During the time of engagement, the man and woman are not married and are not allowed to be alone with each other. It is forbidden for them to have intimate relations during this time. Engaged couples should be moderate in their behaviour and abide by Islamic morals in their speech.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “Engagement in Islam is simply a commitment or promise to marry at a future date or time. Its sole function and significance is to keep other suitors at bay for the time being. There are virtually no other legal consequences that accrue from the period of engagement. Thus, engagement does not make what was otherwise considered haram (prohibited) as halal (permitted).
One must therefore never look at engagement as a license to engage in endless chats on the phone or exchange emails because in the Shari`ah they are still considered strangers. Failure to take this into account amounts to violating the principles of the Shari`ah.
The eminent Muslim scholar, Dr. `Abdul-Fattah `Ashoor, Professor of the Exegesis of the Qur’an at Al-Azhar Univ., adds: “Talking to one’s fiancé is like any other talk. It should not incite any sexual desires. Everyone should abide by the Islamic morals governing talk that is mentioned in the Qur’anic verse that reads: “O ye wives of the Prophet! Ye are not like any other women. If ye keep your duty (to Allah), then be not soft of speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease aspire (to you), but utter customary speech.” (Al-Ahzab: 32). The talk should be pure and moral. If one abides by these morals, then there is nothing wrong in talking with one’s fiancé.”