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How much of a woman is allowed to be seen after proposal?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Question:

As-salamu Alaikum,

Some brothers and I were having a discussion and the topic of “How much of a woman is a brother allowed to see once he has already proposed marriage?”…Some said you are allowed only once to view her face and her hair if the Wali agrees,some said only her hands and her face once,if the Wali agrees and some said her hands and face all the time if the Wali agrees, I don’t know so I asking the Ulema,can you please let me know what if the right answer with proofs,so I can show them,its a mixed group of brothers,those that follow Hanfi fiqh and others.

Jazakallah Khair.


Answer:

Wa Aaikumu Salaam

Al praises are for Allah and peace and blessings be upon the final Prophet (S.A.S).

It must be understood that a woman to whom a proposal of marriage has been made is a ghair Mahram (not related through blood), and as such, looking at her is unlawful. However, in the case where one has a sincere intention to marry that woman, it will be allowed for him to look at her. The places which are allowed to view are the places which are allowed for the woman to expose, which are the face and hands up to the wrist. It is not permissible for her to expose any other part of the body to the boy, nor is it permissible for the boy to look at other places. This allowance is given so that he may see her to make a decision of marriage and it may create an inclination in his heart to marry her.

However, seeing that the girl is still a stranger and ghair Mahram to the boy, the law will remain as it is, which means that his looking at her face and hands continuously will not be allowed. The ‘looking’ that was allowed was for a purpose and that purpose has been fulfilled. With respect to the proof for this, it is narrated that the Prophet (S.A.S) once said to Mughira bin Shuba (R.A) at the time when he proposed to a woman, ‘look at her, for this will bring about a inclination and love between both of you.’ (Tirmizi, Nasaai)

Similarly, in the famous book of Hanafi Fiqh, Raddul Muktaar, it states, ‘if one wishes to marry a woman, then there is no harm for him to look at her.’ (Kitab Al Hadhr wal Ibahah, Vol.6, Pg.380)

In the above reference, the looking that is allowed is that of the woman’s face and hands up to the wrist as highlighted in the same text.

Mufti Waseem Khan

13/2/13

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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