Is It Permissible for Two People in Love To Hug To Prevent Fornication?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am 19 years old and my cousin is 21. We wish to get married within a few years. We would like to tell our parents about our feelings for each other but we cannot as they would say we are too young and we should finish our studies first. We have told trusted adults of the family already.

We would like to know if it would be permissible to talk to get to know each other and if we can hug each other and kiss each other’s hand/cheek to prevent us from falling into bigger sins such as zina?

We know our limits, but we have difficulty limiting our contact because spending time together helps distract us from committing other sins such as masturbation and self-harm.

Answer

Thank you for your question.  May Allah give you both patience and make it easy for you to get married. I ask that you keep away from each other to preserve the blessing of your marriage and to put Allah and His Messenger before your desires.

Gender Interaction Limits

The list below are things prohibited between you no matter what the reason is. I also don’t believe that you need to get to know each other any more than you already have, you are cousins after all.

  • Touching one another even when it’s not directly on the skin
  • Hugging
  • Kissing the hand or cheek
  • Not lowering your gaze
  • Being in seclusion with the person
  • Chatting casually on the phone or digitally in any form

The only time you should speak to him is when discussing details about the wedding, as your parents can accept the proposal on your behalf.

Please see more details here:
Guidelines for Interacting With the Opposite Sex

Work and Prepare

If the two of you are serious about marrying each other and doing it the right way, you must work on your issues of masturbation and self-harm. See a therapist or psychiatrist, and get to the bottom of the trauma or depression that is causing it. Start breaking the habit of masturbation because it will badly affect your marriage, and could ruin marital intimacy for the rest of your life. During this time, you should also prepare for marriage by taking a course on marriage, like here at Seekers, and learn the basics of your religion, while you keep away from each other.

Parents

In my opinion, it is better to tell your parents. The adults that you have told already, can help you get your parents’ consent and the sooner they know, the better. They can agree to an engagement or a nikah (marriage contract) and most of all, they will see that you are serious and should not be bothered by other proposals. Your parents’ knowledge will also help you guard yourselves against temptation and be patient until the big day.

Please see these links as well:
What Exactly Is Zina?
Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?
Supplications for Stopping Masturbation
In Love but Too Young to Marry
How Do I Marry The Person I Like?

Please contemplate this hadith. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs, I guarantee Paradise for him.” [Bukhari]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.