Revealing that suitor has autism when proposing to girl
Fatwa No: 365911

  • Fatwa Date:11-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 23, 1439
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I noticed some contradictions between your answers. You mentioned that the suitor should be informed of vitiligo while to other people you said that they do not need to inform their future wife about it. Why? I am not trying to bring you down. I like this website very much. You even brought a quote of Ibn Qayyim concerning vitiligo: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=134855
There is a brother who has autism and wonders whether he is obligated to inform the girl whom he wants to marry about that. Note that there is a chance that children could get this disease if one of the parents has it.

Answer

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

There is no contradiction in what you mentioned, but it seems that you misunderstood some of our fatwas.

The view that we adopt here at Islamweb about vitiligo (which is different from Baras [albinism]) is that it is not a disease that gives the spouse the choice to nullify the marriage contract (in case they were not informed about it), because it is not a contagious disease or a repulsive one. Hence, it is not an obligation to inform the person who proposes for marriage about it, unless he conditions that she be free from such disease. We included the statements of the scholars that indicate this in the fatwa which you referred to.

That same fatwa has nothing to do with the matter of telling the suitor; rather, it is related to the permissibility of accepting this suitor. So there is a difference between the two matters. The permissibility of accepting his proposal is different from the obligation to inform him.

The statement of Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him is related to infectious and repulsive diseases; these are the ones that one must inform the suitor about.

We have not come across any statements of contemporary scholars regarding the ruling of informing about autism; it appears to us – Allah knows best – that autism is a kind of dementia because of the lack of reasoning, so it resembles insanity, but it is of a lower degree than insanity.

The Fiqh Encyclopedia reads, "Linguistically, dementia is the lack of reasoning without being insane or bewildered. In Islamic terminology, it is a mental disorder to the point that the speech of the person is confused, so some of his statements resemble the statements of sane people and some resemble the statements of insane people."

If an autistic person's condition reaches the point where he may attack others and hurt them, it is obligatory to inform about it; otherwise no.

Ibn Al-Muflih said in Al-Furoo’, "Hanbal quoted (Imaam Ahmad as saying), 'If he suffers from insanity, or obsessive whispers, or a change in his mind, and he abuses and harms, then in my view they (the spouses) should be separated and they should not continue to live in this condition."

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 128182.

Allah knows best.

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