What is an Islamic Perspective on Dating

 

Getting married in Islam is something that is encouraged, and it's actually linked to the worship of God. however, there are some surprisingly interesting facts to know about even before getting to the point of marriage. 

It's done for the sake of Allah. Islam teaches people to be truthful and real. The concept of love in Islam is unique in the sense that, when a Muslim loves something or somebody, it must be for the sake of   Allah, or God. 

And Muslims cite Prophet Muhammad's  following words, "Three qualities if found in a   person will help him have perfect faith: Having  Allah and his messenger  as the most beloved ones, loving the person only for the sake of Allah, and  hating getting back to disbelief, the way one hates  to be thrown into the fire." 

 There are also some rules for falling in love. According to Islam, when someone has fallen in love with someone, he or she should consider that person as his or her spouse to be.   This is a very important point, and this is done so that the potential spouse can determine if he or she can live with them for the rest of his or her life, among other considerations, of course. 

And,   if the answers are positive, then they should start to get to know each other and move from there. In most Islamic cultures, the starting point happens through families. The man proposes to the woman,   and if all parties are okay at that point, then the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be can start getting to know each other on a deeper level. 

 Prophet Muhammad  recommended that two people who are in love see each other before marriage. Now, this also is very important because it is unreasonable for two people to be thrown into marriage,   and to be expected to have a successful marriage with love and affection, when they know little to nothing, or just nothing at all about one another.  

Now, this ruling does not contradict the verse in   the Quran that says, "Believing men and women should  lower their gaze." And that's found in Surah 24,  Verse 30. 

 Also, another thing to note is that since dating in non-Muslim cultures may lead to acts such as touching, hugging, kissing, etc, Islam views this type of dating as forbidden or,  haram. But, this does not mean that the groom-to-be or the wife-to-be are not allowed to meet up and talk to get to know each other. 

There are some parameters around this. Typically, they meet up at the girl's house with her parents, and they talk over a meal or, they may meet up in another social setting. 

And, according to Islam it is not forbidden or haram for a man and a woman to be together in a place where other people can actually see them,  and other people can come and go as they please.  Because of this, there is no chance of them committing sin. 

 One of the conditions of a valid marriage is the consent of the two people getting married.   Now, the choice of a partner by a Muslim girl is subject to the approval of her father or her guardian. 

And this is all done to protect her welfare and interests. And when it comes to this, Prophet Muhammad  had these words to say, "The widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until she has consented to that.  And the virgin shall not be married until her consent is   sought." 

There was even one case reported of the Prophet Muhammad  nullifying a marriage of a girl who was complaining about her father, who married her against her wishes. 

Choosing a Partner. Muslims are encouraged to look for these particular qualities in a partner: "Muhsineen,"  which is those who do good to others. Then there is "Tawwabeen," which are those who turn to rightfulness and seek God for guidance. 

The "Mutah-Hareen," are those who keep their bodies free from any filth,  and their minds away from dirty thoughts, as well as, keep their conduct clean. "Muttaqeen," refers to those who guard themselves against evil. "Sabireen," are those who have the capacity to endure hard times, because not everything is going to be easy.  

Also, "Mutawakkileen," those who put their trust in  Allah and his laws. Another quality is, "Muqsiteen,"  which refers to those who act equitably and justly.  And finally, those who fight on God's path against tyranny, injustice, wrongdoings, aggression, and sin.   

 There are also facts about early marriage. So, to avoid the temptation of committing fornication, or  "Zina," in Islam, Islam encourages marriage at a young age. Therefore, it is completely normal to start a  relationship at the age of puberty. 

But you see,  this is not compulsory though. So, reaching the age of puberty should not be considered the only qualification for deciding when to start a  relationship. There are several other factors as well. Like the overall maturity of that person, as well as their ability to make good judgment calls. 

Now, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was reported to have said the following words, and I quote, "Oh youths, whosoever among you can marry, he should do so because marriage protects your eyes from indulging in sin, by looking lustfully at others in privacy."  

Also, there are to be no talks about intimate relations. In Islam, single people can't meet each other for a date without a chaperone, as  I mentioned above. However,   a lot of Muslims kind of stopped following this tradition. 

They meet another single Muslims, and they date and develop relationships without anyone supervising them. Either way, having s*x before marriage is a topic that Muslim men and women should avoid to reduce the temptations of it actually happening. 

 A lot of people have questions about this one when it comes to dating during Ramadan. So, most people refrain from talking to their boyfriends or girlfriends during the fasting period of the month of Ramadan, because it may cause them to break their fast through intimate acts.

So, this aspect of relationships and individual needs are, of course, a big debate within   Islamic circles. But, generally, Muslims believe that Ramadan is the best time to ask God for forgiveness and to seek closeness to him. 

So, it is especially forbidden to have girlfriends and boyfriends in a casual sense during the month of  Ramadan. And finally, let's look at the conditions of a valid marriage. 

 It is recommended for a man to marry a woman who he really loves, because the Prophet Muhammad  said the following  words, "There is nothing better for two who love each other than marriage." And that's taken from the Hadith, "Sahih Al-Jami`." 

However, it's said that this love should not be an overwhelming kind of love, and cause a person to forget other characteristics which he should look for in the person that he wants to marry. 

Because Prophet Muhammad  also said the following words, "A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her commitment to religion. Choose the one who is religious. May your hands be rubbed with dust."   

And that means, may you prosper. That's taken from the Hadiths, "Al-Bukhari," and "Muslim." Muslims generally stress that the person that is religious, that is the number one thing, above beauty, above wealth.   

That's the thing that Muslims should focus on when it comes to choosing a partner, above all other things.