How Young Muslims Define 'Halal Dating' For Themselves
But after one year, the rising sophomore realized she had no idea what she wanted out of life and was in no position to get into a relationship. That decision didn't last long. Only a few months after, Ileiwat met someone at a party, and their friendship quickly turned into something more.
However, dating was not that simple for the now year-olds who are Muslim.
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They have religious restrictions that limit physical contact in premarital relationships. They chose to focus more on developing their emotional intimacy, with the occasional hug or kiss. Out of respect for their religious beliefs, Ileiwat and her boyfriend decided not to engage in any advanced sexual activity until they're married. For young couples like them, the idea of dating is common, and it means balancing their religious views with their desire for emotional intimacy.
But the term "dating" still invites an offensive suggestion for many Muslims, especially older ones, irrespective of how innocent the relationship may be. Dating is still linked to its Western origins, which implies underlying expectations of sexual interactions — if not an outright premarital sexual relationship — which Islamic texts prohibit. Ismail Menk, a renowned Islamic scholar, argues in one of his lectures that love, within boundaries and with expectations of marriage, is an accepted fact of life and religion — if done the right way.
This "right way," he says, is by involving the families from an early stage. Before the rise of a Western cultural influence, finding a spouse was a task almost solely assigned to parents or relatives. But young Muslims have now taken it upon themselves to find their partners, relying on their own version of dating to do so. Older Muslims continue to reject dating because they worry that a Western world will also create Western expectations of premarital sex in these relationships.
Adam Hodges, a former sociolinguistics professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, argues there is an added layer of culture and context to the term "dating" that is often overlooked. So the way that we label events or phenomena, such as dating, is definitely going to provide a certain perspective on what that means for us," he says.
Therefore, taking on the dating vernacular to describe their relationship and labeling their significant other as "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" does put some couples at risk of falling into the physical expectations that come with dating, Hodges says. But, he adds, these fears can be allayed because "the most important connotation that is borrowed is the ability to choose your own mate," which is also the main precept of dating in the West. One way that some young Muslim couples are rebutting the idea of dating being offensive is by terming it "halal dating.
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By adding the permissibility factor, some young couples argue, they are removing the idea that anything haram, or prohibited, such as premarital sex, is happening in the relationship. On the other hand, some young couples believe there should be no stigma attached to dating and, therefore, reject the idea of calling it halal. Khalil Jessa, founder of Salaam Swipe, a dating app that caters to young Muslims, also believes that the negative associations attached to dating depend on the particular society.
When they take the word dating, they're adding this connotation to it, and I don't think that's necessarily the case. It's up to each individual and each couple to choose how they wish to interact with one another," Jessa argues.
How Young Muslims Define 'Halal Dating' For Themselves : Code Switch : NPR
Getting to know someone and making the informed decision to marry them is not an alien concept in Islamic societies. Abdullah Al-Arian, a history professor at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, says that the idea of courtship has been present in Muslim societies for centuries but was subdued in colonial times. When the British and the rest of Europe colonized much of the world, they also placed social restrictions on sexual interactions between unmarried couples, Arian says. These social restrictions also took hold in certain Islamic societies, with religious restrictions on sex leading some to go as far as segregating the genders as much as possible, including in schools, universities and even at social gatherings.
These practices began to disintegrate as women started entering the workforce, demanding their rights for universal education and pursuing higher education, Arian says. Segregating because of religious dogma became harder. And so, as the genders mixed, dating relationships also took root in some societies. This, he says, further facilitated the imitation of Western relationships.
Changing ideas about modernity, widespread urbanization and the West's cultural hegemony influenced something as intimate and personal as relationships, Arian says. But the most influential factor is globalization. These "shared experiences," as he calls them, have given birth to third-culture kids. There is no dating or living in de facto relationship or trying each other out before committing to each other.
There is to be no physical relationship whatsoever before marriage. From an Islamic perspective, in choosing a partner, the most important factor that should be taken into consideration is Taqwa piety and consciousness of Allah. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, recommended the suitors to see each other before going through with marriage procedures. That is very important because it is unreasonable for two people to be thrown into marriage and be expected to have a successful marital life, full of love and affection, when they know nothing of each other.
The couple are permitted to look at each other. The couple, however, are not permitted to be alone in a closed room or go out together alone. As the Hadith says: Marriage by definition is a voluntary union of two people. The choice of a partner by a Muslim virgin girl is subject to the approval of the father or guardian. This is to safeguard her welfare and interests. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: Though love is something nice, and it is recommended for a man to marry a woman whom he loves, because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: The most important characteristic is religious commitment.
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust [i. Dear brother in Islam, we hope that the main points of the issue have become clear. On what basis would you like to choose your partner? If the lady you want to marry is religious, of good manners, and obeys Allah and His Messenger, and both of you want to please Allah in this world in order to earn reward in the Hereafter, then you have made a perfect choice, and we ask Allah to fulfill your hopes and bring you together in a good way.
If she is not, then you should reconsider your choice. May Allah help you to do what He loves and what pleases Him! Islam does not allow anyone to be forced into marriage. At the same time, the parents or guardians of the youth are responsible to find the best of matches for their children.
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This involves knowing first of all, your own child and second of all to know about the potential spouse, and also very important — to know the family and their ways, before recommending marriage. There is an Arabic proverb that says: Arranged marriages, on the other hand, are based not on physical attraction or romantic notions, but rather on critical evaluation of the compatibility of the couple. That is why such marriage often proves successful.
The West makes fun of the Islamic way of marriage, in particular arranged marriage. Yet, the irony is that statistically arranged marriages prove to be more successful and lasting than romantic types of courtship. This is because people are blinded by the physical attraction and thus do not choose the compatible partner. One can just bring mediators from within the family, i. But we have to emphasize that it is not lawful to compel a girl to marry someone she does not want.
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Salatul Istakharah the prayer for letting Allah to choose for you , is the most important and most effective way to find what will make you the happiest and give you the best partner for your life here and in the Hereafter. I wish you read next lines with open heart and mind. Get help from other contributes of the page. Working in groups is encouraged by Islam. Indeeed… we as Muslims.. Still, we behave as ignorant.
We do these things so easily that r actually forbidden in our Deen. I really appreciate people or groups like you.. A proper guidance is required.. Good information and its clear. Islam is actually a very beutiful religious and really teach human to the best ways present n future…. The Islam concept of these things is really beautiful and make you love to be muslim even more and more ….
But I wish that our community would understand this too. Alhamdulillah am going through the same fitna with my wife after 14years with her we had 4 beutyfull children. When she was going college and get to meet other peolewho enfluence her to come out of our marriage and fall in love with a divorcey whom had a daughter who my wife think she felt sorry for the little girl of 7 and ahalf years old.