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How much of a factor is a compatible age when considering marriage?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

1) Is it the position of Mufti Ebrahim’s Darul-Uloom, that in this time and age, that it is preferable for single (never been married men) who are 30+, to marry women who are younger than them in age?

2) I have a Store Manager, who is amongst the Qawm-E-Looth, who displays some emotional aspects that are consistent with some (but not all) men from Qawm-E-Looth. My interaction with him is very minimal but I really and truly want to avoid him at all costs because there is something in my heart or my Nafs or my Character that wants to not come into contact with him at all and when I do, I become internally aggravated. What should I do?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

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

1.  Under normal circumstances nikah is an emphasized sunnah, and Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) married women who were older and younger than him.

A compatible age is just one of the factors to be taken into consideration since each person differs from another in terms of maturity.

While it is recommended that one marry a woman younger than him so she doesn’t quickly reach an age where she cannot conceive, it is not obligatory. If a man finds a pious woman then he should get married to her as a means of preserving his chastity and emulating the sunnah, as long as he can fulfill her rights. [i] [ii]

2. To feel revulsion from an act of sin is natural. However, Islam teaches us to dislike the sin, not the sinner. Our history is replete with many who repented from grave sins to lead such pure, pious lives that they have reached the higher ranks of wilayah (friendship) with Allah.

Perhaps Allah has written hidayah (guidance) for this person, as a result of which he repents from his past, embraces Islam and begins a new chapter in his life full of piety and goodness.

Therefore, you should channel your efforts into acting upon the teachings of Islam, praying for his hidayah (guidance), and looking for ways to introduce him to Islam.

Sohail ibn Arif,
Student Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

ويسن مؤكدا حالة الاعتدال وهو الأصح قال – عليه الصلاة والسلام – النكاح سنتي فمن رغب عن سنتي [i]

 فليس مني وقال تزوجوا الودود الولود فإني مكاثر بكم الأمم

مجمع الأنهر، ١/ ٣١٦

ويندب إعلانه…وكونها دونه سنا…(قوله: دونه سنا) لئلا يسرع عقمها فلا تلد [ii]

رد المحتار، ٣/ ٨

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

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