Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is dating allowed in Islam?
Understandably, men and women in the 21st century wish to know their would-be partners better before marriage. However, Islam has straightforward rules as far as premarital relationships, dating, and marriage are concerned. Dating, as is commonly practiced in the Western world, is not something that the Quran permits. However, it does not mean that in Islam, men and women are not allowed to meet before the marital ties; it is just that it is completely different from Western practices.
Commonly known as halal or permissible dating, it involves the participation of parents, elders, or third parties. Meeting alone or secretly or getting into sexual relationships before marriage is not allowed. Any one-to-one intimacy between partners before marriage is frowned upon. The love is pure, and meeting someone with the intention of marriage is permitted provided the intent is right. Any kind of physical intimacy during such meetings or intimate moments is discouraged. While in Western countries, it is normal to have casual relationships before marriage with no taboo on pre-marital sex, in Islam, pre-marital lust is a strict no-no. Even actions like hugging or kissing are forbidden.
Does this mean that dating is forbidden? No, it does not. Rather, the belief is, a groom-to-be and a bride-to-be should meet to recognize one another. As per practice, they meet up with parents or relatives around at the girl's place. If they wish to meet each other outside, they can do so over a meal, but the meeting needs to be in a social setup. It is essential that the meeting is at a place where other people are around. The couple can also chat and date online, but a third party should be involved. Such meetings should be limited, and by the end of a few sessions, the woman and the man should be able to decide if they wish to marry one another. In case they do not, they are prohibited from meeting further. If they want to, their families should take the relationship to the next level. This is known as halal dating, and it is allowed as per the Quran.
What is considered a haram relationship?
As per Islam, all relationships that are not halal are considered haram. The Holy Quran defines a haram relationship as a romantic bond or attraction between a man and a woman at a marriageable age who can never get married. A bond between a man and a woman is haram with the presence of physical intimacy like touching, kissing, or having a sexual interest in another person with whom one cannot get married. It is all illegal, as per the Quran. Friendships between the opposite sex that are of non-professional nature, even chatting on the phone or having an online relationship, are considered haram. The Quran does not prohibit people of the opposite sex from falling in love, but any kind of physical or romantic inclination before marriage is haram. Any kind of flirting, casual texting, messaging, chatting, meeting, etc., that has the potential of growing into a haram relationship should be avoided. Even platonic relationships should be off the table.
The bottom line is that marriage is the only halal and acceptable relation in Islam. Therefore, any romantic, friendly, or even platonic relationship outside marriage is haram. Besides this, the Quran acknowledges that it is haram if a man and a woman are not married and are alone.
How to know if an Arab man is serious about you?
If you have been dating an Arab man and wondering if he is serious about you or not, you should look out for some of these signs that indicate that he is falling in love with you. The first telltale indication will be his changed body language. Not only will you start to notice a change in his dressing sense, but you might also find him making eye contact with you more often and holding the gaze for a little too long. The cologne or the aftershave that he wears might seem to be of your choice and taste. Just like other men in love, he would find excuses to meet you in person, chat or text online, keep asking you out, etc., frequently. You would also get indications from his actions wherein he wouldn't mind going to great lengths to impress you. He will be prompt in answering your calls or texting you back. If he sees you with other males, there are chances that he might behave a bit possessively.
With Arabic men, it gets easier to find out about the intent because he will want you to meet his elders in the family pretty soon. This is the biggest sign that he is really serious about you because the consent of his family is very crucial for him. Not just a meeting or two, he might want you to spend a good deal of your time with his family. Arabic men greatly respect and value their elders' or parents' choices and preferences. Hence, expect regular family meals, interactions, phone calls, weekend meetings, etc. Also, during these family get-togethers, if you find his friends and family looking and treating you lovingly and like a family member, you can be sure that he is serious about you. Expect a lot of expensive gifts, flowers, etc. In most cases, he might verbally express his feelings very soon. He might also pop up the marriage question at you without waiting as it is a part of the Arabic culture where men believe in courtship only when they are interested in marriage with the lady.
How to impress an Arab woman?
Dating Arab women may not be a run-of-the-mill journey. It is because even though the Arab dating scenario has transformed phenomenally in the last few years, Arab women are still traditional and attached to their roots. Most Arab women living in the US have come out of the stereotypical roles, but they value their family and hold their culture with pride. Be extra careful while wooing an Arab lady. Referring to dating tips for a new relationship is a great idea, especially when trying to impress an Arab woman.
You must have patience, a lot of it when dating an Arabic woman. You cannot be pushy and forceful, especially for physical intimacy. Even touching or hugging may take some time, but it is good to wait and let her initiate it all. Another aspect of impressing an Arab woman is to respect her culture and family. If you meet her parents, you need to be nice to them. Be polite, address them lovingly, and try to carry flowers or a nice gift for them. Take care not to make fun of any cultural aspect close to her heart – things like religion, moral values, dignity, respecting elders, etc., are very important to her.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is marriage. Make a note that an Arab woman will usually not engage in a flirting casual relationship. As a part of their culture, women do not believe in dating men who are not keen to get married. You might have to ask the question soon, so plan for it ahead before you start to impress her. Lastly, an Arab woman loves her traditional cuisine. So, make sure to take her out and treat her to some excellent Mediterranean or Arabian food. It helps if you try the food first yourself to guide her when choosing dishes. Shower her with appreciation, gifts, and flowers. She likes to be with a man who is confident and doing well, so be genuine, show your humorous side, and your serious intent for her.
How Arabians show their love?
Like all other communities, Arabians are expressive about their love. Men and women have different ways of showing their feelings, but some expressions are common. Unlike the western world, they may be more guarded with their intimate feelings, but in most cases, when an Arab man or a woman smiles at you, you can take it that the ice has melted and that the other person is keen to hear you or know you more.
Making regular phone calls, video calls, sending SMSes, messages, and love quotes indicate that the person has a soft corner for you. Showering with gifts is one common trait, especially in Arab men – if they love someone, they will make sure to keep sending expensive gifts to their partner. Treating you with their delectable homemade dishes or taking you out to an Arabian restaurant is also a sign that the person wants you in his or her inner coterie of people. One of the unique ways of showing their love is when they take you to meet their family, where you will be greeted with warmth and love. Every effort will be made to make you feel like a part of the family, which is the greatest indication that the Arab loves you. You will find your Arabian partner expressing Arabic words like Habibi or Habibti, meaning ‘my love' – it shows that the person is really fond of you.