter how small opens the door to something bigger.

No doubt, it is permissible to chat on relevant and important issues in normal conditions. But as normal human beings always prone to error, especially when influenced by an-Nafs al-Amaarah and whispers of Satan, most tend to overdo it and transgress the boundaries more so if we happen to be attracted to that person.

Furthermore, the cases whereby one or both will remind each other once they’ve realised they’ve ‘over chatted’ is far and few in between.

So i guess this is something for us to think about. Reminding myself before others.

Once again, as Allah addressed the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him): {O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty to Allah, then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire, but speak in an honorable manner.} (Al-Ahzab 33: 32)

And Allah Almighty knows best.

Here's a link to other articles regarding this matter;

Correspondance between the sexes

Instant Messaging with the Opposite Sex

2 comments:

ummkhaleelmujahidah said...

Assalam alaik wa Rahmatullaah,

The points raised here are relevant nowadays but people keep denying that 'anything will happen just through chatting'. No matter what form we use to communicate (i.e. smses, private msging, chatting), shaitan will always be the third party to mislead us.

JazakAllah khayr for this article!

redtide said...

Wa'alaiki As-Salaam wa rahmatullaah wabarakaatuh..

Hm, I guess it's something that won't be easily accepted or understood if it's to be read by a Muslim who's been brought up in a secular society, being influenced by societies' norms. People just don't see what's the big deal, while in truth, problems do arise out of it.

I had trouble myself trying to shake off the habit of chatting about random topics with the opposite sex, with one topic leading to another. It took some time.

We can only try to keep reminding others with the hope that Allah guide them through our reminders..

Wa jazaakillaah kher.. (",)