It is very clear that Quran forbids intercourse between man and woman before marriage.

However, when it comes to relationships, the only close reference I have from Qu'ran is that we should "lower our gaze and guard our sexual organ", but so far I didn't see any direct forbiddence in being in a relationship with a girl which does not involve any haram interactions.

There are many many rulings on dating and relationships by various people, fatwās, and scholars, such as this. But very little citation is directly from Quran. I want to say that I trust only in Allah and his Angels, the Holy Quran, and Prophet Muhammad, but not in any other worldly people when it comes to how to live my life.

So my question is, is there any direction citation from the Holy Quran, or Prophet Muhammad (but no more than these two) that talks explicitly about:
1) What are haram interactions apart from anything to do with sexual organs according to Quran? (Such as, kissing, holding hands, cuddling, meeting in private etc)
2) Forbidding relationship between men and women which does not involve any haram interactions before marriage.

4 Answers 4


We are not to look at women, and are to lower our gaze and this is clear in the 30th verse of Surat Annoor:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze

as well as this Hadith:

I asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) about (the Islamic ruling on) accidental glance (i.e., at a woman one is not Islamically allowed to look at) and he ordered me to turn my eyes away.

We are also not to Touch the women that we are not allowed for us to touch, for every limb has it's own zina, and the zina of the Hand is touching:

And the hands commit adultery; their adultery is touching (In a narration in Muslim it is Lustful touch);

Unless touching is needed like in an emergency, do not do it.

as for being alone with a women it is haram. When a man and women meet, they should be as professional as possible, there is no need to touch, kiss, hold each others hands or look at each other. Unless you intend to marry it is haram to look. Also if you are to be in a company of a women not of your family, make sure that She has a Mahram with her, or you bring someone along yourself. This is the way to try to keep yourself as well as the women safe, keep the respect, as well as stay away from Zina, because Shaytaan does whisper to anyone, no matter how religious that person is.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

لَا يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِاِمْرَأَةٍ إِلَّا وَمَعَهَا ذُو مَحْرَمٍ

A man must never be alone with a woman unless there is a Mahram with her

Bukari and Muslim/Bulugh Al Maram

Furthermore it has been narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

أَلاَ لاَ يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِامْرَأَةٍ إِلاَّ كَانَ ثَالِثَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ

Behold! A man is not alone with a woman but the third of them is Ash-Shaitan

Sources: Islamic Online University

  • This is good, I'm convinced that we are not allowed to gaze, touch or kiss. But could you provide the reference for the last paragraph that talks about being alone and the need of Mahram? Thanks again.
    – user2350
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 21:20
  • I have a citation: "the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No man should be alone with a woman unless there is a mahram with them.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1862) and Muslim (1341). And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1171) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi." Thank you.
    – user2350
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 22:15
  • @mezhang I edited my answer to provide the citations for the last paragraph.
    – مجاهد
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 23:39
  • Couldn't men of that time look at captured women in the slave market? Is the rule of lowering the gaze only applicable to free women then?
    – a_sid
    Commented Sep 16, 2023 at 16:56

Zina is undoubtedly haram; by extension, any relationship which involves zina would also be haram. I don't think there's any doubt in your mind on this.

However, one of the dangers of attempting to define the exact line between "this is halal" and "this is haram" is that it allows one to easier approach sin, ostensibly without actually sinning. Even with our best intentions, the closer one gets to that line the more likely one is to inadvertently stray into that which is forbidden.

The Qur'an clearly forbids us not only from immoralities themselves (including but hardly limited to zina), but also from approaching them:

Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you … do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed …
[Al-'An'am 151]

While there are numerous examples in the hadith literature where the prophet forbade such-and-such acts, I feel that listing them here would be a disservice. The overarching wisdom behind them all can be summed up quite simply:

Even if I were to list every prohibition, and you were to follow them to the letter, you would still be judged according to your intention. You know when your intent is to sin, you know when your intent is to approach sin, and you know what does and does not tempt you, regardless of the legal ruling itself.

Do all premarital relationships inherently count as "approaching immoralities"? Hardly. But the temptations involved with being in a relationship cannot be overstated — the prophet himself is reported to have said that there is no trial more dangerous to his ummah than women — and the longer one is in any such relationship, the closer and closer one gets to straying.

Even if one chooses to get into a relationship for a noble purpose (e.g. to determine suitability for marriage), one still needs to be careful; it is best to minimize temptation as much as possible, and to engage in such only as long as necessary.

And getting into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship (as is common nowadays, at least in the west) just puts one through these temptations for no good purpose.

  • the first link is wrong
    – qdinar
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 13:14
  • @qdinar Thank you. They should all be fixed now.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 22:05
  • And getting into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship (as is common nowadays, at least in the west)... Aren't the minimum requirements for getting married the permission of the girl's wali and the presence of 2 male Muslim witnesses? I have heard that if the marriage happens publicly, the requirement for witnesses can be waived. Moreover, the woman's wali may decide to not interfere in her decision on whom she picks to marry or data, which is common in the West. Considering this, most boyfriend-girlfriend relationships in the West are public....
    – a_sid
    Commented Sep 16, 2023 at 17:03

To me, these two verses seem to be the most explicit ones about the relationship between boys and girls:

  1. الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۖ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ ۖ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلَا مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ ۗ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

    This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith - his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. [Al-Maidah: 5]

  2. وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلًا أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ فَمِن مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم مِّن فَتَيَاتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِكُم ۚ بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ ۚ فَانكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ وَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ مُحْصَنَاتٍ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحَاتٍ وَلَا مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ ۚ فَإِذَا أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَاتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِيَ الْعَنَتَ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَأَن تَصْبِرُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

    And whoever among you cannot [find] the means to marry free, believing women, then [he may marry] from those whom your right hands possess of believing slave girls. And Allah is most knowing about your faith. You [believers] are of one another. So marry them with the permission of their people and give them their due compensation according to what is acceptable. [They should be] chaste, neither [of] those who commit unlawful intercourse randomly nor those who take [secret] lovers. But once they are sheltered in marriage, if they should commit adultery, then for them is half the punishment for free [unmarried] women. This [allowance] is for him among you who fears sin, but to be patient is better for you. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [An-Nisa: 25]

Moreover, if you've accepted that "you must lower your gaze", then you should know that it's almost impossible to have such a relationship with a girl.

  • "The chaste believing women and the chaste women of the people who were given the Book before you", does that mean today it is not permissible for a muslim to marry a christian any more, because they are born after Islam was founded?
    – user2350
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 23:03
  • @mezhang, Yeah, it's not permissible unless the christian converts to Islam.
    – Zahra E
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 7:51
  • @mezhang chaste women from among those who were **given the Scripture before you** this includes (allows) Jewish and Christian women (People of the Book) but it is not appreciated.
    – ataulm
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 15:42
  • @ataulm Chastity is definitely not enough. She must not be a mushrik. See this.
    – user2350
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 21:33

Assalamu alaikum First of all, you are already on the right path as you have realised that sexual intercourse before marriage is zina in Islam. However, people forget that it is zina and an offence not only in Islam but also in Christianity, Judaism and many other religions.

I cannot say that I know everything but I have been studying Islam for many years now and the question you have raised is of particular significance to me since my only child, my daughter committed zina with a man she fell in love with. Now being in love emotionally is not forbidden in the Quran, it is human nature. But intercourse is a serious offence both for the girl and for the man who took her gift of virginity which should be saved for the person you will spend the rest of your life with in matrimony. Allah, the most Merciful, will forgive you and your partner if you sincerely pray for forgiveness. The right path for lovers who committed zina or not, should be the institution of marriage. Allah answers the prayers of parents for their children, Abu Ja'far heard Abu Huraira say that the Prophet said, “There is no doubt that three kinds of prayers will be answered, the prayer of the oppressed, the prayer of the traveller, and the prayers of the parents for their children”. I prayed for forgiveness for my daughter's sins.

I arranged for her marriage, and many people were shocked as she was only 24 (for the people in the West it was a cultural difference), but I believe it is Sunnah as our Prophet (SAW) married when Aisha was very young, and as quoted in the hadith, " We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. But Allah's Apostle said, "O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry." {Al-Bukhari, Book 62, Hadith 4} Today I am very happy as she is blessed with a beautiful baby, her marriage is healthy and both she and her husband are on the right path. May Allah be with you always and guide you through good and bad.

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