Q & A
Q. How do you approach a girl you like Islamically?
Step one: In general (and with an extremely basic answer), if there is a sister you like, whose beauty strikes you, whose character, behaviour and demeanour are all attributes you desire and seek, then it is best to first approach those who know her well, e.g. brother, sister, close family or friends so long as no irresponsible public affair is made of it. A Muslim always exercises scrupulous behaviour (al-wara`) and consideration and steers clear of discussing private matters within public locations, e.g. common rooms, student unions, school/college canteens, cafes, etc. In addition, at this initial stage of inquiry for a potential partner, one must have sincerity (ikhlas) and purity of intention (niyyah) and be patient while in it.
It must be pointed out, however, with anything concerning seeking a potential spouse, it is her Islamic morals, character and inclination for the Din of Allah (SWT) that ought to figure in the front of one’s mind but there is no blame if one seeks beauty, lineage or stability in status and wealth in accordance with hadith of the Prophet (SAW):
“A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be of the losers…”
حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللهِ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ (رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ) عَنْ النَّبِيِّ (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) قَالَ:
تُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لِأَرْبَعٍ لِمَالِهَا وَلِحَسَبِهَا وَجَمَالِهَا وَلِدِينِهَا فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاكَ.
It must also be pointed out that there is an ‘etiquette’ (adab) involved in proposing for a potential spouse. Ideally, it would be through parents taking the consideration or proposal to the parents of the second family with the prospective spouse. If, unfortunately, no parents are available than a respectable member of the family or community like the Imam of the Mosque should be contacted. Often, young Muslims who desire to get married think it is an unrestricted opportunity to ‘play the filed’ and ‘scope the territory’ in addition to not lowering their gaze under the pretext of seeking a spouse and engaging in all sorts of vague actions without seeking the Islamic ruling (hukm) first.
Step two: If what family and close friends tell you about the girl interests you even more and ‘ticks all the right boxes’, then the next step would be to approach her through her officially appointed guardian of marriage (wali amr) and within his presence and permission speak to the sister and discuss any issues and deeper clarification without any desire, flirtation or sexual remarks and innuendos.
In the process of seeking a partner/spouse, one must observe and abide by the rules and regulations of the divine Shari`ah as shown in the example of our blessed Prophet (SAW) and if this is done, then Allah (SWT) will pour His Mercy and bounty in it.
With anything in the din, reliable knowledge pertaining to the Islamic rulings (fiqh) of marriage must be learned from qualified scholars.
And Allah alone knows best.
 See al-Bukhari, Sahih (English translation), vol.7, book no. 62, hadith no. 27 and Arabic, hadith no. 5090.