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Q&A: Is Preventing Younger Child from Getting Married Islamic?

Mufti Menk answers a recurrent question about marriage: “Can the younger child not marry if those older are not yet married?”

It might seem odd for some of us, but indeed it happens that culturally it is seen as something bad when the younger brothers and sisters are getting married before the eldest in the family

Islam isn’t teaching such rule; in fact it is quite the opposite. What is written for you will happen, Insha’Allah.

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Preventing a marriage for fear of “vexing” the older child or because it will seem strange to the members of our community, is a wrong reason.


[…] Many families suffer as a result of following a baseless tradition or culture. Do what is right, not what is pleasing the others. […] Is it necessary for the older child to marry before the younger one? The answer is NO!

From a cultural perspective some people prefer […] that the older child marries before the younger one.

But nowadays […] the younger one might be ready to get marry before the older one or there might be a proposal,  or an interest in the younger child before the older child .

Do not say no simply because the older child isn’t married!

THAT IS NOT AN ISLAMIC CONCEPT! That is not what Allah and his Messengers (Peace be Upon them) have taught us.

Mufti Menk is giving a very simple example of respecting the uniqueness and oneness of each and every child or person.


[…]  It is like a business deal. It doesn’t mean that if your older child isn’t earning much, then you should not agree for the second child to get a job or to be doing better than the 1st one!

[…] So whoever Allah decides to give his sustenance, Allah will provide!

Sometimes Allah will provide for the littlest one before He provides for all of the others. Don’t make this mistake. It is very, very wrong! People are suffering as a result and we don’t realize it!

One very important notion that is usually forgotten when we put our culture, family tradition, or personal needs first before the Islamic teaching: we are encouraging people to sin as a result of our stubbornness.

Someone who is kept away from getting married because of his or her elder not getting married sooner, while he or she is ready and maybe had someone at heart or a proposal; will feel the injustice and might be pushed towards simpler but haraam solutions.


[…] Don’t ever promote sins by making what is permissible difficult!


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