Is it possible for you to give me a brief on the topic of marriage in Islam. I am concerned with Courting (“liming”, “going around”) before marriage. How long should the courting period last?
Islam has conferred a great amount of honour and respect to women and has ordered them to live and conduct themselves in a manner which conforms to the respect that Allah has given to them.
In this respect, Islam has given teachings regarding their manner of dress, conduct, behaviour and their interaction with the opposite sex. It has also implored them to take to the rules of modesty and protect their chastity, which they have been blessed with.
In order to maintain this lofty position which Allah has given to her, Islam has taught her to adopt the rules of safeguarding herself from situations and circumstances which can bring about her degradation and humiliation as a woman.
Not only has Islam ordered her to dress and cover herself, it has also ordered her to avoid mixing and intermingling with strange men who are Non-Mahram (not blood related) to her. This type of relationship, as can be seen, has brought about a tremendous amount of evil and sinful deeds and has also caused the image of bad character and repute to many.
The Prophet (S.A) himself said, ‘There is no man and woman who sits together (alone) except the third is shaitaan’. As can be seen, this type of association gives rise to many sinful deeds which all stem from lust and passion.
Islam views such relationship as unchaste and sinful and totally condemns such behaviour and conduct. As such, the customary (so-called) ‘liming’, ‘going around’ and courting are totally Haraam and unlawful in Islam.
In choosing a partner for marriage, Islam has given a tremendous amount of guidelines and has made religiousness as the No. 1 criterion. Obviously a person may wish to know about the person he/she is going to wed, but all these can be done without falling into the trap of the common ‘liming’ and ‘going around’ which in many cases bring about disgraceful ends.
While one may say that he/she needs ‘to fall in love’ or ‘lime’ with the person he/she wishes to marry, it is seen that many of those who have shown a great amount of love to each other in their courting days have become bitter enemies and have divorced each other in a very short space of time after their marriage.
In general, at times marriage can be a gamble, since one does not really know the reality and the heart of the person he/she is going to marry. ‘Liming’ or ‘Courting’ does not bring about any true knowledge of an individual, since many people are very good at deceiving others. In many cases, it was only after the marriage, spouses were able to see the true side of their partner, since it was always concealed during their ‘courting’ days.
In the end, every individual wishes to have a happy, long lasting and successful marriage. I firmly believe that this can only come about through the blessings of Allah and these blessings can only come through the obedience to Allah. As such I advise you to obey Allah, stay away from the prohibited things and fulfill your duties as a Muslim woman. Insha Allah happiness shall be your future in this world and the next.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.