Tuesday 17 Sha‘ban 1445 - 27 February 2024
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Method of Marriage Proposal in Islam

Question

What is the Sunnah with regard to proposing marriage? I mean if a young man wants to get married, should he send someone to the woman’s family to ask for her hand in marriage from her family? 

If his proposal is accepted and the woman and her family agree, what is the next step before the khitbah, such as the mahr (dowry) and other things that are required of the man?

Is it Sunnah to recite al-Fatihah when the dowry is stipulated?

Is it Sunnah to give the woman a ring on the day of the engagement and on the day of the wedding or is there any special kind of clothing?

Summary of answer

1- If a man wants to get married, and he has decided to propose to a particular woman, then he may go to her guardian on his own, or with one of his relatives such as his father or brother, or he may delegate someone else to propose marriage on his behalf. 2- If the girl and her family agree, then a mahr has to be agreed upon, and the wedding expenses and the wedding date, and so on. This varies according to local customs, and what the man can afford and what preparations he has made for getting married.

Praise be to Allah.

How to propose in Islam

If a man wants to get married, and he has decided to propose to a particular woman, then he may go to her guardian on his own , or with one of his relatives such as his father or brother, or he may delegate someone else to propose marriage on his behalf. 

The matter is broad in scope, and prevalent customs should be followed. In some countries it is regarded as improper for the suitor to go on his own, so attention should be paid to that. 

Can you see your prospective wife in Islam?

What is prescribed in Shari`ah is for the suitor to see the woman to whom he wants to propose marriage , because of the report narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1087), al-Nasa’i (3235) and Ibn Majah (1865) from al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah (may Allah be pleased with him), who proposed to a woman and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Go and look at her , for that is more likely to create love between you,” i.e., that is more likely to establish lasting love between you. This hadith was classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Tirmidhi. 

Determining the mahr and wedding expenses and wedding date

If the girl and her family agree, then a mahr has to be agreed upon, and the wedding expenses and the wedding date, and so on. This also varies according to local customs, and what the man can afford and what preparations he has made for getting married.

Some people do the proposal and the marriage contract in one sitting, and some delay the marriage contract after the engagement, and some delay the consummation after the marriage contract. All of that is permissible. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did the marriage contract with ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she was six years old then he consummated the marriage with her when she was nine. (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5158) 

Is it sunnah to recite al-Fatihah at the time of engagement? 

It is not sunnah to recite al-Fatihah at the time of engagement or at the time of the marriage contract. Rather the Sunnah is to recite Khutbat al-Hajah. 

`Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught us Khutbat al-Hajah, (to be said) at weddings and on other occasions: “Inna al-hamda  Lillahi nasta’inahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’udhu bihi min shururi anfusina wa sayi’ati a’malina. Man yahdih Illahu fala mudilla lahu wa man yudlil fala hadiya lahu. Wa ashhadu an la ilaha ill-Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluhu (Verily, all praise is to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Him from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).

 ‘Ya ayyuha’n-nas uttaqu rabbakum alladhi khalaqakum min nafsin wahidatin wa khalaqa minha zawjaha wa baththa minhuma rijalan kathiran wa nisa’an wa’ttaqu-Llah alladhi tasa’aluna bihi wa’l-arhama inna Allaha kana ‘alaykum raqiban (O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).’ [al-Nisa’ 4:1]

‘Ya ayyuha’lladhina amanu-ttaqu’Llaha haqqa tuqatihi wa la tamutunna illa wa antum muslimun (O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.)’ [Al ‘Imran 3:102] 

‘Ya ayyahu’lladhina amanu-ttaqu’Llaha wa qulu qawlan sadidan  yuslih lakum a’malakum wa yaghfir lakum dhunubakum wa man yuti’ Allaha wa rasulahu fa qad faza fawzan 'aziman (O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth). He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise)’ [al-Ahzab 33:70, 71].” (Narrated by Abu Dawud (2118) and classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud) 

The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked (19/146): Is reciting al-Fatihah when a man gets engaged to a woman an innovation (bid’ah)? 

They replied: “Reciting al-Fatihah when a man gets engaged to a woman or when the marriage contract is done is an innovation (bid’ah).”

Should you wear special clothing for an engagement or wedding? 

There is no special clothing to be worn for the engagement, wedding or consummation, for either the man or the woman. Attention should be paid to what the people are accustomed to with regard to that, so long as it is not contrary to Shari`ah. Based on that, there is nothing wrong with the man wearing a suit and so on. 

But if the woman is in a place where men can see her, she should wear concealing clothes, just as she should before and after the wedding. But if she is among women, she can adorn herself and wear whatever kind of clothes she wants, but she should avoid extravagance and waste and that which calls to fitnah. 

Are wedding rings permissible?

As for wearing a ring , it is not prescribed for men or for women, because that involves imitating the disbelievers. 

May Allah help us and you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. 

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A