Are Muslims Allowed To Date? Not at All

According to Western culture, the meaning of dating is an intimate relationship between a male and a female. This culture is spreading among Muslims. 

But are Muslims allowed to date? No, they are not allowed. It is strictly haram (forbidden by Allah). If someone still does this, it will be sinful. 

Here, we will explain the facts according to Qur’an Islamic Sharia through the references of Islamic scholars. 

Relationships in Islam Before Marriage

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Many moderate Muslims want to justify the relationship with the name of dating. They proclaim that they are not going to engage in any sexual activities. So, “Is dating haram?” they ask.

Yes, dating is haram in Islam before marriage. There is no permission to enter into an intimate relationship before marriage. Even if you want to marry someone, you can’t enter into any relationship before marriage. In Islam, there is a precise way to meet brides before marriage throughout the family arrangement

Why Is Dating Haram?

Are Muslims Allowed To Date?

Allah Subhanu Ta’ala says in the Qur’an-

“Do not even go close to Zina (adultery)- for, behold, it is an abomination and an evil way.” [Surah Al-Isra, 17:32]

Mufti Ebrahim Desai, one of the prominent and respected Islamic scholars, interprets this as follows

See, Allah doesn’t only forbid Zina, but also forbids to go close to Zina. Making a relationship between Gayre Mahram (men or women who are allowed to marry each other) stimulates the desire to get so close. After a while, it creates sexual desire between an adult girl and an adult boy. 

An adult man and an adult woman who don’t have a sexual desire for each other surely have problems with their manly and womanly natures. They actually require medical treatment. 

Sheikh Ebrahim Desai also said that a boy’s motive could be just to fulfill his sexual desire and destroy a girl’s life. Also, even a boy who actually wants to marry the girl with whom he is dating can not overcome the desire for sex at a certain time. 

Ultimately, dating is coming close to Zina. The same is applicable to the girl. 

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him). He stated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing be upon Him) said, “Verily, Allah Ta’ala has prescribed a portion of adultery for Bani Adam. He must be involved in it. The Zina of the eyes is to see, the Zina of the tongue is to speak and to create lust, and the genitals prove truth or falsehood.” [Bukhari 6243, Muslim 2657, Ahmad 8222]

Hafiz Allama Ibnul Qayyim (May Allah bless him) wrote: 

“Sight is the initiator of sexual desire, the courier. Therefore, the control and preservation of this vision is essentially the preservation of the sexual organs.”

He who makes vision free, open, and all-seeing puts himself on the verge of moral decline and destruction. As many dangers and stumbling blocks as human beings fall into the field of morality, vision is the main cause of all of them. 

Because sight first arouses attraction, attraction immerses people in thoughts and illusions, and this thought creates in people the excitement of lust. This sexual arousal stimulates willpower, and desire and instinct become strong and determined. 

This determination gained more power and made things happen in reality. When in reality there is no obstacle, one has no choice but to face this reality.” [Al-Jawab al-Kafi, page 204]

Allah Subhanahu Ta’ala says in the Qur’an-

“…And [lawful to you are], in wedlock, women from among those who believe [in this divine writ], and, in wedlock, women from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time -provided that you give them their dowers, taking them in honest wedlock, not in fornication, nor as secret love-companions…..” [Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:5]

In this verse of the Qur’an, Allah Subhanahu Ta’ala clearly orders not to make any secret relations. So, how can we deny His order? 

Another authentic Hadith would help you understand the prohibition of dating clearly. 

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him) said, “When a man meets a woman in private, their third partner is Satan.” [Sahih Muslim, 2175]

Satan is always active in creating fitna and turmoil among people. He is worried about how they can do haram. So, do you think he (Satan) will let you finish without committing adultery?

All these evidences of the Qur’an and Sunnah and interpretations by scholars clearly show that dating is HARAM in Islam.

Can Muslims Date Non-Muslims? Here Is the Answer

Can Muslims Date Non-Muslims?

To get the answer to this particular question, let’s see some verses from the Qur’an Allah revealed for us. 

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: this will be most con­ducive to their purity – [and,] verily, Allah is aware of all that they do.

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity, and not to display their charms [in public] beyond what may [decently] be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms. 

And let them not display [more of] their charms to any but their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands’ fathers, or their sons, or their husbands’ Sons, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their womenfolk, or those whom they rightfully possess, or such male attendants as are beyond all sexual desire, or children that are as yet unaware of women’s nakedness; and let them not swing their legs [in walking] so as to draw attention to their hidden charms And [always],…..” [Surah An-Noor, 24: 30-31]

See, here Allah Subhanahu Ta’ala says to keep both men’s and women’s sight down so that they don’t see sinful things. On the other hand, Mumin women are strictly provided with a list of Gayre Mahram men whom they can meet. 

The list is the same for the Mumin men. 

A Mumin man and woman can only meet some particular people of the opposite sex in the world, even among Muslims. So, how can we even think that a Muslim can date a non-Muslim? 

A Muslim can’t date both Muslims and non-Muslims. 

How Do We Make a Halal Relationship?

It is simple. You have to marry a Muslim girl/boy and make the relationship halal. 

Although dating is haram, Muslim boys can see the bride before marriage for the purpose of marriage. What the groom will see when he meets the bride is only her face and hands up to her wrists. It is not permissible to see or show other parts. Because it is illegal to look at any woman, as we discussed before, Allah ordered. 

During this meet-up, the bride should be accompanied by her father, brother, or any mahram. It is not permissible to leave the bride and groom alone, even if the marriage is going to be held.

The groom should not look lustfully at the bride. And at the time of the meeting, there should be a firm intention to marry him.

Final Words

So, are Muslims allowed to date, or is it haram to date? No, Muslims are not allowed to date people of the opposite gender, and it is clearly Haram. 

To date any Muslim (girls or boys), you have to marry her/him first. 

All praises to Allah, and Allah knows the best. 

Talha Ubaidullah
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