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 permissible 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 under supervision and with proper Islamic dress and etiquette.
3- Engaged couples can not 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,
Seeing prospective spouses before engagement
The Prophet (PBUH) 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 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 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)
Can engages couples socialize?
On the basis of these and other similar hadiths, the jurists have said that it is permissible 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 under supervision and with proper Islamic dress and etiquette.
They cannot 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 can meet freely and go out without any supervision. This is unlawful and they must stop it.
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.