Q&A (Fatwa)

#107: Can a Suitor see a Muslimah without Hijaab?

“Salamun alaykum. please is it allowed for a muslimah to take off her hijab for a prospective husband to see her in her wali’s home? After he must have made his intentions known to the girl’s wali…”_


Wa alaykum salām Warahmatullāh Wabarakātuh


Know, may Allāh be merciful on us and you that the Ulamā have formed a consensus on the permissibility of a man who wants to marry a girl to see her before he marries her.

Imām Ibn Qudāmah Al-Maqdisī – rahimahullāh – said:

_”We do not know of any divergence of verdicts among the People of Knowledge regarding the permissibility of looking at the girl for the one who wants to marry her. It has been narrated by Jābir who said that the Messenger of Allāh – Salallāhu Alayhi Wasallam – said: ‘If any of you makes a proposal to a girl, if he is able to take a look at what will encourage him to marry her, let him do so.’ He (Jābir) said: so, I proposed to a girl. I used to hide in such a way that she would not see me until I saw of her what invited me to marry her. So I got married to her’. Recorded and transmitted by Abū Dāwud and Ahmad in the Musnad..”_

*Al-Mughnī 9/489*

But they differed on what is permissible for him to see of her into three positions.

The majority of the Fuqahā among the Hanafīs, the Mālikīs, the Shāfi’īs, and one of the narrations from Imām Ahmad is that it is only permissible for him to see the hands (the fingers to the wrist) and the face. The Hanafi position includes the feet to the ankles too.

The Hanbalī position is the pemrmissibility of seeing the head to the neck, the hands and the legs which is basically the parts of her body that gets exposed within the house.

The Dhāhirī position which is extreme holds that he may see every part of hers except the ‘Awrah.

Therefore, seeing her without the Hijāb as is mentioned in the question is the Hanbalī position that was favoured by many of the Ulamā in this time of ours.

With them, there are the following conditions:

1. That he sees her only in her Wali’s home

2. That there is considerable reason for the Walī to believe that he is responsible and actually intends and is capable of getting married to her

3. That it is not a repeated exercise.

But considering the dominance of the Fitnah in this era of ours, *the majority position held by the Fuqahā of the Maliki, Hanafī and Shāfi’ī schools remains the right position.* That it is only permisisble for him to see her hands and face during the _Khitbah_ until he is pleased with what he sees.

Allāh A’alam
Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

23rd Al Muharram 1438.


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