As we discussed in our previous article, Khitbah in Islam is an important step when a person is planning for Nikah. But, the big decision cannot be taken in haste. Every small step needs due attention before the final call can be made.
Is it permissible to look at a woman before Khitbah?
It is a very practical scenario where a man who intends to marry a certain woman might want to look at her before formally proposing to her family. In such a case, Islam permits the person to look at the intended spouse as formally as possible so that it can be done modestly. Such permission is given so that it becomes easy for the person to finalize his decision and do not delay any longer. Also, the person becomes more comfortable and will be sure to have the woman as her wife for life.
In one Hadith, Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) has clearly said,
“Go look at her: it will then be more possible to have harmony between the two of you.”
[as-Sahihah no. 96]
We are completely aware that our audience, especially the women are very conscious if it is permissible to be looked at by the man who is considering her for Nikah. To clear the doubts, we have highlighted some other Hadith to ease the mind of our sisters.
Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said,
“When it comes into a person’s heart to court a woman, it is permissible for him to look at her.”
[as-Sahihah no. 98]
“When one of you courts a woman, if he could see of her as much as would convince him to marry her, he should do so.”
[as-Sahihah no. 99]
These Hadith highlight the truth about that it is better to look at a woman before finally asking for her hand so as to be sure. However, we need to remember that the permission is given only when one observes modesty in his actions, intentions, and eyes while looking at her.