Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

Seeing A Potential Spouse

When a sister intends to meet a brother for marriage what are the conditions for hijaab?

When a man considers it probably that his proposal will be accepted, he is allowed to look at the perspective bride as long they are not alone together (khalwah) and there is there is safety from sexual desire. He may look at her even without her permission, and he may see her face, neck, hands, and feet.

[ Sources: Nail Al-Ma'arib, Akhsar Al-Mukhtarisat ]

In addition, it is best for her to see him as well especially since it is recommended for her guardian to ask for her opinion before accepting any proposals.

As for what she needs to wear, the minimum recommended definition of covering according to the Shari`ah is that the covering itself be thick enough to hide the color of the skin and hair underneath, and loose enough to hide the underlying form.

It is highly recommended for women to wear pants in addition to a dress, skirt, or long shirt going down to their knees.

Her hijab must cover her neck and ears (with the exception of the neck when in front of someone wishing to make a proposal).

The Hanbalis and Shafi`is consider covering the face to be obligatory; the Hanafis do not when there is safety from fitnah.

The Hanbalis and Shafi`is also consider it obligatory to cover her hands, whether it be by means of gloves or a long hijab; so do the Hanafis if she has henna or any sort of makeup.

The Hanbalis and Shafi`is consider it obligatory for her to cover her feet, so she needs to wear socks or shoes that do this.

If she wears jewelry or makeup, she needs to cover up the color and/or scent. She should do her best to avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos, and lotions as much as possible.

She must avoid all forms of clothing that are designed to attract attention.

While the question was about what she wears, I would like to point out that men should also wear clothing that both conceals the underlying color of the skin and hair, and is loose fitting. Brothers are way too lax, always reminding the sisters what it sunnah to wear while completely neglecting themselves.

It is highly recommended for him to put something on his head, and it is a blameworthy innovation (according to Ibn Rajab) to not do so. Adding a turban is even better.

He should let his beard grow a bit, enough to make it look like he's not ashamed to follow the way of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Companions (Allah be well pleased with them one and all), and all succeeding generations of Muslims up until this century.

He should wear pants or an izar in addition to a long shirt or a galabiyyah. If he can't, then he should wear pants and a shirt that does not need to be tucked in. If he can't, then he should wear a blazer or something over the shirt.

Track suites and warm-ups are disgusting and tacky. There is nothing sillier than a long bearded (or razor burned), track suite wearing dude walking with a heap of amorphous black clothing. Tank tops and knee-length shorts next to a mountain of trash-bag clad ninja has been out of fashion for at least fourteen centuries.

Chains and necklaces of all types are out. If he wants them in the akhirah, he has to foresake them in the dunya. Other than a single ring, jewelry is feminine decoration.

In general, it is offensive (makruh) to dress in a distinctive way, such that one sticks out.When among a Muslim population that has a traditional Islamic way of dressing (conceals the underlying color of the skin and hair, loose fitting, etc...) then it is better not to dress differently.

There are many Muslim clothing companies out there, wa al-hamdu lillah. I feel obliged to mention Shukr since it is run by a fellow student; it has a store on Yahoo!. May Allah give them and all of our Muslim brothers and sisters abundant success and reward in their dealings, in both the dunya and the akhira.

And Allah knows best.

wa al-salamu `alaykum