Will it be permissible for a girl and boy considering marriage to meet and talk to one another - for a few minutes for the sake of doing the Sunnah of meeting prior to nikah - without the girl's wali being present in the room? For instance, the wali is nearby (i.e. next room) but not necessarily sitting in the same room? Does he have to be in the same room as the girl and boy?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Before being married to one another, a man and woman considering marriage are ghair mahrams to each other; and the rules that apply to ghair mahram people will apply to them as well. The only thing that is permissible and sunnah for potential couples is to have a look at their potential spouse (The man can only look at the face and palms of his potential bride).
It is forbidden for a ghair mahram man and woman to be in seclusion. Being together in one room without a mahram being present is considered to be in seclusion, even if there is a mahram in the next room.
Hence, it will not be permissible for a boy and girl considering marriage to meet and talk to one another in a room without a mahram being present there in the same room. The girl’s mahram/wali being in the next room will not make a difference. Instead, the girl’s mahram/wali should be present in the same room; and if there is a need for the girl and boy to ask questions to each other, it should be kept brief and to the point.
(Shaami: 6/368-370, Saeed; Bazl-ul-majhood: 3/228; Footnote 1 of Abu Dawud: 1/301; Aap Ke Masa’il: 5/27-28)
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Faizal Riza
Darul Ifta Australia