I am a male university student and sometimes, I give salutations of peace (i.e. saying: 'As-Salamu 'Alaykum') to the girls. Is the salutation of a (male) student to his female colleagues in college permissible or forbidden?
First of all, it is not permissible to study with girls within the same class, within the same school and at the same desks. Indeed, this is one of the major causes of temptation (Fitnah). This mixing is not permissible for the male or the female student, because of the temptations involved in it. As for giving salutations of peace, there is no objection to greeting her with the lawful Islamic salutation of peace which does not lead to the causes of temptation. Likewise, there is no sin in her giving salutations to him, without shaking hands, because shaking hands with an unrelated woman is not permissible. Rather, the salutation should be offered from a distance, wearing Hijab and abstaining from the causes of temptation (Fitnah) and without them being alone together. So there is no objection to the lawful Islamic greeting in which there is no temptation (Fitnah). However, if his giving salutations to her or her giving salutations to him is likely to lead to temptation, that is, his being aroused and feeling desire, which Allaah has forbidden, then that is forbidden by the Islamic Law. And Allaah is the Granter of success.
Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
Fatawa Islamiyah, Darussalam, volume 5, page 105
credit: Fatwa Islam
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