In UAE, Islam is a majority religion and the fundamentals of a standard lifestyle are derived from the very basics of Islam. However, owing to the recent boom of multicultural influences where UAE has become the biggest business hub in the world, diversity in everyday life and practices has become prominent throughout the region. Different cultures bring different norms and when multiple societies live in one country, a mix of customs is a must. So is the case with UAE. The practice of ‘dating’ has become quite a norm in today’s world. But there are different contexts to the term.
Liking someone and getting married to them is also allowed in Islam however, there is a certain way of going about it. Once a person likes somebody else and considers them for marriage, he must ask his family to approach the other family to begin the official talks of building a relationship. It is allowed to give the girl and the boy enough time to get to know one another very well before marriage however; this practice has to be conducted smartly. In older days, this time period was termed as ‘courtship’.
The traditional way is that a family member from the either side joins the meeting where the boy and girl meet in order to ensure security of the lady. Meeting behind doors or in private places without official company and permission especially from the girls’ side is not allowed. This is only carried out in order to make sure that the girl is safe from all prospects of danger and is not disgraced in the society.
If the boy and girl develop an understanding and wish to get close or intimate with one another, then that is not allowed until they are bound in a legal relationship under the witness of their parents and family. A marriage document has be put in place that is signed by both the parties which leads to the wedding ceremonies; announcing the marriage of a newlywed couple to extended family, friends & the world at large.
In these modern times, we see girls and guys out for dates and hangouts even in the wee hours of the night. As orthodox as it may sound but this culture does not reflect who we truly are. We are people who earn each and every bit of our respect and dignity throughout our lives but with the paradigm shift in lifestyles, people have begun to compromise on the core values that existed a generation ago. These values were put in place in order to ensure security of respect and prevent any mishaps from happening – After all, our elders have been stressing on the importance of these for a reason. And we are the ones who are forgetting the reasons.
Marriage is a gamble and it is all about playing the right card at the right time however, making the right moves beforehand is much more important. If something is regarded as haram, we must look into the reasoning behind it and if we do that, we’ll know that it is only for our good.