Pearl of Wisdom

'Verily Allah's greatest Name is composed of seventy-three letters, of which Asaf [b. Barkhiyya] had but one, with the utterance of which he caused the earth between himself and Bilqis 's throne to sink until he got hold of the throne, and after which [he caused] the earth to return to its former state faster than the blink of an eye. And we [the Ahl al-Bayt] have seventy-two letters from the greatest Name, and Allah, Blessed and most High, has exclusive possession of one letter of it with Him in His knowledge of the Unseen.'

Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 14, p.. 113, no. 5

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Question : #353 Category: Marriage - Nikkah
Subject: significance of the engagement ceremony
Question: What is the significance of the engagement ceremony? Boys and girls inter-mingle freely after the engagement (i.e. Mangni) ceremony. Is there any prescribed system in Islam, which will make this inter-action permissible?
Answer: Engagement in itself does not alter the relationship of the boy and the girl. Engagement has no significance in Islam except that they intend to get married to each other in future.
Both remain Na-Mahram and they cannot go out together or hold hands after the engagement.

One solution is to perform Aqd-e-Muwaqqat in which the girl puts the condition that there will be no sexual relationship and she will be married to him for a fixed period, say from today for six months (or till the time they intend to get married) against a Mahr of x dollars (or any amount for that matter).

Hence the dignity of the girl and the boy is safeguarded and they can go out, talk to each other, etc.

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