woman in blue top and blue hijab behind a man in black dress shirt
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10 Halal Dating Tips for Muslim Women

You see someone attractive in your class, or at your friend’s birthday party, and you think to yourself, “How do I approach him without seeming too desperate?”

Not to mention, with various opinions on the dangers of dating and the ever-present haram police everywhere, how do you go about approaching this cute guy the halal way?

Women are often brainwashed by the media on how they should communicate with someone they are interested in through tedious and intricate mind games – which are absolutely unnecessary. Here are some silly strategies that you may have heard as a woman:

  • Do not respond to your crush’s text immediately. 
  • Text “hey” instead of “heyyy” to avoid looking too excited.
  • Use neutral emojis to make it seem as if you’re uninterested in them.

As the fad of mind games gets more ridiculous, let’s turn back time to the moment when the well-respected businesswoman, Khadijah, made the first honorable move toward our beloved Prophet (PBUH.)

The Honorable Woman who Proposed to the Prophet (PBUH)

Khadijah approached her close friend, Nafisa, and asked to speak to the Prophet (PBUH) about marriage. Nafisa then went to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked, “Why do you not get married?” He answered, “My living conditions and financial situation do not allow me to get married.” Nafisa said, “Will you agree to get married if this problem is solved and a rich, beautiful, and honorable woman from a well-known family asks you to marry her?” He asked, “Who is this woman you are talking about?” Nafisa answered, “Khadija.” (Sirihi Halabiyih, Vol. 1, p.152; Ayan ul-Shi’ah, Vol. 2, p.8.)

He said, “How is it possible? She has rejected the proposals of many of the Quraysh aristocrats and rich men. Would she marry me?” Nafisa said, “This union is possible and I will arrange it.” (Bihar ul-Anwar, Vol. 16, pp.56-73.)

Here are ten (10) halal dating tips for Muslim women we learned from this narrative:

1. Recognize your intentions

Everything begins with the right intentions, and this applies to relationships as well. In the process of courtship, it is imperative to recognize your intentions, as well as his. No matter how compatible both of you are together, if you two do not have similar goals in finding a life partner, it will most likely be a waste of time!

Ask yourself what you truly looking for in a partner. Are you ready to settle down with someone? Are you sure you are not bored, lonely, or pressured by friends or families? Is this what you truly want for yourself? You should also discuss these questions with the person you’re getting to know.

Next, it’s imperative to master the art of conversation with the one you are drawn to know.

2. Be straightforward and don’t beat around the bush

You know what you want and you want him to know that too – but you want to send that message without making yourself look too bold and over-confident. The key here is that you want to be as straightforward as possible, without scaring him away. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Introduce yourself

This needs no explanation. Simply state your name, where you’re from (if LDR is not your thing), hobbies, etc. Spill everything necessary for him to know enough about you. Give him the opportunity to share information about himself as well.

Step 2: Ask about his intentions before you state yours

To avoid coming on too strong at the beginning of the conversation, allow him to express his intentions first before you. This gives him the space to be honest and transparent with you since both of you just met and have yet to build trust toward each other. 

If his response is to “go with the flow” or “nothing serious,” believe him. If your goal is not aligned with his, reject him politely, state your reasons for rejecting him (if he asks) and wish him well. 

If he gives you a satisfying response, it’s your turn. Depending on what your intentions are, some women prefer to get to know the man better and find chemistry before deciding to marry or move on. Others prefer to find someone to settle down with first and then get to know him after marriage. 

Step 3: Find a mutual agreement

If both of you are satisfied with each other’s responses, you may now proceed to the next level of courtship. However, if both of you still need time to figure things out or need a sense of reassurance, set a deadline to get to know each other and see if it works.

As funny as this sounds, a deadline provides a more objective goal for both parties rather than being trapped in a blurred line of guessing games; whether you like each other or not. 

3. Talk about your plans

Alright, so both of you have the same goals – getting married and settling down together.

However, what are the plans for the both of you to get there? Is his plan practical and realistic enough to settle down with you in one or two years’ time? How much is he investing for the dowry? Is he being too ambitious or wishy-washy? Discuss the real deal with him and see if both of your plans make sense.

4. Do a thorough background check on him

No, you’re not being a stalker. Considering the many cases of catfishing and worse, scammers and possible predators lurking on every corner, a thorough background check is a must. It’s not only for your security, but you would want to know his lifestyle in general based on what he chooses to put on social media. 

Take the time and analyze what kind of person he is in public and private life. Is he close with his friends and family members? What kind of a person is he when you scroll through his feed? Is he introverted or extroverted? Is he a party guy or a family guy? Put your Sherlock hat on and connect the dots.

5. Know your worth and set boundaries

Setting boundaries should be one of your top priorities. Have an honest conversation with him and tell him about your boundaries, whether it’s emotional, physical, spiritual, and more. This will give him a clear idea that you are firm, confident, and the type of person who knows what she wants. Here are some ideas on boundary setting that may resonate with you:

  1. Physical boundaries: No touching or holding hands; curfew by 8 pm; no dating without a chaperone, etc.
  2. Emotional boundaries: No arguing over petty things; communication is a must when there is an issue; no silent treatments, etc
  3. Spiritual boundaries: The partner needs to fulfil his obligations as a Muslim (daily prayers, fasting, zakah, etc)

6. Dress to impress, but do it for yourself

Ah, the classic rummaging through the wardrobe for hours to find the perfect fit. Everyone wants to look their best on their first date, but is it really worth the stress and headache?

Dress in what makes YOU comfortable, confident, and what makes you feel like yourself. Here are a few fit ideas if you’re running out of them:

7. Chaperoning like the days of Yesteryear

Emerging in the 21st century where social ill and moral indecency is rife, it is very difficult to lead a relationship that does not involve physical interaction or sexual intercourse. The Qur’an clearly states the rulings of sexual intercourse in Islam: 

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ فَـٰحِشَةًۭ وَسَآءَ سَبِيلًۭا 

“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” [Qur’an, 17:32]

To help ease your difficulty in this aspect, it is always a good choice to chaperone just like in the days of yesteryear. You could ask your family members, relatives, or best friends to accompany you to see your partner. 

Even if you don’t feel like chaperoning is the solution for you, you can always ask to meet him somewhere public like a restaurant, cafe, library, park, etc. Avoid meeting in dark and quiet places such as the theatre, dark alleys, clubs; or anywhere where there are just the two of you (i.e his place or yours.)

It is always advisable for both of you to commute separately to the meeting place so you are not alone with him in a car (unless both of you decide to commute by public transport).

A gentleman would appreciate this option and accept your offer. However, if he hesitates and gives you excuses for not having the privacy to talk to you because you refuse to be alone with him in a car, the answer is loud and clear about what his intentions may be.

8. Invite him to family gatherings

So, both of you have been getting to know each other for a while now and you think it might just work. If this is you in the phase of courtship, it would be a great move to invite him to family gatherings for him to get to know your family members and vice versa.

This may be nerve-racking for you because:

  1. You’re advancing into another step in the relationship. It shows how both of you are serious to commit to each other, and letting your family know about the existence of this man in your life is definitely no easy feat.
  2. You’re scared of what your family members might think of him. Will they approve of the man you’re attracted to? Are your parents going to give you blessings for settling down with your partner? A million questions will run through your mind.

If you are ever feeling nervous and anxious about what might happen, recite this du’a to attain calmness of the heart from anxiety:

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

“Lord, lift up my heart and ease my task for me. Remove the impediment from my tongue so that they may understand my speech.” [Qur’an, 20:25-28]

9. Explore each other’s interests together

Getting to know someone seriously is like learning about their world and how they perceive things, despite the differences.

If you want to make sure you’re with someone who’s open-minded, and open to trying new things, let them into your world and try what you find interesting. This gives you a chance to take risks and get out of your comfort zone as well.

Take him out on a hike, go to an art class together, go to the museum and explore each other’s interests. It’s not about forcing him to love your interests, but to see if he empowers and supports you no matter what you do.

10. Whatever it is, always put yourself first

Being in a relationship or having a deep connection with someone you’re attracted to can feel like the most wonderful thing in the world, but we can’t deny that it also comes with its challenges.

Whether it’s deal breakers, lack of communication, or unhealthy coping mechanisms, everyone has their own flaws and it is quite normal to find yourself in arguments from time to time. 

The question is, how do you solve problems together as a team? How do you communicate with each other to come to a solution? In most cases, communication is always key to mending relationships, but when arguments seem to surface quite often and it starts to get to you personally, you should take note.

If it starts to affect your mental and emotional health and you notice that you are a lot unhappier than you were before, then follow your heart and take the necessary steps to break away from the negativity. 

Whether it’s you or your partner who initiates negative energy, it is important to step away and focus on healing yourself before you get into a relationship again. 

At the end of the day, everyone wants to end up with someone they resonate with, share similar goals, and respects each other’s differences. If you’re in the process of finding the love of your life, we hope you will cross paths with someone who is sincere enough to ask for your hand in marriage, Insha’Allah!