Q: Can a boy send letter to a girl with whome he is engaged?
A. Premarital relations are not allowed in Islam. Even if there is no physical sexual relationship, it is still not permissible. The Hadeeth explains: It is narrated from Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Fornication (Zina) of the eyes is the gaze. Fornication of the ears is to listen. Fornication of the tongue is the speech. Fornication of the hands is to touch. Fornication of the feet is to walk, and the heart desires and hopes. The private part either confirms it or negates it. (Muslim V8 P52)
Usually an 'engagement' takes place whereby it is now confirmed that this boy and girl will marry in the near future. This engagement is not a licence for the boy and girl to have any contact; whether by meeting, by phone, email, letters, etc. Many a time although they were engaged, they changed their minds and never married. A relationship of any type between boy and girl is only allowed after Nikah. According to Shari'ah they are 'strangers' before Nikah, notwithstanding the engagement. Whoever has a relationship (courting) before marriage, will fall under the category of the Hadeeth mentioned.
The Qur'aan says: “So marry them (women) with the permission of their families, and pay them their dowries in an equitable amount, while these women should remain chaste (before marriage), without fornicating not taking illicit friendships (i.e. boy-friends).” (Surah Nisaa, verse 25). The same theme is mentioned in two more places in the Holy Qur'aan. These verses prove that courting is Haraam.
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai
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