I normally come across questions relating to dating in Islam and relationships, boyfriend and girlfriend issues, physical intimacy, and a whole lot of related questions.
I’m happy you’re looking for answers rather than figuring it out all by yourself or depending on what the world tells you to do (Quran 7:52).
To make things simple, I will cover this issue under different questions and then go through the answers to get things clarified (Insha-Allah).
Compiled below are some of the “dating in Islam” questions that are normally asked and I will be adding more if Allah wills.
Note that if you have a personal or specific question about relationships in your life, please send it via 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.
Am I ready to start dating or courting?
Well, Islam encourages marriage at a young age, that’s to avoid the temptation of Zina. Thus, it is completely normal to start a relationship at the age of puberty. However, it is not compulsory. 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.
Our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“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, you should remember that no matter when you decide to begin a 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.
Is dating in Islam Haram?
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 trying to figure this out.
Is dating Allowed in Islam?
Everybody gets a big NO answer to this question.
Why is the answer always NO but not the interesting answer we desire to hear? Why does Islam hate dating among unmarried people? Well, before I can tell you this, tell me why you want to date?
- Is it take away your personal loneliness? (Very Common)
- Did you want 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?
- Are you interested in dating because 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?
The list still can continue but there is no time for this. If it happens your reason to date a girl or boy falls 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 into 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, like our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said, our actions are judged by our intentions.
What should be your reason?
I mean your reason or intention to start a relationship. Is it to fulfill your cheap personal desire?
This is the reason why scholars say no to dating in Islam because they know what it means and the dangers that it entails.
But courtship is allowed, unlike today’s dating. Many people may call it dating, but we Muslims prefer the word “courtship”. While dating by definition usually contains “New encounters”, “Good times” and “Sex”(the worse thing), courtship has different priorities altogether.
Courtship prepares you for marriage but dating does not. 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.
Thus, let us embrace dating for marriage and do away from dating for fun. But how can we do that? This brings us to the next point.
How should Muslims Date/Court?
UPDATED: This particular topic was dealt with seperately in another article. Please view it here: Here’s How to Date in Islam (Islamic Courtship)
Exploring the principles of halal dating from the sunnah will set many people on a course towards Islamic centered Marriages. In times of darkness, we need the best of guidance – Lifestyle of the Prophet.
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 weapons 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. Our Beloved Mohammad 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. That’s dating with a purpose.
- Never start a relationship with a non-Muslim
I intentionally brought this point because of my dear ladies. For men, there seem not to be any problem I think.
Do you want to know why? Because “Islam is to prevail and not to be prevailed”, said our beloved Prophet.
It simply means that the man is in a position of leadership over the woman. And it is not a good thing for a non-Muslim to be in a position of leadership over a Muslim. Marriage is an act of worship not only for loving sake but also for the sake of Allah.
- Don’t spend time alone together with the other person for long
You are not yet married. And spending time alone with a friend of the opposite gender isn’t a nice thing to do.
I know you may be 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.
Halal dating or courtship can be a wonderful way to solidify an already super strong friendship. Especially 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. Did you want to make it a long-lasting and God-honoring union with your best friend? Then this is the right time to come out bold and start the process.
You should 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. He knows the negative and positive results of our truest desire.
Sometimes it could be a “Yes” answer, sometimes a “No” or “Not now”. Keep that in mind with patience as you seek guidance from Him.
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)”.