Subject : Is it Permissible for the Muslim Woman to Offer Herself in Marriage?
Fatwa Number : 297
Date : 16-08-2009
Classified : Proposing (for marriage)
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

I`m a devout Muslim woman. The environment where I live contains a great deal of temptations. I hope that Allah blesses me with a righteous husband, but I feel that I don`t deserve that. My desire for marriage drove me to sign on a social networking site, so a man reached out to me and asked to meet in a public place. Is this permissible?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


First: You shouldn`t blame yourself for this is from the whispers of the devil.

Second: It is permissible for a Muslim woman who lives in a righteous community to offer herself in marriage for this is adopting means as commanded by Almighty Allah. In principle, the divine decree doesn`t conflict with adopting means to get married seeking to please Allah. However, society has changed and the woman who offers herself in marriage to a man will be taunted for that one day. Thus, she can offer herself in marriage indirectly through entrusting some of her guardians with that task. This is attested to in the following Hadith: “When Hafsa bint Umar lost her husband, a companion of the Holy Prophet`s, Khunais bin Huzaifa al-Sahmi, who had fought at Badr and [later] died in Medina, I met Uthman bin Affan and suggested that he should marry Hafsa, to which he replied: "I will think it over.’ I waited for a few days and then he said to me: "I am of the opinion that I shall not marry at present.’ Then I met Abu Bakr and said, ‘If you wish, I can marry Hafsa bint Umar to you.’ He kept quiet and did not respond. I became agitated and it [displeased me] more than Uthman’s [response]. Some days later, the Prophetsa asked for her hand in marriage and I married her to him. Later, Abu Bakr approached me and said, ‘Perhaps you were angry with me when you offered me Hafsa for marriage and I gave no reply to you?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ Abu Bakr replied: "Nothing prevented me from accepting your offer except that I learnt that the Prophet of Allah had referred to the issue of Hafsa and I did not want to disclose his secret, but had he (the Prophetsa) not married her, I would surely have accepted her.” (Sahih al-Bukhari).

Ibn Hajar commented on this Hadith: "It indicates that it is permissible to offer one`s daughter or sister in marriage to a righteous man, and there is nothing embarrassing about it."

When a pious man proposes to a woman, she either accepts or refuses because marriage has other considerations although it is un-Islamic to turn down a suitor for being poor, and whoever does so may be tested with poverty later. Allah the Almighty has promised to provide for those who seek to get married where He said: "Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, God will give them means out of His grace: for God encompasseth all, and he knoweth all things." {An-Nur, 32}. Moreover, Abu Hurairah narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said: "When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care) of one of you, then marry to him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and abounding discord (Fasad)." {Related by Tirmith}.

In conclusion, everyone knows how marriages are arranged in the Muslim world and it isn`t permissible for a Muslim woman to meet a suitor outside the family as this could be the beginning for following the steps of the devil. And Allah the Almighty knows best.



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