The marriage proposal

source :Osoul Global Center


A marriage proposal is a statement made by a man making clear that he wishes to marry a woman with the knowledge of her guardian, Islam puts some rules for the engagement.

The marriage proposal

A proposal is a statement by a man making clear that he wishes to marry a certain woman and informing her guardian of his wishes.[1]

Certain rules apply in the case of engagement, including:

1- When a proposal is accepted, even implicitly, no other man may make a proposal of marriage to the same woman if he is aware of the first proposal.

:The Prophet (peace be upon him) says

‘Let no man make a proposal when his brother has made one until the first one has either married the woman or abandoned his proposal.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 5,144

 To make another proposal is to undermine the first arrangement and to create ill-feelings.2- It is forbidden to make a direct expression of one’s desire to a widowed woman while she is in her waiting period.

:Allah says

‘You will incur no sin if you give a hint of a marriage offer to [widowed] women’


What the verse tells us is that a hint is permissible. A man may say to her, for example, ‘I hope that Allah will facilitate for me a marriage to a good woman’, or ‘I am hoping to get married’. Giving such a hint incurs no sin, which means that making a direct expression of intention is unlawful. If the woman is divorced and observing her waiting period and her divorce is revocable even a hint is not permissible, because the same rules apply to her as apply to married women.

3- Anyone who is asked about the character of a man making a proposal of marriage, or a woman to whom a proposal is made or considered, should state honestly their good and negative points. This is not considered backbiting; rather, it counts as honest advice which is mandatory to give.

4- A proposal is no more than an expression of desire and a promise of marriage; it cannot count as a marriage. Therefore, each party is still considered a stranger to the other and the relevant rules apply to them.


  1. [1] Al-Zuhaili, Al-Fiqh al-Islami, vol. 9, p. 6,492.


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