Men and women exchanging letters through magazines
Q: Some local and international magazines publish the names and addresses of men and women wishing to have correspondents. The addresser and addressee, who can be from the opposite sex, come to know each other through exchanging letters. Sometimes, the addresser invites the addressee to his country and hosts her in his house, even though he is a Muslim and lives in a Muslim country while she is from the People of the Book. The visit may last for several days. We would like to ask Your Eminence about the lawfulness of such visits according to the Shari`ah (Islamic law).
Is it permissible for a man to gaze at his female guest since she is from the People of the Book and not a Dhimmy (protected non-Muslim living under Islamic rule) who has inviolability?
Some people who study the Shari`ah and Qur'an claim that it is permissible for such a person to have sexual intercourse with his female guest who is to be regarded as a bondwoman if she is invited to Islam but refuses to embrace it. Would he be sinful if he has sexual intercourse with her or can it be considered a doubtful marriage dependant on the claim that she is a bondwoman?
(Part No. 17; Page No. 69) A: If the reality is as you mentioned, exchanging letters and visits as mentioned above is prohibited. It is even more prohibited to have sexual intercourse with her, because this is Zina (premarital sexual intercourse) and not sexual intercourse with a bondwoman or a doubtful marriage. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.