Knowledge & Wisdom

Muslim Women Social Behaviour

1. How should women greet each other?

Women should greet each other by shaking hands and embracing.

2. Are females allowed to shake hands with males?

No. Females should not greet or shake hands with males. This ruling applies to such males whom one can marry. Hence, it is permissible to greet and shake hands with one’s father, brother, husband, etc. It is forbidden for a man to shake hands with a woman who is a stranger to him. However, it is permissible for a man to greet all ladies who are behind Pardah provided there is no intention of sin and mischief.

The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“The one who touches the hand of a woman without having a lawful relation with her, will have an ember (hot coal) placed on his palm on the Day of Judgement.”


When Muslims leave for Hajj or return, or during special occasions (Eid, birthdays, weddings, etc.) we see Muslim males and females (ghair-mahram, those with whom marriage is permissible) embracing with and shaking hands with each other. Such Haraam practices must be stopped.

3. Are females allowed to sit with males in privacy?

No. A female is not allowed to sit alone or meet with a male in privacy.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“when a man and a woman are alone then Shaitaan is the third person.”

It means that Shaitaan can influence them to do the wrong things.

It is permitted for a woman to sit with male relatives (other than those she is forbidden to marry) provided:

(a) That she acts within the limits of proper decorum;

(b) That she is not alone with one relative.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) also said:

“Do not call on women in the absence of their husbands, because Shaitaan might be circulating in you like blood circulates.” (Tirmidhi)

4. How should you behave if you happen to leave home out of necessity?

You should walk on the side furthest from the road or street and not in the middle. Men and women should avoid mingling along the road. The Shari’ah further requires a woman not to stamp on the ground while walking and thus attract the attention of passer-bys.

5. Are women allowed to look at men?

No. A woman is not allowed to stare at a man’s face, which she may find attractive at first sight. There is no blame in casting the first sight, but a female is required to stare away. She is not allowed to look at men in a manner, which may lead to evil results. The same rule applies to males.

6. How should a female converse with a male?

When a female speaks to a male other than her husband or relatives whom she is forbidden to marry (mahram), her speech should not be inviting, but should remain objective and crisp. Sweet voice can create many bad desires in the hearts of men and spread mischief.

The Holy Quran says: “If you are God-fearing, do not talk in a soft voice, lest the man with an unhealthy heart should cherish false hopes from you.” (33:32)

7. How should females treat guests at their home?

Female, who has reached the age of puberty, cannot come forward to serve food and drink to male guests. Usually, her father or brothers have this responsibility. If the female is married, the husband or male children have this responsibility.

8. If you are alone at home and receive male visitors, what should you do?

If they are mahram (forbidden by Islam to marry), you may allow them into your house in the absence of your family members. If they are ghair-mahram (persons Islam allows you to marry), you should very politely ask them to leave and visit when other members are at home.

9. Some Muslim women feel that these rules do not apply when dealing with non-Muslim males. Is this true?

No, definitely not! Even when dealing with non-Muslims, all these rules apply. Some Muslim women talk and freely mix with non-Muslim males who may be their neighbours, friends, etc. and even invite them into their homes. They want to be ‘neighbourly’ and not ‘insult’ their non-Muslim friends. This is not allowed. However, the Shari’ah allows Muslim women to mix with non-Muslim women who are of good character. If not speaking to foreign men is regarded as rude and insulting, then what category will one place the disobedience of the Divine Laws of Almighty Allah?

10. Are Muslim females allowed to attend aerobic classes, health clubs, massage parlors, gymnasiums, etc. for health purposes?

In such places, a female is usually required to remove her clothes and wear skin-tight costumes for doing physical exercise. She is required to change her clothes and shower in the presence of other women. She is also required to do movements according to the rhythm of the music. Then, there is the mixing of men and women. All these are not allowed in Islam. By all means, a female is allowed to exercise and maintain the fitness of her body but she may do so privately or in the company of other females only. She must also abide by the dress code of Islam, change privately and not listen to Haraam music.

11. Is a female allowed having a boyfriend and is dating allowed in Islam?

Certainly not! A Muslim female is not allowed to have a boyfriend. Dating with members of the opposite sex is Haraam.

12. Some females have male pen pals. Is this allowed in Islam?

No. A Muslim female cannot correspond with a strange male as a pen pal by writing letters. She can keep female pen pals, preferably Muslims. She must maintain her modesty and not discuss private and intricate matters with strange women.

13. Are you allowed to advertise yourself in a “lonely heart” column in a newspaper?

No. You are not allowed to “advertise” yourself and expose yourself to the Kufaar public. In such cases, you are required to publish your private details and exchange photographs with other males. This is strictly forbidden in Islam. A Muslim woman who wishes to marry must consult her elders or a Muslim organisation.

14. Many Muslim females consult the “Stars” or astrology column in the newspapers to find out what lies ahead of them. Does Islam permit such things?

No. To believe in astrology and to believe that they can influence one’s life is Haraam. One can lose one’s Imaan in some cases. It is Almighty Allah who fashions and plans our life and we must accept that all good is from Almighty Allah we should accept that all evil is the cause of our own doings.

15. If a non-Muslim neighbour dies, are the Muslim womenfolk allowed to attend their funeral?

No. It is Haraam to attend the funeral of non-Muslims.

16. What are the rules for women who attend Islamic celebrations or festivals?

(a) Mixing of men and women must be avoided.

(b) Proper Islamic dress code for and limits women should be observed.

(c) Women are also allowed to celebrate and attend the Mawlud-un-Nabi, Urs, etc. celebrations provided that the above two conditions are adhered to.

Celebrating occasions foreign to Islam, such as Christmas, New Year, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, High School Debs Ball, Dances, and the like, is an imitation of the Kufaar and Haraam in Islam.

17. Females (and males) collect and paste pictures of pop-stars, movie stars, actors, etc. Is this allowed in Islam?

No. To keep photographs of living objects is Haraam.

The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said:

“Angels do not enter the homes in which pictures of living objects are kept.”

There is double sin in collecting or displaying photographs of pop stars, movie stars and actors because firstly, one shows respect and love to an evil person, and secondly, displaying such photographs is forbidden by the Shari’ah.