Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’m a young man interested in marriage, and I understood that interactions with women are only allowed for necessity, and no socializing can take place. If my family doesn’t find prospects, how am I to meet potential spouses, and how can I determine if a person is suitable for me if I cannot talk to them to know about themselves and judge their character? Can one have a decent discussion to get to know a girl in public before expressing interest in marrying her?
Thank you for your question. Ma sha Allah, I am very happy to see that you are interested in marriage and interested in following the rules of Allah and His Messenger. May Allah reward you for that.
It is true that gender interaction rules are strict and society benefits significantly from this, as it prevents attachments, illicit relationships, fornication, and ultimately, illegitimate children. So how should one get to know a girl? There are a few ways that have been tried and tested and are permissible.
-A man’s mother or other relatives might search for a girl for him
-A man might meet a girl at work or school and get to know her sufficiently from that
-A friend or married couple might introduce them and sit with them when they meet
-A girl can sit with a suitor in the presence of a parent
Meeting alone publicly
Meeting a girl without friends or family in a public space is usually a bad idea. It can harm a girl’s reputation and can lead to unintended and inappropriate conversations. A guardian should be present, or he may permit them to speak on the phone, or they could meet in a public space, with a parent or two sitting nearby. You would be surprised how little time you need to spend with someone to read them and decide if you should pursue it. Use istikhara always when deciding to propose or not.
Here is more information on the topic:
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and give you a pious wife who is a garment for you and you for her.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.