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Rules Governing the Relationship between a Man and Women he Is Allowed to Marry


  1. Lowering the Gaze
Lowering the gaze to avoid looking at things Allah has forbidden leads to modesty and protects one’s honour.
A Muslim man must not look at other women or at anything for that matter which is bound to sexually arouse him, nor should he unnecessarily look at women.
Allah ﷻ commands both men and women to lower their gaze, for doing so leads to modesty and serves to safeguard one’s honour, while lustful looks generally pave the way to sins, as the Qur’an states, “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That will make for greater purity for them. Allah is aware of what they do. Say to believing women that they should lower their gaze and remain chaste.” (Soorat An-Noor, 24:30-31)
However, if a Muslim accidentally sees a woman, he must divert his eyes from her. In fact, the order to lower the gaze applies to anything that is bound to lead to sexual arousal, including those scenes that are presented in the media and on the Internet.
  1. Observing Modesty in Speech
Islam has laid down rules which govern the relationship between men and women.
When talking to a woman who is not related to him,he must observe politeness and modesty and avoid any words or gestures which may lead to sexual stimulation. It is for this reason that:
  • Allah ﷻ warns women against speaking in a coquettish and too soft a manner when addressing men, as the Qur’an states, “Do not be too soft-spoken in your speech lest someone with sickness in his heart becomes desirous. Speak correct and courteous words.” (Soorat Al-Ahzaab, 33:32)
  • Allah ﷻ warns them against using suggestive gestures and manner of walking or displaying their charms and some of their ornaments: “They should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments .” (Soorat An-Noor, 24:31)
  1. Avoiding Private Seclusion with Non-MahramWomen Altogether (Khalwah)
The Arabic word khalwah means the state of being alone with a non-mahram woman in a place where no one can see them. Islam strictly prohibits this as it could, through Satan’s temptations, lead to illicit sexual relationships. The prophet ﷺ once said, “Never is a man alone with a woman except that Satan is the third.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 2165)

  1. Wearing the Hijaab (the Modest Muslim Style of Dress)
Allah ﷻ commands women, but not men, to wear the hijaab because women in particular enjoy a natural beauty and attraction that could easily tempt men into sinful acts.
Islam commands women to wear the hijaab for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • So that they could carry out their mission in life and society in scientific and academic fields in the best possible manner while at the same time guarding their modesty.
  • So that they would reduce chances of temptation in order to purify society, on the one hand, and safeguard women’s honour, on the other.
  • So that they would help male onlookers control themselves even more and thus treat them as civilised and educated human beings and not as sex objects that only serve to tempt men and stimulate them.

What Must the Hijaab Cover?

Allah ﷻ commands women to cover all their bodies except the face and the hands, as the Qur’an states, “They should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof.” (Soorat An-Noor, 24:31)However, in cases of likely temptation due to their striking beauty, they may have to cover their faces and hands as well.
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