Delay of marriage and its connection to al-qada wal-qadar
Q: Does the delay of a girl‘s marriage have anything to do with al-qada‘ wa‘l-qadar (the divine will and decree)? I am a girl who fears Allaah and I pray, but marriage has been delayed for me. Very few men have proposed marriage to me and all of them have faults, mostly in the area of religious commitment. I am asking: does the delay in marriage have any connection to the will and decree of Allaah or is it that I have committed a sin and Allaah is angry with me, although I fear Allaah greatly and Allaah has given me a share of beauty? I want to put my mind at rest by asking you.
The Qur‘aan and saheeh Sunnah, and the consensus of the early generations of this ummah, indicate that it is obligatory to believe in al-qadar (the divine decree), both good and bad, and that this is one of the six basic principles of faith without which a person‘s faith is incomplete. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
’No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al‑Lawh Al‑Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allaah“ [al-Hadeed 57:22]
’Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation as written in the Book of Decrees - Al‑Lawh Al‑Mahfooz)“ [al-Qamar 54:49]
It was narrated from …Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, defining faith: ’It is to believe in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, both good and bad.“ Narrated by Muslim, 8.
Everything that happens in the universe happens only by the decree of Allaah, so the one who believes in al-qadar must believe that Allaah knew all things before they happened, then He wrote that in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz (the Book of Decrees), then He willed that they should be, then He created them.
Marriage and whether it comes sooner or later, or is easy or difficult, is all subject to the decree of Allah. This does not mean that the Muslim should not avail himself of the means that Allah has decreed as the steps leading to it, and applying the means does not contradict the idea that a thing has been decreed from eternity. Man does not know what has been decreed for him, but he is enjoined to apply the means.
The calamities that Allaah decrees for a person are good for the believer if he bears them with patience and seeks reward for that, and does not panic, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’How marvelous is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that does not apply to anyone except the believer. If something good happens to him he gives thanks for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.“ Narrated by Muslim, 2999.
These calamities may be a punishment for sin, but that is not necessarily the case. They may come in order to raise the believer in status and increase his reward if he is patient and content— or there may be other great reasons behind it.
Shaykh …Abd al-…Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
If a person is tested with sickness or a calamity that strikes him or his wealth, how can he know whether that is a test or is a sign of the wrath of Allaah?
Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, tests His slaves with good things and bad, with hardship and with ease. He may test them in order to raise them in status and to increase their reward, as He did with the Prophets and Messengers (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them) and the righteous slaves of Allaah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’The people who are most severely tested are the Prophets, then the next best and the next best.“ Sometimes Allaah does that because of sins, so the punishment is hastened, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
’And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much“ [al-Shoora 42:30]
Usually people fall short and fail to fulfil their duties, so whatever befalls them is because of their sins and shortcomings in obeying the commands of Allaah. If one of the righteous slaves of Allaah is tested with sickness and the like, this is akin to the testing of the Prophets and Messengers which raises them in status and increases their reward, so that they may be examples to others of patience and seeking reward.
Conclusion: it may be a test in order to raise a person in status and increase his reward, as Allaah does with the Prophets and some of the elite, or it may be an expiation for sins, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
’whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof“ [al-Nisa‘ 4:123]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’No tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, distress or harm befalls a believer in this world, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allaah expiates some of his sins thereby.“
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’When Allaah wills good for a person, He afflicts him (with calamity so that he may earn reward by bearing it with patience).“
That may also be a punishment that has been hastened because of sins and a failure to hasten to repent, as stated in the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’When Allaah wills good for a person, He hastens his punishment in this world, and when He wills bad for a person, He withholds the (punishment) for his sins from him until he comes to Him with that sin on the Day of Resurrection.“ Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi. End quote.
Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat, 4/370
As you refused to marry those who came and proposed to you, for the sake of Allaah and because they are not adhering to Islam, Allaah will compensate you with something better than them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
’And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine“ [al-Talaaq 65:2-3]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’You will never give up a thing for the sake of Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, but Allaah will compensate you with something that is better for you than that.“ Narrated by Imam Ahmad; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Hijaab al-Mar‘ah al-Muslimah, 47.
You should turn to Allaah with du‘aa‘ and acts of worship, and do not despair. Remember that the mercy of Allaah is close to those who do good.
And Allaah knows best. (Islam Q&A)