A man who intends to marry a woman should look at her and see her: Shaikh Fawzān (Bulūgh Al-Marām)

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Ibn Hajr said:

977. And Muslim reports from Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu `anhu) that the Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said to a man who intended to marry a woman:

“Have you seen her?” He replied, “No.” So he said: “Go and look at her.” [Muslim, no. 1424]

Shaikh Sālih Al-Fawzān (hafidhahullāh) said:

“He intended to marry” means that he proposed to her or wished to propose to her, so the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said to him: “Have you seen her?” He replied: “No.” So he said to him: “Then go and look at her.” This is similar to the hadeeth that has preceded of Jaabir wherein the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) permitted him or recommended him to look at the one he was proposing to and at that which would induce him and put the desire in him to marry her. And if she was acceptable to him, then he should go ahead and marry. And if she was not acceptable, then he should leave the affair. Either way, he would be upon insight. This is from the Sunan of marriage, however, this has principles and guidelines which we have already mentioned, i.e. that he looks at her face and hands. This in accordance to need and in accordance with what he knows of this woman as to whether she is suited to him or not.


(By Abu Khadeejah)

The scholars permit a man to see her face, hair, hands and neck in a meeting. She can wear modest garments (which she would wear in the presence of her father and brothers) without a jilbāb or scarf — as long as her father or mother is present (or another mahram with the guardian’s permission).

Adapted from volume 4: Kitābun-Nikāh (The Book of Marriage) from Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān’s explanation of Bulūgh Al-Marām min Adillatil-Ahkām of Al-Hāfidh Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalāni (born 773H, died 852H), entitled Tas-heel al-Ilmām bi-fiqhil-Ahādeeth min Bulūghil-Marām and is printed in seven volumes.