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May 18, 2005
Kashful Flirting

by Gillette aka Hassan[uddin] Khaja

Know, may Allah have mercy on you, that all actions have two pillars to them. In his Jaami'ul Uloom Wal Hikam, Hafidh Ibn Rajab said that any act of worship has two pillars: if the pillars are corrupt, the act is corrupt. One is the inner aspect, which is covered by the hadith on intentions. The second is the outer aspect, which is covered by the hadith on innovations, meaning that all acts of worship should conform to the sunna of Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam). Both aspects are conditions of acceptance of any act of worship.

In a similar sense, may Allah guide you, in order for flirting to be flirting, there is an inner and an outer aspect.

The First Aspect

The inner aspect that has to be correct in order for flirting to be flirting is intent. The people of this knowledge differ on what the intent should be. One opinion, as related by a brother who was experienced with flirting - until he changed his ways - holds that flirting is flirting even when there is no intent i.e. idle conversation. The second opinion holds that the intent has to be sex, as related by a brother who had a girlfriend at the time that I interviewed him. The more correct is the combining of the two, meaning that idle conversation can, with the whisperings of Shaytaan, become a conversation with the intent to have sex.

"But," one might say, "not every Muslim's a pervert. They don't all want sex." We say to them, "No, they want marriage, which isn't much different." Let me explain.

First, the kaafir's sex life. Date and sleep around, until s/he is satisfied. They have relationships that women think are close to marriage, but men know that they aren't. I talked to a kaafir once who was cheating on his girlfriend. When asked, he said, "It's not like we're married or anything." If the relationship holds for awhile, they'll get married.

The Muslim's sex life, however, is a bit more complicated. The more religious ones don't go through the typical kaafir's style of sex life. However, they must think about it occasionally. Of course, the only halal outlet for satisfying their urges is marriage. If a brother, who's far from prepared for marriage, tells you he's ready for "marriage," it's likely that he means "sex," and if he talks about it a lot, he probably has someone in mind.

Basically, if there's any flirting going on, it's either with a lack of intent, that becomes the intent for marriage (because "sex" can't come into the picture with the typical Muslim), or marriage is the intent from the start.

The Second Aspect

The other aspect is the outer aspect of flirting. The outer aspect is the most valuable aspect to one who needs to diagnose if a man is flirting with her. Even the man won't know his true intent because he will have so thoroughly been brainwashed by Shaytaan that he will think that there is some good in it. But a woman can know the intent by the outer aspect, as the actions are defined by intentions, and if the act is wrong, then there is some ignorance in the actor's intent.

So if you, may Allah grant you wisdom, see yourself making useless conversation about matters that you could easily have approached another man about, then you likely fall into one of two categories:

1) You're too young to have fully appreciated the consequences of lacking hayaa (i.e. you have reached puberty, but not quite).
2) You want to get to know women better for reasons that even liberals consider haraam.

A Lethal Combination

Know, may Allah show His Face to you in the next life, that you possess the strength of will. Rare is it to find a woman who can respond effectively to a man who is making idle conversation in such a way as to end it. The man is weak in the matter of sexual desires, but is strong in determination.

However, Allah Ta'ala has promised paradise to those who can restrain their nufoos from their vain desires. May Allah make you among them.

Allah knows best and may Allah send his blessings on Muhammad and his family and companions.
of and relating to...
um_habiba said

Assalamu Alaikum,

Mashallah - "Kashf-ul Flirting."

May Allah taala continue to benefit the ummah with Brother Gilette and the rest of the Hidayaans.

"ad-Deenu nasee7a." So I basically wanted to say that I think this article is NOT G-rated enough for an environment where brothers and sisters are commenting the same threads.

I think that for those of us who are raised in the West, no matter how much we strive in iltizaam and how far we come in our emaan, one of those areas that we just can't seem to get under control is gender relations.

And I didn't realize it until I "came back" to the East. And I was shocked by the difference.

And I think (and that terrifies me) that we've taken a gender-relations stance that is "relatively" Islamic according to the Western one. And not more than that.

The article is, mashallah, a new look at an old problem and is, inshallah, beneficial. But I think it would have been more hayaa-y (for lack of a better word) in an all-brothers and an all-sisters environment.

And I hope I haven't offended anyone.

on May 18, 2005 11:58 PM
Justoju said

Been thinking about flirting (the subject, not the doing of it). For the record, I agree that islamically men and women should limit their contact to purely business and always maintain a strict professional composure and tone. When they fail to do that they definitely arent doing something that is islamically correct...but can what they are doing be called 'flirting'?

Diff. people consider diff. things to be flirting. What is flirting anyway? Is anything that does not fall under the category of 'strictly business-like communication' automatically fall under the category of 'flirting'? Are there only two categories? I mean I know that one wouldnt and shouldnt want to fall under any category save the islamically correct one, but DOES (and more importantly, CAN) that other category AUTOMATICALLY be CALLED flirting?

on May 19, 2005 1:54 AM
Justoju said

Some extra thoughts on what gets defined by Muslim society as being flirtation:

Muslim men have to do more and be more direct for society to consider it flirting. Muslim women can do less and still have it considered flirting...The reason for this, I believe, is that men can be considered flirtatious when they say something that they generally wouldnt say to someone of their own gender while women are considered flirtatious simply by their talking to a man the way they would to ANYONE else (even a girl). Women get called 'flirts' when they fail to properly conceal their personalities. Often times it isnt that that woman is being bubbly and chatty with that guy and flirting with him, but that women are bubbly and chatty in GENERAL and it has little to do with the guy in question or with desire in general.

What gets branded flirting in a woman is often nothing more than sloppy concealing.

...And of course I am not saying that there arent women and men out there who talk to the opposite gender in alluring ways with the intention of drawing them closer

on May 19, 2005 4:18 AM
Donald Duck said

AssalamualaikumWa Rahmatullah,
MashAllah Br. Hasan, another master piece. All praise is due to Allah Talah Who has given you the required talents.

I agree with Sis. Justojo that girls/women are more bubbly and chatty then guys in general. Hence, many times they are wrongly labelled as "flirts". But if you want a strong Ummah, you need sincere men and women. The women of our beloved Prophet's (SW) Ummah have to become more knowledgable and aware about the Deen. Both men and women have to try and increase their Taqwa for Allah Talah. All of the Muslims have to get their 'Aqeedah' straight first. My advise is to follow the Aqeedah of the Prophet ( SW)which was also followed by his Muslim family members, and His Companions, and the Pious Predecessors. InshAllah, Emaan and Taqwa will save the Ummah from the evils of the Nafs.
May Allah Talah Guide all humans and jinns to the Right Path. Ameen.

on May 19, 2005 8:45 AM
Reader said

As salaamu alaikum,

Justoju: I completly agree with you.

Women are often misinterpreted when they are just being themselves. Yes, women should do their utmost to maintain proper composure, strictness, etc when the opposite gender is in the vicinity; but I don't think many people realize how hard it is to "change your personality." Especially when all your life you've been brought up through public school etc being yourself in front of all genders, then you come into university, try to become a better Muslim and then you're striving to switch back and forth from one type of person in front of the sisters to another type of person in front of brothers.

on May 19, 2005 8:53 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

"and if he talks about it a lot, he probably has someone in mind."

I couldn't agree more. Now lets all go back and check how many of Hassan's articles have been on marriage, related to marriage or are on the topic of women in general. (hint hint)

Ahem ahem ahem...

Any single sisters around?


I love you Hassan!

on May 19, 2005 9:40 AM
Mr.Deeds said

Assalamu Alaikoum

Jazaka Allahu Khairan Hassan
We needed that one. I agree with Donald Duck 110% that aqeedah is the issue. Also since muslim sisters are naturally more "bubbly" and "chatty" that only means that they must try that much harder to control themselves because flirting is a two-way street. There isn't any circumstance when gender relations should get personal. And changing personality and get serious isnt that hard if you think about it. We do it when we talk to our proffesors, in an interview or when we to speak to ppl in authority but for the sake of our deen it is hard. no offense . assalamu alaikoum warahmatu allahi wa barakatuhu

on May 19, 2005 1:58 PM
Justoju said




VERB: Inflected forms: flirt·ed, flirt·ing, flirts

1. To make playfully romantic or se*ual overtures.
2. To deal playfully, triflingly, or superficially with: flirt with danger.
3. To move abruptly or jerkily.

1. To toss or flip suddenly.
2. To move quickly.

1. One given to flirting.
2. An abrupt jerking movement.

ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown.


SYNONYMS: 'flirt', 'dally', 'play', 'toy', 'trifle'. These verbs mean to deal lightly, casually, or flippantly with someone or something: flirted with the idea of getting a job; dallying with music; can't play with life; toyed with the problem; a person not to be trifled with.

on May 19, 2005 5:09 PM
Justoju said

According to the above definition (courtesy of The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.), 'flirting' would not only be romantic/enticing talk but would also include any playful, or superficial talk. So then this answers my question of whether there are only two categories...

I. Professional, business-like talk...The islamic option.

II. Unprofessional, un-business-like talk, aka 'flirting'...The unislamic option.

Linguistically and logically speaking, you are either doing one or the other...

on May 19, 2005 5:15 PM
Saleem said

Interesting presentation. It almost reads like a fatwa. I wonder, was that the intended effect of the piece?

on May 20, 2005 1:53 AM
Justoju said

Btw I think the point that br. Faisal raised up about getting to know the females in one's household is very insightful.

Sooooo many of society's issues would be relieved if men maintained deep bonds of communication with their mothers and sisters. Mothers and fathers both offer different skills to their children. Daughters usually pick up from their mothers and sons from their fathers. While this is well and good, it often leads to problems later on in life when one becomes involved in close and intense relationships with the opposite gender--like marriage. Because the son never learned how to completely open up his emotions and freely communicate with his mother (there is an art in women's small-talk and it all holds purpose), he finds it difficult to do this with his wife or fully understand her needs.

We would have better balanced human beings if boys and girls learned (and maintained the art of) how to relate and keep open communication with both their parents. If you want to see how a man will treat you after the razmatazz of the honeymoon period is over, look to see how he treats his mother and how much mercy he displays for her...there is really no better measure of a man.

Somewhat related side story:

I remember I was once explaining to a sheikha how I had trouble sometimes being respectful to my parents because they had always encouraged me to joke with them and voice my opinions and stand up for what I thought was right (makes for a very nafsy individual). She pretty much gave me a thick dose of tough love and asked me why I bother giving respect and obedience to the shuyukh. She told me that my parents had more right to my respect and obedience than she and the other shuyukh. She said that I was setting myself up for spiritual disaster because regardless of who I studied with or how often or how obediently or with what intention, it would all go to waste if I didnt first respect my parents and show them obedience. It was like taking one step forward and then five backwards...

on May 20, 2005 4:58 AM
Ibtisam said

Assalaamu Alaikum to the mixed gender forum,

Actually, I took more after my dad than after my mom( i think my brother learned from my mom and I learned from my dad). Both of my parents came to the conclusion that I took after my dad but not to undermine the general rules, I was just an exception.

I think part of the problem about what constitutes as flirting and what does not is our "American" upbringing.I went to public school majority of my life, but I know some good Muslim families and I saw their interactions with people of opposite gender, offcourse they were all married people with childrne, but they knew what was "necessary" talking and what was not.
I have lived here too long and have forgotten, ways of the East but couple of incidents reminded me of such:

I was going to take the elevator back to our family suite in Madinatul munawwara when a Saudi guy was also there waiting for the elevator, he did not take the elevator with me even though my younger brother was with me.

Secondly,as far as personality changes goes, I think this has to do with cultural upbringing, American definition of flirting is not the same as the "islaamic" definition of flirting. Aqeedah point mentioned by brothers is very important. My Latina friend on the other hand rolls her eyes and says, "no so and so was not flirting with you and that was not flirtation."

The very nature of women is flirtatious, the whole woman is a flirt, Allaah has made women such, as the terms "cute and bubbly and talkative" were used (although I think they are rather childish terms to describe women, but wallaah alim).

As far as getting to know the other gender's thoughts,
The Sunnah tells us that women are prone to jealousy and backbiting, I dont think you have to ask sisters to know that, jealousy and backbiting are the evils women practice most, the other is seduction of poor simple married men and stealing their money, then there is witchcraft...okay maybe I should stop....before feminists insist I am a guy in disguise.
The thing to remember is that even if you see a brother and sister talking to each other or walking with each other that you in your mind never ever think anything bad or say anything about them and always have a clean heart. I never use to talk to guys aimlessly and let alone study with them although in my field, girls could have made an excuse to study with guys, but even if I saw a sister and brother walking or talking together, I never thought ill of them and would always be friends with the sister and talk to her if I needed to ask her something and pretended the brother was not there(something in neurology they call hemineglect).So even after some of these young people got married, I was happy for them but I never said anything or had an ill feeling.

Get to know women of your household and you would know what are the needs of women. Your women should trust you and be comfortable enough to speak with you. One of my brother is very anti-women and a chauvanist, the whole family including myself are getting him to stop hating women and not to think all women are dumb, some of the young muslim men have this unfortunate problem and if you dont walhamdulillaah, so get to know about women issues from your womanfolk and when you get married, your wife will be your source of women issue information.

Sorry for the long post,

ma assalaaama

on May 21, 2005 1:38 AM
Reader said

Change of Perspective:

Brothers: if you think you're being flirted to, you're really not. Stop the wishful thinking.

If a sister is merely talking to you about business, if a glance is caught by accident, if a joke is slipped into the conversation, that's all it really is. Calm down.

on May 21, 2005 12:45 PM
Basel said

just a question...
I was representing our (techie) university at an MSA college fair, and with 30% of our student body being women, we ended up sending 2 brothers, and no sisters.
We were both very businesslike in answering questiosn from parents and high-school seniors alike, and alhamdulillah almost all the sisters kept it businesslike too (or got the message and changed their behavior - the biggest putdown to a flirt is being ignored).
However, there was one young sister who kept asking questions, without taking time to look at the informative brochures we had and spent AGES at our booth. She kept fixing her hijab, pulling it back and up and back and up and back and up.
But alhamdulillah seeing we were ignoring her after a while she moved away.

since we were on the topic, just felt like posting this.
If it helps any bros out there sheild themselves from flirtation, then please make some dua's for me inshAllah

on May 24, 2005 4:26 AM
Ibtisam said

You know online, you cannot ever tell who is male or female, like for instance, you can tell stories and stuff about your personal life, but you can be making up stuff, for example, everyone thinks I am a girl, I have spoken to people about my marriage, etc, and other things, but I can be making up all that stuff and you'd never know, would you?

or I say that I am 23, but I could just be a 50yr old guy trying to trap 20 something year old girls.

Internet has been lovely,
I have tricked all you poor souls.

on May 26, 2005 1:03 PM
asif said


"..but I could just be a 50yr old guy trying to trap 20 something year old girls."

Hahahahaha...that would be sooo me....how come you blew my cover.


on May 27, 2005 1:38 AM
amatullah said

Reader : [quote] Change of Perspective:

Brothers: if you think you're being flirted to, you're really not. Stop the wishful thinking.

If a sister is merely talking to you about business, if a glance is caught by accident, if a joke is slipped into the conversation, that's all it really is. Calm down.[unquote]

Change of Perspective:

Sister: if you think you're being flirted to, you're really not. Stop the wishful thinking.

If a brother is merely talking to you about business, if a glance is caught by accident, if a joke is slipped into the conversation, that's all it really is. Calm down.

on June 4, 2005 12:12 PM
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