by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well being writer.
ALHMDULILAH I BECAME A MUSLIM BECAUSE I HAVE NOW LEARNT TO RESPECT MYSELF. Born and bred in Essex, Essex girls have a reputation and it’s not a good one. we are not brought up with great self esteem and have a low, standard of our own behavior when it comes to dating men, must be the combination of East End and country bumpkin all rolled into one.
I used to think I owed a man something if he took me out for dinner, I thought I thought I needed to give him something back. Now as a fully covered Muslim woman I go through phases of having so many dates, that its hard for my non Muslim friends to think how can this covered up woman get so many men who want the pleasure of her company.
There is difference of opinion in the Muslim community about whether we are allowed to date or not but I’m satisfied after asking Sheikh Salah at Al Munatada Islamia, that a man and women can meet in a public place. I don’t kiss them , hold hands or place footsy. My friend Charlotte tells me that I’m sooooo lovely, all I need do is turn up and they should be blessed to be in my company. I think it’s different for very young girls who do not have any experiences but I think its fine that they go out to restaurant s in groups and stay in the safely of their group and learn social skills.
But first learn as much as you can about the man before you meet him, where does he lives, who knows him that you may know, where does he work, things that you would be able to identify him, should anything happen, I would even take a foto of him as soon as you meet him and see how he reacts. Communicating by email or text is good ask him to send a foto, before you meet, even if you met a man outside you can still get him to communicate with you via text or email, just telling him you are too busy to speak on the phone and can get back to him ion your own time. NEVER SPEAK TO A MAN BEFORE MARRIAGE LATE ON THE PHONE.
If you can ask him to call your dad or brother or mail friend to ask his permission to meet you, and make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, get them to call on the date,
I saw 5 minutes of Sex in The City today in passing and they had arranged to call each other during the date.
I drive there or get a cab and make sure I make my own way home, “no I don’t need a lift home thank you!”
you choose the venue the restaurant and make sure it’s very public not some back street place.
I ask for whatever I want within reason without going over the top for the sake of it, me go Dutch???? do half???? no way, if you want afford to take me to lunch then you definitely cannot afford to marry me.
make sure you say thank you along the way and tell the man that the foods is nice, the restaurant is nice etc. make sure you finished the date first, even make sure you tell him at the beginning of the date when you need to leave.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, Islamically until the man make the proposal and you accept there doesn’t have to be exclusivity, once the proposal has been made and the woman can make it and the man can accept then there must be exclusive……….but still no kissing and no touching etc, even if you really want to….DON’T!
Get him to meet your parents or family and make sure you meet his………. get him to buy you a ring at least…just ask! one thing I learnt from Arab women is ask, as we say in English ” if you don’t ask then you don’t get!” all the best honeys may Allah protect us all and bring you closer to HIM ameen.