Why Is a Woman’s Value and Desirability Based on Her Virginity?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I heard that in Islam, the desirability of marrying a woman is based on whether she was previously married or not. And if a man was married 10 times before, this does not have the slightest effect on his desirability for marriage. Why are women placed under such a burden?

So a woman who was married to a man who abused her and then divorced, this poor woman who suffered in a harsh marriage, will have less desirability for marriage according to Islam. So a man who was married so many times before should find a virgin, and he is not looked down upon.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for wanting women to experience the same ease and happiness that men experience, and may He reward you for your pursuit of justice.


A woman’s desirability is not based on her virginity, it is based on her religiosity. A pious and religious woman is the number one priority for marriage according to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

He said (Allah bless him and give him peace), “A woman is married for four things, her wealth, her family status, her beauty, and her religion. So you should marry a religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser. [Bukhari; Muslim]

Please see this excellent and detailed answer (first link) to your question:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.