Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Is it haraam to marry a woman who cannot have children?


I had tried to get a clear answer for my question for 3 yrs but in vain hope inshallah i get a reply from u.i am 23 yr old,i hav one sister.my mom and dad have been married for 25 yrs.3yrs back my father married a hindu widow women converting her to islam.and we have had problems in home from then on.she has two sons from her first husband who died. the issue is the second wife was working at the same place where my father worked,and the rumour is my father had an affair with her and married her later,and Allah knows better is it true or not.she was known to be a women of not so good characters and she dresses very provocatively. even after three years of marraige there is no islamic signs on her and she still dresses in a very provocative manner, she had done sterilization operation after her children were born from her first husband.so my father knoingly married a women who could not bear children. so the issue is , is the marraige valid since Muhamed(sal) had prohibited marraige with a women who could not bear children. and if so then what about the two sons of her who have been given islamic names and are studying in a muslim boarding school. and what should be the attitude of my mother and also my attitude towards this issue .

Praise be to Allaah.


In your
question you said that your father married a Hindu woman and made her become
Muslim. If the marriage contract was done when she was a Hindu, and she
became a Muslim after that, then the marriage is invalid, and your father
should do a new marriage contract, because Allaah has forbidden Muslim men
to marry mushrik women until they become Muslim. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“And do
not marry Al-Mushrikaat (idolatresses) till they believe (worship Allaah

[al-Baqarah 2:221] 

If the
marriage contract was done after she became Muslim, then the marriage is


 It is not
permissible for your father to marry a woman who is as you describe. Islam
encourages marriage to religiously-committed women. Her dressing in a
provocative manner prevents the Muslim from making this choice. You have to
advise your father in the way that is better to urge her to adhere to
Islamic rulings, which includes telling her to wear hijab and behave in a
proper manner. 


Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged
marriage to women who are fertile. It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may
Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say: “Marry the one who is loving
and fertile, for I will feel proud of your large numbers before the other
Prophets on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by Ahmad (12202). Classed as
saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan (3/338) and by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id

Sham al-Deen
Abaadi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

(loving) means she loves her husband. 

(fertile) means the one who bears many children. 

These two
conditions are mentioned together because if a fertile woman is not loving,
her husband will feel no desire for her, and if a loving woman is not
fertile, the desired aim will not be achieved, which is to increase the
numbers of the ummah by producing many children. These two characteristics
may be known in the case of virgins from the behaviour of their relatives,
because in most cases relatives are similar in behaviour and

al-Ma’bood (6/33-34) 

The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told men not to marry
infertile women. It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yasaar (may Allaah be
pleased with him) said: A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) and said: I have found a woman who is of good lineage
and beautiful, but she cannot have children. Should I marry her? He said:
No. Then he came to him a second time, and he told him not (to marry that
woman). Then he came to him a third time and he said: “Marry the one who is
loving and fertile, for I will be proud of your great numbers before the
nations.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (3227) and Abu Dawood (2050). Classed as
saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan (9/363) and by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb

prohibition does not mean that it is haraam, rather it is makrooh. The
scholars stated that choosing a fertile woman is mustahabb, not obligatory. 

Ibn Qudaamah
said in al-Mughni: 

It is
mustahabb that she be from a family whose women are known to bear many
children. End quote. 

said in Fayd al-Qadeer (6. hadeeth 9775): 

Marrying a
woman who is not fertile is makrooh. End quote. 

Just as it
is permissible for a woman to marry an infertile man, it is also permissible
for a man to marry an infertile woman. 

said in al-Fath: 

As for one
who cannot have children or who has no desire for women or for intimacy,
this (marriage) is permissible in his case, if the woman is aware of that
and agrees to it. End quote. 


With regard
to your father’s wife giving her sons Muslim names and putting them in an
Islamic school, these are good things that your father has done. Changing
bad names or foreign names to Arab and Muslim names is a good thing. See the
answer to questions no. 23273,
14622 and
12617. Putting them into an Islamic
school is a means of introducing them to true Islam and convincing them of
it, and we hope that they will become good Muslims. 


You have to
honour your mother and take care of her, and advise her to give your father
his rights. It is not permissible for her to go against his command unless
he tells her to do something that is disobedient to Allaah. You should also
advise your father’s wife and show her the way to do good. You should pay
attention to her sons and help them to get to know Islam and follow its

We ask
Allaah to set your family’s affairs straight, and to guide you to obey Him,
and help you to worship Him properly. 

And Allaah
knows best.

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