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Is it a Sin not to Actively Look for a Spouse?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Asslamu Alaykum

My mother have been looking for a suitable match for me, however, I have not put enough effort into it. I want to get married but I was born with a chronic liver disease that may complicate married life. Am I sinful for not actively looking for a spouse?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum, thank you writing in. I’m sure your situation is a difficult one and you have a lot to weigh up and consider.

You are not sinning by not actively looking for a spouse because marriage is not obligatory. Marriage can take on different rulings.

Rulings on Women Marrying

If a woman has the desire to get married (meaning sexual desire), marriage is recommended.

If she does not, and she is engaged in worship or beneficial learning, then marriage is disliked (makrouh) for her.

If she is not engaged in such acts (and has no desire), then marriage is recommended as a good marriage affords preservation of deen, financial stability, and companionship. This is the case even if the lack of desire stems from a chronic illness, physical defect, old age etc.

[Al Tanbih, Umdat al Salik]

From the above, we can see that marriage is not obligatory, so there is no sin on you if you do not actively look for a spouse. Your situation is difficult as I can see that on the one hand you have the physical need to marry, while on the other hand, your long term condition may deteriorate and starting a family could also result in deterioration in health.


Given the above, I think a good idea would be for you, your family members and friends, to continue to look for a spouse for you. Marriage doesn’t have to always entail having children, it can be a great source of companionship and bond between a man and a woman.

Let whoever you meet know the situation in full. I know it may be tiresome, but you never know, the right person who accepts the situation might just come along and the marriage allows you both to provide each other with happiness, comfort and fulfilment, whatever time you have together in this life.

At the same time, know that if you cannot find anyone, or prefer not to, then you are not sinning in any way. In this case, make your life for Allah, and insha’Allah you’ll find in the real life that none of these worries will exist.


Allah is the healer of all things. Doctors’ advise are important, as are their prognosis, but it is not fact. Allah may change a person’s state, spiritually or physically, at any given moment. What this means is we should always have hope and reliance.

As long as you are upfront with your prospective husband and he fully understands the situation, then do not hold back from what may or maybe not be. Your health may never deteriorate and you may be blessed with children without harm. At the same time, be sensible and cautious and take professional and personal advice at each step, and most importantly, turn to Allah first for guidance in each matter, and make use of Istikhara.

As an additional note, you may want to look at natural medicines or natural supplements which may gently support liver function. Seek out a reliable herbalist, homeopath, or similar.

Dealing with Desire

Obviously, one cannot turn to prohibited means for satisfying natural desires. Do your best to refrain from any such acts, or looking at things which arouse sexual desire.

Please refer to the following answers for more guidance on this issue:

Masturbation Archives

I wish you the very best of health and recovery, and May Allah guide you to what is best for you and most pleasing to Him.

Warmest salams,
Shaykh Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Shaykh Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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