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Last Updated: 2011/04/20
Summary of question
What kind of a relationship can a boy and girl have within the period after the proposal and their engagement but before their marriage?
I am a 23 year old girl, and I was supposed to marry a man, but things did not workout due to some reason. During this period we had a relationship as we would gently touch and caress one another. The proposal is still going on, but my father isn’t pleased with the marriage. At the same time, we cannot be away from each other, we greatly need each other, and especially he needs me more. Despite the fact that having this relationship is a sin, but leaving each other is also very difficult. What should we do?
Concise answer

Our wise lord has created men and women for each other and from Islam’s point of view, men and women are supplementary to each other; because they bring along calmness and peace for each other and also fulfill each other’s spiritual, emotional and sexual needs.

In order to fulfill the needs of both genders, Islam has legislated marriage and therefore, any relationship between men and women must be confined to within marriage. According to the ruling of many of the great Maraje’, the father’s permission is one of the condition for a virgin girl’s marriage, except in situations where the father’s disagreement isn't to the benefit of the daughter.

However, knowing the fact that parents always wish and want the best for their children, you should try to solve this problem with the help of the resident scholar and wise individuals of your community.

Detailed Answer

From Islam’s point of view men and women are supplementary to each other and have been created for each other. In this regard the Quran says: “And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you...”[1]

One of the many needs of men and women is their sexual need. However, fulfilling this need must take place within the limits and rules Islam has legislated for this matter so that both sides can maintain their chastity and spiritual purity. Islam has devised marriage as the appropriate method of fulfilling the sexual needs of both genders and has prohibited any relationship, whether it is having love talks, touching or caressing one another, before a temporary or permanent marriage contract is conducted. In other words, even a boy and girl that are engaged and are planning to marry each other in the close future but have not yet conducted a temporary marriage contract are not allowed to enjoy any sexual pleasure from each other, even if it does not exceed having love talks and touching each other’s hands.

Therefore, you must repent from your previous acts and knowing that Allah is the most compassionate and forgiving, due to the fact that your acts stemmed from your lack of knowledge, if you truly repent He will, god willing, forgive you. At the same time, if you really love each other you should first conduct a marriage contract and then continue your relationship.

However, if your father is not pleased with this marriage, you must pay attention that mothers and fathers always want the best for their children; they have also accumulated valuable experience that can be a great source for their children’s well-being in the future. Therefore, you should strive to find out about the reasons behind your father’s disagreement and make the best use of his experience. Also, if you have a convincing reason, try to convince him through logic so that he will grant you permission to get married. In any event, if your father still disagrees on this matter and his opinion is not reasonable and he does not accept your reasons, then ask the elders and the scholars of your community to help you convince him.[2]

[1] Rum:21.

[2] In order to find out whether a father’s permission is a condition of marriage or not, you can refer to the following topic: Temporary marriage with a virgin, Question 610.

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