by Yasmin Mogahed Reprinted from Suhaib As-salamu `alaykum brother, Thank you for the honest question you asked regarding dating. First, you have pointed out that you live in a society where dating is the norm.While I understand and sympathize with that struggle, it is important to make clear that just because something is the norm in one’s society, does not justify participating in it.In the society that the Prophet (sal-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam) lived, burying little girls alive was the norm.
Let us examine each of the three options for meeting a marriage partner: One option is dating. First, the Prophet (sws) has taught us that it is haram for a non-mahram (unrelated) man and a woman to be alone together. Department of Justice, 68% of young girls raped knew their rapist either as a boyfriend, friend or casual acquaintance, and 60% of rapes of young women occur in their own home or a friend or relative’s home – not in a dark alley.This is called (Sahih Bukhari) Now it is important to note that Allah never prohibits something unless it is harmful to us. First, most reports of sexual abuse are not committed by strangers. So, overwhelmingly, it is those people who you are out on a ‘date’ with that commit these crimes.Also, as dating has become more widespread in a society, so has unwanted pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases.By prohibiting khilwa, Allah, in His infinite wisdom, is protecting us. One does not leave their infant to play on a highway, but hope they will not get hit by a car.Also, as you know even consensual extra-marital intercourse (zina) is a grave sin in Islam. One important Islamic principle is: prevention before cure.You do not come close to fire, and then wonder why you got burned.