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Fatwa on breaking Engagement

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by


I am asking this question on behalf of a friend. 

The guy got engaged to someone in a non ceremonial manner and Islamic way but now he likes other girl who also happens to be his cousin and wants to marry her. They don’t talk or anything like that but he wants to marry this other girl. His parents say that it’s too late for him to change his mind now as he agreed for engagement and they say that Allah SWT has ordered in Quran to fulfill your promises and that this engagement is nothing but a promise that he has to fulfill. So the question is can this guy break the engagement because he wants to marry someone else now or it would be Haram to do so. He is scared that the girl he is engaged to and their family will get hurt if engagement is broken and he will suffer the wrath of Allah SWT if he did that. At the same time he also is unsure if will be able to keep the first girl happy after marriage if he didn’t break the engagement. 


Fatwa on breaking Engagement

الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

The engagement is only a promise for Nikah and if there is an excuse not to keep the promise then there is room to abolish it. However, to break a promise without an excuse is sin and Fisq. It also would break the hearts of the girl, her parents, and other relatives. It also an issue of honor in the family and society. One Muslim should avoid it as much as possible and should fulfill his promise.

Remember that one should not just consider physical complexion and beauty. These only last for few days. The real factor to consider are religiousness and good manners. The Messenger of Allaah Ta’alaa has encouraged to firstly consider these characteristics in the girls which are extremely necessary for the comfortable and satisfactory life of a person. Then this is the decision of the parents. They like goodness and Khair for their children. There is Khair in their decisions. Our decisions are carved out of emotions. Therefore, keep yourself pleased with their decisions. Inshaa Allaah there will be Khair in it. Nevertheless, there is a suggestion at this juncture which should have been acted upon earlier that you should do Istikharah. It would be appropriate to take next steps after the Istikharah.

:يَا اَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا اَوْفُوْا بِالْعُقُوْدِ  (المائدۃ:۱)

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، عن النبي ﷺ قال: ” تنكح المرأة  لأربع: لمالها ولحسبها وجمالها ولدينها، فاظفر بذات الدين، تربت يداك ” (صحیح البخاری:۷۶۲/۲)

 إذا وعد أخلف نبه على فساد النية لأن خلف الوعد لا يقدح إلا إذا عزم عليه مقارنا بوعده أما إذا كان عازما ثم عرض له مانع أو بدا له رأي فهذا لم توجد فيه صفة النفاق ويشهد لذلك ما رواه الطبراني بإسناد لا بأس به في حديث طويل من حديث سلمان رضي الله عنه إذا وعد وهو يحدث نفسه أنه يخلف۔( عمدۃ القاری:۲۲۱/۱)

وقال العلماء يستحب الوفاء بالوعد بالهبة وغيرها استحبابا مؤكدا ويكره إخلافه كراهة تنزيه لا تحريم ويستحب أن يعقب الوعد بالمشيئة ليخرج عن صورة الكذب ويستحب إخلاف الوعيد إذا كان التوعد به جائزا ولا يترتب على تركه مفسدة۔(عمدۃ القاری: ۲۲۱/۱)

س:: هل إذا تركت خطيبي بعد خطبة استمرت عاما كاملا يكون في ذلك ظلم له، وإن الله سوف ينتقم مني، وسبب فسخي الخطبة هو عدم اقتناعه ببعض أمور الدين.ج: لا حرج عليك في فسخ الخطبة إذا كان الخاطب غير مرضي الخلق والدين ونحوهما۔(الفتاویٰ اللجنۃ الدائمۃ : ۶۴/۱۸)


This answer was collected from It was established under the supervision of the eminent faqih of our era, Hazrat Shah Mufti Mohammed Navalur Rahman damat barakatuhum.

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