Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Given the current Western society, if a Muslim boy were to meet a non-Muslim girl in a public space to discuss marriage and to gauge her interest in Islam, does she need to be chaperoned? She might not be comfortable with it.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you clarity in this matter, and reward you for seeking out an answer which is pleasing to Him.
Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a losers.” [Sahih Bukhari]
Honesty with oneself is critical in matters of the heart. Is this a case of falling in love with a non-Muslim, and then hoping she will convert? Or is this a case of someone who is genuinely interested in Islam?
If she is interested in Islam, then part of nurturing that interest is helping her befriend a trusted Muslim sister. If feelings between the young man and young woman are already there, then it is even more important for a trusted Muslim sister to step in and assist.
Any Muslim looking to get married must know the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage. Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life is an extremely beneficial course. This course will help increase understanding about how to choose a suitable spouse, permissible ways of getting to know one another, and so on.
It is unwise to begin the habit of unchaperoned meetings between a young Muslim man and a young non-Muslim woman. Shaytan is ever-present. This scenario has played out so many times, to so many young people. It often leads to sin, heartbreak, and nobody is closer to Islam.
It would be more appropriate for a Muslim woman to get to know her and ask her if Islam is something she is willing to explore. If she is serious, then introduce her to women who can encourage her to good. Ensure she receives authentic Islamic knowledge from traditional scholars, such as those on SeekersHub.
Once she embraces Islam, then give her time to make good her deen. Changing religions is already a very big adjustment, and the first year of marriage contains many ups and downs. This is why it is so important to remain emotionally unattached. If feelings are already present, then it is important to let go and give things time to run their course. If Allah has written marriage for them, then it will happen.
Implementing Islam in our lives is not always comfortable. The Shari’ah is there to protect us from ourselves. It is designed to reduce harm, and to increase good, in both worlds. Remember that Allah is not in need of us, but we are constantly in need of Him.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani