Do Muslims date?

The most common question I get asked here revolves around relationships with the opposite sex and dating. Whether Muslims can date and “If they don’t date, how do they decide who is the right person for them to marry?” 
I decided to make a post about this topic instead of replying individually so hopefully this answers your questions.

Dating” as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims – where a young man and woman (or boy/girl) are in a one-on-one intimate relationship, spending time together alone, “getting to know each other” in a very deep way before deciding whether that’s the person they want to marry. Rather, in Islam pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex are strictly forbidden.

1. Allah subhana wa’tala says: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts….And tell the believing women to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts…” Surah al-Noor :30-31)

But Dating encourages people to deliberately look and stare and seek out the ‘one’ that you find attractive.

2. Allah orders the Muslim women not to talk unnecessarily or in a soft manner to strange men.
“….then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery) should be moved with desire” (Surah al-Ahzaab :32)

Even for the Sahaabah, Allah ordered them to screen themselves from the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) when they need to ask them something. Who could be purer than the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) and who could be higher in piety than the Sahaabah?

“And when you ask (the Prophet’s wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. (Surah al-Ahzaab: 53)

Yet, in dating, you see young men and women who are absolutely not mahram for one another in any way whatsoever, going way beyond this prohibition. Not only are they talking to each other in a soft and flirtatious way, but they are right out expressing their ‘love’ (in reality, lust) for each other.

3. The Sunnah prohibits a man and a woman from being alone together at any time.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him not be alone with a woman who has no mahram present, for the third one present will be the Shaytaan.” (Ahmad — saheeh by al-Albaani)

But those who celebrate Valentine’s Day purposely seek to be alone with each other and go out on dates with each other while Allaah says:

“And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (i.e. anything that transgresses its limits: a great sin, and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah Forgives him)” (al-Isra’ :32)

4. Islaam prohibits a man to even touch a non-mahram woman.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:
“If one of you were to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle, that would be better for him than his touching a woman who is not permissible for him.” (al-Tabaraani –saheeh by al-Albaani)

But Dating promotes more than just touching. It promotes hugging, kissing, cuddling and much more. 

5. Islaam teaches us that real love between a man and a woman, that is acceptable and allowed by Allaah is only that between a husband and his wife.

“And of His signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you might reside with them, and has put love and mercy between you. Surely, there are signs in this for those who think. (al-Room: 21)

But dating endorses haraam relationships between a non-mahram man and woman and encourages illicit love and un-Islamic affiliations.

6. Islaam tells us that Hayaa’ (modesty) and bashfulness are a jewel to be treasured.

It is a purity and innocence that is a virtue, regardless for a man or a woman. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said: “Hayaa’ (modesty) is a branch of faith.” (Bukhaari)

On the other hand, dating and hanging out with opposite gender advocates nothing but shamelessness and immodesty.

The choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions a person will make in his or her lifetime. It should not be taken lightly, nor left to chance or hormones. It should be taken as seriously as any other major decision in life – with prayer, careful investigation, and family involvement.

In short; dating is not permissible in Islam.

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