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Marital Issues

Answers by contemporary scholars

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There is no contradiction in the verses regarding polygamy

Question: Concerning polygyny, it is stated in the Qur'aan, "If you fear that you will not be able to deal justly [with more then one wife], than [marry] only one" (an-Nisaa: 3). However, in another place, it states, "You will never be able to do perfect justice between your wives even if it is your ardent desire" (an-Nisaa: 129). In the first verse, the condition of being just among the wives is stated while in the second it makes it clear that the condition of justice could never be met. Does this mean that the first verse is abrogated and that it is not allowed to many more than one woman since the condition of justice cannot be fulfilled? Benefit us, may Allaah reward you.

Response: There is no contradiction between the two verses. There is also no abrogation by one verse of the other. The justice that is mentioned in the first verse is the justice within one's ability, which is related to being fair in division of time and in maintenance. As for being just with respect to love and sexual relations, this is not within one's ability. This is what is being referred to in the verse, "You will never be able to do perfect justice between your wives even if it is your ardent desire" (an-Nisaa: 129). In a Hadeeth about the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) 'Aa'ishah stated, "The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to divide his time between his wives and he was fair. He used to say, 'O Allaah, that is my division with respect to what I have control over. Do not blame me for what You control and over which I have no control."' This was recorded by Abu Daawood, at-Tirmidhee, al-Nasai, ibn Majah. It was graded Saheeh by ibn Hibban and al-Haakim.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)

Concerning polygamy

Question: Some people say that marrying more than one wife is not allowed unless a person has orphans under his care and he fears that he will not do justice between them. Then he may marry their mother or one of her daughters. For evidence, they quote the verse, "And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls, then marry women of your choice, two, three or four..." (an-Nisaa. 3).

Response: This statement is false. The meaning of the verse is that if a person has under his care an orphan and he fears that he will not give her the proper amount of dower, then he should marry other women, for there are many women and Allaah will not make things difficult for him. The verse points to the legality of marrying two, three or four wives. This is allowed because it leads to more chastity, lowering of eyesight and guarding of the private parts. Furthermore, that is a cause for more children and the chastity of more women, as well as them being treated properly and cared for.

There is no doubt that the woman who has one-half of a husband or one-third or one-fourth is better off than the one who has no husband at all. However, one must meet the condition of justice among the wives and the ability to take care of and tend to the wives. If a person fears that he will not do justice, then he may only many one wife in addition to having slaves. The practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) indicates and stresses that. When he died, he had nine wives. And Allaah says about him, "Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a good example to follow" (al-Ahzaab 21).

The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) made it clear to his Nation that it was allowed for him to have more than four wives. Therefore, following his example on this point would mean taking four wives or less. Beyond four wives is something that is specific for the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) only.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)

A religious young man proposed to me but my mother refused

Question: I am seeking a solution to my problem. I am twenty-four years old. A young man proposed to me. He has finished college. He is from a religious family. After my father agreed to him, he asked me to come to see him. I saw him and was pleased with him and he was pleased with me. [We saw each other] because our pure religion has stated that I should see him and he should see me. However, when my mother came to realize that he was from a religious family, she became harsh against him and my father. She swore that such a marriage would never take place in anyway. My father desperately tried to persuade her, but to no avail. Do I have the right to seek the Law to intervene in this matter?

Response: If the matter is as you have mentioned in your question, then your mother has no right to make any objection. Indeed, such a stance is forbidden. You are not obliged to obey your mother in matter. This is because the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Obedience is in what is good and right." Rejecting a suitable proposal is not from what is good and right. In fact, it has been narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "If one whose religion and character pleases you proposes to you, you should marry him. If you do not do so, there will be tribulations in the land and great evil."

If you have need to take your matter to a court of law, you would not be wrong in doing so. Shaykh Ibn Baaz The young lady is not to be forced to marry a man she does not want to marry Question: Is it allowed for a father to force his daughter to marry a specific man that she does not want to many? Response: Neither the father nor anyone other than the father may force a woman who is under his guardianship to marry a man that she does not want to many. In fact, her permission must be sought. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "The non-virgin [without a husband] must not be married until she is consulted. A virgin must not be married until her permission is sought." They said, "O Messenger of Allaah how is her permission given?" He said, "By her being silent." Another narration states, "Her silence is her permission." Yet a third narration states, "A virgin's father seeks her permission and her permission is her remaining silent." The father must seek her permission if she is nine years of age or above. Similarly, her other guardians may not marry her off except by her permission. This is obligatory upon all of them. If one is married without permission, then the marriage is not valid. This is because one of the conditions of the marriage is that both partners accept the marriage. If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid.

The only exception is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion. This is based on the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) marrying 'Aa'ishah without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadeeth. However, if she is nine years old or more, she cannot be married, even by her father, except with her consent.

The husband should not approach the woman if he knows that she does not want him, even if the father approves of it. He must fear Allaah and not approach any wife that did not want him even if her father claims that he did not coerce her. He must avoid what Allaah has forbidden for him. This is because the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) ordered that her permission must be sought. We also advise the woman to fear Allaah and to accept the man if her father finds that he is suitable to marry her, as long as the prospective groom is good in his religion and character. This is true even if the one who is doing the marrying is not the girl's father [but her legal guardian]. We make this advice because there is lots of good and lot of benefits in marriage. Also, there are lots of hazards in living as a maiden. I advise all young ladies to accept those men who come to them if they are qualified. They should not use schooling, teaching or other causes as an excuse to avoid marriage.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)

The appropriate age for marriage

Question: What is the appropriate age for men and women to marry? Some of the young ladies of today do not accept to be married to men older than them and also some of the men do not get married from anyone older than them either. We hope for a response, may Allaah reward you.

Response: I advise the young ladies not to refuse a man because of his older age. Even if he be ten, twenty or thirty years older, this is not a valid excuse. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) married 'Aa'ishah when he was fifty-three years old and she was nine years old. Older age is not harmful. There is no problem if the woman is older than the man and there is no problem if the man is older than the woman. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) married Khadijah when she was forty years old and he was twenty-five years old, before he received his first revelation. That is, she was fifteen years older than him (may Allaah be pleased with her). And 'Aa'ishah was married when she was a young lady of six or seven years and the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) consummated the marriage when she was nine years old and he was fifty-three years old.

Many of those who talk on the radio or television and speak against having disparaging ages between husband and wife are wrong. It is not permissible for them to say such things. Instead, what must be done, is the woman must look at the prospective husband and, if he be pious and appropriate, she must agree to him even if he is older than her. Similarly, the man must try to marry a woman who is pious and virtuous, even if she is older than him, especially if she is still less than mid life. In any case, age should not be taken as an excuse. It should also not be considered a shortcoming, as long as the man is pious or the woman is pious. May Allaah make the affairs good for everyone.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullah)

Choosing a husband

Question: What are the most important considerations a young lady should make when choosing a husband? If she refuses someone simply for economic or worldly reasons, will that expose her to the punishment of Allaah?

Response: The most important attributes that a woman must look for in selecting a husband are character and piety. Wealth and lineage are secondary considerations. The most important aspect is that the proposed groom be a person of piety and proper behavior. The person of proper behavior and piety will not do his wife wrong. Either he will keep her in a way that is proper or he will leave her to go free in the best way. Furthermore, the person of religion and behavior may be a blessing for her and her children. She may learn manners and religion from him. If he does not have those characteristics, she should stay away from him, especially if he is one of those who is lax with respect to performing the prayers or if he is known to drink alcohol, may Allaah save us.

As for those who never pray, they are disbelievers. Believing women are not permissible for them nor are they permissible for the believing women. The important point is that the woman should stress character and piety. If he is also of a noble lineage, that is to be preferred. This is due to the Messenger of Allaah's (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) statement, "If a person whose religion and character you approve of comes to you, then marry him." However, if he is also suitable [in other ways, such as economics standing and so forth], that is better.

Shaykh Ibn al-'Uthaymeen (rahimahullah)

Fataawa taken from www.fatwa-online.com

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