Monday, 25 June 2007

friendship.....

.....with the opposite gender:

is it ever possible?

29 comments:

Suggestive said...

I am assuming you are talking about platonic friendship between a man and a woman. Thus my response would be it is possible but the likehood of the relationship remaining platonic is improbable. However, such likelihood can be decreased or nullified if both parties in the friendship are indentifying themselves as person of the same gender(i.e a woman being a friend of a homosexual man or the reverse).

'liya said...

It's possible if you're both mature adults and that your respective spouses are completely aware, trusting, okay with, and encourage that friendship. But this doesn't work for everyone!

Sumera said...

Depends. Sometimes platonic relationships turn into something more - but it is possible.

Organic-Muslimah said...

I had a post a while back titled "Opposite Sex Friendships: Yes or No?"

MashALlah many people voiced good points. Check it out.

hema said...

i wasn't going to comment on this post,as i'm quite firm in what i believe, but i wanted to hear about other experiences, and i've got that from organic's post thank you
but suggestive's comment reminded me of something. i rememeber in high school, when there were rumours that one the girls was gay (actually a freind of mine..) there was a HUGE thing about which changing room she should use..
i wonder what the Islamic point of view would be on that- whether the rulings for contact would be the same as with the opposite sex- eg never be alone (as shaytan is also present) etc..

Umm Maymoonah said...

Sorry hema off the topic but i'm looking forward to your GITMO lesson plans, maybe you could post them in the CagePrisoiners forums so others can benefit.

hema said...

i will- actually that's where i got the idea from. i've been using it as a basis for a module for a couple of years, but the paperwork needs tweaking before i can make it available for available for public viewing. (ie i need to check it for spelling mistakes!)

anyway, answer my question- i want your input!

Umm Maymoonah said...

ok well firstly you need to look at the definition of what is a friend?

hema said...

exactly, umm maymoonah, exactly.

i also need to check through my work for repeated phrases apparently.
saabirah keeps picking on me for being an English teacher who can't speel. will you tell her off for me please.

Umm Maymoonah said...

Saabirah and I are always telling each other off, get someone else to do it!

SO ANYWAY WHATS THE DEFINITION?

hema said...

oh but she's scared of you, the other day she said "umm maymoonah told me off for a comment i put on your blog" and had a really sheepish grin on her face.

i think every individual needs to define the limits of freindship with the opposite sex, and there definitley needs to be limits in place, otherwise people can end up getting hurt.
and that's not even from an Islamic perspective- it'sm jsut common sense.
there is always wisdom in the shari'ah and there is a lot to be said for strict gender segregation.
of course, in a society like ours, stict segregation is never going to be possible. a certain amount of flirting is always going to go on, even in professional settings, and even online.
that's why you need to nset the limits yourself.

Umm Maymoonah said...

Well since you did mention friendship and didn't actually mention the word 'platonic' I would say that i've never really known of any 'platonic' friendship where it didn't lead to one of the two asking the other out or wanting something more. (Even in Dawsons Creek!)

Even during uni we knew of a brother and sister who were 'friends' and not more Alhamdulillah. But after they graduated his family sent a proposal to her because he was so impressed with her character, purity etc he wanted her as a wife.

As for true friendship between the opposite genders I think it can only exist in a marriage.

So much so that my best friend - husband and my female best friends are really similar in some characteristics and gang up on me over the same things!!

(Sometimes its annoying maaan.)

AnonyMouse said...

Islamically, I know that it's a no-no. But if we're talking about it from a personal POV, then... I don't think so, not really.
A couple years back, at my old distance ed. school, I was taking online courses and had to interact with my fellow students. There was one particular student - a guy - whom I ended up working on loads of projects with, and we'd chat quite a bit as we worked together. After some time, I developed a sort of crush on him (*cringes*) - which I think perfectly illustrates why even alleged 'platonic friendships' aren't always that platonic!!
Al-Hamdulillaah, I totally got over it and drastically reduced my contact with him thereafter (which he was pretty miffed about, but whatever).

So, to put it plainly: NO!!! It just doesn't work!
(And this is something that several of my convert/revert friends have told me they discovered, too)

Rosashe said...

AOA Hema,

I also wasn't going to comment on this but the last comment you received from anonymous said 'Islamically speaking its no no', may Allah (SWT) forgiveme if I am wrong, but from my knowledge of Islam (which may be very little compared to other people) I have different point of view... Where is Islam does it say? Yes, you are not to be alone with a non-mahram men, you are not to be physical with him etc, but these are not something that is neccessary in 'friendship' per se. Friend is someone you can talk to, you can share your knowledge, your ups and downs, things that matter to you, to ask for advice, to share joys and sorrows. So why would Islam prohibit such thing?
Ok, that point aside whether you can have a platonic relationship with a man, I think that does depend on the people in question. I am sure some people are able to do so whereas some other are not. Perhaps majority of the people are not.

'liya said...

The key word is being mature. I don't flirt with my male friends/colleagues, just like I wouldn't flirt with the females lol.

Anonymous said...

Sheila it is because of what it may lead to and more often than not, Does lead to. Thats one of the most beautiful things about the shariah in my view. Our creator knows us better than we know ourselves and many of the prohibitions are there to prevent greater evils in society.

Prevention is better than cure.

For example alcohol. People can and do argue that there is nothing wrong with drinking one glass of wine. whats better for a person not to have the alcohol in the first place or dealing with the results afterwards - drunkenness, the time, money, family heartache, crime it leads to etc?

Like most of us have mentioned the majority of friendships lead to more. But even the few that don't how can you be sure you will be of that few? And how can you be absolutely certain the other person sees is just as 'platonic ally' as you do? you'd be surprised.

We are ordered in the Qur’├ón to lower even our gaze from the opposite sex. I can't really imagine a friendship with the opposite gender without looking at them.

hema said...

mousey wise words, wise words. you're a very wise person, do you know that?

liya- i guess it depends on what would class as flirting and who decides. eg there is always the potential for misunderstanding, an innocent smile from one party could be totally misconstrued.

shiela- i think annoymopus has has pretty much what i wanted to say with regards to the Islamic perspective.
but i would add that every circumstance is different and it depends on intentions.
i just don't know of many circumstances where people haven't been hurt htis way, that's all, but that's just my personal perspective.

'liya said...

That's why both parties need to be mature... so that it doesn't lead to anything. Otherwise it doesn't work. If you're in a happy marriage you wouldn't need to look to be more than friends with someone anyway (or hopefully not haha). So that means both people involved in the friendship already know this. I've seen it work successfully and also unsuccessfully, but it's only unsuccessful when one side isn't mature enough to handle a friendship with the opposite sex and doesn't know the boundaries.

Hema, what do you think about married couples who are friends with other married couples and go out together?

Suggestive said...

Hema,

If you permit me, I would like to change your question from,

I wonder what the Islamic point...
to
I wonder what the Share'ah point of view would be on that- whether the rulings for contact would be the same as with the opposite sex- eg never be alone (as shaytan is also present) etc?

Answer: The Share'ah does not take in consideration rumours. However, if proven that the person claims to be homosexual or has been shown to be homosexual, then share'ah suggtests one needs to take the same precautions as one would take with person of other gender.

Suggestive said...

Anonymous,

I agree with everything you said but I have to add just a small correction. The point of the verse you mentioned is not about looking but rather about staring.

Umm Yusuf said...

I have to say that I don't think it is possible either. Many marriages are ruined by this. Look at how many of the Non Muslim women you know have come home to find their husband "with" their best mutual girlfriend. Or how many Muslimahs do you know that have been put in a polygamous marriage with a woman who was friends with her and her husband. It happens ALOT. So, even married couples going about all buddy buddy having their wives sitting laughing talking with the other husband and vice versa is just asking for heartbreak and trouble. Allah and The Prophet (saw) made the laws and regulations for us not based on fun or authority but for our own good. Who knows us better than the One Who Created us??? Who knows a creation better than its Creator? Also, the Prophet(saw) didn't make rules or speak without guidance. Allah says in the Qur'an take what the messenger gives you and abstain what he forbids you.

carimuslima said...

I think Islamically definitely a big NOOOO.... but my opinion aside I would say maybe, but I till this day haven't met a guy who just wants to be friends well ok maybe a gay guy friend LOL but he's completely off limits (don't condone this however) Anyway,I have met people who were friends for many years but ended up falling in love and like Umm Yusuf mentioned it's usually that so-called friend who will end up with spousy. So in the end I think its playing with fire, but I don't think everything is impossible. Hugs ;)

hema said...

suggestive- i figured that much. i'm not firends with her anymore anyway, but that's a different story. i'm not sure i meant to diffentiate an islamic point of view from a sharia point of view..

liya- seen as you asked, i'm going to answer honestly, at the risk of offending people reading who i know do the whole couples thing..
i really don't see the point and wouldn't do it myself personally.
umm yusuf makes good points, and i've also witnessed some of the things she's describing.
that said, it's up to the individuals i guess, and like you said maturity is key.

carinmuslimah- thanks for the hugs and comments. i've decided i like you. you can come to my blog house a--nytime:)

Suggestive said...

"i'm not sure i meant to diffentiate an islamic point of view from a sharia point of view."

You should do that. For example, the share'ah in Suadi Arabia says women cannot drive. However the share'ah is malaysia does not say such thing. Now which is the Islamic point of view?

hema said...

ok, fair enough. i guess i was talking about the sharia and how it should be implemented, not how it is being implemented.

carimuslima said...

LOL Sis ur too Funny ;)hey where's the key hehheheh....

Anonymous said...

I don't think maturity protects you from the shaytan. Thats like saying you can drink alchohol as long as you are mature enough to handle it.

'liya said...

Anonymous, you're correct, maturity doesn't protect you, but the point is, if you have friends with the opposite sex then it's there to help you. The question Hema asked is "is it possible to be friends?" My personal opinion is yes because I do have 2 good male friends who I've never had the problem that some of the other commenters have had as to having some kind of feelings after awhile towards that friend. I can honestly say I've never been attracted to any of my male friends. They're good people and I think I think I would be limiting myself if I didn't have them as friends. My fiance likes them a lot too. If he didn't like them, they wouldn't be my friends, just like if I didn't like some of his female friends, he wouldn't be friends with them. We're very open with who our friends are, and my friends are also his and vice versa. I guess all I'm saying is that because it's worked for me I think it's possible. And that was the question :)

P.S. And I've never drank alcohol :)

hema said...

annoymous- i think kost people "practising" or not, have some sort of contact with the opposite gender in this society, so i don't think it's fair to equate it with alcohol.

liya- and i did genuingly want to know if it was possible, because i've never seen it happen. but i guess ive been proved wrong:)