RULES OF ENGAGEMENT It is permissible prior to proposal that the man sees the woman he intends to marry. Jabir Ibn Abdullah, radhiallahu anhu said concerning his wife, (Before marrying her) I used to hide behind a tree to see her. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, When one of you intends to marry a woman if he is able to look at what would induce him to marry her he should do so. (Abu Dawud) There are, however, rules concerning seeing the woman, that they both should respect: The mans intention of marriage should be sincere. He should not seek to meet the woman until he is satisfied about her other attributes such as her deen, morality, and character, in such a way that he is inclined to marry her, and looking at her is for him the last step toward this decision. He should first send a woman from his family whom he trusts, to see the girl and describe her to him. The girls father should not allow the man proposing to her to look at her unless he is completely satisfied with him. The girls father should not hide from the proposing man any serious faults his daughter may have. The man is allowed to see only the face and the hands of the woman he intends to marry. If he wants specific information about her physical appearance, he may send one of his mahram women to inquire about it, and describe it to him. There is no sin on him to look intently at her to confirm his desire to marry her. He does not have to ask her permission to look at her, it is rather better that he does it without her knowledge if he can. This way, if for any reason, he changes his mind this will not hurt her feelings. Even after the man and the woman accept each other for marriage and thus are engaged, they should remember that they are still considered strangers (non-mahram) to each other and that what is unlawful to the non-mahram is unlawful to them. This especially pertains to: looking at each other, being alone together, and going out together. Their relation to each other changes only after the marriage contract is executed.