Should I Marry Someone I Don’t Know Well?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I am 20 years old and feel too young to get married. I still have a few years until I graduate. Recently a boy messaged me from my home country with all our parents’ permission. I am talking to him over SMS. He has prayed for istikhara and got a good feeling.

I did it for three days, still unsure what to think. The suitor does not have all the qualifications I wanted in my future husband, but he seems to be a good guy and wants to marry me. My parents are unsure, too. I never wanted marriage right now, but he makes me feel different.

Answer

It is complex and too early to say whether you should marry him or not. Here are some steps you can take:

Pray Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance continuously; you can pray for up to 21 days. See the link for more information. Also, pray istikhara about the timing of your marriage; perhaps you should finish school first.

Talk to him on the phone or on Skype. You cannot get real cognizance of a person until you talk to or see him. It is also sunna to see someone that you consider for marriage. Mughirah bin Shu’ba wanted to marry a woman. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Go and look at her, for that is more likely to create love between you.’ ‘So he did that, married her, and mentioned how well he got along with her.’” [Ibn Maja]

Ask others about him. You must find out if anyone else can tell you something about him, especially how he behaves in unpleasant situations. A friend told me once that he would not consider marrying his son into a family that he had not known for at least ten years. Conditions can be precarious these days. The fact that he wants to marry you is not a good reason to marry him.

Most importantly, follow the Prophet’s advice. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “A woman may be married for four things: Her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, or for her religion. Choose the religious; may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” [Ibn Maja] If you are not marrying him for religion first, you should probably drop it. That is the most important thing for him to have. Anything less than that should be a deal-breaker.

Please see all these links about approaching marriage and try to take a free course at Seekers on marriage so you don’t enter into it without knowing your obligations and rights.

Kindly check these links:
Love, Marriage, and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
How Can I Stop an Engagement Which I Am Unsure About?

May Allah Most High send you the best man for you and bless your union.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, 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.