The "perfect" age to marry
Fatwa No: 84534

  • Fatwa Date:17-7-2002 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 8, 1423
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Question

I want to ask when is the 'perfect' age for marriage. A friend of my mother knows a brother who is looking to get married so, my friend's mother wanted to nominate me. Should I say yes and wait till I finish high school (I'm 16) or should I get married now?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

We cannot define a specific age for marriage. But, as a general rule, if a boy or girl reaches the age of puberty they should not delay the marriage if they are able to marry.
Know that being a student is not contrary to marriage at all; one may continue studies even after marriage. The assumption study after marriage is difficult is not correct.
However, if acquiring knowledge about belief, fundamentals of Islam like the prayers, fasting, al-Zakah, al-Hajj and the other kinds of compulsory knowledge which is compulsory on all individuals to correct one's faith and to worship Allah truly, in such case, one should give priority to this knowledge over marriage. Learning such knowledge does not require more than a few months and then one can marry.
If the knowledge is a communal obligation or not compulsory then giving preference to the marriage over acquiring this knowledge is better. This ruling is based upon many Hadith that urge marriage and warn against abstaining from it. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever among you can marry should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guards his modesty, and whoever is not able to marry should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power" . [[Reported by Imams al-Bukhari from Abdullah Ibn Masoud ].
It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim - the words mentioned here are of Muslim - from Anas that some of the Companions of Allah's Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) "Asked his (the Prophet's) wives about the acts that he performed in private. Someone among them (among his Companions) said: I will not marry women; someone among them said: I will not eat meat; and someone among them said: I will not lie down in bed. He (the Holy Prophet) praised Allah and glorified Him, and said: What has happened to these people that they say so and so, whereas I observe prayer and sleep too; I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry women also? And he who turns away from my Sunnah, he has no relation with me" .
Imam Ahmad and al-Tirmizi narrated from Ali that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said addressing him: " Ali , there are three matters which should not be deferred: the prayer when its time is due, the funeral as soon it is ready and the case of a woman without a husband, when there is a suitable match for her" .
Imam al-Tirmizi narrated with a good chain as confirmed by Sheikh al-Albani that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks for your daughter in marriage, you should marry her to him. If you do not do so, there will be temptation on the earth and extensive corruption" .
Therefore, denial of the girls or their guardians to marry before completing study is contrary to Sunnah, as the Sunnah urges young men and women to get married. Also there are many harms in delaying one's marriage.
Allah knows best.

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