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I am a Muslim sister talking to a practicing Muslim man with intentions of marriage. Can I still talk to him if most of our conversation is about Deen. Is that ok to do so?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurrahmann Murad

Assalamu Alaikum. I ask Allah that He blesses with a good spouse who will treat you with respect and give you all your Islamic rights. Ameen!

It is always important for you to initiate a marriage Islamically (i.e, in a Halal manner and within Islamic guidelines), for this is not a matter of a few hours, but a decision that will impact the rest of your life!

Now, if you sit down, chit-chat, have a coffee together, share a doughnut, etc., with any non-Mahram (i.e., not related according to Shari'ah) member of the opposite gender...this is not only sinful, but you are also taking a big risk and inviting problems. Even if this person is a 'practicing Muslim' as you state, he should not be talking to you in this manner, but instead, he should approach your Wali (legal guardian) to seek your hand in marriage in the honourable and Islamic way.  

Sister, the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, said about choosing a spouse: "Seek the religious one." (Bukhari)

He also stressed on the issue of proper ethical character and mannerisms; this issue is much overlooked today and considered of a secondary importance. In reality, it is so important...look at what the Prophet, may Allah exalt his mention, did. He was approached by a Sahabiyah who had two prospective suitors who wanted to get married to her: Mu'awiyah, and Abu Jahm. The Prophet dissuaded her from both, and said: 'As for Mu'awiyah, he is very poor; as for Abu Jahm, he beats his wives.' (Authentic - Ghayatul-Maram)  In other words, he dissuaded her from accepting either one. Subhaan Allah!

So the issue of ethical character is key. If this brother is serious, he should talk to your Wali and not to you. What if, after all the chats and the months that you have invested turn up with nothing? What toll would this take on your emotions and general mental condition? Always approach a matter up front and centre....never beat around the bush. If he wants to marry you, and you are both interested, he should then take the next step...talk to your Wali and make it official.

Jazaak Allah Khairan