A masjid is inviting all single, divorced and widowed men and women to attend a marriage seminar. The end purpose is a possible Nikah, and Allah knows Best. Women and Men meet in the cafeteria. Women are seated on one side and men on the other. The women stay seated as the men go from table to table. They ask each other questions for only a few minutes and then they move on. Proper dress code is in effect and I do not know whether mahrams are accompanying the women.
Based upon what you have read, is it permissible to attend with the intention to find a suitable spouse?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
No, it will not be permissible to have a gathering in a cafeteria or any other place where men and women meet informally, even if the objective and intention is to marry.
Informal interaction with someone from the opposite sex and mixed gatherings such as the one explained in the question is contrary to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, thus one should avoid attending such a seminar.
Marriage is an extremely emphasised Sunnah of our blessed Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), but this purpose cannot justify unrestricted and informal mixed gatherings, for the ends do not justify the means.
Besides, there are many other legitimate ways and means in finding a suitable partner for marriage. One may propose marriage to a woman (or a man) and then go and see her and speak to her. If one likes what one sees, then one may get married, otherwise one may look for someone else. But to have a mixed social gathering where men and women meet and ask each other questions over tea or coffee cannot be justified. The evil consequences of this are apparent to all.
You may also read the post on mixed gatherings on this website
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK