What are gender interaction guidelines between men and women?

Short Answer

Islam has instituted guidelines for a social order that is beneficial for the welfare of humanity by protecting the concept of a family.

  1. It is not allowed for a man and woman to physically be alone (khalwah) in one place unless another person is easily able to enter the room with them.
  2. They must speak in a professional and purposeful manner and not be flirtatious or too casual.
  3. They must look away if they feel tempted to stare in a lustful manner. It is allowed to look at the face of a man or woman as long as there is no attraction when looking.

What the Qur’an and Sunnah Say

Allah said, “Say to the believing men to turn their eyes away and guard their modesty. That is purer for them, and Allah is aware of what they do. And say to the believing women to turn their eyes away and guard their modesty.” (Qur’an, 24:30-31)

Allah says, “…do not speak too soft in speech in case the sick at heart should lust after you, but speak in an appropriate manner” (Qur’an 33:32)

The Messenger of Allah said, “A man is not alone with a woman except that the third amongst them is Satan.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi #1171)

The Messenger of Allah said to Ali: “Ali! Don’t allow your glance to follow a glance, because the first (glance) is forgiven but not the second.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud)

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Shaykh Mustafa Umar