Many people shy away from Islam or claim to be Muslims but fail to abide by its rules simply because they are uncomfortable with Islamic principles. First and foremost, if life was about our own principles then we all would have been Gods and life would have been terribly unimaginable. Life is not about our way but rather the way of our Creator. This explains His supremacy of us as his humble slaves and we must abide by his rules only and forget about what we think or what our hearts desires because He created and He knows us better than ourselves.
When it comes to communication with the opposite sex, many find it uncomfortable to accept the fact that when you want to speak to a non-mahram (someone you have no relations with) either a male or female there are etiquettes we ought to be aware of. This article focuses on these etiquettes and more.
We speak to non-mahrams every day of our lives; at work places, in business transactions and schools. In short, everywhere, but the importance of these etiquettes are to guide us from committing sins of the tongue, eyes, heart, ears and touch.
The prophet peace and blessings be upon him said,
“The son of Adam’s share of zina has been decreed for him, which he will inevitably get. The zina of the eyes is looking, the zina of the ears is listening, the zina of the tongue is speaking, the zina of the hands is touching, and the zina of the foot is walking. The heart longs and wishes and the private part confirms that or denies it.”
Narrated by Muslim, 2657.
As such it is permissible to speak to a non-mahram, but this should be in line with the etiquettes:
#1. Be precise and focused
Your conversation should not be unnecessarily long. Try to ask limits your words without branching into other topics which are unrelated. For example, if you want to ask about a direction simply do so and end on a polite note, “skip the do you live around here or do you mind taking me their aspect”
#2- Unnecessary impressive moves
If you have to speak to a non- mahram, avoid making jokes and laughing too much as only a smile is enough. Do not try to change the tone of your voice to suit the listener, speak in the same tone you would ordinarily speak to everyone else. Allah (SWT) said in the Quran 33v32 “then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner”.
#3. Try to avoid eye contact
It is totally un Islamic to gaze directly into the eyes of a strange woman. Try to maintain a quick glance for the purpose of speaking. For lowering your gaze is better for you.
#4. Avoid unnecessary body movements
Some people are blessed with excellent communication skills which involve eye, body, hand and facial movements as well as quoting poetry or romantic phrases. This is good but the place of use matters as there are places such skills might send the wrong information that includes while talking to a non-mahram.