Is It Permissible to Meet a Potential Suitor in Public?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I have a question regarding getting to know a potential spouse.

Is it permissible to meet him in a public place without a third person? I want to do it correctly when meeting the potential spouse.

Answer

Thank you for your important question.

There is a fine line between dating and meeting to get to know each other well enough to consider a proposal without overdoing it.

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan mentions in this answer, that it is customary for a suitor to meet a girl three times strictly in the presence of her mahrams.
What Is the Process for Delivering a Proposal For Someone’s Hand In Marriage?

Also, please see this answer by Shaykh Rami Nsour; he mentions the limits of gender interaction while meeting a suitor:
How to Approach Getting Married?

In general, I don’t advise, as mentioned above, that a girl meets with a boy in a public space without a third person because the limits of gender interaction can easily be crossed without supervision. That’s a little too close for comfort.

In order to maintain the honor and integrity of the girl, she should be spoken to in the presence of her family, close friends, or imam, if she has no family.

This doesn’t mean an elder has to be hovering over them. As long as the two individuals are in a visible vicinity, they can have some space to ask each other questions without feeling the pressure of being scrutinized over every word they say.

I commend you for taking this seriously and for wanting to stay within the limits. May Allah reward you and help you find a suitable and pious spouse.

Is One Allowed to Chat With a Potential Spouse for the Purpose of Getting to Know Each Other?

[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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.