Will I Be Disobeying My Parents If I Turn Down a Marriage Proposal?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My parents suggested a girl to me for marriage who happens to be my second cousin whom I haven’t been in contact since childhood, so I practically know nothing about her.

They want me to agree to the marriage without meeting/seeing her, which to me seems impractical. I do not want to blindly say yes either.

How do I convince them to let me talk to her first? If they are not convinced, can I outright dismiss the idea?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. May Allah reward you for desiring to do striving to please your parents as best as you can.

Marriage is a major decision in life, and one must ensure that they are not rushed or pressured into it. Despite parent’s and family’s best wishes in arranging marriages, ultimately it is the couple who have to live together for the rest of their lives, not the family, so the willingness of both prospective spouses, and their compatibility and agreement that is essential.

Looking at one’s Prospective Partner

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said, ‘If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so’, [Abu Dawud], and, when learning that a Sahabi had not looked at his future spouse, he ﷺ said, ‘Look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.’ [al Daraqutni]

The encouragement to look at a prospective spouse is so that one can be confident in their decision to marry the person, and so that neither spouse will have regrets after marriage.

Obedience to parents and sin and dismissing

Allah has order ‘that ye be kind to parents’ [17:23], which means to honour them and treat them with respect, gentleness and kindness. However, the relationship is not unconditional, and one is not obliged to follow everything they command.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the marriage set-up or the prospective spouse, then you are in your right to either request that you see the girl, or to just end the talks completely. There will be no blame or wrong doing on your behalf.

However, you are obligated to do this in a kind and gentle manner when dealing with your parents, and bearing with any annoyance from them at your decision. Remember, to your parents, this is just the way they see that life works, and they may not quite understand your way of thinking.

Convincing you Parents

You mentioned that there is no elder to mediate on your behalf. Perhaps try speaking to a local scholar to mediate if one is available.

If not, then let them know your decision, but continue to be patient with them. If they show anger or annoyance for not going through with the marriage, show that you are listening to their opinion, speak to them light heartedly, and try to diffuse any tension by smiling and being gentle. Also, try to soften their hearts by giving them expensive gifts you know they will like. Sooner or later, they’ll give in to you.

May Allah Ta’ala bring every good to you, your parents, and grant you a happy and blessed marriage in the future.

Warmest salams,
[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.

What Is the Process for Delivering a Proposal For Someone’s Hand In Marriage?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

What is the process for delivering a proposal to a family?

If the girl is an illegitimate child and estranged from her father, can the proposal be given to someone else?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

May Allah reward you for your question.

The proposal process is not cast in stone and differs from culture to culture. As long as a given culture does not contradict the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, then there is no problem in adhering to that culture. The following however are important considerations:

1. When a brother shows interest in a sister, the correct procedure would be for him to approach her wali our guardian, either directly or through the medium of someone. The wali is the father, then the grandfather, then the brother and then the paternal uncle.

Note that in many Arab cultures, the mother would go and meet the potential sister and her mother, and would thereafter decide whether she is a suitable spouse for her son or not. Nonetheless,

2. If the brother has not seen or spoken to the sister before and the wali agrees to consider him as a potential spouse for his daughter, he would arrange a meeting between the two of them for viewing and discussion. This meeting may recur until both parties agree to marriage. These meetings should be strictly in the presence of her mahram and usually does not happen more than thrice unless there’s a need.

3. Once the couple reaches an agreement, they would pray Salah al-Istikharah which sort of acts as a rubber stamp. In other words, once the couple has weighed the pros and cons and reached a decision that they would like to pursue the marriage, they would pray istikharah asking Allah that if the marriage is good for them in this world and the next that He realizes it for them; and if it is not good for them, that he turns them away from it. Thus the couple should believe that when the marriage materializes that it came from Allah; and when it does not, it also came from Allah.

4. After the couple agreed to marry, a formal proposal would take place. Here cultures tend to differ considerably. I’m also assuming that your question is directed at this formal proposal. It is acceptable for the suitor to send a representative as how it is fine for him to attend in person. Similarly, the “fiancee to be” may or may not be present. The important thing, and this is where our local culture tends to drift off a bit, is that she should be dressed appropriately and modestly. Also, even though engaged, contact between them is still impermissible and thus holding hands or even a peck kiss, is totally unacceptable. Answering your question, the proposal is delivered to the wali or his representative and the wali would accept the proposal after consulting the sister. Note that when the wali is the father or grandfather, they are not obliged to consult their daughter or granddaughter, it is however recommend.

Your final question regarding an illegitimate father. The father is only considered illegitimate, when the child was born out of wedlock or prior to 6 months in wedlock. When it is established that the fiancee is an illegitimate child in a non-Muslim country, she has one of two options, namely, tawliyah or tahkim. Tawliyah is when she appoints a man of integrity to act as her wali. Tahkim is where she appoints, with her fiance, a scholar as an ad hoc judge to marry her off to her fiance.

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Can I Remove My Face Veil in Front of a Prospective Spouse?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaykum. I wear a face veil (niqaab). I have a second meeting with a potential for marriage. Am I allowed to reveal my face for the second time?

JazakAllahu khayr.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Yes, you should remove your face veil if the prospective spouse is still undecided about whether or not he would like to proceed with the marriage. If you have come to a mutual agreement to marry, then you should avoid unnecessary meetings and discussion which can be reasonably fulfilled by others or in other ways.

Please also see: Can I Look at the Hair of Woman before Deciding to Marry Her and How Can I Get Married if I Cant Look at the Opposite Sex and: Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam:All Your Questions Answered

And consider also taking the following free class: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages

And Allah Most High alone knows best.


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam.

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

What Should I Say When I Am Asked About Someone’s Past When It Comes to a Marriage Proposal?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I had a marriage proposal from a bride who I really liked but unfortunately someone from my family went to the bride’s family and said things about my past which were really bad. So they backed up. I am very sad about this.

If someone asks me about someone’s past for a marriage proposal should I disclose everything I know about his past?

Answer: In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate

Thank you for your question. I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you are facing. May Allah reward you immensely for turning your life around and grant you the very best in this life and the next.

In regards to your specific question of what is permitted to say when asked about a prospective spouse, the scholars discuss two scenarios: When a third party is approached for advice or a reference, and when the person himself is asked about his suitability for marriage.


If a third party is asked for advice concerning a prospective spouse for someone, there are two scenarios: when the person has bad character traits or is sinning (presently), and when the person may have sinned in the past but has now become upright. The following rules also apply to even when the third party is not asked for advice (i.e. they simply know of the marriage proposal and about the prospective spouse).

When the potential spouse possesses bad character, deficiencies, or is sinning (presently)

If the person being asked about is someone who is currently sinning or has blameworthy traits, such as irreligiousness, miserliness, aggression, laziness, etc., then the person being consulted is obliged (wajib) to disclose what they know of him. However, this must only be done in following way:

1. If the prospective spouse is not suitable at all, the third party must first limit their words to ‘He/She is not suitable for you’. If this suffices the one seeking advice, then it is not permissible to disclose any further information.

2. If this does not suffice the enquirer, then the third party must disclose further information, but only to the extent that the questioner understands the point or is content that he can make a decision. This means that the information must be given gradually, in the least amount necessary each time (e.g. he does not tell them everything all at once or the worst things first), giving a little bit more information, each time stopping and leaving it with the questioner to ask more if needed. If the potential spouse has major and minor flaws, or is committing major and minor sins, the third party must first mention the minor sins and observe if that suffices the questioner. If, at the end, he does end up having to tell the questioner about more serious flaws or sins relating to the person, then he may do so if necessary, even about major sins.

4. That the information they give is absolutely true of that person, and not based on mere assumption or gossip.

5. That the information is given with the intention of sincere counsel (naseeha), and for the genuine benefit of the questioner to make an informed decision regarding marriage. In such cases it would not be considered slander or backbiting because it has a legal excuse. It should not be for any other reason, such as trying to cause rifts between people, or merely for gossips sake.

Imam Ibn Hajr states, ‘Whoever is sought for advice regarding a prospective spouse, or a scholar whom one wants to meet, or a prospective business associate, [to enquire whether] are they suitable or not? Or [even] if not asked … He is obligated to mention … the person’s flaws according to the shariah as well as according to local custom. … It is not permissible [to mention anything] except that which is absolutely necessary, and therefore it is obligatory to mention his shortcomings step by step, starting with the least serious, then the next, then the next [and so on]. And this is one scenario [out of six] in which talking about another person with that which he would dislike [ghiba] is permissible.’ [Tuhfa al Muhtaj]

One of the textual proofs for this ruling comes from the rigorously authenticated hadith in which Fatimah bint Qays came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), enquiring about two men, Mu’aawiyah and Abu Jahm, both of whom had proposed to her. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘As for Abu Jahm, he does not put down his staff from his shoulder, and as for Mu’awiya, he is destitute, having no wealth.’ [Muslim, Ibn Majah]

The majority of the scholars explain the indirect words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), ‘he does not put down his staff from his shoulder’ to mean he beats his wives, while others have said it means he travels so often he is barely home. What is clear is that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned each men’s deficiencies as caution.

We also notice that contrary to the ruling we gave above, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not first restrict his words to ‘he is not suitable for you’, or mention the men’s deficiencies gradually, but rather he (peace and blessings be upon him) informed her straight away of the main issues concerning the two men. However, as the scholars have explained, the likely reason that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did this, was that even though the women would have sufficed with the words ‘he is not suitable for you’, he (peace and blessings be upon him) had known that this particular questioner thought that these two men had worse states than actually was the case, and therefore he clarified the situation for her in one go, by mentioning the crux of the matter straight away. [Nihayat al Muhtaj, Tuhfa]

When the potential spouse has repented and become upright

If the person being enquired about is known to have sinned or had bad character traits in the past, but it is known that he / she has become upright, then the third party should only mention his/her current state, and not refer to the person’s past.

If the enquirer persists in knowing more (for the genuine reason of marriage, not mere idle curiosity), then the advisor may inform him in the gradual manner we described above. While the third party should try to avoid mentioning the person’s past sins, if he did mention them as sincere counsel and that it would genuinely be in the questioner’s best interest, then it would be permitted to do so, even if it were major sins. Even then however, it is recommended one does not mention the person’s past sins, and one should do all they can to avoid it if possible. *

Again, we should also note that this is only permissible if there is concrete fact that the person had indeed committed those sins, and not based on hearsay, speculation, or inference. To do so without certainty is itself a major sin, as the honour, reputation, and prospects of a person is at stake.


When someone is directly asked about their own suitability for marriage, such as when a prospective spouse asks the other, or the prospective guardian asks the sought after bride or groom, there are also two scenarios.

When the potential spouse (being asked directly) possesses bad character, deficiencies, or is sinning (presently)

If the potential spouse is currently sinning in his life, or has blameworthy traits which will have an effect on the marriage and relationship, then there is a difference of opinion. The foremost opinion is that the prospective spouse being asked must do the following in order:

1. Tell the questioner ‘I am not suitable for you’.

2. If the questioner still insists on following up, then he / she either drops the proposal altogether, or informs the other person about all their shortcomings (that which is deemed as legal and local customary flaws), but this again is done gradually, one piece of information after the other.

[Tuhfa al Muhtaj, Nihayat al Muhtaj].

However, there is another valid opinion, and perhaps more practical and useful in most situations, which states, ‘If one is consulted about his own character, then [these instructions should be followed]:

1. If they have a deficiency or flaw that would legally permit a spouse to nullify a marriage contract (such as impotency, leprosy etc.), then it is obligatory for them to inform the other person.

2. If they have deficiencies or flaws that would not permit nullification of a marriage contract, but do reduce their desirability as a spouse, such as bad character or miserliness, then it is recommended to tell the person.

3. If they are currently sinning [whether minor or major sins], it is obligatory for him / her to make sincere repentance immediately, to conceal their own faults, and to not mention it to anyone else.

[Iyaanat al Talibin]

As a side note, it is advisable that people who are seeking to get married and looking for a spouse, should not wait until the point of marriage talks to give up sins and repent, in the hope that marriage will keep them on the straight and narrow. While repentance is good at any time, it isn’t fair to introduce another person in one’s life when it is still on shaky ground or just at the beginning of the right path. Therefore, unless one fears committing more sins by not getting married, one should ideally get their lives and work on establishing a firm footing in the religion, and even their worldly life, before seeking out their life-long partner.

When the potential spouse (being asked directly) has repented and become upright

As for when a person has already made sincere repentance and has become, or working hard to become, an upright person, then there is no difference of opinion in that the person should not tell anyone, including a prospective spouse, about their past sins or flaws.

It is also permitted to lie in such a situation, such as when someone asks another if they have done such and such sin, and they answer ‘No’ even if they have. Lying in this situation is recommended, while many scholars have stated it is obligatory.

I hope the above answers your question in detail.

In regards your own personal situation, it is unfortunate that a relative has mentioned your past mistakes, especially because you have shown that you have left old habits behind and are trying to live correctly. No one is infallible, even great people, and everyone deserves second chances (as well as third, fourth and many more chances!).

Perhaps the following will be of help:

1. Try speaking to, or get someone to speak to the relative who is mentioning these things about you. Try to get them to understand that you have changed and it is causing you distress.

2. Perhaps request the sister’s family to see you and explain to them your situation and that while what has been said maybe true, it is the past and that you have changed. However, be dignified in doing this and do not get emotional or angry. If at the end of the day they still say no, then it was not meant to be, regardless of what people have said, while if it is meant to be, it will happen, even if the whole community meddle in your affairs.

3. Most importantly, turn to Allah and make sincere supplication. This is a test for you and a chance to show your patience, gratitude and firmness. If you stay firm, in the end you will be the one who succeeds, insha’Allah. Recite the following verse from the Qur’an: ‘Our Lord! Grant unto us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous’ [25:74].

4. Pray Salat al Hajar. You can find out how to pray this prayer here.

I wish you all the best, and that Allah increases you in your faith and uprightness, and grant you the best of spouses. Amin.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

*The information marked with an asterix was checked and confirmed by Shaykh Abu Bakr Ali al Khatib, a senior lecturer at Ribaat, Tarim. (may Allah preserve him).

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.

Can I Perform the Istikhara Prayer About a Matter Regarding Which I Have Already Performed It?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

A few years ago I performed the Istikhara prayer for a marriage proposal. Before praying I made a promise to Allah, that I will do whatever the result was. After the prayer my heart turned away from the proposal. So I kept my promise. Now, due to lack of suitable proposals, I am told to reconsider the earlier proposal. Can I perform istikhara again?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Generally speaking, the Istikhara prayer is to ask for divine assistance in facilitating one’s affairs, and for the best of this life and the next.
If one finds that a decision is facilitated for them after performing the prayer, they should place their trust in Allah and consign the matter to Him.

If you feel that time has passed, and your general circumstances have changed, you can reconsider the proposal by performing the Istikhara prayer again. Doing so would, God willing, not be breaking your promise to Allah.

Please see this explanation of the Istikhara prayer, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani:

Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance

Shuaib Ally

Is It Permissible to Propose to a Sister Who Has Already Been Proposed to By Another Brother?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I just had a question regarding marriage proposals… if a brother approaches a sister and proposes to her while the two are alone without any mahrams present, is the proposal valid?

Also, if the proposal is valid, does another brother still have the right to pursue interest in that same girl, or even propose as well, considering she hasn’t given the first brother an answer?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

A proposal is merely a request to marry someone. It is not a legal issue per se and so we cannot really define it as being valid or invalid.

However, there are specific rulings related to proposals.

Firstly, generally, It is permissible to do, as long as it is not done in an inappropriate manner or where there is fear of it leading to unacceptable behavior.

Secondly, it is prohibitively disliked for an individual to propose to someone after she has agreed to marry someone else. This is based on the prophetic narration, “A man should not propose on the proposal of another, until they marry or retract.” [Bukhari, Muslim] The prohibition, as indicated, relates to proposing to someone who is engaged to someone and when all that is left between the two individuals is the actual marriage contract.

However, if there is no agreement or commitment between the two parties, it is valid for a third party to propose. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

In the case you mention, since the woman has not given an answer, it would be permitted for another to pursue her. Even here is it best to proceed with discretion to avoid ill-feeling and damaging relations.

On a final note, concerning the specific scenario you mention, it is always best to propose to someone through channels that limit potential fitna. This entails having a reliable third party overlooking the process and keeping things in check, not overly expressing one’s emotions, avoiding being alone with the potential spouse, and so forth. There is great wisdom in the limits and guidelines of Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in relation to gender interactions.


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Marrying a Potential Convert: Supplication, the Prayer of Guidance, and Following Allah’s Guidance

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I was working with a Catholic man and he has expressed an interest in becoming a Muslim, and wanting to marry me. He used to go to the mosque and was very close to becoming Muslim but his strict Catholic family didnt allow him to. Even when he said he accepted all the Islamic tenets, he couldnt deny Jesus dying on the cross. The last few months he again expressed an interest in becoming a Muslim and marrying me. I made a lot of supplication and prayed istikhara many times as I feel he would make an excellent Muslim and husband.  He is very pious, chaste, and charitable, and unfortunately I have allowed myself to form an attachment to this man. He has now moved abroad for a new job. To me this seems like a clear sign from Allah in answer to my istikhara that this man wasn’t for me. But how does one really know for sure if there istikhara has been answered?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope this message reaches you in the best of states inshaAllah. May Allah reward you for being concerned and seeking understanding in these matters of your life and may He guide you to that which is best for you in your religion, life, and hereafter.

It is not clear from your question whether the man has actually become Muslim or not. In either case, it is important to know that while you can make du`a that Allah guides him to Islam and brings you both together in marriage, you should not form an emotional attachment to him. Since this has unfortunately already happened, you need to realize that Allah does not want this of you and He only dislikes for His servants that which is harmful for them. Having conviction in this will help you to ease the pain in your heart and release your attachment to this man inshaAllah.

You should discontinue contact with the man in a polite manner suitable to the situation, since remaining in contact with him is not benefiting you. Please consider asking a Muslim male you trust, such as your brother or an Imam in the community, to keep contact with him in order that he has access to answers about Islam. Perhaps an Imam can explain to him the appropriate understanding of the Prophet Jesus (may Allah grant him peace) in Islam. Accepting that Jesus (may Allah grant him peace) did not die on the cross is something that is known by necessity to be a part of the religion. Allah says in unequivocal terms in the Qur’an:

“…and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no knowledge, but only conjecture to follow. Of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself. And Allah is Exalted in Power and Wise.” [Al-Nisā’, 156-157]

Since his embracing of Islam and its tenets is a prerequisite to him being a potential husband for you, and it not clear that he is Muslim, it would not be proper to pray istikhara regarding marrying him, as you cannot supplicate for or seek guidance in something that is unlawful. Give the situation some time in order to allow yourself to pull out of the situation, physically (by involving someone you trust to sort out the man’s beliefs) and emotionally. Continue during this time to ask Allah for what is good for you. Then reevaluate the situation and move from there.

Regarding istikhara: The istikhara is a prayer in which one seeks guidance and good from Allah in a particular matter. This guidance and good as unfold on the plane of worldly causes and effects, not merely dreams and feelings – meaning that Allah facilitates what is best for one if one genuinely supplicates for the good and strives to do what is best. As Shaykh Faraz Rabbani describes,

“the sunna regarding actions is two-fold: (a) one takes the best and most effective of means; and (b) one places one’s trust and reliance on Allah. The istikhara is primarily related to the latter. It in no way negates one’s duty to take the proper steps in choosing a marriage partner of finding out the relevant details related to their worldly and religious life, their character, conduct, and personality.”

The hadith that you mentioned contains the Prophetic guidance to not despair in Allah’s mercy and to have conviction in His wishing well for us and His ultimate wisdom. If the slave truly understands their slavehood to Allah, they will never abandon supplicating to Him, because it is a manifestation of the realization of their poverty-stricken state and Allah’s supreme Richness, Completeness and Generosity. Supplication is furthermore an answer to Allah’s request, “…and call upon Me, I will answer you…” [Surat Ghafir, 60]. However, one has to know that Allah’s answering of a prayer comes in different forms.  Likewise the answer of our istikhara can be in a form that we do not anticipate. Allah may respond to one’s supplications by giving one what was supplicated for, or by withholding it in order to store up good for them in the Hereafter, or by withholding evil from one in his life. In a similar hadith the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says,

“There is not upon the face of this earth a Muslim who calls upon Allah with a supplication except that Allah gives it to them or withholds from him a harm commensurate in measure [the the good he was seeking], as long as does not ask for the sinful or severing of kinship.” [Al-Tirmidhi]

May Allah guide you and us to that in which His pleasure lies.

Sulma Badrudduja

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Marriage & Obedience to Parents

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

Question: [1] If one’s parents have two children. They have allowed the son to marry and migrate and the girl receive offer to marriage inclusive with migration. Is the girl allowed to accept this offer, in view that if she does leave, no one will be able to be around to take care of the parents? [2] I am really caught in trying to retain my responsibilities towards my parents. I have always tried to be obedient; I have given up my right to marriage due to racial and economic reasons for them. I have, allowed marriage proposals to pass by so that they would not be angry. Simultaneously, I have initially rejected their attempt to marry someone I did not like; however, when I realized that my choices were also a cause for conflicts, I attempted to compromise on two occasions. The results were rather emotionally devastating. With regards to my offers of marriage in another country, my parents insist that if something bad was to occur that no one would be there to assist me. The truth is I prefer to risk it. Now, I have an offer in front of me (with a suggestion of support to study Islam). I really don’t want to reject this offer but I am also concerned that I might be punished for neglecting the rights of my parents over me.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah descend on the Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are in good health and spirits. I apologize for the delay in writing back.

Obedience to one’s parents is not unconditional. Just as your parents are entitled to obedience, respect, and good treatment, you are entitled to marry a righteous spouse. By prolonging your single status and compelling you to reject good suitors, your parents are going against the Prophetic directive, “When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied, asks to marry your daughter, comply with his request. If you do not do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth.” (Tirmidhi)

There is a solution to this situation. You can consider the following:

* Asking your potential spouse to consider relocating to your country

* Asking your parents to relocate to your new home

* Spending half of your time in one place, and the other half in the other

* Visiting as often as you can

* Making sure your parents receive financial support, if needed

Finally, please confer, as a family, with a counselor, or a balanced, knowledgeable Imam or community elder.

May Allah reward you,

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq

February 24, 2010

Rabi’ al-Awwal 11, 1431

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Can One Consider Two Marriage Proposals At Once?

Answered by Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible (or disliked) for someone to talk to two marriage prospects at the same time while knowing one’s interaction limits and just asking marriage-specific questions?


Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.


Yes, though discretion is obviously needed, so that ill-feeling doesn’t result, nor harmed relations.


The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) prohibited for a proposal to be made on the proposal of another, saying, “A man should not propose on the proposal of another, until they marry or retract.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)]


This prohibition relates to when one proposal has been accepted (i.e. they’re now engaged–all that remains is the marriage itself). Before this, it is permissible to propose even if someone else already has proposed. [Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]


This is understood from the sunna, such as from the case of Fatima bint Qays (Allah be pleased with her), who told the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that a number of people had proposed to her, and she wanted his advice about whom to marry. [Tahawi, Sharh Ma`ani al-Athar; the hadith is related by Muslim and others]


And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani

البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق – (6 / 163)
قوله: (والسوم على سوم غيره) للحديث لا يسام الرجل على سوم أخيه، ولا يخطب على خطبة أخيه ولان في ذلك إيحاشا واضرارا. وهذا إذا تراضى المتعاقدان على مبلغ ثمن في المساومة، فإذا لم يركن أحدهما على الآخر فهو بيع من يزيد ولا بأس به على ما نذكره، وما ذكرناه محمل النهي في النكاح أيضا


رد المحتار – (5 / 223)
ففي الصحيحين: نهى رسول الله (ص) عن تلقي الركبان إلى أن قال: وأن يستام الرجل على سوم أخيه وفي الصحيحين أيضا: لا يبع الرجل على بيع أخيه، ولا يخطب على خطبة أخيه إلا أن يأذن له. وصورة السوم أن يتراضيا بثمن ويقع الركون به فيجئ آخر فيدفع للمالك أكثر أو مثله.
وصورة البيع أن يتراضيا على ثمن سلعة فيقول آخر: أنا أبيعك مثلها بأنقص من هذا الثمن أفاده في الفتح قال الخير الرملي: ويدخل في السوم الاجارة، إذ هي بيع المنافع. قوله: (بل لزيادة التنفير) لان السوم على السوم يوجب إيحاشا وإضرارا، وهو في حق الاخ أشد منعا