Am I Too Young To Marry at Seventeen?

09 July, 2018
Q Asalaam Alaykum, I was wondering how young is too young for guys to be married. I am a 16 year old man, and want to get married soon, maybe after my 17th birthday. But when I ask around for marriage, people keep telling me I am too young. Is there an Islamic age limit? If so, what it is?

Answer

Short Answer:  Most young men get married with only one goal in mind: to have halal sexual relations. Age is not the only factor you should consider. You must also have mental and emotional maturity and a sense of responsibility. You should also have the ability to maintain and provide for a wife and/or any subsequent children who may be born.

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Asalamu Alaikum Kamal,

Thank you for sending in your question to our website.

There are a few aspects to your question about what age is “too young” for a young Muslim man to get married. I will attempt to address them one by one.

Legally speaking, in Islam, a child giving consent may be contracted to marry even before reaching puberty.

However, the fulfillment of this marriage must be delayed until, at least, both husband and wife have passed puberty. They should also be mature enough to handle such a responsibility.

This is the official legal ruling about the matter, i.e. a child, male or female, may contract a marriage even during childhood, and can consummate their marriage as soon as they pass puberty and are mature.  

What happens in practical life, however, is a totally different ballgame.

I say this because the ethos and cultural habits of the Muslims in the world today have greatly impacted the institution of Islamic marriage.

Not to mention, prevalent disparities in Muslims’ level of religiosity, knowledge of marriage-related rights and responsibilities, consciousness of Allah, and zeal/eagerness to fulfill their obligations — do not always fit the bill.

Most young men get married with only one goal in mind: to have halal sexual relations.

They also marry due to cultural pressure from families. As a result, marriages today are not always happy, successful, and blessed.

Husband’s Obligations

It is important to consider a man’s obligations before he can rightly gauge if he is ready to get married.

The first is that a Muslim husband is obligated (it is fard upon him) to maintain his wife financially. He should provide for her at the level to which she was used to being maintained before she got married.

That is, he has to provide her with food and drink, clothing, shelter, medical/healthcare and cordial company.

He also has to fulfill her sexual needs and protect her from harm. He is her official provider and protector.

If she, or any children who result from the union, need any maintenance or provision, it is obligatory upon him to pay for their expenses to fulfill his obligation, according to his capacity and at the level she was used to before her marriage.

A husband has to help his wife with housework or errands that need to be done to maintain the family. This includes for example buying groceries, paying the bills or doing home improvements.

He should not expect anyone else from his or her family to take on these responsibilities, when he is able to. Also, a wife’s Islamic education and moral development is a husband’s responsibility, according to Islamic law.

It would not be right for a husband to enjoy his wife and to have children with her, and then selfishly hand them over to her parents (or his) as soon as they become ill or need care. A Muslim husband takes full responsibility for his wife’s (and children’s) needs.

Age & Maturity

 Therefore, to sum up, whether a Muslim is “too young” to marry, according to Islam, depends not just on his age in years, but also on his mental & emotional maturity, sense of responsibility, and ability to maintain and provide for a wife and/or any subsequent children who may be born.

If a young man is well-aware of what his Islamic duties and obligations will be after marriage, is physically and financially able, and Allah-fearing enough to willingly fulfill all of them; he may get married as soon as he reaches puberty.

And Allah knows best.

I hope that this answers your question, brother Kamal.

Please stay in touch. Walaikum Asalam.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/marriage-at-a-young-age-love-or-impulse/

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/in-focus/top-10-secrets-for-a-happy-marriage-folder/

 

Cherish Your Wife the Prophet’s Way (10+ Hadiths)