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Disabilities and Marriage

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by CouncilofUlama.co.za

Q: My family is at odds with the prevelant situation in that my nephew who is over the age of 30 wants to get married. He was born with a mental and physical disability. His mental condition limits him in reasoning, negotiating and keeping a job. He cannot read and write. He has fluctuating emotions.This is ascribed to a form of cerebral palsy. His physical disability confines him to crutches. This is ascribed to muscular dystrophy which affects him waist downwards.He is my brothers son. His parents are separated. My nephew wants to get married and has brought forward a young non Muslim black girl who has a child. My brother’s take on this is that the girl must first accept Islam before he can marry her. He has left all this up to his son to sort out. Needless to say, my sister-in-law is at wits end. They have three children and she herself is disabled after an MVA in 1999. There are other factors with regards my brother that I cannot mention. My nephew lives of a grant and so does his mother. My brother does not have a fixed job but sees to his son’s minimum needs. Please share your unbiased opinion.

A: The first Waajib step is to explain to the girl the exact position as you have explained it to us in your letter. If she is fully aware of the difficulties and problems of the proposed marriage, then she has to embrace Islam first. If she refuses to embrace Islam, then, of course, the Nikah can not be performed.

She should not be in any delusion regarding his physical, mental and financial disabilities.

Aadiel Moosagie (Mufti)
[email protected]

This answer was collected from CouncilofUlama.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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