Q. What are Islamically permissible ways in which to meet women with intention for marriage, if you live in a society where your best opportunity to meet a muslim woman is at the workplace or in a secondary school?
A. Marriage is an institution which is filled with respect and dignity and so, everything that leads to marriage must be filled with the same. Dating, as we have seen brings about a great amount of sins and wrongdoings on the part of the boy and the girl. As such, a Muslim boy or girl must never be trapped into this web of satan.
In accordance to the guidelines given in the beautiful teachings of Islam, when one seeks a partner in marriage, he/she must consult with the parents or other close family members. The parents/guardian etc. will then enquire from others in the community and beyond about a good boy or girl for their son/daughter. When a certain match is found, the parents/guardian should enquire about the traits, habits and character of that person. If they are pleased, then they would introduce the boy to the girl. At this point the boy and girl may speak to each other within the presence of blood relatives and may then decide that they would marry each other. Even at this time, it is not permissible for both of them to go out alone, to be in seclusion or to maintain any sort of relationship which is seen from a husband and wife.
Besides the above, if a boy happens to see a girl which may interest him or vice versa, then they must consult with their parents and proceed thereafter in accordance to the guidelines given in the beautiful teachings of Islam. If the parent finds it difficult to find a suitable wife/husband for their son/daughter (through their contacts) then they may continue to enquire from friends, the Imam, persons in the community or even distant relatives.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan