This is the question I was asked by an apparently liberal Muslimah---who has been "constantly" debating about it with people for its justification in the doctrine of Islam. My answer would not quite be to her satisfaction; she would most likely ignore my answer, ignoring the Quran too.
Our contributor Saleem Smith lately wrote: "Ironically, honorable Muslims are the worst Muslims; for, they give a bad religion a good name..."
One feature of these "good Muslims" or "moderate Muslims"---from non-Arab Muslim countries in particular---is that they are generally ignorant about the basic tenets and texts of Islam. Not that it is hard to master them; they won't just read those texts---Quran, Hadith, Sira, books on Sharia law etc.---because life works, mostly, to their satisfaction even without having the fundamental knowledge of Islam, thanks to a modern system of life they are born to, largely based on contributions of kafirs.
And one trait of these variant of Muslims is that they will try to justify everything they like in life in the light of Islam. Some would say that the idea comes from, or was shaped by, Islam; others, when confronted by the pious, would say that the idea has no conflict with Islam.
The issue of premarital love-relationship, and even having a bits of romance before marriage, is one such issue. In a world, marriage of underage girls (like 6-year-old Aisha) is a no-no, and when marrying late is becoming a trend, at least in educated section of Muslim societies, relationship before marriage, thanks undoubtedly to western winds, is becoming a norm, and an irresistable one, in that section of Muslim societies. So, those so-called educated, liberal Muslims have to justify premarital relationship and even bits of romance, not on rational, logical ground, but on an Islamic one. And they would debate with the pious, who frown upon such idea, with unfaltering tenacity---despite the fact that they have no knowledge of Islam.
Ms. Sabina Khan's is one such case. She has been debating "constantly" with friends and others about the compatibility of premarital love and remance, obviously when she lacks the knowledge of Islam's fundamental texts. Nonetheless, I must commend that she is interested in finding out what Islam truly says about it. I have tried to answer, hopefully, to her satisfaction:
Sabina Khan wrote:
Hello (: I have searched for ages but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I constantly have this argument with friends and such that kissing and declaring that you like someone it not absolutely forbidden or wrong. Could you help me? Possibly with a quranic reference because no one who I've discussed this with seems to have any proof or a single quote to back them up. Thank you.
M. A. Khan's reply:
Please note that we are an ex-Muslim website, dedicated to criticizing the weaknesses, irrationalities, and cruelties etc. of Islam. So you should be careful, while considering our advice/opinion.
The following verse is relevant to your query:
And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss.
So, the Quran clearly commands Muslim women to cover themselves completely, even not to make their ornaments visible, infront of any unrelated men. The thought of a love-relationship before marriage is out and out haraam; kissing your boyfriend or girlfriend would be manifold greater sin, as commonsense would suggest.
Please note that this anwer only touches the issue in question concerning the Muslim female partner in a relationship. For Muslim men, they have a much greater liberty, particularly concerning having a relationship with kafir women, which, for Muslim women, is an even greater no-no. Without going into it, I would hope that this was helpful, or what you wanted to know.