Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Engagement is not a license for the parties to be together, to hold hands, or isolate with one another. None of these things are considered permissible.
Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
No, you are not allowed to go out with your fiance.
Engagement in Islam is simply a commitment or promise to marry at a future date or time. Its sole function/significance is to keep other suitors at bay for the time being.
There are virtually no other legal consequences that accrue from engagement. Hence, it does not in any way make what was otherwise considered haram (prohibited) as halal (permitted).
In other words, engagement is not a license for the parties to be together, to hold hands, or isolate with one another. None of these things are considered permissible.
Since engagement does not make what was previously haram halal; therefore, for all practical purposes they are still strangers. The only difference is since they are committed to marrying each other, no one else is supposed to approach either one of them for marriage so long as they are engaged or married.
Furthermore, since we ought to remain faithful to our commitments, one must never think of breaking an engagement for petty reasons.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.