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 hadeeths.

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 not"

[al-Talaaq 65:4].

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 al-Kabeer, 7/386:

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 flock.

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 cannot.

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.


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