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What Are the Islamic Ideals in Choosing Life Partners?

18 September, 2016
Q Dear Sheikh, please, I'd like to know the basis upon which a Muslim female chooses a life partner, since having some sort of intimate pre-marital relationship with boys is forbidden in Islam. How would she make a perfect choice among hundreds of proposals she has? Please give me a convincing answer to face my non-Muslim friends who find it amazing that having boyfriends & girlfriends is unlawful in Islam.


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.

Dear sister in Islam, thank you for the great confidence you have in us. We implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work sincere for His Sake.

The foundations upon which the marital relationship is based in Islam are different from those found in West-oriented cultures. While Islam views marriage as a relationship based on character, religion, and spiritual vision, the Western outlook is purely based on physical attractions and looks.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,

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In Islam, marriage is a unique relationship based on character, religion, and spiritual vision. These are the foundations on which a proper home can be built imparting tranquility and peace.

The Western way of looking at marriage purely based on physical attractions and looks is not favored by Islam. There is no guarantee at all that marriages preceded by pre-marital dating would lead to successful union. As we know from statistics, such marriages do fail more than others.

In Islam, Allah Almighty has given us opportunities to get to know each other through other ways than the so-called dating that involves sexual experimentation.

People can get to know each other through ways other than pre-marital dating such as talking to each other, relying on the testimony of trustworthy people, observing each other’s behavior, etc. People have been leading happy marital lives throughout centuries without resorting to the so-called permissive lifestyles that have been only sanctioned in the West following the Freudian revolution. No religious tradition has ever allowed such permissiveness and promiscuity. It is no wonder then that there are more marriage failures in these societies than in the traditional societies which do not subscribe to the above worldview and lifestyle.

Dear sister, you should know that not all that glitters is gold: i.e. not all love affairs end in successful marriages, this fact has been substantiated by genuine statistics. Besides, many couples get to know each other better after marriage, which also introduces a lot of changes in each other’s modes and conducts of life.

The engagement period is enough for the betrothed couple to know and study the character of each other. By and large, the family shoulders a great responsibility in introducing a perfect and pure climate for the betrothed couple to engage in a fruitful dialogue, and exchange points of view. This is provided that it is done within the framework set by Islam, in a way that will strengthen the love between them, and of course, without falling prey to Satanic insinuations that might lead them to sin.

Allah Almighty knows best.