Pearl of Wisdom

'He is the All-hearing but not by means of any organ.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 152

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Question : #466 Category: Marriage - Nikkah
Subject: Engagement in Islam - is it real?
Question: I am in a dilemma. A very close sunni brother is getting engaged this summer and he is very happy. Now, my stance in this matter is different. I believe that there is no such thing as an "engagement" in Islam. Nikah is the marriage contract.. and that's what holds strongest for me.

Knowing this, I feel sad at seeing the brother committing a wrong.. and inviting further sin over the years till official marriage.On the other hand, I feel a soft happiness for the brother in knowing that Inshallah he will be getting married to the person who he speaks highly of, in a few years time if God so Wills.

The question lies in how should I be reacting towards this brother's joy? Should I congratulate him, knowing that by doing so I am encouraging him to engage in possible lust (which is haram)? I am not in a situation where I can avoid greeting him for this stepping stone in his life. Please advise.
Answer: Salaamun 'Alaykum,

Since this brother is very close to you, maybe after congratulating him you should tell him of the possible sin which he may be committing if he performs a haram act. In all sincerity, advise him of the possible choices he has to avoid the sins (reciting the 'aqd immediately, or mut'a for the sake of making the relationship halal). If he says that mut'a is not allowed, you can refer him to a chapter in a recently translated book called "Questions on Jurisprudence" in which the question of mut'a is discussed from Sunni sources.

Explain to him also that he can have the relationship with his fiance whilst keeping his conscience clear at the same time.

Iltimase du'a

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