It is well known that most religions have strict rules on dating and who you can date. Islam is a religion that has several rules, so many people wonder; are Muslim teenagers allowed to date?
Muslim teenagers are not allowed to have a romantic relationship before marriage. It is forbidden, or haraam, to date before getting married. Even Muslim adults don’t date before marriage. The main reason for this is to prevent Zina, otherwise known as sexual relations outside of marriage.
Continue reading to learn more about Muslim dating rules and the reasoning behind them.
Terms to Know
For those of you who don’t know, Muslims are a group of people who follow the Islam religion. Islam is a very strict religion, but it is one of the biggest religions in the entire world. They have specific practices like prayer, clothing, rituals, celebrations, and dating life that are strictly followed. They face great punishment if they break the rules, so the rules are often strictly followed.
One of these rules is no dating before marriage. Many Muslims have an arranged marriage and then date and fall in love with their spouse. This is something I could never personally do, but to them it is normal. They think it’s odd that the rest of the world dates before marriage. Marriages are often arranged by parents with someone who has close ties and connections to the family.
Since Muslims have different languages and terms in their religion, here are a few definitions of words that will be used throughout this article.
- Zina: sexual relations outside of marriage
- Haraam: forbidden by Islamic law
- Wali: parent or guardian
- Allah: God
- Islam: the religion of Muslims
Dating is not allowed in the Islamic culture. No dating for teenagers, not even adults. They wait for marriage first and then get to know each other. They are allowed to see each other before marriage, but you mostly base your opinion on them based on their family’s reputation.
As long as you hear good things about your potential spouse and the family is made up of good people, it is usually good enough reasoning to marry them. They meet someone through close ties or connections, but oftentimes the parents set the children up with someone from a family they respect.
If they have someone in mind they are allowed to see them with the permission of the wali. They are then only allowed to see them with the wali in the same room. They are not allowed to be alone together.
Since the official rule is no dating before marriage, marriage comes first. Marriages are arranged and the bride and groom may not even see each other until the wedding day. Once they are married, they are allowed to date and fall in love. It seems backward to non-Muslims, but to them is completely normal. (Source)
Muslim teenagers aren’t allowed to date, but where does the line fall? Are they allowed to have friends? Technically, friendships with someone of the opposite sex aren’t forbidden by Islamic law.
However, in order for this friendship to stay behind the line and not become haraam, they should set some boundaries. They should never be alone with someone of the opposite sex. Groups of four or more are a good amount in order to keep everybody accountable and prevent romantic feelings from arising.
They need to monitor their feelings and not let romantic feelings arise between them and their friends. It should not get emotional. Friendships aren’t bad, they are just something that could lead to haraam, so they need to be closely monitored. (Source)
Even once females are married, they shouldn’t have any close relationships with a male unless he is her spouse or family member. Muslims want to do everything they can to prevent haraam and Zina, this is why women wear clothing that covers everything, even their hair.
This can become very difficult for teenagers, especially if they don’t live in areas in and around the middle east. They aren’t surrounded by people of their faith, and they want to fit in with their peers. Because of this they sometimes end up having secret relationships with friends at school, keeping it from their family members. (Source)
Zina is the sole reason why Muslim teenagers aren’t allowed to date. If they do something that is haraam, like Zina, they will be shamed or pitied by their peers. They also don’t mind following this guidance. They understand the importance of refraining from Zina and make it a goal to follow.
They always say that Allah knows best and they listen to his guidance. Friendships aren’t technically against the rules, but they are just taking extra precautions against Zina. This is how they like to practice their religion and outsiders should respect that.
Rules for Marriage
Once Muslims are allowed to be married, who can they marry? Muslim men are allowed to marry a Muslim, Christian, or Jew. Muslim women are only allowed to marry Muslim men. This being said, the parents often set up the marriage, so there isn’t a big worry about accidentally pursuing someone who isn’t religious. The parents will make sure of that.
Many Muslims marry as young adults. As long as the man can make a living and provide a family, he is suitable for marriage. Sometimes Muslims will get married as teenagers, but it is not common.
The main goal for that is to prevent Zina. The teenage years are when romantic feelings start to occur and it may be hard for friends to stay friends. Muslims used to get married as soon as they hit puberty, but they now wait until they are adults and have reached their mental maturity as well, not just physical. (Source)
If you still don’t understand Muslim’s reasoning for not dating, or still have questions, ask a Muslim yourself! Asking a direct source is much better than assuming things about religion. Everybody has the right to believe what they want to believe without judgment. Muslims are very kind people and would love to answer any of your questions that you have.