Is There A Set Age For Marriage In
Islam? Should She Continue Studying Medicine Or Get
Married And Study?
Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I would like to know whether there is a set age
for marriage in Islam for men and women? I hope you
can explain with reference to the Qur'aan and saheeh
Praise be to Allaah.
Islam does not give a specific age for marriage,
either for the husband or for the wife. Allah, may He
be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And for such of your women as despair of
menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting)
shall be three months, along with those who have it
Al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "along
with those who have it [menses] not" means minors,
those who have not yet started to menstruate. Adult
women who have never menstruated at all are like those
who "despair of menstruation" (i.e., have passed
menopause); their ‘iddah is three months. End quote.
Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 870
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
married ‘Aa'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when
she was six years old and the marriage was consummated
when she was nine years old. Narrated by al-Bukhaari
(4840) and Muslim (1422).
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh
With regard to females, the father may give his minor,
virgin daughter who has not yet reached the age of
nine in marriage, and there is no difference of
opinion concerning that, if he gives her in marriage
to someone who is compatible. Ibn al-Mundhir said: All
of those scholars from whom we acquired knowledge
unanimously agreed that it is permissible for a father
to give his minor daughter in marriage if he arranges
her to someone who is compatible, and it is
permissible for him to do that even if she is
reluctant. End quote.
No one may give a minor daughter in marriage except
her father according to the view of Maalik and Ahmad.
This was also the view of al-Shaafa‘i, but he regarded
the grandfather as being like the father in that
regard. Abu Haneefah said – and it was also narrated
from Ahmad – that it is permissible for a guardian
other than the father to give (the minor girl) in
marriage, but the more correct view is the former one.
See: al-Mughni, 7/33
The father should not give a minor daughter in
marriage except in a case where he thinks it is in her
best interests. Just as he may only dispose of her
wealth in that which is in her best interests, the
same applies with regard to arranging her marriage.
Islam only permits that to the Muslim father who is
pious and pays proper attention to the best interests
of his children, and who understands very well that he
is a shepherd and that he is responsible for his
Ibn Wahb narrated that Maalik said, with regard to a
man arranging a marriage for an orphan girl under his
care: If he thinks that (the husband) is a man of
virtue, righteousness and wisdom, it is permissible
for him to do that.
Ahkaam al-Qur'aan by al-Jassaas, 2/342
A man should not consummate marriage with his young
bride until she is physically able to bear
intercourse. This varies from one time, place and
environment to another.
For more information please see the answers to
questions no. 22442 and 127176.
What young men and guardians of girls should do is
hasten to arrange marriages, so as to guard chastity
and protect honour, and so as to attain the great
purposes for which Allah ordained marriage.
And Allah knows best.
Should she continue studying
medicine or get married and study?
I am a university student and have just
started studying in the Faculty of Medicine. I have
got engaged to a young man who is of good character
and religiously-committed, and I agreed to that. My
problem is that I am confused as to whether I should
complete my studies and delay the idea of getting
married, but he wants to get married quickly and he
has promised to let me complete my studies. Is it
better to get married soon or to delay it? If I get
married can I combine study and marriage?.
Praise be to Allaah.
The basic principle is that it is mustahabb to hasten
to get married for the one who is able for that,
because 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 it helps him to
lower his gaze and protect his chastity. And whoever
cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a
protection for him.". Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5065)
and Muslim (1400).
This is especially important in these times when
temptations are widespread.
Moreover, as you have just started studying, this
means that this waiting period will be very long, and
this is not in the interests of young men or young
women in general, and it is not in the interests of
the engaged couple in particular. Whoever is able to
get married at the age of twenty, there is no benefit
in delaying it until he is twenty five, and so on.
Moreover, having a lengthy engagement is not something
good, because the couple will be in a state of
suspension, as it were, even if we assume that there
are no haraam things involved such as mixing or being
alone together, etc.
It should be noted that the one who fears that he may
fall into haraam is obliged to get married, and it
takes precedence over studying in the case of a
conflict. No differentiation is made between men and
women in that regard, if they can afford it.
There is nothing wrong with completing one's studies
after marriage, but is it possible to combine studies
and household duties? This varies from one person to
another, according to their abilities and
circumstances. It also varies according to the type of
study, and whether there are children or not. It seems
that there are some people who can do it and some who
We advise you to pray istikhaarah and consult people
before taking this decision, and we ask Allaah to
guide you to all that is good.
And Allaah knows best.