Can a Muslim Woman Propose to a Muslim Man? (Hadith No. 2001)


Hadith no. 2000 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.

Volume 3, Book 38, Number 504 :
Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
I was accompanying the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) on a journey and was riding a slow camel that was lagging behind the others. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passed by me and asked, “Who is this?” I replied, “Jabir bin ‘Abdullah.” He asked, “What is the matter, (why are you late)?” I replied, “I am riding a slow camel.” He asked, “Do you have a stick?” I replied in the affirmative. He said, “Give it to me.” When I gave it to him, he beat the camel and rebuked it. Then that camel surpassed the others thenceforth. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Sell it to me.” I replied, “It is (a gift) for you, O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).” He said, “Sell it to me. I have bought it for four Dinars (gold pieces) and you can keep on riding it till Medina.” When we approached Medina, I started going (towards my house). The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Where are you going?” I said, “I have married a widow.” He said, “Why have you not married a virgin to fondle with each other?” I said, “My father died and left daughters, so I decided to marry a widow (an experienced woman) (to look after them).” He said, “Well done.” When we reached Medina, Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O Bilal, pay him (the price of the camel) and give him extra money.” Bilal (radiallaahu `anhu) gave me four Dinars and one Qirat extra. (A sub-narrator said): Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu) added, “The extra Qirat of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) never parted from me.” The Qirat was always in Jabir bin ‘Abdullah’s (radiallaahu `anhu) purse.

Today’s Hadith:

Volume 3, Book 38, Number 505 :
Narrated by Sahl bin Sad (radiallaahu `anhu)
A woman came to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! I want to give up myself to you.” A man said, “Marry her to me.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “We agree to marry her to you with what you know of the Qur’an by heart.”

Read the full version of this hadith, narrated in Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 54:

Narrated Sahl bin Sad:

A woman presented herself to the Prophet (for marriage). A man said to him, “O Allah’s Apostle! (If you are not in need of her) marry her to me.” The Prophet said, “What have you got?” The man said, “I have nothing.” The Prophet said (to him), “Go and search for something) even if it were an iron ring.” The man went and returned saying, “No, I have not found anything, not even an iron ring; but this is my (Izar) waist sheet, and half of it is for her.” He had no Rida’ (upper garment). The Prophet said, “What will she do with your waist sheet? If you wear it, she will have nothing over her; and if she wears it, you will have nothing over you.” So the man sat down and when he had sat a long time, he got up (to leave). When the Prophet saw him (leaving), he called him back, or the man was called (for him), and he said to the man, “How much of the Quran do you know (by heart)?” The man replied I know such Sura and such Sura (by heart),” naming the Suras The Prophet said, “I have married her to you for what you know of the Quran.”

With regard to the idea of a Muslim woman offering herself in marriage to a righteous man, that does not contradict the idea of modesty, so long as he is trustworthy with regard to his religious commitment and moral attitude. It was narrated that Thaabit al Banaani said: “I was with Anas ibn Maalik and a daughter of his was with him. He said: ‘A woman came to the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) and offered herself in marriage to him. She said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, do you want to marry me?’ The daughter of Anas said: ‘How little was her modesty. How shameless, how shameless!’ Anas said: ‘She was better than you; she had a liking for the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) so she offered herself in marriage to him.'” (al-Bukhaari 4828)

Imam al-Bukhaari included this Hadeeth in a chapter which he entitled: “A woman offering herself in marriage to a righteous man.”

Al-Hafiz ibn Hajar said:

“Ibn al-Munayyir said in al-Haashiyah: ‘One of the subtle points of al-Bukhaari’s knowledge is that he from the specific story of the woman who offered herself in marriage to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) he derived a general principle; he understood that it is permissible for any woman to offer herself in marriage to a righteous man whose righteousness she admires, and if he likes her he may marry her subject to the conditions of marriage being fulfilled.'”

These two Ahaadeeth – the Hadeeth of Sahl and the Hadeeth of Anas, both of which mention the woman who offered herself in marriage to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) – indicate that it is permissible for a woman to offer herself in marriage to a man, and to let him know that she has a liking for him, and there is nothing wrong with her doing so. And the one to whom a woman offers herself in marriage has the choice of either accepting or refusing, but he does not have to express his refusal outright, rather it is sufficient for him to remain silent. (Fath al-Baari, 9/175)

Al-‘Ayni said:

“The words of Anas to his daughter: ‘She is better than you’ indicate that it is permissible for a woman to offer herself in marriage to a righteous man, and to tell him of her liking for him because of his righteousness and virtue, or because of his knowledge and honor, or for some characteristic of religious commitment, and that there is no shame on her if she does that, rather that is a sign of her virtue. The daughter of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) looked at the externals and she did not understand this properly until Anas said: ‘She is better than you.’ As for the woman who offers herself in marriage to a man for some worldly purpose, this is something that is abhorrent in the extreme.” (Umdat al-Qaari’ Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 20/1130)

But it is better for a woman to inform her wali (guardian) of her desire to marry a righteous man who is trustworthy with regard to his religious commitment and his moral attitude, without telling the man bluntly. This may be understood from what one of the two women did, when she said to her father – concerning Moosa (peace be upon him): “And said one of them (the two women): ‘O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy’”
(al-Qasas 28:26)

al-Qurtubi said with regard to the words of Allah: ‘I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years…’ (al-Qasas 28:27):

Here the father offered his daughter in marriage to the man. This is an established custom whereby the righteous man of Madyan offered his daughter in marriage to a righteous man of the Children of Israel, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab offered his daughter Hafsah in marriage to Abu Bakr and Uthmaan, and the woman who offered herself in marriage offered herself to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). So it is good for a man to offer his female relative who is under his care in marriage, and for a woman to offer herself in marriage to a righteous man, following the example of the righteous salaf. Ibn Umar said: “When Hafsah became single (due to her husband’s death), Umar said to Uthmaan: ‘If you wish, I will marry Hafsah Bint Umar to you.'” (al-Bukhaari, 4005, Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 13/271)

But it should be noted that most of what happens nowadays, when a woman likes a particular man, is the result of Haraam causes, such as a careless attitude on her part whereby she talks to him and sits with him. A person who has evil motives may take advantage of such an offer to achieve some of his aims. So we must beware of this and protect our honor from anything that may besmirch it.

And Allah knows best.

Taken from IslamQA


About Yumna

Bukhari Blogger | Student and teacher of the Qur'an | Studying BAIS from IOU.

Posted on May 12, 2014, in iLook and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The most common example that is quoted is that of Khadija (RA). Jazakillah khair for shedding some more light on this subject and for the clarifying points in the end. :) Baarak Allahu Feek.

  2. JazakAllah

  3. Reblogged this on hope2go and commented:
    Some beautiful concepts which makes our religion beautiful and much more “Broad” than it actually is portrayed as. May Allah Forgive us and Help us to be among the righteous also make our intentions righteous and courageous enough so we don’t falter away in doing haram stuff.

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