Meeting the spouse-to-be before marriage
Is it allowed for a boy and a girl to talk and meet regularly before they decide that they want to go ahead with the marriage? Are they even allowed to interact, look at each other? If yes then to what extent and for what reasons exactly?
The important condition in nikah is that both the boy and the girl should give their willing consent to marry each other. That willingness can be had at times without knowing or meeting each other on the basis of information passed on to them through others. However, if they want to know each other, they can meet, preferably not alone. If they meet alone, they should do the meeting for as little a while as possible. It is better that they correspond through internet or mobile phone. All possible ways of meeting that are likely to create negative, base feelings should be avoided.
Although interaction between the two genders within limits of decency is allowed in Islam, it is the occasions where the situation can go beyond those limits that are desired to be avoided. The concern of Islam on unbridled interaction between the two genders is based essentially on that concern.
Istikhara can help greatly in forming opinion about marriage, especially when other related information is employed in the process of praying to God through istikhara.