What Is the Best Course To Take when a Potential Spouse Wants Me To Follow his Legal School?

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalamu ‘alaikum,

I have received a proposal from someone who wants me to follow his school of thought in jurisprudence. I find this very difficult to achieve. What should I do?

Answer: Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah,

I am sorry to hear about your difficult situation. I pray that Allah grants you the patience to cope with it.

It is permissible to follow any of the four recognized schools of law (Shafi’i; Hanafi; Maliki; Hanbali). One does not need a good reason to follow one or the other; convenience, or similarity in practice, suffices as a reason. Following a school that accords with your current practice makes it easier to follow, which is a good thing.

It also isn’t a requirement at all that one follow the same school of law as one’s spouse. There are many people – including scholars who are well-known – who have chosen good spouses that follow a different school of law and get along just fine.

You may want to bring this to his attention; it may be that he is unaware of this. If he persists, depending on your own personal situation and circumstances, you may want to reconsider him as a candidate. It generally is not a good sign when a potential spouse makes unreasonable demands; it may speak to a controlling nature, or inability to focus on what is important.

Again, I am sorry that you are in this situation. I pray that Allah the most high guides you both to what is best, and facilitates for you your affairs, in this life and the next.

Shuaib Ally