Wa`alaykum as-salaamu warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
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- Scholars agreed that it is allowed for a boy and a girl who are considering to marry each other to see and meet each other in the presence of their adult relatives.
2- The meetings should be supervised and with proper Islamic dress and etiquette.
3- Engaged couples are not allowed to go out alone or to spend time together alone.
In his response to the question, Dr. Muzzammil Siddiqi, Former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states,
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) not only permitted but encouraged the young people to see their prospective spouses before engagement.
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, “When one of you makes a proposal of marriage to a woman, if you can see what can invite you to marry her, then do so.” (Abu Dawud)
When Al-Mughirah Ibn Shubah (may Allah be pleased with him) made a proposal of marriage to a woman, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked him, “Have you seen her?” He said, “No.” The Prophet said to him, “See her, because this may make your relationship more permanent.”(An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and At-Timidhi)
On the basis of these and other similar hadiths, the jurists have said that it is allowed for a boy and a girl who are considering to marry each other to see and meet each other in the presence of their adult relatives.
The meetings should be supervised and with proper Islamic dress and etiquette.
They are not allowed to go out alone or to spend time together alone. Even after the engagement or khitbah, they should not have any unsupervised meetings.
In the past, some Muslims used to take an extreme position in this matter. They would not allow their boys and girls to see their prospective spouses at all.
The first time they would see and meet each other would be on the night of their union. This was just a cultural practice and not an Islamic custom.
But now, the trend has gone to another extreme un-Islamic practice. It is observed in many Muslim, even in some religious, families that boys and girls are allowed to meet freely and go out without any supervision.This is unlawful and it must be stopped.
Therefore, such practices, if continued, will corrupt Muslim families and weaken our family structure just as it happened to many non-Muslim families.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.