This is the follow up article from on our discussion night on January 19, based on a talk by Shaykh Omar Baloch...
The 5 Guidelines to follow in interacting with opposite gender are;
1) Public vs private – The space of the place.
For example, market vs room.
The more close the space, the stricter the rules get. The more open the space, the more flexible the rules get.
2) Age – The difference of age.
The rules get stricter if a man and a woman have equal age or small difference in age, and get more flexible as the difference of age is getting bigger. This is because logically, a 99-years old man cannot possibly harm a woman he is meeting.
Even between mahram (those who are restricted to marry each other), there are certain restrictions that are based on age. For example, interaction between grandparents and grandchildren is more flexible compared to interaction between siblings. Islam stated that there is a need for a brother and a sister to sleep separately when they reach age of 7.
3) Mahram and non-Mahram
4) Time- Meeting during night time is more problematic compared meeting during day time.
Night time is when syaitan play with our emotion. Moreover, public space becomes less open during night time.
5) Circumstances- emergency cases, i.e. war, fire, accidents.
In cases that are life threatening, all other rules implemented can be ignored since in Islam, preservation of life is second important after the preservation of Iman. Other example is when an accident occur to a woman and there is only one man that can offer help to her, rules can be more flexible to make sure that there are no severe effect from the accident.
As we understand the five guidelines mentioned above, we also need to understand that evaluating a situation requires us to consider all the guidelines. Having one guideline satisfied doesn’t mean others can be put aside.
Besides that, we have to understand that Islam is not about separating men and women but to teach the discipline of interaction between them. By putting discipline between men and women, energy or attraction is created between a man and a woman. As we all know, something is more valuable and attractive when preserved. For Instance, a diamond preserved in a glass box and guarded by bodyguards is usually high in value, beautiful and attract more people compared to other diamonds that can be closely observed or touched.
There are two surah in al-Quran that really point out the guidelines on how to socialize, either in a family or community ; An-Nur and al-Ahzab. These two surah mention additional guidelines (besides the ones given above) we need to pay attention to while interacting with opposite gender.
Therefore, we need to appreciate and practice these rules as it will protect us from wrongdoings, slander and social problems, besides will lead to an establishment of a great Muslim community.
p/s: Excuse me for any grammatical error/etc....
Friday, February 5, 2010
Posted by Nurul Izzah at 5:43 PM