Is it obligatory for a woman to get married?

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By Pure Matrimony -

In Mawaahib al-Jaleel it was said: “Marriage is obligatory for a woman who is unable to feed or clothe herself unless she gets married.” In al-Sharh al-Kabeer, concerning obligatory marriage it says: “If a person fears that he may commit fornication, it (marriage) is obligatory on him.” In Fath al-Wahhaab, it says: “For the woman who has (physical) desires, marriage is sunnah, just as it is for the one who needs maintenance and the one who fears being taken advantage of by immoral persons.”

In Mughni al-Muhtaaj, it says: “(Marriage) becomes waajib (obligatory) if a person fears fornication… And it was said that it becomes obligatory if a person has made a vow (nadhr) to get married.” Then concerning the ruling with regard to women: “If she needs to get married, i.e., she has physical desires, or needs maintenance, or she is afraid that immoral people may take advantage of her… it is preferable (mustahabb) for her to get married, because this will protect her religion and her chastity, and she can enjoy what her husband spends on her, and other advantages.”

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Mughni: “Our colleagues differed as to whether marriage is obligatory. The best-known opinion in our madhhab is that it is not obligatory, except when a person is afraid of committing a forbidden deed if he does not marry. In that case he should make himself chaste (i.e. get married). This is the opinion of the majority of fuqahaa’.”

When it comes to marriage, people are of three types, one of which is those who fear that they may commit forbidden deeds if they do not get married. It is obligatory for such people to get married, according to the majority of fuqahaa’, because it is obligatory for them to make themselves chaste and protect themselves from haraam. In Subul al-Salaam it says: “Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eed said that some of the fuqahaa’ said that marriage is obligatory for the one who fears sin or hardship (because of suppressing physical desires) and is able to marry… and it is obligatory for the one who cannot avoid fornication unless he gets married.”

In Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, it says: “There is no dispute that marriage is an obligation when desire is strong. If a person has such a strong desire for women that he cannot be patient, and he can afford to pay the mahr (dowry) and support a wife, then if he does not get married, he is a sinner.”

From the above discussion, we can see a number of situations in which marriage is obligatory. You might ask: “How can we imagine a woman fulfilling this obligation when usually it is the man who goes around knocking on doors looking for a partner? This is not the woman’s role.” The answer is: what a woman can do to fulfil this command is not to refuse marriage when a suitable, compatible man comes with an offer of marriage.

Muslim women and men need to understand the high status which marriage has in Islam, so that they will be more keen to marry. There follows a useful summary on this topic by Imaam Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi (may Allaah have mercy on him), from his book al-Mughni:

The basis of the legitimacy of marriage is the Qur’aan, Sunnah and ijmaa’ (consensus of the scholars). In the Qur’aan, Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings): ‘… marry women of your choice, two or three, or four…’ [al-Nisaa’ 4:3] and ‘And marry those among you who are single and (also marry) the saalihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves)…’ [al-Noor 24:32]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O young men! Whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for this will lower his gaze and protect his chastity. Whoever cannot (get married), then let him fast, for fasting will be a protection for him.” (Agreed upon). There are many other ayaat and reports like these. The Muslims agree that marriage is legitimate.

Ibn Mas’ood said: “If I only had ten days left to live, and I knew that I would die at the end of them, and I was able to get married, I would do so, for fear of fitnah (temptation).”

Ibn ‘Abbaas said to Sa’eed ibn Jubayr: “Get married, for the best of this ummah are those who have more wives.” Ibraaheem ibn Maysarah said: “Taawoos said to me: ‘Either you get married, or I will say to you what ‘Umar said to Abu’l-Zawaa’id: There is nothing stopping you from getting married but either impotence or immorality!’ According to al-Mirwadhi, Ahmad said: ‘Celibacy has nothing to do with Islam. Whoever calls you not to get married is calling you to something other than Islam.’”

Then he said (may Allaah have mercy on him):

The benefits of marriage are many. They include: protecting one’s religion and helping one to adhere to it; protecting and taking care of women; and producing offspring and increasing the ranks of the ummah, thus achieving the pride of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), etc. [Translator’s note: there is a hadeeth which indicates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) will feel proud of the large numbers of his ummah in the Hereaster, so Muslims are encouraged to marry and have many children.]

It should now be clear that the benefits of marriage are many. No wise Muslim woman would hesitate to get married, especially if an offer of marriage comes from a person who is strongly committed to Islam and is possessed of a good character and morals.

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19 Comments to Is it obligatory for a woman to get married?

  1. Asalamoalikum,
    i’ve heard it many times that funeral of a Muslim women cud not be performed if she died un-married. is it true? kindly explain it with refrence.

    • who told you that, if some woman died unmarried, her funeral can not be performed???I’m sorry, but the statement doesn’t even appeal to common-sense, how could it have anything to do with Islam?

      • ruslan senpai

        the moslem hasnt a rule that married is fardhu, but it is sunnah, so if the moslem die but he or she is a singgel, no problem for him or her, because in our paradise we will meet with about 73 angels.
        Thats amazing rigt???

    • Of course the funeral or an unmarried can be performed who told u that rubish….its the same as saying a muslim girl who just became a woman and died a funeral cant b performed 4 her jst because she’s nt married, this is outrageous, every1 deserve a funeral prayer performed male or female married or unmarried.


    its really rubbish to say funeral of a girl who is unmarried could not be performed…….what if a man die single?……what if the engaged girl die?…..what if no one is ready to marry her and she die?……….what if she die just one day before her marriage?…….what if she has just entered in age of puberty?….. you are wrongly informed dear
    and it is nothing to do with salary to spend money on wedding but it should be with simplicity

  3. Mohammed Bolori

    Marriage make a Muslims’ religion complete. It is highly desrable to make us complete muslim and contributing in number of muslim by giving birth to as many children as possible within the confines of healthy reproductive ability.

  4. I have recently discovered that after 18 years of marriage my huband has another wife for more than 5 years. This came as a real shock to me and I was devastated and felt betrayed. He has always been a good, caring and loving husband to me and so I never expected to be faced with this reality. I love my husband dearly and am trying to come to terms with this new development but its is really hard for me to accept and it is taking a toll on my health. I have looked at this whole affair as my trial and am begging Allah for patience and steadfastness. I would be happy if there are persons out there who can advise me how to live with this situation.

    • Bismillahirahmanirahim,

      sis i feel sympathy for your situation to discover a long keep secret like that done by our most beloved person that you trust and praised for being such a good person. But actually he is still a good person(husband/father) if you dont look at his secret marriage as a betrayal.
      And sister, mashaallah you were a very strong woman, Allah want to see us come closer to Him when He test us right? and see you turn to Him right away. that the prove of your strength.
      As i m writing this i just finish listening to my class lecture about tawheed, about the reason people lost their faith in Allah. the sheikh said it is started when they start asking WHY when they were afflicted by tragedy. so instead of asking why? asking why not will make us feel at peace with whatever given to us.
      and sister jealousy is not a wrong thing. it is a build in part of us women right? we were created like that. even the wives of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w feel jealous towards on another right? let alone us.. so full of it ;), so you have your right to feel jealous towards your co-wife, except dont let the jealousy eating you like until causing the bad impact to your health and you neglecting your responsibilities as a wife.
      what i can suggest to you is to accept it as a decree of Allah since Allah permit a man to marry more then 1. they were created to be able to love more then one woman at the same time.
      to meet with your co-wife as your muslim sister coz sometimes as long as we were curious with what make my husband look at her that i dont have the agitation will cause us so many imaginary problem. so what i can say here is kill the curiosity with humbleness, faith to Allah and also loving the sunnah of Rasullallah. isnt it amazing?
      then after that talk to your husband. tell him that you still love him and you’ll be gaining much more special part in his heart beside the previous one.
      And dont bother about what people said about it, we were not submitting to humans right? even sometimes it still manage to creep in to our thought.. 🙂 but dont let the syaitan win.
      and maybe this is the blessing in disguise for you, with the extra time maybe you can apply it to study the Deen, to do charity and to do so many things insyaallah.
      and lastly remember there is so many women in this world that wish to get married but can’t..who want to be with the man they love but still cant.. and who never receive any proposal for marriage in their lives and died as a lonely.. those who long to be called mama but only manage to hear aunt all her life..and i among those woman.
      love. take care.
      a muslim sister. 😉

      • Fatihah- sister i read your whole comment over the problem of saudia.
        and i totally agree ,support and respect your view on this whole situation that our sister saudia is going through.
        and last paragraph of your comment really made me feel relaxed because of certain marriage issues i am going through.
        i am got few of the marriage proposals but later they simply decline the proposals due to my past mistakes though i am completely changed.
        Allah has trials of everyone. in some or the other way.
        just do not lose faith.. 🙂 🙂

      • As salaamu Alaikum Sis Fatihah ,Alhamdulillah Ur advice is the best as per Sunn ah. You could be a Grt Counseller

    • Yes you can remarry. read the article on iddah. Waiting period is 3 monthly cycles and 10 days.

      When you say left do you mean just seperation? or he divourced you. If he just left without divource and it has been a year and a half. and you know the relationship is over you can ask for khula, go to local imam or shiekh and have this done. If you are divourced you are free to marry who you wish. As you are not a virgin girl you have a bit more freedom to choose as you have the experince of the first marriage and less likely to be naive.
      Inshallah khier sis

  5. look not every single sister wants to get married. its just social pressure which makes young women feel as if they must get married.

  6. From my own observations it is better for a woman to remarry, and not remain alone.
    Many beinfits, having companionship, someone to look after her, someone to provide for her, if she is still young to have children, etc etc.
    You can not force a woman, and some wish to remain alone. Although this is acceptable in the deen through my own observations i have seen that women who are divourced, widowed, or remain single end up growing old and bitter, and the women i know become bad muslims in actions.

    One mother i seen, had one child. She divourced early on in the marriage. And bought up her son alone. She refused to remarry despite only being 18 when she had her son. She raised him with her parents. And refused to remarry with no real valid reason. Now her son got married she is bitter and twisted, she treate her daughter inlaw in a nasty horrible way, she prevents a relationship between them. Like she does not wish to let her son go. This girl and boy have been married for 2 years and she make trouble between the two to prevent love and intimacy and any sort of relationship. Authobillahi, why? becuase she has no one once her son falls in love and has his own family… or so she thinks. This is why she should of remarried!

    Another woman who did not remarry and had 6 children. Now in her 70’s is bitter, curses, and induldges in back biting and hateful actions. All becuase she closed the door to love and marriage. Also she was young when she divourced in her 30’s and remained single and alone after her children moved out.

    There is good argument to remarry, becuase it helps you be a good person and a wholesome person. Allah created partners for us, we are created in pairs!

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