Question: What is the viewpoint of Islam about the love between a young man and a young woman before the legal agreement of marriage, where they exchange their feelings via the telephone and letters or by going together to the park for example – of course without any touching with the hand or body? Some (religious) people say that this is lawful as long as it is as the initial step towards marriage. What do you think about the matter?
The answer: In the steps that precede marriage, it is sufficient to obtain information from relatives first, and then, as a second step, have a public meeting with family and without gestures or words that may excite lust. There is no objection if a young man looks at a young woman without her veil when there is a serious intention of marriage. But, if a young man intends to be deceitful just to get pleasure, the company and the meeting will be unlawful. It has been noticed in the cases of love between the youth in our present age that they are of the second kind, in which love relation continues until it reaches touching of the hands and body, because after the premises mentioned in the questions, lust overcomes both the young man and the young woman until they sleep together to satisfy their furious lust. Then, the young man goes to look for another victim and so on. As experience has proven, girls who are deceived by the words of love become the losers at the end.
The Islamic Sharia has prohibited these premises because it knows the consequences, which we witness in real life. Also Islam prohibits these things in order to protect the dignity of young women and to close the door before the youth who try to take advantage of the honor of young women and then leave them to look for a second victim to deceive and then a third, and so on…!
I do not think that Islam agrees with the present day love relations at all. Religious men and women have to be absolutely careful, for a reasonable person is one who takes lessons from the experiences of others.