Is kissing before marriage allowed in Islam?

Kissing before marriage is a controversial topic in Islam. There are differing opinions on whether it is permissible or prohibited. Some scholars argue that all physical intimacy before marriage is forbidden, while others believe that some forms of kissing are allowed within certain boundaries. This article will examine the evidence and views from both sides of the debate.

What does Islam say about physical intimacy before marriage?

In general, Islam prohibits any physical intimacy between unmarried individuals. The Quran states:

“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” (Quran 17:32)

This verse prohibits not only intercourse but any actions that may lead to it. Many scholars interpret this to include passionate kissing, touching, caressing, and being alone in private.

The Prophet Muhammad also advised Muslims to avoid situations that could lead to temptation:

“No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan will be the third one present.” (Tirmidhi)

He further stated:

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not be alone with a woman who has no mahram with her. No man should touch a woman to whom he is not related or put his hand on her.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Based on such guidance, most scholars consider any form of intimacy before marriage as unlawful. However, there are some dissenting opinions on certain types of kissing.

Views that all kissing is prohibited before marriage

Many orthodox scholars completely forbid any kind of kissing, hugging, or touching with lust between unmarried partners. Their arguments include:

– Allah has declared all premarital intimacy as sinful. There is no distinction made for ‘light’ or ‘heavy’ actions.

– Kissing arouses desire and passion which could lead to greater sins. It should be avoided at all costs.

– The Prophet’s guidance to avoid seclusion and touching indicates that kissing is also prohibited.

– Allowing some intimacy like kissing could open the door to more sinful behavior. A clear line needs to be drawn.

– Kissing someone implies a level of attachment and commitment reserved only for marriage. It should not be done casually.

According to this view, any type of lustful kissing or touching is unlawful. Some scholars also prohibit emotional kissing between potential spouses to avoid attachment before marriage is finalized. They argue for completely chaste interaction.

Views that non-lustful kissing is allowed

On the other hand, some scholars have adopted more lenient views on kissing. They argue that kisses not done with lust or fear of temptation are allowed for couples considering marriage. Their evidence includes:

– The Quran and Sunnah prohibit lustful actions but do not explicitly forbid simple kissing. It cannot be declared haram without direct evidence.

– Kissing out of care and emotions, without fear of temptation is allowed according to the rules of Islamic jurisprudence.

– If done in a prudent manner, kissing will not lead to other sins. It can bring couples closer within permitted limits.

– The Prophet’s prohibitions were about lust and seclusion, implying pure kissing without such concerns is halal.

– Kissing can be a way to express affection within the boundaries of respect and public modesty.

Those adopting this view allow simple kissing on the cheeks, head, hands, shoulders, and forehead as long as it remains innocent and controlled. However, passionate mouth kissing or French kissing would still be prohibited. There is also disagreement on whether couples who end up in seclusion have committed a sin if they controlled themselves and did not commit further sin.

Key principles both sides agree on

Despite disagreeing on the permissibility of innocent kissing between potential spouses, scholars on both sides agree on some key principles:

– Lustful kissing and touching with desire is completely forbidden at any stage before marriage. There is unanimous consensus on this.

– After initiating a marriage proposal, men and women must observe rules of modesty and hijab when interacting. There should be no seclusion or questionable situations where others do not have open access to them.

– If kissing leads to fear of committing greater intimacy, it should be avoided. Islamic law aims to prevent not just sin itself but ways that lead to it.

– Public displays of affection like kissing in front of others is considered offensive. Restraint and modest behavior must be observed at all times.

While the debate continues, these rules are not disputed by mainstream Islamic scholars. Engaged couples are advised to avoid grey areas and actions that could push limits.

Evidence for those permitting pure kissing

The evidence cited by scholars who allow non-lustful kissing relies on the following:

– The Quran and Sunnah only prohibit lustful actions. Kissing due to care and emotions is not directly forbidden. Laws cannot be extended to what scriptures have not addressed.

– Islamic jurisprudence principles state that acts are permissible by default unless declared haram. Kissing does not meet the criteria to be definitively prohibited.

– Hadith mention avoiding seclusion and touching out of fear of temptation. They do not forbid casual kissing between couples who have controlled themselves and not exceeded proper limits.

– Examples exist of companions expressing affection by kissing the hands and foreheads of the Prophet. Some scholars interpret this as evidence that appropriate kissing is allowed.

– The Prophet allowed fondling one’s spouse in areas other than the private parts. This indicates some forms of physical intimacy like kissing are permissible when done with self-restraint.

– Differences of opinion have existed on kissing among the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence, indicating room for more than one interpretation on this issue.

However, those arguing complete prohibition present counter evidence to these citations. There is merit and scholarly basis to positions on both sides of the debate.

Practical guidance for couples

The issue of kissing before marriage requires wisdom and care for couples seeking to please God. Some key guidance they can follow includes:

– Avoid completely secluded situations where no others have access to you. Be prudent about where and when you interact privately with your fiancé(e).

– Both partners must consciously avoid lust, passion or temptation when together. Never allow emotions and desire to control reason.

– Set clear physical boundaries you will not cross before marriage. Stick to only undisputed acts of affection like holding hands, putting head on shoulder, simple hugs, etc.

– Focus on developing emotional and spiritual intimacy. Express care through words, gifts, acts of service, quality conversation, shared goals and values.

– Seek Allah’s protection from Satan’s whispers to commit sin. Turn to Him in repentance if boundaries are crossed and do not repeat mistakes.

– Consider the differing but valid scholarly opinions. Be cautious about matters unclear to you and avoid grey areas.

– Increase good deeds, Quran reading, voluntary fasting and worship. Strengthening one’s faith aids self-control.

– Ask God for a blessed, happy marriage soon to permittedly fulfill desires in the best possible way.


There are two main scholarly opinions on kissing before marriage – one that completely prohibits any kind of kissing, and another that allows non-lustful kissing within defined limits. Both positions have valid evidences and legal support from Quran, Sunnah and Islamic jurisprudence. However, all scholars agree that lustful kissing or touching with fear of temptation is unlawful. Couples must avoid questionable situations and behavior that could lead to greater intimacy before marriage. With balanced knowledge of the evidence and active self-control, unmarried Muslims can progress towards marriage in a prudent manner. The blessings of an intimate relationship are worth observing patience and discipline for. With wisdom and care, couples can avoid unclear matters and preserve chastity for Allah’s sake.

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