All of the explanation below goes back up to the top.Please remember this whenever you're faced with a Muslim conundrum. Some Muslims outright say it 'I'm dating' and they are, in the complete boy-meets-girl-third-base sense. This entire dating culture of meeting someone for only sex, for only a short-term relationship, is not the ideal or healthiest way to go about finding a partner-in-crime.For example, a couple can get engaged and allow a few weeks to prepare for the wedding ceremony.All this while though there is still no secret balcony meeting or physical contact allowed which is why the Nikah (Islamic marriage) needs to be performed first.Things like self-preservation, discipline and protection, do.
Just like the government only gets involved with married individuals (a man/woman can sleep around all they want without responsibility), God's relationship laws are only for those with the maturity and intellect to legally commit.There are no set rules for how to do this, it can be a small affair a week before part 2 (explained) or on the same day as the Walima. It all begins with Islamic courting and ends with a wedding party.Part 2: The big party afterwards is a public announcement known as the Walima, catered and sponsored by the husband. It's not supposed to be costly but it is supposed to be joyous and open to all. His laws on interaction and dignity are priority throughout. There is no engagement in Islamic law, as understood by popular culture.You don't wait 6 months to get married and there is no gigantic engagement party.