Relations before marriage

Question: What is the view of the religion concerning [pre-marital] relations?

Response: If the questioner means by "before marriage," before consummation of the marriage but after the contract, the there is no harm in such relations since she is his wife by virtue of the contract, even though they have not decorously consummate the marriage. However, if it is before the marriage, such as during the period of engagement or otherwise, such contact is forbidden and impermissible. It is not allowed for a man to enjoy a nor related woman's company, either by speech, look or private company.

It is confirmed that the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said:

((A man cannot be alone with a woman except in the presence of [one of her] mahram. And a woman cannot travel except with a mahram)).

In sum, if that contact or association is after the marriage contract, there is no harm in it. If it is before the marriage ceremony, even if it is after proposal and acceptance, it is not allowed. Such behavior is forbidden for him since the woman is a non-relative and non-wife until they conclude the marriage contract.

Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen
Fataawa al-Mar.ah