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TO WHAT EXTENT CAN A PERSON INTERACT WITH A POTENTIAL SPOUSE?


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Question:

 

I have a few questions regarding the marriage process.

 

1. Is it permissible for me to get to know a girl with the intention of marriage? (i.e. texting, video calling, meeting in person)

 

2. My friends say that it is permissible if the girl involves her mehram (i.e. brother) as a chaperon in the process? As example, a WhatsApp group is created and I add her and her brother and then we chat with each other in the group in the presence of her mahram. Or if I meet her in person at some public place (i.e. cafe) and she is accompanied with her brother.

 

3. If not, what would be the permissible way to get to know someone within the boundaries of Shariah? As some of the parents in the western countries, have no connections in the community, therefor many single people use Muslim marriage apps to find spouse. Where the prospect is totally stranger and it’s difficult to commit in a relationship of marriage without a clear picture.

 

4. What's the ruling of texting/calling after engagement?

 

 

 

Answer:

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

In principle, it is not permissible for a person to unnecessarily speak with a non-mahram woman.

 

Shariah has closed all doors that may lead one to commit illicit sins.

 

If a person wishes to marry someone then it is permitted, rather recommended, to look at a potential spouse before marriage provided one is seriously contemplating marriage.

 

See the following hadith:

 

عَنْ أَبِي، هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ كُنْتُ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَتَاهُ رَجُلٌ فَأَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّهُ تَزَوَّجَ امْرَأَةً مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ أَنَظَرْتَ إِلَيْهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ لاَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَاذْهَبْ فَانْظُرْ إِلَيْهَا فَإِنَّ فِي أَعْيُنِ الأَنْصَارِ شَيْئًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏

 

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was in the company of Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) when there came a man and informed him that he had contracted to marry a woman of the Ansar. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: Did you cast a glance at her? He said: No. He said: Go and cast a glance at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansar. (Muslim 1424)

 

 

عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ بْنِ شُعْبَةَ، أَنَّهُ خَطَبَ امْرَأَةً فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ انْظُرْ إِلَيْهَا فَإِنَّهُ أَحْرَى أَنْ يُؤْدَمَ بَيْنَكُمَا ‏"‏ ‏.

 

Bakr bin Abdullah Al-Muzani narrated that: Al-Mughirah bin Shu'bah proposed to a woman, so the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "Look at her, for indeed that is more likely to make things better between the two of you." (Tirmidhi-1087)

 

If a person is interested in marrying a girl, he should see her and enquire about her from her Mahrams and any other possible avenue. He should thereafter make Istikhara. The girl should also adopt the same procedure. This is in keeping with each other’s dignity, respect and honour.

 

It will not be permissible to interact with a potential spouse by speaking, texting or video calling her.

 

The purpose of looking at a potential spouse is to ascertain their physical appearance and beauty not their character and lifestyle. The most effective method of ascertaining the character and lifestyle of a prospective spouse is through their relatives and other associates.

 

In regards to speaking with one’s fiancé, according to Shariah, an engagement is merely an agreement that the parties will marry in the future. It does not change the fact that the engaged couple are both strangers for one another before marriage.

 

Therefore, it will not be permissible to interact with one’s fiancé, whether this is over the phone, e-mail etc.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Rahimahullah)

 

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