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Social interaction in Islam

by | Apr 17, 2015

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The social manner in which one interacts with others is a sign of her or his faith in ALLAH. Muslims follow the guidelines outlined in the Quran and Sunnah about the social interaction. The Quran outlines essential components of all relationships between all people. These include respect, kindness, honesty, tolerance, self respect, patience and forgiveness. Such qualities apply on the social interaction with people.

AlQuran says:

“And as for the believers, both men and women, they are close unto one another: they (all) enjoin the doing of what is right and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and are constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle.” (9:71)

Social Interaction between Men and Women

There is a specific code of social interaction between men and women, according to Islamic point of view, which applies regardless of one’s religion, and whether it is initiated from the male or the female side. There is no prohibition of social interaction between men and women itself. What is prohibited in Islam is an social interaction that has any “physical” dimension, by way of touching, talking or even staring which is all unacceptable in the Islamic code of morals.

The Quran states:

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most conducive to their purity – [and,] verily, God is aware of all that they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof.”

 (An-Nur 24:30-31)

However normal social interaction with a pure and decent atmosphere of politeness is absolutely fine. The Quran itself is full of incidences where men and women interact within these boundaries’

“Now when he [Moses] arrived at the wells of Madyan, he found there a large group of men who were watering [their herds and flocks]; and at some distance from them he came upon two women who were keeping back their flock.

He asked [them]: “What is the matter with you?”

They answered:

“We cannot water [our animals] until the herdsmen drive [theirs] home – for [we are weak and] our father is a very old man.” 28:24

So he watered [their flock] for them: and when he withdrew into the shade and prayed:

“O my Sustainer! Verily, in dire need am I of any good which you may bestow upon me!” (Al-Qasas 28:23-24)

“She [the Queen of Sheba] added: “O you nobles! Give me your opinion on the problem with which I am now faced; I would never make a [weighty] decision unless you are present with me.” (An-Naml


In fact, decent social interaction happened everywhere during the time of the prophet (S.A.W.W); in the mosque, in the street, in the market.

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