My Old Girlfriend

The Details of the Question
As Salaam Alaykum wa Rahtumillah. Hello. I am a revert into the beautiful deen of Islam, I have a question. When I was non muslim, I had a girlfriend who was Muslim, this was about 3 years ago, I reverted about 3 weeks ago. Now she is practising more, she wears hijab and InshaAllah she is doing more. when i think about marriage would it be appropriate to marry her and what can I do to further such steps, her family are unaware we ever went out. Also am i aloud to write poetry about her?Salaam
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

You are welcome to the deen of Islam. May God help you in your future life. If you have any other questions concerning Islam and belief, you can ask your questions to us in any time that you want, we will try to answer. Now, let me give the answer of your question.
Firstly, there is no drawback for such a marriage. Detailed explanations will be given below.
Secondly, the judgement for writing poetry changes in accordance with the position of the parts and the theme of the poetry. If there is a marriage contract between the parts there is no drawback otherwise it is not licit. Also the theme of the poetry is important. It should not contain nasty words or meanings.

As all we know, considering a marriage with a woman and engaging to be married doesn't mean getting married. Therefore, going out or being alone with fiancée is absolutely illicit and a grievous mistake. Prophet (PBUH) says: "When a strange man becomes alone with a woman, assuredly, the third one of them is devil." When many engaged people become alone with their fiancées, some unwanted and illicit results occur, also their relations can be broken for some reasons, at the end. The remaining after these relations is sins and wrongdoings. Thus, people who coddle their religion, worldly lives and honor, must be careful on such things. 
What is your advice about flirt kind of relations?
Neither the word flirt takes place in the dictionary of the Muslims, nor the meaning it carries finds life in the lives of the Muslims; whoever loads whatever meaning into it. Islam puts definite borders on this sensitive issue and Hz. Muhammad’s (pbuh) famous warning takes both parts under protection with definite rules.
What is our prophet’s definite and very logical warning?
– If two strangers, a woman and a man remain in private, the third one is the Satan!
Yes, when two strangers of opposite sex remain in private when there is no other one around, their sexual senses become active by their creation and they may rebel. Then things become dangerous. We know that most of the regrets, evils, even murders in the society occur because of not paying attention to this warning and going beyond the borders.   
Isn’t there an exception of this; is every woman and man like this?
Of course we have not such a claim and every rule may have its exceptions. But exceptions do not change the general rule. Truth that the woman should not be too familiar and saucy, she should not become a toy for fun easy to acquire and leave.
As we know easy come easy go. We can not appreciate the things we have easily and we can leave them easily. And precious things are acquired hard, thus they are not left easily too. The woman is the most precious of the values, and the first to protect the honor. If she becomes one day here and one day there she becomes sentenced to disgrace for her life. And whether you call flirt or something else the thing which makes the precious woman such worthless and discredited, neither it can be defended nor it can be considered as a simple and natural issue.
Again as we learn from a holy text, parts will regret the illegitimate relations such that they will cry in the afterlife:
– If only I held a piece of fire and didn’t start such a relation giving these consequences.
But it will have no use. Because the bullet shots the target and destroys it with no return back.
Therefore a faithful woman does not want to have a past with faults, and acts very carefully for a happy marriage and family life. And because of this care and attention she carries the pride of having the honor and lives happily without regret.  Men making women joy for their daily life instead of a founder for a clean and happy family, or women accepting this, may not agree with us. But as you make your bed, you lie on it.
Ahmed Şahin, Aile İlmihali (catechism for family), 142.
What is the allowed amount of meeting before the marriage?
We saw in the sunnah (the way of the prophet) two methods on this issue. One is to send a trusted woman to look to the girl we want to marry. Anas Ibn Malik transmits:
“Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) sent Umm Sulaym to look to a woman, and said ‘look upper of foot part, smell her mouth’.” The aim of this request was to learn if her legs were regular and if her mouth smells.1
This is valid for two parts. The girl can send a person to the man she thinks of marriage to learn whatever she wants to learn too.
The other method to learn about the part we want to marry is to meet him or her by person directly. This way a man is allowed to look only to the face and hands of a woman and also see the height of her. Her face shows her beauty and hands indicate the elegance.
As transmitted by Abu Humayd, Hz Muhammad (pbuh) says:
“When you want to marry a woman you can look at her, but with the intention of marriage. And it is not required to be known by her.”2
Mugira Ibn Shuba wanted to marry a woman. Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) said him, “Go and see her. Because it is better to see her for the harmony between you.”3
And in another hadith (word of prophet Muhammad) of Hz Muhammad (pbuh) we learn:
“When one of you want to marry a woman look at her features that you seek and which will encourage you if you can.”4
These hadithes tell the necessity and the use of the look. Also there are some restrictions with this look and meeting. One is about the meeting place. This hadith enlightens us:
“Whoever of you believes in Allah and the doomsday, do not remain in private with a woman without someone with her. Because if you do this, the third one near you will be Satan.”5
Because of this there must be a third person near two people when meeting by the intention of a marriage. Otherwise it becomes a head to head situation and it is not permitted. In this meeting, parts can talk about their requirements, wishes and whatever they want to learn about. When talking, stammer or hesitancy can be understood, tone of voice tells about the person’s thoughts too, and wisdom and intellectual levels of the parts can be checked to see if they match to their wishes.
After a while of this meeting and talk, impression and opinion of parts become clear and they can decide to marry or not. This meeting is allowed once because if it occurs several times it loses its seriousness and does not have a use for the health of the family to be founded.
Shafi’i sect’s perspective on this issue is important to show the honor and seriousness of the family foundation: Before requesting a meeting, the man who wants to marry should look at the girl. The girl and her family should not know about this. This is more proper for the honor of the girl and her family. This way if he doesn’t like her she and her family does not get hurt. This one is more reasonable and well-accepted method. The hadith telling that it is ok to look at the girl without her information confirms this method.6
After deciding to marry, on the meetings until the marriage, it is clear that the man can look at the lady without a sexual feeling like he can look at other stranger women without such a feeling.
1 Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 2: 166.
2 Nayl al-Awtar, 6: 110.
3 Nasai, Nikah (Marriage): 17.
4 Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 2: 165.
5 Bukhari, Nikah (Marriage): 111.
6 İslâm Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi (Encylopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence), 9: 24.
Mehmed Paksu, Aileye Özel Fetvalar (Juridical decisions for the family)


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