Delayed marriage may be test of patience
Fatwa No: 317599

  • Fatwa Date:15-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 6, 1437
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Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. My question is the following: I am 21 years old and single, my parents are looking for proposals for me since two years, but they have not come across anyone that suits me. Whenever they contact the opposite party and send my biodata, they do not reply. This has been happening for two years now. I feel disturbed regarding this matter and am unable to sleep at nights as to why this is happening. Is it because of my sins? A few years ago, I was in a relationship during high school. It was a new temptation, but I broke up with him because I realized that it is not right to mingle with the opposite gender. He tried to convince me a lot, but I feared that my parents would not agree since he is only a few months older to me. He said that he would come the halal way and marry me, but I rejected his proposal thinking that it would hurt my parents. My question is: did I do the right thing, or should I consider him knowing the possible consequences in the future. He and his family are practicing Muslims, and he is currently studying, so there is still time for him to settle down and work. He is currently doing his internship. What do you think I should do? I am really confused. Should I consider him? What if Allaah has chosen him already for me? Or do I just wait? These questions disturb me a lot, and I am unable to focus on my life. Please help me! May Allaah bless you.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, you should know that marriage, like other livelihood, is predestined, and a Muslim gets what is predestined for him, and the whole matter is in the hands of Allaah. Allaah says (what means): {And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allaah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.} [Quran 11:6]

Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Baghawi quoted in Sharh as-Sunnah that Ibn Mas’ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “Jibreel (Gabriel) inspired in my heart that no soul will die until it would have consumed its (designated) provision, so seek your provision in moderation.

The delay of marriage does not necessarily mean that it is a punishment for a sin. It can be a mere test; so we advise you not to worry about this matter and to be patient. The good of this world and the Hereafter lies in patience. For texts on the reward of patience, please refer to fatwa 83577.

You should supplicate Allaah as much as possible as this is the best means to achieve one’s needs, and Allaah is Most Kind and Most Generous, and He answers the supplication of those who supplicate Him, and He never disappoints those who have hope in Him. Allaah says (what means): {And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible.} [Quran 40:60]

Salmaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “Your Lord is bashful to turn away His slave empty-handed (i.e. not responded to) when he raises them (his hands) to Him asking Him for any good.” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]

Indeed, your parents did well by searching for a husband for you; this is indeed a way that the righteous people followed. ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him proposed his daughter Hafsah to Abu Bakr and ‘Uthman  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them but they both refused as they knew that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) wished to marry her.

You as well can search for a suitable husband provided the Islamic etiquette is observed. Verily, a woman proposed herself to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) for marriage, and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not object to her act. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 82471.

Besides, you did the right thing by stopping that relationship with that young man as it is not permitted for a man and a non-mahram (marriageable) woman to have an affectionate relationship. However, just stopping that relationship is not enough, you are also required to sincerely repent. For benefit on the conditions of repentance, please refer to fatwa 86527.

Furthermore, we do not think that you were wrong when you took the feelings of your parents into account and refused that young man's offer to propose to you. However, if he repented and still wants to marry you, then try to persuade your parents to accept him to marry you. The age difference does not Islamically prevent from marriage, and the difference of age between you and him is insignificant.

On the other hand, if marriage will be delayed for a long time after engagement, then we do not advise you to accept his proposal. The engagement period being too long may lead to impediments that may prevent the completion of the marriage after a long wait. So try to perform the istikhaarah prayer before taking any step; and please refer to fatwa 81434. The istikhaarah prayer means putting the matter in the Hands of Allaah to choose the best for you; after that, you will feel relaxed and reassured regardless of whether the marriage is concluded or not.

Allaah knows best.

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