Female scholar marrying a non male scholar

CategoriesMarriage [658]

Fatwa ID: 01352

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah


A female who is Aalima got married with a non Aalim without the parents consent (in secret) is the Nikah valid?

At present the father of the girl does not agree, can they still live together as husband and wife?



In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Mullah Ali Qari raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) writes quoting from Allahmah Tibi raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) ‘the view of the majority is that four things will be considered whether a man is compatible for a woman; religion, being a freed person, lineage and profession.’  Therefore, a Muslimah cannot marry a non-Muslim, a free woman will not marry a slave, a woman with an established lineage will not marry someone with an unknown lineage and a woman with a good profession will not marry someone with a lowly job.  (Mirqat p.271 v.6)

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) has said, “A lady is married for one of four reasons, wealth, rank, beauty or piety. Choose the possessor of piety and achieve success.” (Sahih Bukhari p.762 v.2)

Regarding this hadeeth, Hafiz Ibn Hajar (RA) has said in Fathul Bari: "And it is taken from this that one with a noble lineage, it is better for him to marry one with a noble lineage, unless the lineage contradicts with a religious woman, or one with noble lineage contradicts a non-religious woman, then the religious woman is chosen. And it is likewise in the other three traits." (p.41 v.9)

The Jurists have stated that among Arabs, a non-Quraishi male is not a match (Kuf) for a Quraishi woman, nor can any person of non-Arab descent be a match for a woman of Arab descent. For example, the Sayyids, whether Siddique or Farooque, Uthmaani or Alawi, or belonging to some other branch can never be matched by any person not sharing their lineage, no matter his profession and family status. The Sayyids are suitable matches for one another, since they share descent from the Quraishi tribe. Thus, marriages between themselves are correct and permitted without any condition as appearing in Durrul Mukhtar: 

“And Kafaah in lineage. Thus the Quraysh are suitable matches for one another as are the (other) Arabs suitable matches for one another.”

The ruling relevant to non-Arabs is as follows: ‘An Ajmi (non-Arab) cannot be a match for a woman of Arab descent, no matter that he be an Aalim (religious scholar) or even a Sultan (ruling authority). (Raddul Muhtar p.209 v.4)

Among Arabs, Kafaah with regards to professions is not considered since such does not usually form a basis for respectability in their society. Rather, all professions are regarded equal. A person of a certain profession does not usually regard another as of lower in status. This is contrary to the practise of non-Arabs who consider professions as status in their society. Professions are accorded different levels in status and on this basis; association of a person of superior profession with another of a lesser degree is regarded as difficult. It is for this reason the noble Shari’ah has taken Kafa’aat into consideration in worldly dealings (although in the sight of Allah, such things are no measure of superiority or inferiority).

Thus, the jurists have stated that a weaver is not a Kuff (match) of a tailor, rather he is inferior nor is a tailor the Kuff of a cloth merchant nor a cloth merchant the Kuff of an Aalim or Qadhi (judge of an Islamic court). (Raddul Muhtar p.211 v.4)

From the aforementioned discussion, we can derive that knowledge is not a kuff between a woman and a man. Therefore, their marriage will be considered valid as long as there was offer and acceptance and conducted in the presence of two male witnesses or one male or two female witnesses. They can live together as husband and wife even though the father may not be happy with the marriage.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

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