Question: If one sees someone that one would like to marry, how should one go about to find out if one could propose to them?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
If one sees someone that one imagines one would like to marry, one should first ascertain whether or not they are married. It would in principle be permissible to ask them directly, but one would have to take into consideration cultural norms.
One good way to do that is to have a relative or colleague of the other gender ask them, or ask about them.
Once that is the case, one may ask them directly if they would be interested in meeting to discuss marriage. Again, if this is not done in the cultural setting one is in, this could well be very shocking, and, in many traditional countries, even dangerous to oneself and the prospective spouse.
One should be direct so as to avoid the vagueness that could lead to or be misconstrued as flirting.
Given the age and cultural setting, it would often be necessary to ask the family before you meet. But as long as you meet in an open area and keep the conversation within the bounds of modesty, it would be halal.
Once you notice that you like the look of the other person, you can only look again if there is a good chance that you could marry them (Mughni al Muhtaj, Shirbini). This would entail taking the steps above.
Please see the links below for additional information:
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language