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Can a man marry a woman who is older than him?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I am a muslim man, I like a girl who is Muslim and working in our office but she is 2 years elder than me. Is it permissible for me to marry her? Can we marry a girl who is older than us? If my parents will not allow me to marry her, then what I should do? But her family accepted me to marry her.


As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, it is permissible for a Muslim man to marry an older Muslim woman. There is no Shar’i  prohibition in this regard. In fact, the first and most beloved wife of Rasulullah (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), Khadija (Radiyallahu Anha), was approximately 15 years older than him. However, as marriage is a very big step in life and a step that involves the families of both the man and the woman, it is highly advisable to keep the parents happy and involved by consulting with them throughout the entire marriage process. One has to bear in mind that marriage is a of two families, not just husband and wife. Therefore, in order for your marriage to be successful, your parents should agree to your choice of a wife. We would recommend that you try to first convince your parents to allow you to marry the woman whom you have in mind. Thereafter, you may continue with forwarding your proposal to her family.


And Allāh knows best.

Muftī Yusuf Ibn Yaqub
Washington, DC (USA)

Concurred by:
Muftī Abrar Mirza
Chicago, IL (USA)


Under the Supervision of Muftī Ebrahim Desai (South Africa)


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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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