Engagement is a serious step in a relationship between man and woman, including in Islam. It marks two person are looking for marriage soon. In Islam, engagement happens when a man asks a woman to marry him. Islam strongly encourages engagement as a right step to take rather than in a haram relationship like dating.
Relationship After Engagement in Islam
Even though it's not an Islamic culture, exchanging ring becomes an important point in engagement. It is a way to show others that someone is engaged already, so he/she is not single anymore. Nothing stated the Wedding Ring in Islam Rules for Bride and Groom so it's merely a symbol.
The question is, how does the relationship after engagement in Islam become? Is there any distinctive change than before? Here are the explanation:
1. The Ring Makes No Difference
Ring is merely symbol in an engagement in Islam. It doesn't even recommended since Islamic tradition never mentioned ring in an engagement. So that when someone is wearing in engagement ring, doesn't mean their relationship should be change too. The difference is only that they are closer to marriage.
2. Engagement is Not an Islamic Thing
Instead of engagement, there are Concept of Taaruf in Islam for Muslims who want to get married. Engagement is not an Islamic tradition, so it's not recommended for Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad said, “You will inevitably follow the paths of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will follow them.” We said, “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?” - Bukhari & Muslim
3. Fiance is Not a Husband
Engagement happened before marriage, it's enough to state that your fiance is not your husband. So even you're closer to marriage, you shouldn't treat him like one. Since both are still strangers, in Islamic engagement the man usually not allowed to put the ring on the woman's finger by himself.
4. Make Your Intention Clear
In Islam, every action can be told good and bad base on the intention, including getting married. A marriage should be done under the intention to seek for blessing from Allah SWT, nothing else. Something started with bad intention will not usually turns out well.
5. Appear More Positive
Being engaged means your fiance would like to know more about you. There will be meeting with him before marriage, so they way you present yourself matters. Be bright and positive in front of him. Show your true charms and no need to fake anything. As much as he wants to impress you, you should impress him too. At this state, being true and sincere is more important.
6. Communicate in the Right Way
Being engaged doesn't mean anything different. You are still not allowed to look directly at your lover and communication should be done in righteous way as in Islamic Dating Rules. You shouldn't meet frequently, on top of that without a third person.
7. Prepare for the Marriage
Period after engagement happened should be used to prepare for the marriage. The real adventure starts right after the first day of marriage. Becoming a good husband and wife in the future is more important than thinking about how the relationship should be going. Women better learn the Ways to Love Your Husband in Islam.
8. Look for Advice from Family and Friends
Marriage is not a simple course. Islam treated marriage as sacred thing that failure in a marriage that ended with divorce is the thing Allah hates most. Before stepping into that phase, a young man and young woman should ask for advice to their family and friends who have experienced it. They will give a clear picture of how real marriage would like.
9. Do the Istikharah Prayer
Engagement doesn't set everything. One can change their mind if they want to even though it's rare. Do counsel with Allah about the decision, ask for His guidance to assure you that what you have chosen is the best for you. This gives you peace and reassurance that Allah will back you up whatever happen.
10. Make a Lot of Dua
When you love someone, never forget to mention them in your dua. Ask for Allah's blessing so that things will be going well until the day of your marriage. Send many Dua for Love from Someone That You Love for the marriage full of love.
11. Do Not Flirt Each Other
There is no big difference between dating and engaged in Islam. While flirting is not allowed before, it's still not permissible after the marriage as well. Both have to keep their gazes low. Both must hold on their desire and not letting it take over. It will eventually be permissible after marriage so be patient for good.
12. No Sexual Intercourse
Sexual intercourse is only for married couple. Enough said that engaged ones are not allowed to have any little of it. Committing adultery is surely a mistake during engagement which lead to a very big sin.
“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” (Al Israa 17;32)
13. Don't Just be Alone with Him
Sexual desire grows even closer after the engagement. A couple should do their best hold it down. The best way to avoid is by not meeting with the fiance alone. When a woman and man is together alone, so the third would be saytaan.
14. Keep Looking for the Pleasure of Allah
Keep in mind that anything you do is for the pleasure of Allah. It helps you put your mind in the right track and staying away from the sins.
From the explanation above we see that there is no major difference in relationship after engagement in Islam. Both man and woman should keep their chastity until the day where they officially married come.