Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
My fiancé drunk alcohol for the first time in his life due to some major problems. Next day he messages me telling me about this mistake and promised me that he will never do this again. Should I beleive him and still marry him?
Answer: Assalam alaykum. Thank you for writing in. May Allah grant you every good.
Marriage is a major step in life and choosing a spouse with the right qualities is essential to not only a harmonious relationship between husband and wife, but also in raising a pious family.
Qualities in a spouse
The Prophet ﷺ advised us that, ‘A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious.’ [Al Bukhari, Muslim]
The above hadith applies also the attributes to be sought in men. The first thing that both men and women should look for in a prospective spouse is piety and good character, the rest is all a bonus. A pious spouse will guide and inspire the family to good, and will be more likely to treat the family with respect and kindness through times of ease and hardship.
Looking for a spouse
One should take their time when choosing a spouse and enquire as much as possible into their character, religious outlook and practice, the company they keep, occupation, their likes and dislikes, hobbies, etc. One should also ask about the family and the upbringing of the children.
One should also involve and take advice from one’s own parents, and seek counsel from local scholars and others if appropriate, until one’s heart is at rest and a confident decision can be made.
If something seems a bit amiss with a potential spouse, then it’s highly likely there is an issue there. While it is very commendable that the person in question regrets his actions, it is still a cause of concern that he turned to alcohol during his difficulties. We all make mistakes, and none of us are infallible, however, since the matter is one of marriage, when we get major warning signs, we have to proceed with cautiousness.
It is not really possible to know if this is the first time that her has drunk, or whether it is an ongoing issue, and indeed if there are other issues he has not shared with you, or how recent behaviour compare with the rest of his religious practice.
Therefore, I would sincerely advise you to make enquiries and seek advice from your parents and others. Be honest with yourself, and put aside any of your emotions and concern for his feelings. It is your religion and happiness that needs to be considered at this point.
If you have doubts and concerns in your heart, even if slight, then I would say it is safer not to marry then to proceed with doubt. And Allah knows best.
I wish you all the very best and that Allah grant you to a marriage with is full of blessings.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.