Islamic marriage advice and family advice

How do I approach a girl the Halal way?

I pray that I find the right answer I’m looking for on this blessed site.

Actually, I have been asked by many individuals who want to know exactly how to approach a sister whom you intend to get married to. Since dating as done by the non-Muslims is not allowed in Islam, I want a very vivid answer on how exactly to go about the courtship process. Specifically, the following are some questions I want to be covered:

  • What is the halal way to approach a girl?
  • How long should you court before marriage?
  • What are some of the permissible topics to discuss with the lady?
  • Should you tell your family before the approach?

I hope that I get a very clear answer to the above questions as there are many Muslims out there who needs answers to these questions.

May Allah grant us knowledge!


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1 Responses »

  1. As Salaamu Alaykum

    Here I hope that will answer your questions.
    That is a Fatwa on a Islamic Page ,where you can ask a Mufti questions about Islam.

    Its not from me.^^ I only looked for it because of your Questions.

    I have read up on talking to the opposite sex but have experienced very different views on this matter. I wanted to know the exact rules to conversing with a member of the oppposite sex, preferably supported with quotes from the hadith/quran.

    As it stands the situation is; i have met a brother and speak to him on the intention of inshallah marriage, we regularly chat on msn in order to get to know one another better. Could you please confirm if this is allowed as we have heard that it is not allowed unless i have asked permission from my Wali.

    I also wanted to clarify whether it is permissable to talk on the phone with one another (once again without permission from Wali) and whether meeting up publicly is allowed (where ther would be many other muslims present but not a mahram).
    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

    Dear Sister,

    I pray this message finds you well.

    The Islamic paradigm for gender relations comes from the Qur”anic verse, “The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God is Exalted in power, Wise.” (Al-Tauba, 9:71).

    Here, the word used for protectors is awliya”. This word connotes friendship and cooperation on the basis of faith in Allah and His Messenger, piety, and righteousness.

    The Qur”an also gives us details on how to interact with each other. For example,

    “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers…” [Al-Nour, 24: 30-31]

    Finally, here is an example of a pious young woman:

    “Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: “My father invites thee that he may reward thee for having watered (our flocks) for us…” [Al-Qasas, 28: 25]

    Qur”an commentaries note that the young woman approaches Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, to make her request. However, she does so shyly. She speaks directly and courteously.

    There are also hadiths on gender interaction, one of the most serious of which is:

    “When a man and woman are alone together, Satan is the third.” [Tirmidhi]

    Ibn ”Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard Allah”s Messenger (may peace be upon him) delivering a sermon and making this observation: “No person should be alone with a woman except when there is a Mahram with her, and the woman should not undertake journey except with a Mahram…” [Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Number 3110]

    “Tirmidhi reports from al-Mughira that when he got engaged to a woman, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ”Look at her, for it is likelier to last between you.”” [Reliance of the Traveller, m2.2]

    Please keep in mind that these are individual verses and hadiths. There are many more texts that relate to gender interaction.

    The best way to understand how to implement these texts is to look to the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who was very respectful and cautious in his interactions with the opposite sex. Consult reliable scholars about the limits of gender interaction. There are a lot of relevant articles available here at SunniPath. Additionally, I recommend reading Reliance of the Traveller, a classical manual of Sacred Law, particularly the chapter on marriage.

    Here are some general guidelines to be aware of:

    It is unlawful for you and the brother to be alone with each other. You should always meet in the presence of your mahram, unmarriageable male relative, such as your father, brother, grandfather, or uncle. If you do not have a mahram, then he should meet you in the presence of your mother. If none of these people are available, then you should appoint a wali: an upright male member of the community.
    Instant messaging is highly problematic and I would advise you to leave it alone. Essentially, it is cyber khalwa, or seclusion. What may start out as an innocent enough chat can turn into something else if you are not extremely cautious. If you have a romantic interest in one another, online chats should definitely be left alone. The temptation for prospective couples to engage in romantic conversations is heightened by the mere fact that there is no supervision.
    It is crucial to get to know one another. However, this must be done within certain limits. For example, it is fine for you to get to know each other in the presence of family members. However, be cautious about online chatting, as mentioned before. Also, be cautious about unsupervised telephone conversations. In principle, there is nothing wrong with talking on occasion, particularly if you have something important to discuss. However, the limits of propriety must be observed. If you talk on the phone, it should be with the permission of your wali. Furthermore, you should avoid talking to him when you are alone.
    As far as meeting up in public places is concerned, once again be cautious. It”s fine to give salaams and inquire about each other”s health. What you do want to avoid is hanging out or anything that gives the appearance of dating. On the other hand, if you are accompanied by a mahram, then seeing the brother outside of the house should not be an issue.

    To sum up, just remember that getting to know the brother is permissible. What is not permissible is being alone together, flirting, or any type of physical contact.

    Here are some relevant posts from SunniPath”s Fiqh section:

    “Instant messaging with the opposite sex”

    “Interaction limits for engaged couples…”

    May Allah bless you and your marriage.

    And Allah knows best.

    and here are other one.

    Is it permitted to set up a meeting with someone whom you are considering for marriage? Also, can you please provide me with a list of questions that can be asked of a potential spouse?


    In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

    It is permitted, rather recommended, to look at a prospective fiancé before marriage provided one is seriously contemplating marriage. This is allowed even if one fears sexual desire (shahwa), given the seriousness of the situation. The Fiqh rulings regarding this were explained in detail in an earlier answer titled “Looking at a Suitor and Showing Hair” which can be found by searching through the archives on this website.

    Sayyiduna Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “When one of you proposes to a woman for marriage, then if he is able to look at that which will induce him to marry her, he should do so.”(Sunan Abi Dawud and Musnad Ahmad)

    Mulla Ali al-Qari, the great scholar of Hadith and Hanafi jurist, states in his renowned work Mirqat al-Mafatih, quoting from al-Teebi, that the meaning of the Messenger of Allah’s statement, “If he is able to look at that which will induce him to marry her, he should do so” refers to her wealth, status, beauty and religion (deen).”(Mirqat al-Mafatih, 6/198)

    As such, if one desires to set up a meeting with a member of the opposite gender whom one is seriously considering for marriage, then this is permitted. This will provide an opportunity for both parties to learn about one another, ask questions of one another and generally get a better understanding of aspects related to the wealth, status, beauty, and specifically, religion (deen) of the other person.

    The condition, however, is that they must avoid being alone (khalwa), as being alone with a non-Mahram member of the opposite gender is unlawful even with the intention of marriage. Sitting in a room with the door ajar and other family members within the house capable of entering upon the couple at any point would be sufficient to avoid Khalwa.

    In terms of what type of questions should be asked of one’s prospective fiancé, this really depends on each individual, what they are looking for in marriage and what expectations they have from their potential spouse. Hence, it is difficult for me to compile a definitive list of questions, since each individual is different. Nevertheless, some general questions that have randomly come to mind are presented below:

    1) Are you from the Ahl al-Sunna Wa ‘l-Jama’a?

    2) Have you studied Islamic Creed (aqida), and if so, which text have you studied?

    3) Do you have any objections to the Ash’ari or Maturidi understandings of Islamic Creed?

    4) Do you follow a School of Islamic law (fiqh madhhab), and if so, which one?

    5) What is your take on Islamic spirituality?

    6) Do you have any problems with taking the path of Shari’a-based Sufism (tasawwuf)?

    7) Have you studied the Fiqh of marriage?

    8) How well do you know the letter and spirit of marriage Islamically?

    9) What is your concept of an Islamic marriage?

    10) What are your expectations from marriage?

    11) How well do you know the rights and responsibilities of the spouses?

    12) What are your goals in life?

    13) What expectations do you have from your spouse?

    14) How punctual are you with your five time daily prayers?

    15) Do you pay your Zakat regularly?

    16) How are you with your obligatory and optional fasting?

    17) Have you performed Hajj or Umra, and if so, how many times?

    18) How much time do you spend in worshipping your Lord?

    19) Do you take part in any Islamic activities, and if so, how much time do you spend in such activities?

    20) How much portion of the Qur’an have you memorised?

    21) How much Qur’an do you recite daily/weekly?

    22) Which Hadith book have you studied?

    23) How many Hadiths have you memorized?

    24) Which book on the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) Sirah have you studied?

    25) How much time do you spend in reciting Salawat upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace)?

    26) Have many supplications (duas) do you know by memory?

    27) Have you attended any Islamic courses, and if so, who were the teachers?

    28) Which past and present day scholars have the most influence on you?

    29) Do you like reading?

    30) Which Islamic and non-Islamic book are you currently reading?

    31) How do you conduct your business dealings?

    32) What is the source of your income, and is your income Halal?

    33) How much do you earn or how much do you expect to earn after marriage?

    34) Do you have a habit of taking loans?

    35) How good are you in repaying debts on time?

    36) How do you spend your money?

    37) What expectations do you have from your spouse financially?

    38) Are you financially responsible for other members of your family?

    39) How is your relationship with your family and friends?

    40) Do you have any current disputes with anyone?

    41) If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?

    42) How much time passes before you can forgive someone?

    43) Are you easily angered or does it take you a long time to get angry?

    44) How do you express your anger?

    45) What do you do when you get angry?

    46) Do you use foul or slanderous language in your conversations?

    47) When there is a dispute in your marriage, how should the conflict be resolved?

    48) How is your relationship with your family?

    49) What do you expect your spouse’s relationship with your family to be?

    50) Will you be living with your family (short term and long term)?

    51) Do you have many friends, and if so, what will your relationship with them be after marriage?

    52) How do you like spending your free time?

    53) Do you like to entertain guests in your home?

    54) Do you like travelling, and if so, what kind of places do you like to visit?

    55) Which countries have you travelled to?

    56) How do you like to spend your holidays?

    57) Do you suffer from any chronic disease or illness?

    58) Do you want to have children, and if not, why?

    59) Do you want to have children in the beginning of your marriage, or would you prefer to practice contraception?

    60) If you do not wish to have children in the beginning of your marriage, then when would you like to have children?

    61) What kind of names do you like to name your children with?

    62) What is the best way of raising children Islamically?

    63) How serious are you with Islamic and secular education for your children?

    64) Would you like your children to excel more in Islamic education, secular or both?

    65) Would you want your children attending public School, or you prefer home schooling?

    The above are just some of the questions that could be asked of a potential spouse. The list is by no means exclusive, and as such, each individual may add or overlook questions according to their situation, Insha Allah.

    And Allah knows best

    [Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
    Darul Iftaa
    Leicester , UK

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