Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
Question: Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,
I hope you’re all at your best of health, insha’Allah.
I want to know, if I can chat on the internet with my cousin, who is older then me, about moral and Islamic subjects? Is it permissible?
And what if one already knows that one has feelings for him/her, is it still okay if they keep their limits and only talk about Islam?
Answer: In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful
I pray this message finds you well.
Thank you for writing to SeekersGuidance; your question is very important to us.
Chatting online with someone you’re attracted to is not a good idea. While you might do your best to keep the conversation “moral and Islamic,” as you state, human nature always prevails. You also have to consider the medium. Online chat, by its very nature, imparts a sense of anonymity and artificiality to users and people find themselves typing and emailing things they would probably never say (or at least think twice about) were they in person.
If you’re interested in your cousin, why not pursue matters the proper way and initiate marriage talks under chaperoned conditions?