Navigating Halal “Dating”

Navigating Halal “Dating”

To be clear, there is no such thing as dating in Islam, but in the Western world, approaching love and marriage in a halal manner can be difficult and confusing for many younger generationsespecially reverts. To make matters worse, many Muslims come from cultures that make marriage much more difficult through cultural expectations and stereotypes forced upon them. If you're a revert, there are many additional difficulties such as clashing cultures or ordaining a wali. However, there are many guidelines within Islam found in the Sunnah when seeking a potential spouse to complete half your deen. Islam makes marriage clear and nothing short of difficult, so let's discover the best way to halalify your marriage journey in the “dating” world. 

Know what you want

There are many thoughts and opinions to tell if someone is truly ready for marriage, but in reality no one is ever ready. However, to make things easier, understand who you truly are and what you expect from a spouse. Aside from completing half your deen, you must also consider the Islamic priorities: deen and character. There is a hadith for a righteous wife in Islam. The Prophet SA said: “A woman is married for four things. Her wealth, family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5090).

Involve the Parents in the Beginning

This step is CRITICAL and it may be the hardest step, but you will thank yourself later. Make sure both your parents are involved in the beginning so that you both save yourself wasted time in case one of the families is not okay with it. Plus, some people simply claim they want to marry you, but may not mean it or expect it anytime soon. Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time with anyone who isn't willing to let their parents know that they would like to get to know you. Especially for reverts, if your potential spouse is too scared or simply refuses to involve their parents in the beginning, that is a major sign they are leading you on. Some families may be against their children marrying a revert due to fears or culture, but a potential spouse that genuinely wants to marry you will tell their parents in order to move past those fears as soon as possible. The wisest decision to make is to involve your parents.

Decide who your Wali will be

If you're born into a muslim family, typically your wali is your father or uncle. So easy peasy. However, if you're a revert or in a situation where you don't have a father and uncle available to be a wali, then do not fear! As a revert myself, I always wondered how I would be able to meet a spouse in a halal way considering the similar circumstances. I did what any reasonable person would do, reach out to other Muslims for help. I asked my closest Muslim friend if her family would act as my wali. You could also ask for a sheik at your local mosque to assist you of course, but I felt more comfortable with a Muslim family that I knew very well. I also knew this family was religious and understood the rights for marriage for both parties so they can overlook the process and correct us. It is important that whoever you pick as your wali also understands the Islamic marriage process in order to best assist you through the journey. The family that served as my wali oversaw about four marriages so needless to say they had experience.

Communicate your boundaries

Communicate with the potential spouse that you want to make everything as halal as possible and see if they are on the same page. Some people prefer a different route so discuss what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable when meeting in person or chatting over text. 


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