JEDDAH: An Islamic preacher has denied telling an online publication that Islam does not prohibit unsupervised phone calls between young women and men before they get engaged.
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Nujaimi was reported to have told online publication Awj that it is fine for an unrelated man and woman to get to know each other before he proposes to her.
He added in the interview that the woman does not have to be supervised by a male guardian or her mother while she is speaking to the man and they both simply have to know their limits.
Al-Nujaimi told Arab News he was misquoted. “This is completely wrong, I never said that women could talk to men before they get married. What I said was the complete opposite,” he said. “I told her that if both families are fine with the bride and the groom talking over the phone, then the woman has to be accompanied by her mother or a male guardian who can supervise the conversation.”
Arab News contacted the journalist who stood by her report. However, she refused to provide a recording of the interview.
Awj also reported that Al-Nujaimi advised women to marry into families they already knew or heard of. However, this did not mean preventing marriages to potential partners from other regions, he reportedly said, adding that it was better if the bride knew a bit about the groom before the wedding.
A male guardian must supervise the phone calls between such couples, Al-Nujaimi told Arab News. “Without a male guardian, women should be forbidden from speaking to unrelated men,” he said. “If the young woman was reluctant to have her parents present, then she has to be supervised by her older brother,” he added.