Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permissible for a
woman to show her adornment except to those whom Allaah has mentioned in the
verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“… and not to show off
their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for
necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like
veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over
Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal
their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their
husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers
or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women
(i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands
possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no
sense of feminine sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal
what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you
all, O believers, that you may be successful”
The suitor is not one of
these, rather he is only permitted to look for the purpose of proposing
marriage, and the woman does not have the right to adorn herself for him.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is permissible for the suitor to see the
woman to whom he is proposing marriage, but that is subject to certain
1 – That he needs to see
her. If there is no need then the basic principle is that a man should not
look at a woman who is a non-mahram to him, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “Tell the believing men to lower their
gaze (from looking at forbidden things)” [al-Noor 24:30].
2 – He should have made up
his mind that he wants to propose. If he is still hesitant then he should
not look, but if he has made up his mind then he may look, then he should
either go ahead or give up the idea.
3 – This looking should be
without being alone with her, i.e. it is essential that she have one of her
mahrams with her, either her father, brother, paternal uncle or maternal
uncle. That is because being alone with a non-mahram woman is haraam,
because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“No man should be alone with a woman without a mahram being present.” And he
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of entering
upon women.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what about the in-law? He
said: “The in-law is death.”
4 – He should think it most
likely that she and her family will accept. If he does not think that is
most likely, then there is no point in looking in this case, because his
proposal will not be accepted, whether he looks at her or not.
Some scholars stipulated
that his desire should not be provoked when looking, and that his aim should
be only to find out. If his desire is provoked then he must stop looking,
because before the marriage contract is done with a woman, it is not
appropriate to enjoy looking at her, so he must refrain. In this situation
the woman must come out to the suitor looking ordinary; she should not come
out wearing beautiful clothes or makeup, because she is not yet his wife.
Moreover, if she comes to him looking beautiful and wearing her best
clothes, then he may propose because he was dazzled by her the first time he
looked at her, then he will find out that she is not as she appeared to him
End quote from
Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb
Elsewhere he (may Allaah
have mercy on him) indicated that this may have the opposite effect, because
if he looks at her when she is wearing makeup and fine clothes, he may see
her as more beautiful than she really is, and in that case when he enters
upon her following the wedding and sees her as she really is, he may be put
off her and no longer interested in him.
To sum up: If a suitor
comes to a woman it is permissible for her to uncover her face and hands and
head and that which usually appears, according to the correct view, but
without wearing any cosmetics or adornments.
And Allaah knows best.