Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: I must say that as Muslims we are not to hug non-mahram members of the opposite sex (i.e., those who are not close relatives) at any time, not just while fasting, for to do so is forbidden by Islam. The reason for this being that Allah wants to save us against weaknesses inherent in our own nature. For such actions may or may not be preludes to fornication. Because fornication is considered a grave sin and an abomination in the sight of Allah, Allah wants us not even to come close to it. He said, “Do not even go near fornication, for it is an indecent thing and an evil way.” (Al-Isra’: 32) It is therefore out of His infinite compassion and mercy of Allah towards us that He has forbidden such acts not only during Ramadan but also at other times as well.