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Is It Lawful To Delay the Marriage of a Younger Sister Till the Marriage of the Elder Sister?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Ishaaq Hussain


Is it lawful in Islam to delay the marriage of a younger sister (despite a suitable proposal) till the marriage of the elder sister (who is awaiting a proposal)? Kindly give evidence from THE Quran and the Hadith in support of your answer.

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Jurists are almost unanimous that if someone has an apprehension that in case he does not marry, he will indulge in sin and commit zinaa, then Nikaah is obligatory on such a person.

Similarly, all jurists agree that if someone has an apprehension that he would not be able to fulfill the rights of a wife by marrying, for instance, he is not able to have intimate relations with his wife, then in such a case marriage is prohibited for him.

For that person who is not at risk of sinning nor is there any risk that if he was to marry he would commit a sin, the Hanafi Scholars have stated that it is Sunnat Muakkadah to marry, as it is a Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. (Ma’ariful Quran p.421 v.6, Mazaahirul Haq Jadeed p.239 v.3 & Raddul Muhtar p.63-67 v.4)

It is narrated by Sayyidna Ali Radiyallahu Anhu that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has said: Do not delay in three things; 1) the offering of the obligatory prayer. 2) The offering of the funeral prayer when the deceased’s body is present. 3) The marriage of a woman when a suitable match is found’ (Tirmidhi)

Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn Masood Radiyallahu Anhu says that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “Oh young people, those from among you who are able (to marry) must marry because it lowers ones gaze and safeguards a person’s private parts (from Zina). Those who cannot marry must observe fasts for fasts are also a safeguard. (Bukhari, Muslim, Mishkaat)

Saaiduna Abu Saidul Khudri Radiyallahu Anhu and Saaiduna Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasalam said: “Whoever has a child, he should give him a good name and teach him how to read and write. And when he matures, he should marry him off. When he matures and the father does not marry him off, then if the boy commits a sin, the sin will be on the father.”(Mishkaatul Masabeeh p.271).

One should try to get their sons or daughters married as soon as possible when a suitable proposal has been proposed for them. To delay the nikah is disliked.

Delaying the nikah for the reason mentioned in the question is not a valid excuse. Furthermore, the above mentioned Hadeeth tells us that if the son/ daughter were to commit a sin in this time (i.e. when their marriage is delayed) then the sin will be on the father (or the one who has stopped the nikah taking place.).(Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband p.46 v.7)

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Maulana Ishaaq Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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