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What Is the Ruling On Complimenting the Beauty Of a Potential Spouse?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: What is the ruling on complimenting the beauty of a potential spouse?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate,

The general ruling with regards to interacting/speaking with the opposite gender is that the interaction must be done  (a) when there is need or likely benefit and (b) to the extent of the need and in a formal manner.

Due to the above principle, speaking to a potential spouse is indeed a need with likely benefit. However, the interaction must not become too informal or lighthearted that could lead to the stirring-up of desires and flirting.

Thus, if the above guidelines are not upheld, such interaction may be considered a precursor to fornication. All precursors to fornication are prohibited by the explicit verse of the Qur’an. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Allah Most High says, “Do not go near adultery. It is truly a shameful deed and an evil way.” [Qur’an; 17:32]

Here Allah Most High not only prohibits adultery itself but He prohibits going near adultery. From this, the scholars have extended the prohibition to anything that could potentially lead to adultery/fornication. [Abu Sa’ud, Tafsir Irshad al-‘Aql al-Salim]

Formal Does Not Mean Harsh

Though the discussion between potential spouses should be kept to formal discourse with regards to the style and topics of discussion, it is permissible to speak in a manner that customarily constitutes good etiquette and comportment.

Thus, certain niceties will be allowed if such niceties are not customarily considered flirting. If however, such statements are customarily used flirtatiously, one must refrain from doing so.

I hope this helps,
Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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