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Approaching a Potential Spouse

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question:  You said: “If a person sees someone they would like to approach for marriage and they have no idea who this person is or how to contact their family, then common sense would dictate that they establish some sort of communication.” My question is: Can a guy talk to a girl and get to know personal things about her without the consent and awareness of her guardian? The reason why I’m asking this question is because it’s very easy to slip and get intimate with each other. If this happens and the guy proposes marriage and the guardian refuses him, there might be problems. Isn’t it better to let the guardian know about this from day one?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Brother,

Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for your follow-up question. I’m glad we’re on the same page. I would certainly not encourage young people to talk without the knowledge of their parents. I think you misunderstand the point I’m making.  As long as a young man and woman are talking in a public setting about legitimate business, one cannot say such conversations are unlawful. I’m not encouraging people to form relationships and become intimate. I’m saying that it can’t hurt to discreetly inquire if the other person and their family are open to the subject of marriage.  If you want to communicate with the young woman’s family, it helps to ask her (or someone who knows her) how to contact her guardian. You certainly don’t have to have any further conversation. And if the environment is such that people are easily slipping and making mistakes, then you should definitely continue all further conversations with her in the presence of her family.

Again, what I’m talking about is discreet, respectful conversation that will help you to assess if there’s any basis for even discussing marriage. You don’t want to approach the young woman’s family and you know absolutely nothing about her, then you realize that she is not what you are looking for, and then the family is hurt. This can happen too.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

December 10, 2009
Dhul-Hijjah 23, 1430

Checked & Approved by 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.