10 Guidelines for Gender Relations in Islam Pt. 1
Gender relations have become more and more of a tricky course to navigate in this day and age. With social media, co-ed schools, mixed work places and so on… it is inevitable to mix. And many wonder, how can you get to know someone, or even court someone, while still staying within the guidelines of Islam? Well, Karaz’s Mira has put together a few guidelines to follow in this two-part series.
1. Be Sincere in Your Interactions
It’s all in the intentions. The Prophet (PBUH) said that “Truly, actions are according to their intentions.”Rely on God, and respect the person in front of you. Reserve sexual vibes to your spouse. If you’re not married—control yourself. Let your actions and words reflect an honest, good intention…not a malicious one. Would you mind if someone heard you saying something? Or mind if someone saw you do it? If the answer is yes, then think twice.
2. Make it Meaningful
Make your actions and words meaningful. Stay professional. Stay on the safe side, and only engage in things that are permissible in Islam. If it’s not permissible, avoid it. Be polite, stay in groups, and make your actions and words mean something positive. Something that will embody what Islam is about.
3. Stay Modest
This refers to clothing especially. You are aware enough to know what your intention is when dressing, and what it says about you. Don’t dress in a way that is going to sexually excite the opposite sex. If you don’t wear a hijab, you can still be modest in the way that you dress. Longer sleeves, baggier clothes, and more natural looks. This also applies if you wear a hijab. Being modest isn’t just about covering your hair. It’s about exuding modesty.
4. Lower Your Gaze
This means being polite, and having good character. Don’t check someone out. Don’t use your eyes to express sexual desire to the opposite sex. Keep your eyes modest as well. You can be polite, look at someone when you speak, have a conversation, and avoid being rude—without going overboard. This also goes to what you put online, and how you alter or put out the image that you want others to see. Be mindful both ways.
5. Don’t Seclude Yourself
If you do want to meet up with someone you’re interested in, and would like to get to know for honorable purposes…then meet them! Just do it in public. There’s a saying by the Prophet (PBUH) that goes: “…Satan is the third person in an isolated area (khalwah) where there is only a man with a (non-mahram) woman…” (Ibn Al-Atheer – Sahih). It is hard to resist temptation when two people of the opposite sex are alone. Why not cut out the possibility, by keeping it safe and public?