Despite the fact that dating is a new practice in the history of humanity, Quran and Sunnah do talk a lot specifically about it. Yes, Islam was sent for the whole of humanity and thus addresses all matters under all situations at any time in considerable details, (Thanks to Allah for his unique excellence).
As an Islamic blogger, I normally come across questions relating to dating and relationships like boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, physical intimacy, and a whole lot of relationship questions.
Well, that’s completely OK by me since I am glad you’re looking for Quran and Hadith guidance to these doubts rather than figuring out the whole dating thing all by yourself or depending on what the world tells you to do (Quran 7:52).
If it is answers you want, believe me, you are about to find out how Allah and His Messenger wants you to deal with relationships with others of the opposite gender.
In order that seekers may fully understand the topic clearly (By Allah’s Permission), I will cover this issue under different questions relating to different aspects and then go through the answers to get things clarified (Insha-Allah).
Compiled below are some of the most common dating questions and I will be adding more if Allah wills.
But wait, if you have a personal and specific questions about relationships and situations in your life, please feel at ease to send us your questions through the contact page, or just comment it below if you don’t mine. Be sure to read what is here though; your question might have already been answered (Insha-Allah).
Am I ready to start dating or courting?
Well, Islam encourages marriage at a young age, that’s to avoid the temptation of Zina, therefore, it is completely normal to start a relationship at the age of puberty, however, it is not compulsory. Thus, reaching the age of puberty should not be considered as the only criteria for deciding the right age to start a relationship.
There are other important factors such as the overall maturity of a person plus his or her ability to anticipate what is good or bad, such that his or her ability to personal agreement and disagreements in important decisions of life becomes valid. Therefore, How young is too early to start a relationship depends on the individual’s level of maturity, goals, and beliefs.
As for the holiest and greatest Prophet (peace be upon him), he said (Makaarimul Akhlaq):
“Oh youths, whosoever among you can marry, he should do so because marriage protects your eyes (from indulging in sin by looking lustfully at others in privacy).
Therefore, as a Muslim youth, you should remember that no matter when you decide to begin a romantic relationship, that’s exactly the right time to build upon the foundation of faith you’ve been taught, that’s growing and figuring out what Allah wants for you.
Always remember that you are never too young to begin this exciting process as long as you can bear the responsibility involved. Stay focused and not let anyone look down on you because you are young, however, do it with divine guidance, which I will clarify later.
Are Muslims allowed to date at all?
This is indeed a very common question among Muslim youth today. In fact, prior to publishing this article, I have also spent a reasonable amount of time racking my brain trying to figure this one out for myself. Well, you see, the answer everyone had after asking this question is the old fashioned NO answer.
Why is the answer always NO but not the interesting answer we desire to hear? Why does Islam hate dating among unmarried people so much? Well, before I can tell you this, tell me why you want to date?
- Is it take away some of the personal loneliness? (very Common)
- Is it to get you to be seen by your peers as someone who is modern and cool?
- Is it to get you out of restrictions imposed on you by a religion and culture that you didn’t choose for yourself?
- Is it to make you feel not left out if many others around you are doing the same thing?
- Is it to make you feel better about yourself knowing someone ‘really’ likes you?
- Or maybe do you think it’s obviously fun?
Well, the list still can continue but I just don’t have time for that. If it happens your reason to date a girl or boy fall within these cheap desires, then am afraid, Islam can’t tolerate it and you really deserve the old fashioned NO answer. All these intentions have been conditioned in to people’s mind against their will through the influences of societies outside the Muslim Ummah.
If you want a yes answer to this question then you have to change your intentions because our actions are judged by our intentions. This then brings us to the next question.
Why should Muslims Date?
This particular commentary will not only answer why Muslims should date, but will also answer all those who wonder how they can get married without dating. And yes! I wanted to tell you earlier, but I decided to wait until now. That’s to tell you the real meaning of dating and why Islam prefers the word courtship but not dating.
Most of the time, this is the reason why scholars say no to dating in Islam, because they knew what it means and the dangers that comes hand in hand with it that Islam is protecting us from. Yes, courtship is allowed unlike the dating we know today. Many people may call it dating, but we Muslims prefer the word “courting” because, while a date by definition usually contains “New encounters”, “Good times” and “Sex”(the worse thing), courtship have different priorities altogether.
To make it simple for my readers, courtship prepares you for marriage but dating doesn’t and the reason is simple, when two people say they are dating, they have no marriage intention order than to fulfill each other’s cheap desires which is a sin in Islam.
There are those who will always say they will do all means to avoid Zina/fornication during the process of dating. This is my question for them. Can you make a guarantee about future? Even if it is a little chance of events that can lead to Zina, would you be honest with yourself to say it would never happen?
We all know that it’s only Allah who knows the future; that is why we don’t take risks in our life. Our ears and eyes are limited so is our knowledge which gives a very convincing reason why we can’t be certain about the future.
It’s sometimes very easy to say certain things while we are at peace and full of content. The real test comes when the situation unfolds itself. So my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, lets shrink away from the dating thing in praise of courtship because that’s how we can become save from its temptations.
Let’s embrace dating for marriage and do away from dating for fun, but how can we do that, what are the steps one can follow in the courting process. This brings us to the next point.
How should Muslims Date/Court?
Exploring the principles for halal dating from Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet will set men and women on a course towards Islamic centered Marriages. We are in the era, we already found ourselves in this dark journey in the time of darkness. We only need the best guidance that ever existed in the history of mankind, that’s the Sunnah.
Explaining the guidelines for dating for the righteous Muslims will alter lives keeping people out of toxic and unhealthy relationships that Islam forbid. Most importantly, these principles and guidelines will transform many lives of our Muslim youth as dating is one of the common weapon Satan uses to encourage Zina, which is one of the major sins in Islam that easily lure people away from the mercy of Allah. This is therefore incredibly an important matter.
I will like to make it so clear that these principles and guidelines need more attention and research which I am yet to see through. For this reason, I will briefly state these principles and then develop them later in a completely new article on its own so that seekers may understand the concept well.
- Start with a good intention
In fact, everything including even performing ablution needs to begin with an intention, not just an intention but a good one. As for the Holiest and Greatest, He mentioned in a hadith that:
(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it (Sahih Muslim, Book 20, Number 4692)
If you are a Muslim, there is no valid reason to engage in a relationship without trajectory towards marriage. And it simply means that dating with a purpose. That’s dating someone who meets the values and goals you have for a future spouse, that’s in order to avoid many relationships before getting marriage and to avoid the temptation of sin (more on that in the new post yet to be published).
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- Don’t choose a non-Muslim to date
I intentionally bring this point because of my dear ladies. For men there seem not to be any problem on that. You want to know why? Well, “Islam is to prevail and not to be prevailed over,” as the Prophet said.
It simply means that the man is in a position of leadership over the woman, and it is not permissible for a non-Muslim to be in a position of leadership over a Muslim woman, because Islam is the true religion and all other religions are false. Marriage is an act of worship not only for loving sake but also for pleasing Allah.
- Guard your heart
Our hearts influences everything in our life, that’s why it needs special attention in this kind of situation (more on this later).
- Don’t spend time alone together with the other person for long
You are not yet married, and we all know that spending time alone with a friend of the opposite gender isn’t wise at all. I know you maybe old friends even with the intention of getting married soon, but the point is, it’s not just worth the risk so always be careful. Always make sure that the date does not occur unless there is a Mahram present, I will cover all these rules in my later articles.
- Make the decision if both of you really like each other (Marriage)
Wow! It’s time for me to wrap up as I have left with nothing to write again. But take this advice for good. Dating or courting (or whatever you desire to call it) can be a wonderful way to solidify an already super strong friendship if your parents have given the go ahead or blessings.
Allah is at the center that’s why you are both ready to step it up though. If you want to make it a long lasting and God honoring union with your best friend, then that is when you know it’s time to come out bold (marry) and start romance.
Ask Allah for guidance when you are in doubt and be prepared to trust and obey Him. Allah loves us and He does not want our downfall in life. Meaning he may not give us what we seek for because He knows the negative and positive results of our truest desire. Sometimes it could be a “No” or “Not now”; keep that in mind with patience as you seek guidance from Him alone in your friendships and other relationships.
Don’t forget Quran chapter 3 verse 159 which says, “…when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).