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Age and Ethnicity: Can They Determine Your Marriage?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I pray you are well. I wanted to ask a question about my situation. I have a proposal for marriage from a man I like and respect. My family met him and liked him and his deen and character. However, after they found out his age at the 2nd meeting they refused without asking me and saying they decided its best. He is 14 years older than me but in good health and looks masha’allah that it is not apparent and we probably look about 8 years difference. I am 24 and he 38. Also he is pakistani and I am indian which my family were initially ok with but then changed when they found out his mother cannot speak english and mines urdu is broken. His family were concerned about the age gap to start with but have said if we are both happy and I am mature and understand what marriage entails they are happy. I want to meet the family again because I like them and can see myself amongst that family despite the differences even tho my family feel I will not be happy and that I will struggle as I will have to do everything because of the age gap and have a hard life. Can my family refuse due to age and ethnicity when they were happy with his character, personality and deen. Are they right in saying i will have a hard life because he is older and so I will have to take care of any kids we have and him in his old age as they are saying he will look like my father and a kids grandad soon and have health issues. But I do like him and we are similar in terms of personality and character and i know if he was even a few years younger I would say yes and theage gap only came to my mimd after my family started saying things because I was ready to accept because I feel he as a person is perfect for me and similar to me. And he keeps himself fit and healthy and masha’allah looks younger than his age. I would appreciate your guidance on this matter.


A: Don’t get yourself involved in things that you are not clear about.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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