Assalamualaikum ustaz. I want to ask is it true that there is a hadith which states there are three matters which should not be delayed and one of them is marriage. What baffles me is that sometimes a person did not purposely delay his marriage but there are certain things that prevented him from it such as he hasn’t found someone he likes and other reasons. Hope for an explanation from ustaz.
Waalaikussalam wrt. wbt. Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Regarding the related hadith, it is narrated in several renowned hadith books. Some of them are:
- Jami’ al-Tirmizi: Imam al-Tirmizi said:
Qutaibah narrated to us. Abdullah bin Wahb told us from Said bin Abdullah al-Juhani from Muhammad bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib from his father Ali bin Abi Talib. Indeed, the Prophet PBUH said to him:
يَا عَلِيُّ ، ثَلاَثٌ لاَ تُؤَخِّرْهَا : الصَّلاَةُ إِذَا آنَتْ ، وَالجَنَازَةُ إِذَا حَضَرَتْ وَالأَيِّمُ إِذَا وَجَدْتَ لَهَا كُفْئًا
'Ali! Three are not to be delayed: Salat when its time comes, a funeral whet it (a prepared body) is present, and the (marriage of a) single woman when there is an equal for her."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (171)
Imam al-Tirmizi when commenting on this hadith, he included a commentary on the sanad of this hadith. He said that the hadith is gharib and its sanad is not muttasil.
- Musnad Ahmad
Harun bin Makruf narrated to us. Abdullah said: And I heard myself from Harun. Ibnu Wahb told us. Said bin Abdullah al-Juhani narrated. Indeed, Muhammad bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib told Said from his father from his grandfather, Ali bin Abi Talib. Rasullullah PBUH said:
ثَلاَثَةٌ يَا عَلِيُّ لاَ تُؤَخِّرْهُنَّ الصَّلاَةُ إِذَا آنَتْ وَالْجَنَازَةُ إِذَا حَضَرَتْ وَالأَيِّمُ إِذَا وَجَدَتْ كُفُؤًا
“O Ali, do not delay three matters: prayer when its time begins. Funeral if there is death and marrying off one’s daughter when there is an equal for her.”
Musnad Ahmad (843)
Syeikh Syu’aib al-Arnaut in his analysis of the sanad of the hadith stated the hadith is dhaif (weak) because Said bin Abdullah al-Juhani’s character and profile is unknown (majhul).
Refer Musnad Ahmad muassash Risalah print (2/197)
- Al-Mustadrak ‘ala Sahihain. Al-Hakim narrated with the sanad:
Al-Sheikh Abu Bakar bin Ishak told us. Abdullah bin Ahmad told Harun bin Ma’ruf who told me. Abdullah bin Wahb narrated to us. Said bin Abdurrahman al-Jumahi. Muhammad bin Umar bin Ali bin Abi Talib from his father from his grandfather Ali bin Abi Talib. Indeed, the Messenger of Allah PBUH said.
Narrated by al-Hakim (2686)
He said the hadith is ghorib sahih but it is not recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Simply put, we are inclined to state that this hadith is dhaif (weak). The reason is in the sanad of this hadith there is a narrator named Said bin Abdullah al-Juhani who is disputed.
Abu Hatim al-Razi explained about Said bin Abdullah al-Juhani: He is a majhul. (Refer al-Jarh wa al-Ta’dil,4/159). However, some stated that he is thiqah (trustworthy) such as Ibnu Hibban in his book al-Thiqat. However, this is disputed for Ibnu Hibban is famous for being lax when performing tausiq on any narrator.
Yes, the hadith is evaluated as dhaif (weak) but it has a sahih meaning. Don’t be too choosy when considering one’s spouse. The most important characteristics of our spouse is he/she should be religiously good, has a good character and conduct and other attributes that will lead to a blessed marriage filled with barakah and mawaddah. The Prophet PBUH gave several advices regarding the matters of one’s spouse. The Prophet PBUH said:
إِذَا أَتَاكُمْ مَنْ تَرْضَوْنَ دِينَهُ وَخُلُقَهُ فَزَوِّجُوهُ، إِلا تَفْعَلُوا تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ عَرِيضٌ
"If there comes to you one with whose character and religious commitment you are pleased, then marry (your daughter or female relative under your care) to him, for if you do not do that there will be Fitnah in the land and widespread corruption.'"
Narrated by al-Tabarani (280) in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir. He said: There is none who narrated this hadith from Ibn Ajlan except Abdul Hamid bin Sulaiman.
Syeikh Atiyah Salim said: This means that a marriage is built based on righteousness and religion. Refer Syarh Bulugh Al-Maram(2/357)
The Prophet PBUH also advises those who are capable to hasten in marriage. The Prophet PBUH said:
يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ! مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ
“0 young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry,”
Sahih Muslim (2577)
Likewise, the Prophet PBUH gave several criteria for the spouse a person should marry. The Prophet PBUH said in a hadith:
تُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لِأَرْبَعٍ لِمَالِهَا وَلِحَسَبِهَا وَجَمَالِهَا وَلِدِينِهَا فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاكَ
"A woman is married for four qualities, for her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion: so, get the religious one and prosper."
Sahih al-Bukhari (5090) and Sahih Muslim (3708)
Hence, when a person found a suitable spouse who has great character and good conduct and who is prepared to face the life of marriage, then hasten and don’t delay it. May Allah SWT give us all the correct understanding in the religion and ease all our matters.