Wednesday 26 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1443 - 1 December 2021
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Are intrusive thoughts a defect that must be disclosed to a suitor?

Question

If a girl suffers from intrusive thoughts and the like, and she has not told anyoneabout it, so no one knows what is in her mind except Allah, may He be exalted, and she is fighting these thoughts – if someone comes to propose marriage to her, should she tell him about that or conceal it? Especially when telling him will be an obstacle to her recovery, because it will get worse… What advice would you give her? What are the defects or faults that she must disclose to a suitor?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

Intrusive thoughts and other kinds of waswaas (whispers from the Shaytaan) may be dealt with by means of dhikr (remembering Allah) and doing acts of obedience and worship, keeping one’s mind away from these thoughts, and not paying attention to them. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist. See the answer to questions no. 39684 and 41027 for more information.

Secondly:

The more correct of the two scholarly opinions is that any fault or defect that could undermine the purpose of marriage and put one of the spouses off from the other must be disclosed, and there is also the option of annulling the marriage if the fault or defect is discovered after having been concealed.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: By analogy, in the case of any fault or defect that could put one spouse off from the other and undermines the objectives of marriage, such as compassion and affection, the option to annul the marriage must be given. End quote from Zaad al-Ma‘aad (5/166).

And he said: Whoever reflects on the fatwas of the Sahaabah and the early generations will realize that they did not limit the right to annul the marriage to some faults and defects to the exclusion of others.

And he said: If the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade the seller to conceal a fault or defect in his product, and he forbade the seller who was aware of the defect or fault to conceal it from the purchaser, then how about faults and defects when it comes to marriage? The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to Faatimah bint Qays, when she consulted him as to whether she should marry Mu‘aawiyah or Abu Jahm: “As for Mu‘aawiyah, he is poor and has no wealth. As for Abu Jahm, his stick is always on his shoulder.” Thus it is known that disclosing faults or defects in the case of marriage is more important and more necessary. How could concealment and deceit make the marriage binding and make the spouse suffer because of this fault or defect even though he find this it very off-putting? End quote from Zaad al-Ma‘aad (5/168].

Based on that, whoever suffers from intrusive thoughts should examine her situation. If these intrusive thoughts prevent her from taking care of her husband, and would make him unable to live with her, then she must tell him about that. This is better than concealing that and deceiving him, for he may divorce her or resent her for having concealed this fault or defect.

But if the intrusive thoughts will not affect her life with her husband, and that is not likely to put him off her, then this is not a fault or defect, and she does not have to tell him about it.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A