Is Physical Intimacy Allowed if You Are Engaged?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: Are engaged people allowed to make out? If they are are they allowed to do it in public?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are well.

If by “engaged,” you are referring to the Arab practice of katb al-kitab, then it is lawful for the couple to engage in intimate contact because they are, technically, married. However, cultural convention holds that the couple should not consummate the marriage until they have the walimah (zafaf) and send-off and this is something that young people should respect.

My advice would be to hasten the walimah so that you may enjoy the benefits of marriage completely.

However, please be aware that certain behavior is only appropriate indoors and “making out” is one of them.

Culturally speaking, in the Muslim world, such behavior is simply not appropriate outdoors and, from the standpoint of Islamic decorum, husbands and wives should be reserved about showing affection in public. Holding hands is appropriate in most societies, and married couples should stop here when in public.

Finally, if the couple has not signed the marriage contract, then they are not lawful for each other and should refrain from all physical contact.


Zaynab Ansari