Choosing A Religiously Committed Suitor in Marriage Is Recommended
Fatwa No: 428227

Question

as-salamu aleykum. My father and other family members do not prioritize me marrying practising men. They think that these people mostly trick others with their religiosity and I was wondering if it is permissible for me to marry a brother that is not as practising as me with the condition that he does not pervent me from learning more about my deen and practising it? Even if it includs non-wajib acts.

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.

The Islamic Sharee‘ah instructs the Muslims to choose a suitor who is religiously committed and has a good moral character. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "If there comes to you a suitor whose religious commitment and moral character are pleasing to you (proposes to a woman under your guardianship), marry her off to him; otherwise, there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and widespread corruption." [At-Tirmithi, p. 387]

It is of utmost importance to choose the religiously committed suitor because it is hoped for such marriage to last and for their family to be stable, and at least, there will be no injustice committed against the woman in the event of dispute. It was narrated that a man came to Al-Hasan Al-Basri  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him and said, "I have a daughter whom I love, and a number of suitors proposed to marry her; to whom should I marry her off?" He said, "Marry her off to the one who fears Allah; if he loves her, he will honor her, and if he dislikes her, he will not treat her unjustly." [Sharh As-Sunnah by Al-Baghawi]

Not every person who presents himself as religiously committed is a deceiver. It is easy to identify the honest and dishonest person in this respect by asking trustworthy people who know him about him.

If the suitor is religiously committed in general, there is nothing wrong with accepting his proposal. By being religiously committed in general, we mean that he regularly fulfills the religious obligations, especially the obligatory prayers, and avoids major sins, especially Zina and the consumption of alcohol. We would like to point out the importance of Istikhaarah (guidance-seeking prayer) before marriage. It was said: "He who performs Istikhaarah never fails, and he who seeks advice never regrets."

It is incumbent on a Muslim woman to obtain the obligatory religious knowledge, like the knowledge that is necessary for the validity of her creed, worship, and interactions. It is obligatory on her husband to enable her to obtain such knowledge, even if she had to go out to seek it if he cannot spare her the trouble by teaching her himself or by providing her with the means to obtain such knowledge, regardless of whether she stipulated it or not. The same applies to the knowledge she needs to remain steadfast upon her religious obligations.

As for the knowledge that is not obligatory on her to learn, we believe that the preponderant opinion in this regard is that it is incumbent on him to fulfill the conditions she stipulated (in the marriage contract) in this regard.

Allah Knows best.

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