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:
1- Contacts between men and women are not totally rejected; rather, they are recommendable so long as a noble objective is intended and the subject itself is lawful.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
There is nothing wrong in talking to the prospective marriage partners for the purpose of marriage so long as such conversations are strictly governed by the general ethics of male-female interactions in Islam.
I would even go a step further and state that not only are such conversations permissible—as long as they are governed by such ethics—but they are even recommended in Islam.
For Islam encourages us to study the prospective partners and to get to know them before deciding to marry them.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered one of his Companions, “Go and look at her for it is more conducive towards cementing your relationship.” (At-Tirmidhi)
Conversations between the prospective marriage partners can be conducted either through telephone or meeting in person so long they avoid suspicious circumstances and isolation.
When meeting, they should do so only in public view or in the company of a chaperon so that such encounters do not inadvertently lead to temptations or illicit behaviors.
The Ramadan factor does not make any difference in the above ruling. However, it goes without saying, one must take extra care in avoiding words or deeds that are not conducive to the spirit and purport of fasting, which is none other than nurturing taqwa (consciousness of Allah).
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.