Looking at the One Being Proposed To

Question: What is the ruling with regards to a girl removing her hijab in the final decision making stages of her marriage proposal. i.e. before the male says yes to marriage. Can the female briefly removes her scarf?

Also, is there any authentic hadeeth that allows this practice ?


All praise belongs to Allah.

It is permissable, and in fact a command of the Messenger, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, for one to look at the woman one is proposing to. This is in order to achieve the religious benefit of compatibility between spouses and lasting marriages.

When one may look is whenever one is serious about the proposal. This looking should take place in the presence of the woman’s mahram. How much one may look it is subject to a difference of opinon amongst the Ulema.

The Jumhoor, or majority of the Ulema, state that one may only look at the hands and face of a potential wife, since from the face one may determine beauty, and from the hands, one may determine size and body type.

The Hanbali school states that one may look at what normally appears of a woman in her home, including the hair, neck, forearms, and calves. The evidence they use is the generality of the Prophet’s, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, command to Jaber to look at a woman he wished to marry, in order to see what would attract him to her. They also reference the action of Amir al-Mumineen Umar, who asked to see the calf of a woman whom he was proposing to.

It is important to remember that any looking should:

1.) Take place in the presence of a Mahram.

2.) Be in the case of serious interest in marriage.

Many scholars today prefer the opinion of the Jumhoor, which is that one may see the face and hands only, in order to ward off fitnah and prevent temptation.

Please also see the lecture:

Seeing One’s Spouse Before Marriage

And Allah knows best.

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