Another form of contact between non-mehram male and female is the common practice of courting between the boy and his fiance. It must be well understood that this form of liaison is haraam. Almighty Allah says: “Lawful to you in marriage are chaste women from the believers.........when you have given their due dowry, desiring chastity, not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends.....” (Surah Maa-idah, verse 5)
Elsewhere Allah Ta’~la states: “.....they (the slave-girls) should be chaste, not committing illegal sex, nor taking boy-friends...” These verses effectively prohibit such courtship and illicit romance. Islam has allowed the prospective husband to look at the face of the girl he intends proposing to.
Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told Hazrat Mugheera bin Shu’bah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), when he proposed to a girl: “Look at her, for this is more conducive to compatibility between you.” (Narrated by Tirmizhiand Nasaai, Raddul-Muhtaar)
Taking the above verses and hadeeth in conjunction, it is clear that while a man is allowed to look at the woman proposed to, further contact is not permissible. There is a misconception among our youth, that since the boy and girl are engaged to be married, they may as well communicate and court each other. Such reasoning is obviously contrary to Islam. It appears that this false notion has been bred by the kuffar practice of engagements, emulated so irrationally by our Muslims. Once the couple have engaged, it seems as if they have licence to indulge each other freely and with scant respect for hijaab. Let it be made clear, that as long as marriage has not been contracted, the boy and girl are still strangers (non-mehram) to each other, hence all laws of hijaab will still apply. They are not allowed to speak to each other telephonically or otherwise, nor to write to each other. For this reason we encourage the nikah to be conducted soon after the proposal has been accepted. Engagements have no significance in the Shariah.
A study in Islamic Culture for women
Prepared and researched by
P. O. Box 8072
Port Elizabeth - South Africa