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Marriage, Casts and Compatibility

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

A brief article consisting of queries in regards to marrying into the clan of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), and the reasons for which a person is married.

Indeed there is no excellence for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over on Arab, nor for a white person over a black one, nor for a black person over a white one, except through taqwá (piety and obedience to Allāh)

Related by Aḥmad No. 5/411

Compatability is Only Based Upon Religion and Piety

From the evil and reprehensible matters is that some who claim to be from the tribe of Hāshim (i.e. claim to be a Sayyid; someone related to the Prophet’s (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) family) say that there is no kafāʿah (marriage compatibility) between them and someone from outside of their own clan. So they do not get married outside of their clan, nor allow anyone from outside of their clan to marry them. This is a great error, a monstrous ignorance, oppression against the woman, and it is legislation that neither Allāh nor His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) legislated or prescribed. Rather, Allāh – the Most High – said:

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and have made you into nations and tribes; that you may know one another, Indeed the most noblest of you with Allāh is the one who has the most taqwá (piety, fear, and obedience of Allāh).”
[Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt 49:13]

“Indeed, the Believers are but brothers.”
[Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt 49:10]

“The Believers – men and women – are allies and protectors, one to another.”
[Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:71]

“So their Lord accepted from them their supplication, and responded: Never will I allow to be lost the actions of any of you, be they male or female. You are one to another.”
[Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:195]

Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “Indeed there is no excellence for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over on Arab, nor for a white person over a black one, nor for a black person over a white one, except through taqwá (piety and obedience to Allāh). The people are from Ādam, and Ādam was from earth.” 2

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) also said: “Indeed my awliyāʾ (friends and allies) are not the tribe of so and so. Rather my friends and allies are the muttaqūn (those who possess taqwá) – wherever they may be.” 3

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “If there comes to you a person whose Religion and character are pleasing to you, then marry him (i.e. give the girl in marriage to him). If you do not do this, there will be fitnah (trial and discord) and great fasād (corruption) upon the earth.” This was related by al-Tirmidhī and others, with a ḥasan isnād (good chain of narration). 4

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) married Zaynab ibnt Jahsh of the Quraysh (i.e. the Prophet’s clan) to Zayd Ibn Haarithah, his freed slave. He married Fāṭimah ibnt Qays from the Quraysh clan, to Usāmah, the son of Zayd. Bilāl ibn Rabaah, the Ethiopian married the sister of ’Abdur-Raḥmān Ibn ’Awf of the Quraysh. So the purpose here is to explain the falsehood of those who claim that it is forbidden, or detested, for someone from the Prophet’s (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) clan to marry outside of that clan or tribe. Rather, what it is obligatory in this matter is to consider only Religion as the compatibility factor. So the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) distanced Abū Ṭālib and Abū Lahab (his uncles) – because they were not Muslims and drew near Salmān the Persian, Suhayb the Roman, and Bilāl the Ethiopian. This is because they possessed īmān (faith) and piety, and they followed the Prescribed Laws and traversed the Straight Path. Thus, whosoever adopts this false and ignorant practice of barring Hāshimee women from marrying from outside of their clan or tribe, will only achieve blameworthy results; such as corruption of the people, or adversely affecting the birth-rates, even though Allāh – the Most High – said:

“And marry those amongst you who are single, and the righteous from your slaves. If they be poor, Allāh will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allāh is all-Sufficient for His creation, the all-Knowing about their state.”
[Sūrah al-Nūr 24:32]

So He commanded to marry those that are single, and to marry all other categories of Muslims – irrespective of whether they be rich or poor. Thus, since the Islamic Sharīʿah urges and encourages the institution of marriage. So the Muslims should hasten to fulfill this command of Allāh and of His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) when he said: “O youths! Whosoever amongst you has the ability to marry, then let him do so; for it lowers the gaze and restrains the private parts. But whosoever does not have the ability then let him take to fasting; for indeed it is a shield for him.” Its authenticity has been agreed upon. [5] Thus, it is incumbent upon the guardians to fear Allāh concerning their guardianship, since it is an amānah (trust and responsibility) around their necks, and Allāh will question them concerning this trust. So it is upon them to hasten in getting their daughters, sons, and sisters married, to the extent that this task has taken full effect in life, and the corruption and harms of not doing so have been minimized. And it is known that when women are prevented from getting married, or if their marriage is delayed and deferred, then this is a cause for calamities to occur, a cause for shameful moral crimes to take place, and a cause for a decline in standards of behaviour. So – O worshippers of Allāh – it is upon you to fear Allāh regarding your own selves, and with regards to the daughters, sisters, and other women whom Allāh has placed under your charge and authority, and that the Muslims should come in order to realise the good and the happiness for the society, and to follow the path that will increase the good and lessen the crimes. And you should know that you will all be questioned and held to account about your actions, as Allāh – the Most High – said:

“By your Lord! We shall call them all to account for all that they used to do.”
[Sūrah al-Ḥijr 15:92]

And Allāh – the Mighty and Majestic – said:

“And to Allāh belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth, that He may punish those who do evil with that which they have done; and reward those who do good with Paradise which is best.”
[Sūrah al-Najm 53:31]

So hasten in getting your sons and daughters married, following in the footsteps of your Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), and the footsteps of the noble Ṣaḥābah (Companions) (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhum), and all those who follow their path and guidance. I also advise you all not to seek excessive sums for the mahr (dowry), but rather be moderate in this, and that you strive to select pious and righteous people for marriage.

We ask Allāh to grant us the understanding of the Religion; grant us firmness upon it; and that He protects us and all the Muslims from the evil promptings of our own souls, and our evil resultant actions; and that He keeps away from us the deviating trials and discords, whether open or hidden. And we ask Allāh also to correct all those who have a position of authority over the affairs of the Muslims, and that He rectifies them. Indeed he is the One having the power to do so. And may Allāh extol and send blessings of peace upon Muḥammad, and upon his Family, Companions and all those who follow them.


[1] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá wa Maqālāt Mutanawwiʿah (3/100- 103)
[2] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Aḥmad (5/411). It was authenticated by Ibn Taymīyyah in Kitāb al-Iqtidāʾ (p. 69)
[3] Related by al-Bukhārī (10/351) and Muslim (no.215), from ’Amr Ibn al-ʿĀs (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu)
[4] Ḥasan: Related by al-Tirmidhī (no. 1085), from Abū Ḥātim al-Muzanī and Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhumā). It was authenticated by al-Albānī in Irwāʾ al-Ghalīl (no. 1868).
[5] Related by al-Bukhārī (4/106) and Muslim (no. 1400), from Ibn Masʿūd (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu)

Published: June 4, 2007
Edited: February 9, 2023


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