Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I wanted to know whether it was permissible in Islam for a male and a female to text each other. Both want to get married to each other, but have some issues to tackle e.g. parental consent, cultural barriers…
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
I pray this message finds you in good health and iman.
It is permissible for a male and female to speak to each other with the intention of getting married. What is impermissible is for the male and female to be alone with each other, to have suggestive conversation, and to have physical contact.
Text chat is not without its problems. I assume you mean instant messaging via computer or cell phone. This is not the ideal method to communicate. First, it’s way too impersonal to effectively discuss serious issues. Second, it is akin to a form of khalwa, or seclusion, considering that there is no third party chaperoning the discussion. While it may be adviseable to to find some common ground before approaching your families, exercise caution. A lot of well-intentioned text messaging starts off innocently enough and then degenerates into flirtation or worse.
You want to make sure that Islamic adab (decorum) is observed at all times.
As a suggestion, if you’ve got some issues to tackle before approaching your families, why not meet the brother in the presense of the local imam, or a knowledgeable member of the community? That way, you can talk face to face without fear of impropriety, plus you may get valuable advice for how to approach your families.
Finally, please see this related article here at SunniPath:
Confusion on Limits to talking to the opposite sex
Whatever you decide, may Allah Most High guide you to the best decision.
And Allah knows best.