Question

in Islam, can women be friends with men if their intentions are pure?

Answer

As Muslims, we are very fortunate to be the followers of such Deen which is complete and comprehensive. In our daily lives we ought to be cautious of how we interact and socialize with people, but there are certain rules
which must be followed strictly in order to repel any attacks of Shaitaan. When Allah forbids a Muslim from doing something it is often to stop other sins that may result from this sin.

Though sitting with ghair-mahrams (those whom one can marry) may seem like an action with no shame, no thought of sin, but in reality, it is such small actions that may lead to larger sins such as zina (fornication). In a Hadith, Prophet Muhammad Sallalaho Alaihi Wasalam said, "when two non-mahrams sit together, the third is shaitaan between them."
Sunan al-Tirmidhiy (Hadith 2165), verified authentic by Imaam al-Tirmidhiy.

And Allah knows best.

Ask Alimah Team

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