Should I Marry a Man Who Seems Less Intelligent Than Me?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have met a man and I have been hesitant about marrying him. He is very nice, but not as religious, smart nor does he make the salary that I do.

I made dua asking for a sign and it just so happened that shortly after I was reading surah Al-Naba. It just so happened that my eyes fell on the English translation of the “And created you in pairs” verse. I still have unsure feelings but I don’t know if reading this surah and seeing this translation was a sign.

Basically, I just need someone to rationalize with me.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for sincerely praying istikhara about this and for looking to the Quran for guidance.


I personally don’t think that reading the English translation of that verse was a sign and instead I ask you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of marrying him. Off the bat, it seems to me that he doesn’t match you well. If I were in your shoes, I would want to feel excited, happy, and not have a single doubt about the man I was to marry.

Follow your heart, for those feelings, are one of the answers of istikhara as well.

Married for Four

I would opt for someone who is as intelligent, higher-earning, and more importantly, as religious as you. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!“ [Bukhari & Muslim]

A religious man, despite his intellect and salary, will always have beauty and humility to him, so that other shortcomings can be overlooked. I don’t feel that here.


I can tell that you are the kind of person who needs to be quite convinced before marrying someone and that you need to marry someone who is easy to respect and admire. I suggest that you take these courses and read these articles in order to prepare yourself while you can. Also, feel free to pray istikhara again just so you can be sure of your feelings.

Please see these links as well:
Reading Material
The Reality of Istikhara
Istikhara – a Powerful Prayer When in Need of Guidance
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

Free Courses
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
40 Hadiths on Successful Marriage: Key Teachings of the Prophet on Beautiful, Loving, Caring Married Life
Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage
Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage

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, where she completed her Masters 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.

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