Arab Dating and Courtship

Arab dating or courtship follow Islamic traditions closely as most of Arab people are followers of Islam known as Muslims.

The term 'dating' in the Arab Muslims world does not have the same contextual meaning as in the Western culture.

Instead of dating, Arab Muslim couples "court" with the intention of finding a suitable marriage partner. Unlike dating in Western culture where you can have a casual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, young Arab women do not enter into one-on-one intimate relationships.

Rules on courting an Arab Muslim

However if you think you might be interested in marriage, there are certain rules for courting an Arab Muslim.

Here are some of the courtship guidelines:

  • lovemaking or sex before marriage is not allowed in the Islamic laws
  • pre-marital relationships of any kind between members of the opposite sex is forbidden
  • you should not talk about sex with the person you like because that is inappropriate according to Islamic laws
  • there is no such thing as premarital cohabitation in Arab culture

dating, romance
courting, engagement, keeping company, love, , pursuit, suit, wooing

How do Arab decide whom to marry if they don't date?

In the conservative Arab world, the choice of a marriage partner is one of the most important decision an Arab single will make in his or her lifetime.

Family involvement in the choice of a marriage partner helps to ensure that the choice of partner is based on careful evaluation, not on the couple's romantic desires.

Extended Network

The Arab family uses word of mouth, relatives and a social network to make arranging marriages easier.

Most of the time they make enquires, discussions and suggest candidates from among the extended network of Arab friends and relatives. They consult with each other to narrow down potential prospects.


The Arab family makes discrete enquiries and arranges suitable meetings with the other family once a suitable partner has been agreed upon.

They continue to investigate the character of the prospective match by asking friends, families and coworkers.

Controlled courtship environment

If the young Arab couple and their families agree, the couple meets in a chaperoned, group environment. The Arab families will allow for different levels of contact and privacy between the couple.

Freedom of choice

In Arab Islamic dating, the freedom of choice are given to both young Arabic men and single Arab women. A couple will decide whether to pursue marriage or part their ways. An Arabic couple cannot be forced into a marriage if they cannot reach a mutual agreement.

Different types of modern Arab dating

Most of modern day Arab courtship is mainly in the form of "Halal dating" where couples are introduced to each other by parents or friends. They spend time chatting using instant messaging or Arab online dating services.

Islamic Arab Dating

This type of courtship called Islamic Arab Dating helps to ensure a long lasting marriage by involving their family and guidance. Islamic Arab dating is designed in a special way so that no boy or girl is forced to marry without his or her consent and at the same time they obtain the blessings of the family.

Halal Dating

In halal dating, a clear understanding exists between the Arabic man and the single Arab woman that they are committed to marriage. They view each other as a life partner and eventually will sign a marriage contract.

Under the Islamic law,signing a marriage contract allows them to spend more time together. It is the growing popularity of Halal dating that has led to the mushrooming of Arab singles and online Arab dating services.

Different groups of modern Arab dating

Arab Muslim dating or courtship in Western countries are more relaxed over time. Arab Muslims in foreign countries have devised their own ways of getting past the dating restrictions with novel alternatives.

  • the first group practices Halal dating (permissive by Islam)
  • The second group can be called as "Eid Muslims," who practice their faith only on holy days. They do not follow the laws of Muslim dating completely however they do avoid intimate physical contact.
  • The third group is the Free Thinkers. They are completely Haram and are open to premarital sex and Western-style relationships.

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