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Is Engagement an important act in Islam?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalamu Alaikum, Jazakumullah for your efforts. I would appreciate if you could enlighten me on the issue of `engagement` between a guy and a girl ie the verbal contract between the two to get married after some period of time (this may be 2-3 years). Before they get married, are they allowed to talk to each other in the absence of a Mahrem of the girl, so that they can know more about each other? Chatting on the internet is a case in point and also private phone conversations. How about exchange of gifts? Jazakumullah once again.


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Is Engagement an important act in Islam?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His  forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


The ritual of ‘engagement’ or verbal contract between a believing man and woman to get married sometime in the future has absolutely no basis or binding in Islam. Only the contract of Nikaah is valid and binding between the couple. Thus instead of the ritual of engagement, it would be purer for the couple to perform the Nikaah, and then they would be absolutely legal to each other, even though they may wish to actually stay together as a married couple 2-3 years in the future.


The ‘engagement’ has absolutely no legal binding in Shariah, and does not make the man and woman mehram to each other. Therefore all the laws that apply to non-mehrams would apply to the couple. They would not be able to meet or talk to each other in private, nor chat with each other casually on the internet, telephone, etc.


There is no harm if they exchange gifts, provided the gifts are not used as an excuse to meet and talk in private, and develop an illicit relationship before Nikaah.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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