The Muslim Marriage Crisis: Diagnosis and Prognosis

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

What Is Marriage?

In the Din, marriage can be defined in a few ways. Legalistically, it is a contract between a man and a woman, endorsed by her guardian unless she is a divorcee, and witnessed by two people. The contract represents the exchange of a certain amount of wealth (mahr) in return for marital rights between both parties. In terms of creed, marriage is the fundamental human relationship and the first ever relationship between people. The first man was Adam, and the second person created was his wife, Hawwa’. Allah عز وجل says:

يا أَيُّهَا النّاسُ اتَّقوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذي خَلَقَكُم مِن نَفسٍ واحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنها زَوجَها وَبَثَّ مِنهُما رِجالًا كَثيرًا وَنِساءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذي تَساءَلونَ بِهِ وَالأَرحامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كانَ عَلَيكُم رَقيبًا

O mankind! Have taqwa of your Lord who created you from a single self and created its mate from it and then disseminated many men and women from the two of them. Have taqwa of Allah in whose name you make demands on one another and also in respect of your families. Allah watches over you continually.

(Surah al-Nisa’, Women (4):1)

He calls us to have reverence of Him through this first human relationship. The fundamental human relationship which Allah has created is between a man and his wife. Adam was given a wife – not a father, mother, son, cousin, brother, shaykh, friend, or student.

Spiritually, marriage is the union between two people, so that they can avoid what Allah prohibited and fulfill what He commanded. It is a vehicle by which individuals reach their potential as devotees of Allah, experiencing therein some of Allah’s Signs and Attributes through one another.

وَمِن آياتِهِ أَن خَلَقَ لَكُم مِن أَنفُسِكُم أَزواجًا لِتَسكُنوا إِلَيها وَجَعَلَ بَينَكُم مَوَدَّةً وَرَحمَةً ۚ إِنَّ في ذٰلِكَ لَآياتٍ لِقَومٍ يَتَفَكَّرونَ

Among His Signs is that He created spouses for you of your own kind so that you may find tranquillity in them. And He has placed affection and compassion between you. There are certainly Signs in that for people who reflect.

(Surah al-Rum, Rome (30):21)

Marriage is an Ayah of Allah, containing Mawaddah (love, affection) and Rahmah (mercy, compassion). Allah Himself is al-Wadud (The Loving), and al-Rahim (the intensely Merciful).

Is Marriage Valuable?

The modern world has witnessed an attack on marriage unlike any other time in human history. Marriage rates internationally are on the decline in an unprecedented fashion. However, Muslims do not base their behavior on trends or changing societal norms.

In order to decide how to live our lives, we have to pick what our source guides are. Secularists and kuffar might develop theories about how best to live their lives or decide solely on their current material factors. However, as Muslims, we utilize Revelation and Revelatory concepts. The greatest concept in our Din is that of Tawhid.

The entire Din of Islam is about Tawhid. Tawhid means “to make One,” referring to Allah’s Uniqueness and Oneness [Ahdaniyyah wa Wahdaniyyah]. Allah is Single and One in a way which nothing else is. This is the fundamental core of our entire way of life, and this pervades every aspect of our worldview, behaviors, actions, and feelings.

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The Din of Islam is about submitting to Tawhid. Since the Din is our entire way of life, this means that – ideally – everything a Muslim does, thinks, or believes revolves around Allah and His Tawhid.

However, there are various kinds of submission. Everything in creation involuntarily submits to Allah.

أَفَغَيرَ دينِ اللَّهِ يَبغونَ وَلَهُ أَسلَمَ مَن فِي السَّماواتِ وَالأَرضِ طَوعًا وَكَرهًا وَإِلَيهِ يُرجَعونَ

Is it other than the Din of Allah that you desire? While everything in the heavens and earth, willingly or unwillingly, submits to Him and to Him you will be returned?

(Surah Al ‘Imran, The House of ‘Imran (3):83)

However, Allah provided all of creation with the faculty of choice. Allah gave creation the ability to obey or disobey Him of its own volition, and this opportunity is afforded to other creations too.

إِنّا عَرَضنَا الأَمانَةَ عَلَى السَّماواتِ وَالأَرضِ وَالجِبالِ فَأَبَينَ أَن يَحمِلنَها وَأَشفَقنَ مِنها وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنسانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كانَ ظَلومًا جَهولًا

We offered the Trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains but they refused to take it on and shrank from it. But man took it on. He is indeed wrongdoing and ignorant.

(Surah al-Ahzab, The Confederates (33):72)

Mankind was brought onto a plain and each of us took on this covenant (Al-Amanah).

وَإِذ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَني آدَمَ مِن ظُهورِهِم ذُرِّيَّتَهُم وَأَشهَدَهُم عَلىٰ أَنفُسِهِم أَلَستُ بِرَبِّكُم ۖ قالوا بَلىٰ ۛ شَهِدنا ۛ أَن تَقولوا يَومَ القِيامَةِ إِنّا كُنّا عَن هٰذا غافِلينَ

When your Lord took out all their descendants from the loins of the children of Adam and made them testify against themselves ‘Am I not your Lord?’ they said, ‘We testify that indeed You are!’ Lest you say on the Day of Rising, ‘We knew nothing of this.’

(Surah al-A‘raf, The Heights (7):172)

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ is reported to have said:

وَعَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” أَخذ الله الْمِيثَاق من ظهر آدم بنعمان يَعْنِي عَرَفَة فَأخْرج من صلبه كل ذُرِّيَّة ذَرَاهَا فَنَثَرَهُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ كَالذَّرِّ ثُمَّ كَلَّمَهُمْ قِبَلًا قَالَ: (أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَى شَهِدْنَا أَنْ تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا غافلين أَوْ تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أَشْرَكَ آبَاؤُنَا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ المبطلون) رَوَاهُ أَحْمد

Ibn ‘Abbas reported the Prophet ﷺ as saying:

God made the covenant from Adam’s back in Na‘man, i.e. ‘Arafah, and brought forth from his loins all his offspring whom He created and scattered before Him like small ants. He then spoke to them directly saying, “Am I not your Lord?’ They replied, “Yes, we testify this.” [It was] lest you should say on the day of resurrection, “We were neglectful of this,” or should say, “Our fathers were polytheists before us and we were an offspring after them. Wilt Thou destroy us for what the workers of vanity did?” (Musnad Ahmad)

In fact, the purpose of our lives is to uphold this Amanah which is about Tawhid. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says:

 وَما خَلَقتُ الجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلّا لِيَعبُدونِ

I only created jinn and man to worship Me.

(Surah al-Dhariyat, The Spreaders (51):56)

Therefore, the purpose of life is to actualize Tawhid. Tawhid is Oneness, and the number one is odd. Allah swears by the even and the odd in the Qur’an.

وَالشَّفعِ وَالوَترِ

by the Even and the Odd,

(Surah al-Fajr, The Dawn (89):3)

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه) that he said:

وَعَنْ عَلِيٍّ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-{ أَوْتِرُوا يَا أَهْلُ اَلْقُرْآنَ, فَإِنَّ اَللَّهَ وِتْرٌ يُحِبُّ اَلْوِتْرَ } رَوَاهُ اَلْخَمْسَةُ, وَصَحَّحَهُ اِبْنُ خُزَيْمَةَ .‏ 1‏ .‏

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “O people of the Qur’an! Offer Witr (prayer), because Allah is Witr (Single) and loves Witr.” (Reported by al-Khamsah and Ibn Khuzaymah graded it Sahih (authentic).)

‏1 ‏- صحيح.‏ رواه أبو داود (1416)‏، والنسائي (3/228‏-229)‏، والترمذي (453)‏، وابن ماجه (1169)‏، وأحمد (877)‏، وابن خزيمة (1067)‏.‏

Therefore, it follows that since Allah is One, He created things in multiples. The first multiple is two, which are pairs. In fact, Allah states that He made everything in pairs.

وَمِن كُلِّ شَيءٍ خَلَقنا زَوجَينِ لَعَلَّكُم تَذَكَّرونَ

In all things We have created pairs so that you may take admonition.

(Surah al-Dhariyat, The Spreaders (51):49)

سُبحانَ الَّذي خَلَقَ الأَزواجَ كُلَّها مِمّا تُنبِتُ الأَرضُ وَمِن أَنفُسِهِم وَمِمّا لا يَعلَمونَ

Immaculate is He who has created all the kinds of what the earth grows, and of themselves, and of what they do not know.

(Surah Yasin (36):36)

Therefore, submitting to Allah’s Oneness requires acknowledgement that everything else is not uniquely One, like He is. Rather that things are in multiples, or made up of components, such as pairs.

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Refusing to acknowledge the necessity of this balance is disobedience of the fitrah (innate nature) upon which Allah patterned all of creation. Allah specifies in the Qur’an that He did not take: a sahibah (female companion) nor walad (child).

وَأَنَّهُ تَعالىٰ جَدُّ رَبِّنا مَا اتَّخَذَ صاحِبَةً وَلا وَلَدًا

He – Exalted be the Majesty of our Lord! – has neither wife nor son.

(Surah al-Jinn (72):3)

This indicates that everything else in creation needs these fundamental familial relationships, since Allah is unlike the creation, and is Exalted beyond having such needs. Denying that the creation is in need of this is tantamount to rejection of the pattern which Allah has created us upon.

Allah often mentions opposites in the Qur’an:

  • Heaven and earth;
  • Body and spirit;
  • Sun and moon;
  • Life and death;
  • Worldly life (Dunya) and Afterlife (Akhirah);
  • Male and female;
  • Night and day; and there are many other examples.

Keeping these things in balance is of such importance that Allah has mentioned our deeds will literally be put on a Balance (Mizan) on the Day of Judgment. Marriage is the core basis of human relationships. Marriage defines the balance, the Shaf‘, of humanity, and is one of the core features of being a human.

Anas reported God’s Messenger ﷺ as saying:


وَعَنْ أَنَسٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِذَا تَزَوَّجَ الْعَبْدُ فَقَدِ اسْتَكْمَلَ نِصْفَ الدِّينِ فَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ فِي النِّصْفِ الْبَاقِي»
حسن (الألباني)

“When a man marries he has fulfilled half of the Din; so let him fear God regarding the remaining half.” (Transmitted by al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab al-Iman)

It should be clear that marriage is half of the Din, as people are in pairs, and it is by acknowledging our interdependency that we can then turn our attention to the Single Uniqueness (Tawhid) of the Divine.

Marriage is so important that the Mother of the Believers, ‘A’ishah رضي الله عنها, narrates:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me. Get married, for I will boast of your great numbers before the nations. Whoever has the means, let him get married, and whoever does not, then he should fast for it will diminish his desire.”

Is Marriage Necessary?

Only two kinds of sexual relationship are allowed in the Din: marriage; and intercourse between an owner and his sabiyyah. In the modern world, most Muslim men can only have hope in marriage. From marriage and intercourse come children. Therefore, for the survival of the Ummah as a whole, Muslims must get married and have children. If they do not, then the Ummah will not perpetuate by this means, and they will all share in the sin.

Marriage is not only necessary for the survival of the community (Jama’ah) as a whole, but it is also necessary on an individual level. It is necessary in terms of Iman, Islam, and Ihsan. Most basically, without marriage fornication (zina) becomes rampant. Zina is not just physical penetration with a member of the opposite sex. It encompasses a wide range of sexual sins stemming from relationships outside of marriage.

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Though no exact statistics are known, alhamdulillah, a paper in the American sociological review hypothesizes:

Model 3 includes the percentage Muslim and tests the hypothesis that as the percentage Muslim within a country increases, ever married residents will be less likely to report premarital sex (Hypothesis 5a). In support of this hypothesis Model 3 shows that a 1 percent increase in the percentage Muslim is associated with a 2 percent decrease in the odds of reporting premarital sex. To better understand the magnitude of the effect, we produced predicted values for a married Muslim woman who is not working, lives in a rural area, and has been assigned the mean on all other variables included in Model 3. If this woman lives in a nation where 1 percent of residents are Muslim, her predicted probability of reporting premarital sex would be .72. In a nation where 23 percent of residents are Muslim, which is the sample mean, the woman’s predicted probability would be .61. Finally, in a nation where 90 percent of residents are Muslim, which is the sample maximum, the woman’s predicted probability of reporting premarital sex would tumble to .28.

Of course, solitary statistics based on limited sample size should be taken with a large grain of salt. But if this statistic has any connection to reality, the predicted likelihood of reported pre-marital sex of Muslims in a nation where only one-percent of the society is Muslims, is 72%, which is very high. Muslims currently make up 0.6% of the population in the United States according to Pew Research. Whether these statistics are accurate or not, the Muslim community should be very concerned about the possibility of zina, which is a major sin. It is a sin so serious that Allah has legislated severe punishments for it in the Qur’an.

Married People Are Happier and Healthier

It is well-known that marriage leads people to report higher-levels of well being. Shawn Grover and John Helliwell write for the Journal of Happiness Studies:

Subjective well-being research has often found that marriage is positively correlated with well-being. Some have argued that this correlation may be result of happier people being more likely to marry. Others have presented evidence suggesting that the well-being benefits of marriage are short-lasting. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we control individual pre-marital well-being levels and find that the married are still more satisfied, suggesting a causal effect at all stages of the marriage, from pre-nuptual bliss to marriages of long-duration.

The benefits of marriage do not just apply to mental health. They also apply to physical health, as the paper “Marriage and Health” explains:

Married individuals are healthier and live longer than unmarried ones.

There is a significant, observable, and proven gap in health between unmarried and married people. Yet, people are lonelier than ever, with around 47% of Americans reporting feeling lonely according to Scientific American. Loneliness can be as harmful to a person’s health as smoking.

Loneliness has been estimated to shorten a person’s life by 15 years, equivalent in impact to being obese or smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

The only solution to this is marriage.

What Is the Fiqh Ruling on Marriage?

It is important not to lose sight of the purpose of Revelation before engaging in legal discussions. The fuqaha attempted to neatly delineate the exact status and ruling of every issue they could conceive of. The great Indian Hanafi ‘alim Shah Waliyyullah al-Dihlawi writes:

إعلم أَن رَسُول الله صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم لم يكن الْفِقْه فِي زَمَانه الشريف مدونا وَلم يكن الْبَحْث فِي الْأَحْكَام يَوْمئِذٍ مثل بحث هَؤُلَاءِ الْفُقَهَاء حَيْثُ يبينون بأقصى جهدهمْ الْأَركان والشروط والآداب كل شَيْء ممتازا عَن الآخر بدليله ويفرضون الصُّور من صنائعهم ويتكلمون على تِلْكَ الصُّور الْمَفْرُوضَة ويحدون مَا يقبل الْحَد ويحصرون مَا يقبل الْحصْر إِلَى غير ذَلِكأما رَسُول الله صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم فَكَانَ يتَوَضَّأ فَيرى أَصْحَابه وضوءه فَيَأْخُذُونَ بِهِ من غير أَن يبين أَن هَذَا ركن وَذَلِكَ أدب

“Know that fiqh during the era of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was neither recorded nor written down. The search for fiqh rulings in his era was unlike the manner amongst those fuqaha who tried to delineate – to utmost extreme and under strenuous exertion – the prerequisites, pillars, essential elements, rules, and etiquettes of everything, with each component separated, distinguished, from the other components – with the proofs and evidences. They: assumed, supposed, and invented hypothetical situations, then would discuss [the rulings of] these situations. Sometimes they: limited, delineated, and restricted that which could be restricted, delineated, or limited. [All of this] alongside the many other methods and techniques popular among the fuqaha’.

“As for Allah’s Messenger ﷺ: he would perform wudu’, the sahabah would observe carefully, watching how the Prophet ﷺ performed his wudu’. They would adopt it from the Prophet ﷺ without the Prophet ﷺ clarifying, ‘This is an essential element, that is a prerequisite, and these are the etiquettes.'”(Kitab al-Insaf, pg.s 15,16)

This, while very important and beneficial, is not the perspective of the earliest Muslims. They took Allah’s Commands and Prohibitions as the direct addresses they are from the Creator to His devotees. When Allah says:

وَمَن لَم يَستَطِع مِنكُم طَولًا أَن يَنكِحَ المُحصَناتِ المُؤمِناتِ فَمِن ما مَلَكَت أَيمانُكُم مِن فَتَياتِكُمُ المُؤمِناتِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ أَعلَمُ بِإيمانِكُم ۚ بَعضُكُم مِن بَعضٍ ۚ فَانكِحوهُنَّ بِإِذنِ أَهلِهِنَّ وَآتوهُنَّ أُجورَهُنَّ بِالمَعروفِ مُحصَناتٍ غَيرَ مُسافِحاتٍ وَلا مُتَّخِذاتِ أَخدانٍ ۚ فَإِذا أُحصِنَّ فَإِن أَتَينَ بِفاحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيهِنَّ نِصفُ ما عَلَى المُحصَناتِ مِنَ العَذابِ ۚ ذٰلِكَ لِمَن خَشِيَ العَنَتَ مِنكُم ۚ وَأَن تَصبِروا خَيرٌ لَكُم ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفورٌ رَحيمٌ

If any of you do not have the means to marry free women who are mu’minun, you may marry slavegirls who are mu’minun. Allah knows best about your iman; you are all the same in that respect. Marry them with their owners’ permission and give them their dowries correctly and courteously as married women, not in fornication or taking them as lovers. When they are married, if they commit fornication they should receive half the punishment of free women. This is for those of you who are afraid of committing fornication. But being patient is better for you. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

(Surah al-Nisa’, Women (4):25)

The Sahabah did not hesitate to marry once given the ability, in order to follow Allah’s Commands and the instruction of the Prophet ﷺ.

Ordinarily, the ‘ulama classify marriage as being a Sunnah Mu’akkadah. However, it ascends to a fardiyyah (mandatory obligation) if the person has sexual or romantic desires, especially if there is any chance of falling into haram. As such, for most people, marriage becomes fard (obligatory) for them at some point in life – even in a purely Islamic environment.

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However, the environment in the West which many Muslims are currently in, and in fact now even in most Muslim countries, is one which is not only un-Islamic, rather it is anti-Islamic. Western Muslims are exposed to every sort of fahsha’ and munkar conceivable, and as such, many ‘ulama familiar with the situation in the West that marriage is universally fard for all Muslims that are there.

Shaykh Abdullah Azzam said:

“I declare it forbidden for the youth to study in the West, except if they are married! Hear it from me: it is forbidden for a youth to study in the West, unless he is married. Relay on my behalf, even if it is one fatwā: it is not allowed, not allowed, not allowed. How can one protect himself? It is impossible to protect oneself, except through marriage. It is impossible, impossible, impossible for the unmarried person to live there, unless he is abnormal. If he is abnormal, then he might be able to live there. As for the normal human being, then how, my brother? Sex is available like water, and it is allowed, according to the law, in the street, everywhere! The stories are many, and those who came to us from Italy and Sweden know very well the disasters lurking in the Western societies.” (Fī Dhilāl Sūrat at‐Tawbah, p.12)

This was written perhaps forty years ago and the situation has become unimaginably worse.

Therefore, marriage is not something which can be unnecessarily delayed or considered lightly. Many of our siblings in Din continue to wait for an “ideal” spouse, often for decades at a time. By doing so, not only do they expose themselves to haram, which often takes the place of inappropriate interactions or attention-seeking online, but they also expose would-be spouses to haram as well.

There is a communal obligation for enough of our siblings to attempt to get married so that those who are in need can actually get married. This is compounded by an an additional individual obligation for everyone to get married.

When Is a Person Eligible for Marriage?

Eligibility for marriage is something which has been highly exaggerated in our communities. A significant reason for this is the Christian-ization (or liberalization) of our understanding of marriage. In Western relationship dynamics, a person goes through a significant period of sexual nomadism and casual relationships during their youth, due to the assumption that this is the most “enjoyable” way to spend the “best” years of a person’s life and that life is about hedonistic pleasure. When this is no longer sustainable and considerations about a person’s future come into play, then a person goes from the extreme of wanton pursuit of desires to total puritanical dedication to one individual.

The Muslim community in the West has taken on that liberal Christian view of marriage. A marriage can only occur after both partners have completely matured on their own. They should both have completed all kinds of formal education. Both partners should be totally mentally, emotionally, and physically sound. In addition, the groom should be financially stable enough to provide a home with a decent salary according to the standards of the brides’ family – irrespective of the wider economic decay. All of this is expected to occur within a bubble of celibacy and with both genders not having their most fundamental needs fulfilled through a relationship.

It is no wonder that many Muslim couples who marry in the West divorce shortly thereafter. After years of celibacy, solitude, spending their formative years without learning how to cooperate in a romantic relationship, or giving in to greater society due to the laughably unrealistic expectations set by the community – it would be miraculous for such a marriage to succeed.

Islam does not teach us this.

قال عمر رضي الله عنه: زوجوا أولادكم إذا بلغوا ولا تحملوا آثامهم .

‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – said: “Marry off your children when they reach puberty and do not carry their sins.” (Mentioned by Ibn Kathir in Musnad al-Faruq – he did not comment on it, meaning it is sound according to him. Ibn al-Mulaqqin also considered it to be sound. Al-Albani considered it to be da’if.)

Islam is a pragmatic Din which takes into account real human needs and desires. This perfect way of life which the Creator revealed encourages us to grow with one another, to support one another in our youth, and to ripen as couples in halal relationships.

The requirements for a person to get married is that they are Muslim, have reached the age of puberty, have a desire to get married, have the basic ability to do so (the expectation of one day being able to fulfill their full role as a spouse), and have communal support. Muslims should marry as young as feasibly possible with the support of the wider community and legitimate couples counseling that is based upon the Guidance sent by Allah.

What Is the Current Status of Marriage?

Perhaps marriage has never been in such a deep crisis before in human history. In fact, not only is the institution of marriage facing an alarming crisis, the very fabric of all interpersonal relationships is being threatened at their core. People have less connections with other people, less meaningful connections overall, and are as a result, more disconnected than ever. We are perhaps the most unhappy generation of people that have ever lived, despite having the greatest amount of material wealth, even at the expense of the natural world.

The status of marriage should matter to all Muslims – married or not. The inability to get married harms young Muslims. Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported:

عَنْ النُّعْمَانِ بْنِ بَشِيرٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَثَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي تَوَادِّهِمْ وَتَرَاحُمِهِمْ وَتَعَاطُفِهِمْ مَثَلُ الْجَسَدِ إِذَا اشْتَكَى مِنْهُ عُضْوٌ تَدَاعَى لَهُ سَائِرُ الْجَسَدِ بِالسَّهَرِ وَالْحُمَّى6011 صحيح البخاري كتاب الأدب باب رحمة الناس والبهائم2586 صحيح مسلم كتاب البر والصلة والآداب باب تراحم المؤمنين وتعاطفهم وتعاضدهم

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6011 & Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586)

Additionally, the state of marriage affects the future of the Ummah.

Many news outlets and research centers are pulling the alarm regarding a sex drought and widespread sexlessness. It is estimated that the “percentage of 18-24 year-old men who were sexually inactive in the past year increased from 18.9% in 2000-2002 to 30.9% in 2016-2018.” The ramifications of people not having their basic needs fulfilled are still unknown. More than half (50+%) of young Americans do not have a romantic partner of any sort. This is with respect to dating and casual relationships.

According to the Sex and Relationships Among Students: Summary Report by the Higher Education Policy Institute in the United Kingdom, a staggering fifty-nine percent (59%) of male British university students reported having no sexual partners while in university between 2018-2019. Fifty-three percent (53%) of women reported having no sexual partners while in university. These numbers are exacerbated when considering the ratio of men to women in British Universities.

From a total of 2.38 million university students within the same time period, 1.36 million were women and 1.02 million were male. This means that there is a rough excess of 340,000 women to men in British universities during this time period. That leaves an estimated 418,000 sexually active men to 639,200 women. Despite there being an excess of 1/3rd women, the majority of students were not engaging in sexual relationships.

Marriage statistics among the wider population fare even worse. The Pew Research center recently predicted that one-fourth (25%) of Americans will never have a romantic relationship. This obviously means that birth rates are dropping at a staggering rate. If this continues, not only will there be a mental health and public health crisis, but the entire species will be at jeopardy from simply choosing not to reproduce.

There are no clear statistics as to how this is impacting Western Muslim communities. However, this author believes that Muslims are likely experiencing greater sexlessness, less relationships, less marriages, and have a lower overall birth replacement rate than the rest of the general population due to a variety of factors.

Modern Impediments to Marriage

Marriage is being attacked on all fronts. The neoliberal agenda is attacking traditional values and even the institution of marriage itself. Governments around the world are making marriages more difficult, more financially strenuous, and de-incentivizing them. Unfortunately, the Muslim community itself – under the leadership of modern “enlightened” a’immah (plural of imam) – has also been systematically attacking its own members’ ability to get married.

Moreover, the wider trans-humanist project, which seeks to augment fundamental human experiences in an unnatural fashion, is being mandated and forced down our throats. Instead of resisting it, most people are willingly submitting themselves to it. The trans-humanist project is appealing because its tentacles offer fake versions of the same real human experiences but in a different manner. They are offered as instantly pleasurable, with less risk, easier to obtain, and feed into unrealistic fantasies.

Pornography and Video Games

Many Muslim men are being eaten alive by a variety of factors. Two of the most pernicious stressors to attack young Muslim men, even during childhood, are pornography and video games. There is no reliable study as to the percentage of Muslim youth who watch pornography on a regular basis.

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Pornography completely destroys a person. It is haram and causes their relationship with Allah to fade away. It leads to physical damage, including erectile dysfunction. It leads to psychological issues, including depression.

Porn is addictive. Once a person begins using it, it can be very hard to quit – similar to drugs. Muslim men fall into pornography usage because: it is far more easily available than actual sex; it involves a wider variety of experiences than actual sex; it stimulates the brain more than actual sex; and after long periods of usage, normal sex becomes boring in comparison. Muslim men face the possibility of not marrying until they are in their late twenties, or possibly not marrying at all. This means they have no outlet for their sexual desires when those desires are at their peak. When they do marry, in most cases it is very unlikely that they will be able to marry more than one spouse. Pornography affects the brain by releasing dopamine in a powerful and instant manner, unlike intimacy. If a Muslim man uses porn during his youth, when he does finally get married, he will struggle to settle with being intimate with his wife – even though it is far superior to pornography in the sense of pleasure.

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Famous psychologist Phillip Zimbardo also notes that many young men’s creative, intellectual, and physical abilities are being wasted sitting at home investing thousands of hours into video games. An article for the Independent summarizes his concerns:

Psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University Phillip Zimbardo has made the warnings, which form a major part of his latest book, Man (Dis)Connected.

In an interview on the BBC World Service’s Weekend programme, Zimbardo spoke about the results of his study, an in-depth look into the lives of 20,000 young men and their relationships with video games and pornography.

He said: “Our focus is on young men who play video games to excess, and do it in social isolation – they are alone in their room.”

Historically, men were motivated to accomplish things in life in order to take care of their spouses, and to provide for their families. Trans-humanism augments the most attractive part of a relationship (sexual intimacy), and the most attractive part of achievement and accomplishment (through video games) in such a way that most young men now feel no motivation to do either.

Female Addiction to “Attention-Pornography”

Generally speaking, a man’s greatest immediate pressing motivation for marriage is his sexual desires. The same is not true for most women. Generally, most women seek high-quality attention from their partners. Therefore, just as intimacy can be simulated by pornography, this kind of regular stream of male attention can be simulated by social media and other online platforms.

RELATED: Social Media Surveillance and Targeting Muslims: ShadowDragon

Not all social media platforms are equally harmful. For example, older internet message boards were not ordinarily typified as social media. The focus of this section in particular is the strain of social media platforms which focus on augmenting human relationships as opposed to those with actual productive purposes.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَنْبَأَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ الْجُعْفِيِّ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لاَ ضَرَرَ وَلاَ ضِرَارَ ‏”‏ ‏

It was narrated from Ibn ’Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”

There has huge shift in the last ten years in terms of mental health, motivation within the youth, and social dynamics. Social media is to a large degree responsible for this, including an overall decline in youth well-being. There are international industries built around creating highly detailed categories of individuals based on all their online footprint. They create highly accurate profiles with machine learning, using all of these samples in order to figure out how best to literally exploit all of these individuals. They use them as guinea pigs in a never-ending experiment.

In the United States, the result of this is that the social fabric and public discourse have collapsed due to social media platforms. Relationship norms have become utterly skewed due to online-dating and matrimonial services.

These platforms are contributing to a Huxley-Orwellian state, wherein the privileged have access to the world of numbing pleasure, with no higher meaning or purpose. However, the moment this grip is questioned, the surveillance state comes knocking.

From the perspective of benefits and harms (maslahah, mafsadah), there is no doubt that the benefits do not outweigh the harms these platforms are indisputably causing. We only enjoy them because they are designed to play on our psychology and cause our brains to release serotonin or dopamine. Yet, despite their addictive nature, they make us unhappier in the long-run.

These very harmful services have no comparable benefit. They especially harm younger people and children. However they also have an impact on people’s iman, the spread of haram material, disinformation, providing platforms to unworthy people, and numerous other harms. We’ve never been more connected, yet never felt lonelier due to these services.

Despite all of this, we rarely hear about the harms of social media in our communities. These platforms are definitely not treated with the same level of concern, or spoken against as vehemently as pornographic material. The ultimate effect of both is the same: addiction, unrealistic expectations regarding relationships, inability to form relationships, depression, and is also a detriment to a person’s iman. Young Muslim sisters in the West must realize they are heavily harming their chances at a productive, healthy marriage with a Muslim man so long as they remain on these services. People that quit some social media report higher levels of well-being.


Many of the common hurdles related to marriage stem from feminism. Feminism is a liberal ideology which applied the idea of perpetual class-war to gender. At its core, feminism seeks to create a discussion surrounding the antagonism of men towards women and the necessity of creating equality. However, feminists provide no evidence that equality is something necessary, good, or justifiable. In fact, none of their claims are evidence based, and feminism can objectively be proven to be harmful.

RELATED: What Muslim Feminists Fail to Understand About Feminism

The spread of feminism has not increased women’s well-being while also causing incalculable harm to humanity. Feminist gains have made women more depressed, according to The Guardian:

Stevenson and Wolfers discovered that American women rated their overall life satisfaction higher than men in the 1970s. Thereafter, women’s happiness scores decreased while men’s scores stayed roughly stable. By the 1990s, women were less happy than men. This relative unhappiness softened after the turn of the century, but men continue to enjoy a higher sense of subjective wellbeing that is at least as high — if not higher — than women’s.

Not only has feminism led to a decrease in female well-being over time, this phenomenon can actually be measured in the modern world. More “gender unequal” countries report women being happier than men. In nations with feminist bents, women are unhappier than men, according to a study in Population Health:

“Wealthier and more gender-equal countries, contrary to expectation, have larger mental health gender gaps.” …

“Perhaps counterintuitively, richer European countries including the Scandinavian nations, such as Sweden and Finland, have some of the largest gender gaps in mental health. By contrast, countries with worse society gender equality scores – such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon – have some of the smallest gender gaps and the direction of the gap is sometimes reversed (with boys having worse mental health).” …

“We analysed 2018 data from 566,827 adolescents across 73 countries for 4 mental health outcomes.”

“Higher GDP per capita is associated with worse average mental health and a larger gender gap across all mental health outcomes.

“More gender equal countries have larger gender gaps across all mental health outcomes.”

Yet, regardless of the lack of an underlying intellectual basis, or any practical real-world success, scores of Muslim women flock towards subscribing to feminist ideologies. These feminist ideals of being a “hard-working educated career woman” often lead to sacrificing the most fulfilling things in life: marriage, children, and family.

The path they’re treading is self-destructive and most won’t realize this until it’s too late.

RELATED: Feminism Is Female Narcissism

Raised Standards and Unrealistic Expectations

Another issue facing marriage is rising standards. Potentials are often graded according to desirability against a Smörgåsbord of conditions. These include:

  • Race and ethnic background;
  • Age;
  • Height;
  • Physical attractiveness;
  • Health and fitness;
  • Intelligence;
  • Level of education;
  • Career;
  • Income;
  • Savings;
  • Physical proximity;
  • Language compatibility;
  • Societal status;
  • Family dynamics;
  • Personality;
  • Religiosity;
  • Past behaviors;
  • Compatibility and mutual attraction; among many others.

As a result, young Muslims often disqualify many eligible candidates or suitable partners for incredibly superficial reasons. A candidate may meet every unreasonable condition a person sets forth, but fall short in one area, and are thereby deemed ineligible.

Additionally, when such arbitrary high standards are put forth, it does not actually increase the likelihood of a person finding a good spouse, nor does it guarantee happiness when they do marry. In fact, in doing so, it disqualifies many candidates with which the person could potentially be happy. Furthermore, the number of candidates who possess all of these desired qualities within any particular nation, let alone city, is incredibly thin.

Many seem not to allow room for any faults or mistakes on the part of our brothers & sisters, no matter the size. This is despite the clear warnings of Rasulullah ﷺ against not overlooking the flaws of our fellow Muslim.

Abu Barzah al-Aslami Narrates:

حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَسْوَدُ بْنُ عَامِرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جُرَيْجٍ، عَنْ أَبِي بَرْزَةَ الأَسْلَمِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِلِسَانِهِ وَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الإِيمَانُ قَلْبَهُ لاَ تَغْتَابُوا الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا عَوْرَاتِهِمْ فَإِنَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ عَوْرَاتِهِمْ يَتَّبِعِ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ وَمَنْ يَتَّبِعِ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَفْضَحْهُ فِي بَيْتِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Musnad Ahmad, and Jami’ al-Tirmidhi)

Mu’adh bin Jabal narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“If anyone disgraces his brother for a sin, he will not die before committing it himself.” (Recorded by Imam al-Tirmidhi in his Jami‘, and he grades it as Hasan)

Our options in terms of marriage are to either look at a potential spouse and overcome his/her flaws or simply stop looking. Muslims must not come to the table with an ideal spouse in mind and reject viable potentials on that basis. If Muslims continue to do so they simply will not marry. Many of our siblings will routinely reject reasonable matches for literally decades, until they age themselves out of the marriage pool. And they will do this for trivial reasons.


Another obstacle for marriage is rising dowries. Oftentimes, the mahr is looked upon as a token representing the value of the bride, or as insurance, in case the marriage goes sideways. It becomes a vain competition as to whose daughter can be valued at the highest price. However this defeats the very purpose of the mahr.

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Abu Al-‘Ajfa’ As-Sulami said:

حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، عَنِ ابْنِ سِيرِينَ، عَنْ أَبِي الْعَجْفَاءِ السُّلَمِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ أَلاَ لاَ تُغَالُوا صَدُقَةَ النِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّهَا لَوْ كَانَتْ مَكْرُمَةً فِي الدُّنْيَا أَوْ تَقْوَى عِنْدَ اللَّهِ لَكَانَ أَوْلاَكُمْ بِهَا نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا عَلِمْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَكَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ نِسَائِهِ وَلاَ أَنْكَحَ شَيْئًا مِنْ بَنَاتِهِ عَلَى أَكْثَرَ مِنْ ثِنْتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أُوقِيَّةً ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏ وَأَبُو الْعَجْفَاءِ السُّلَمِيُّ اسْمُهُ هَرَمٌ ‏.‏ وَالأُوقِيَّةُ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ أَرْبَعُونَ دِرْهَمًا وَثِنْتَا عَشْرَةَ أُوقِيَّةً أَرْبَعُمِائَةٍ وَثَمَانُونَ دِرْهَمًا ‏.‏

“Umar ibn Al-Khattab said: ‘Do not exaggerate in the dowries of women. If doing so was honorable in the world, or Taqwa before Allah, then Allah’s Prophet would have been the first of you to do it. I do not know of the Messenger of Allah marrying any of his women, nor giving any of his daughters in marriage, for more than twelve Uqiyyah.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1114b)

All of the wives of Rasulullah ﷺ had humble dowries, yet they were the best women in history. Furthermore, in some schools of thought, the mahr has a specific purpose.

In the Maliki madhhab, the purpose of the mahr is for the wife to have funds to spend on furnishing her new home with her husband. It does not exist as a personal treasury for her.

When mahr increases beyond the realm of reason, it produces a new barrier to marriage.

Homogamy, Racism, and Nationalism

Many families reject suitable candidates for their son or daughter due to the candidate hailing from a different ethnic background. When seeking a spouse, one of the biggest determinants is homogamy. In Western Muslim communities, despite the statistically sparse number of Muslims from every ethnic background, many families insist that their son or daughter only marries a person from the exact same background. Sometimes they even have to be from the same village. And this is in addition to a series of other ridiculous conditions.

In doing so, the families often engage in a sort of racism or nationalism. The Prophet ﷺ said:

حَدَّثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ هِلاَلٍ الصَّوَّافُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَيُّوبُ، عَنْ غَيْلاَنَ بْنِ جَرِيرٍ، عَنْ زِيَادِ بْنِ رِيَاحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ مَنْ قَاتَلَ تَحْتَ رَايَةٍ عِمِّيَّةٍ يَدْعُو إِلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ أَوْ يَغْضَبُ لِعَصَبِيَّةٍ فَقِتْلَتُهُ جَاهِلِيَّةٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever fights under a banner of folly, supporting tribalism, or getting angry for the sake of tribalism, he dies in a state of ignorance.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, 3948)

RELATED: Racism and Nationalism: How They Divide the Ummah

This issue becomes even more pronounced when dealing with convert Muslims.

Under-Performing and Under-Developed Muslim Men

By the time many Muslim men are deemed old enough for marriage, they have often: fallen into zina, fallen into utilizing pornography, or are seriously harmed mentally from years of prolonged celibacy. What is even stranger is that many families require the potential groom to have been consistently religious his entire upbringing as well.

As a result of this, brothers in this “appropriate” age group tend to under-perform and be under-developed. Since they can’t marry while they’re at the critical developmental stage when they need romance and loving affection, they don’t meet their potential. Expecting otherwise is simply illogical and does not speak to the reality of human nature.

Oftentimes, these brothers are compared with kafir men who seem more well-adjusted in that age group. This is often because they have had numerous romantic relationships for ten to fifteen, or even twenty years.

Muslim men being starved in an incredibly hypersexualized environment cannot be expected to have the same emotional maturity as their non-Muslim peers, who are not arbitrarily barred from relationships by their communities.

Simply put, sisters must decide whether they want to invest in younger brothers so that when they get older they are well-adjusted, or if they want to marry older brothers who are not well-adjusted. Otherwise, sisters may wait forever to find a well-adjusted “perfect” brother who does not exist.

Many brothers develop a defeatist mentality. They want to have a relationship starting in their early teens or even earlier, but are informed that this is haram. As a result, they decide to wait and try to restrain themselves.

Very handsome brothers that get attention from non-Muslim girls are tempted to give in and indulge in haram to various degrees – either by having relationships outright, having female friends, or fulfilling some of their biological/psychological/emotional needs (to a certain degree) in another way.

Then there are brothers who are not actively pursued by kafir women. Some of them toss the regulations of Din aside and pursue women, believing the Islamic model to be too strict and difficult since they conflate cultural expectation with Islam. Others try to avoid relationships but still fall into them. The very religious ones basically try to live a celibate monastic life and reprimand themselves if they fall short of such difficult standards.

Many young brothers are traversing the route of depression and utilizing other coping mechanisms – often impermissible ones. These haram coping mechanisms affect the brain and body in highly damaging ways; possibly irreparable damage, as the brothers become addicted to them while their brains/bodies are still developing. They turn to these things because they see them as less haram and more easily available than actual zina, and because they’re told marriage is impossible until they are much older.

When brothers sink into this depression, it creates a vicious cycle. Due to their well-founded belief that they may not be able to have a relationship for the next decade, they develop feelings of “missing out.” They accept that they will have to spend their youth alone, the most difficult period of growth without companionship. They lose motivation. They turn to video games and haram coping mechanisms, abandoning ambition. This also drives them away from Allah.

Doing this for years causes them to become less desirable as suitable candidates for marriage. They will take out loans, go to college, and not have much of a passion for what they are studying. Often they will study whatever major they can tolerate, without displeasing their parents. Then they will move back in (unless they never left). They will enthusiastically seek out a job and then just stagnate. Most of their free time will be wasted. And then they become a cog the corporate soul-sucking machine.

In the process, they lose the opportunity to engage in masculine pastimes. These would have contributed towards building their confidence and developing their character, and effectively moulded them into more desirable candidates. They also lose the opportunity to study Din and gain `ilm. As a result, they end up being immature, ill-prepared for marriage, bitter, resentful towards Islam and the Muslim community, and despise women as a whole.

Phthalates and Hormones

One of the major reasons that sexual norms and marriage are changing so fast is the introduction of unnatural substances into the human body. Pollution, modern technology, and modern diets are filling us with toxic chemicals. And this is changing everything about us, including human sexuality, which is warping.

Phthalates are:

Phthalates are a common industrial chemical used in PVC plastics, solvents, and synthetic fragrances. They’ve been around since the 1930’s, and now they’re pretty ubiquitous; when they tested 289 people in 2000, the CDC found phthalates in all of the subjects’ blood at surprisingly high levels.

According to the Intercept:

…industrial chemicals in everyday products to a wide range of changes taking place in recent years, including increasing numbers of babies born with smaller penises; higher rates of erectile dysfunction; declining fertility; eroding sex differences in some animal species; and potentially even behaviors that are thought of as gender-typical.

Phthalates are associated with decreasing libido, dropping fertility rates, and could possibly explain the entire LGBTQ+ movement.

Muslims must begin to move away from unnaturally produced substances and inorganic foods as much as is possible.

“Overchoice” and Marriage Apps

Software applications for mobile smartphones present users with a seemingly infinite and unending stream of potential candidates. As a result, many people feel overwhelmed by the choices and are unable to pick any one potential. This is called “overchoice.” Furthermore, these apps profit from a person’s sustained usage and subscription to paid services. They don’t benefit from users successfully marrying. Therefore, they are vested in the user remaining unmarried, and as depressed as possible, for financial gain.

Fundamental Misunderstanding of Aging Patterns, Life Stages, and Development

According to psychologist Erik Erikson, human beings undergo eight stages of possible development within certain age-ranges:

  • Hope: trust vs. mistrust (oral-sensory, infancy, under 1 year)
  • Will: autonomy vs. shame/doubt (muscular-anal, toddlerhood, 1–2 years)
  • Purpose: initiative vs. guilt (locomotor-genital, early childhood, 3–6 years)
  • Competence: industry vs. inferiority (latency, middle childhood, 7–10 years)
  • Fidelity: identity vs. role confusion (adolescence, 11–19 years)
  • Love: intimacy vs. isolation (early adulthood, 20-44 years)
  • Care: generativity vs. stagnation (middle adulthood, 45–64 years)
  • Wisdom: ego integrity vs. despair (late adulthood, 65 years and above)

For a person’s healthy development, they should pass through these stages as young as possible so that they can make their way to the next stage. Delaying development in any stage can be harmful.

The biological imperative for women to be in a committed relationship can occur ten years later than it does for men. By the time a woman has a strong desire to marry, men of the same age experience their desires decreasing. The urgency peaks at different life-stages, causing misunderstandings. There is a desire disparity: when you most desire to be married you are the most undesirable. This goes for both genders.

By the time many sisters become serious about marriage nowadays – during their late 20s or early 30s – their best opportunities are gone. When most brothers really desire to be in a relationship – in their mid-teens to mid-20s – they are not allowed to enter the marriage pool.

The difference is that men can still have opportunities to get married after this period of theirs ends. If a sister misses her window however, it becomes far more difficult to marry and have children naturally.

Men and women are fundamentally different. Men age in intervals of eight, and women in intervals of seven. Some of the Salaf used to say:

 لاعب ابنك سبعاً، وأدبه سبعاً، وآخه سبعاً، ثم ألق حبله على غاربه

Play with your child for seven, teach him for seven, and be his brother for seven. Then throw his rope on his back [allow him to be independent].

That being said, the time between 16-24 lunar years are the most critical for a man, and where he is most in need of female companionship. If he misses this period, it can have lasting consequences. This explains the large number of 20-24 year old brothers who are eager to marry.

Women age differently and pass through stages more quickly, in intervals of 7. The interval of 28-35 lunar years (26.5-33.5 or so) is the most critical for them, because this is their best chance to easily have a healthy pregnancy.

Most Muslims end up marrying around 26-33 – as this is when most sisters finally decide they need to get married. Whether they realize it or not, there is a deep physiological driver. However, this is not prudent or advisable.

It is not a good idea for a sister to marry that late, as when she is much younger she has access to the highest value suitors.

Furthermore, men require a lot of upfront investment. For a man to develop and become a formidable candidate, he requires female affection and physicality. Without that, many men fall into deep depression and do not meet their full potential. The refusal of sisters and their families to invest in brothers who have unmet potential (but still a lot of potential), is leading to a lot of brothers who do not measure up to their non-Muslim counterparts who date and have casual relationships.

Marriage is an investment in the other party. No one can be perfect before marriage and no one is entitled to such perfection. This is especially the case if the person wants more from the other party than he himself is capable of offering. Otherwise, it becomes a strange situation where one person’s flaws are baked into the equation but he/she demands perfection from the other.

The further along a person gets into his self-development, the less return on investment he can obtain from a partner. Therefore, why invest much into one at all?

Men have a profound need for physical intimacy and women have a profound need to have children, however these needs do not reach their peaks at the same time. Men’s greatest need for this is between the ages of 16-24 lunar years, whereas women’s greatest need occurs between the ages of 28-35 lunar years. A man that does not have a romantic relationship by the time he reaches 25 can suffer serious consequences, and a woman that does not have children by 35 can also suffer the same.

Many within the Muslim community in the West have decided that Muslim boys are not entitled to marriage until after they cross this threshold, creating a generation of very damaged brothers. However, just as it has been decided that Muslim boys are not entitled to marriage, and the fulfillment of their needs at that age, there is no longer the same need for those brothers to marry when the sisters need it most.

Sisters who decide not to get married at younger ages, or invest in younger brothers, are not entitled when they become older. They are in dire need of marriage in order to have children.

Unfortunately, the entire situation is a recipe for disaster. This is the eye-for-an-eye dynamic which Muslims have adopted from feminism and turned into a lethal praxeology.

At What Age Are Muslims Marrying?

In order to better understand how the marriage crisis is affecting Muslims, the average age of Muslim marriage in Muslim majority countries is presented. The data is not perfect and is somewhat outdated. It also does not reflect ages in Western countries. However, it may provide useful insights as to the over-arching problem. Ages in various countries according to Wikipedia:

  • Algeria (33)
  • Egypt (31)
  • Libya (32)
  • Morocco (32)
  • Sudan (29)
  • Tunisia (32.6)
  • Bosnia (29.7)
  • Albania (29.5)
  • Azerbaijan (27.6)
  • Syria (31.8)
  • Jordan (28.7)
  • Lebanon (32.8)
  • Kuwait (28.9)
  • Egypt (31)

This is very atypical and concerning. Humans should not have their first relationship at nearly 30 years old. This presents a host of problems.

Will Muslims Be Able to Replace Their Numbers?

By the time data analytics and statistical studies demonstrate how the Muslim marriage crisis in the West has affected birth rates, age of marriage, reproduction, and replacement rates for Western Muslims – it will be too late. There will simply not be enough religious young Muslims to replace the population. Furthermore, available males will have been jaded by years of celibacy, and available sisters conditioned by years of social media neurological engineering, making them fundamentally incompatible.

There is also a communal obligation to have children, though it is ordinarily a Sunnah Mu’akkadah on an individual basis. However, due to the ongoing marriage crisis and how extremely difficult it is to get married, this obligation has fallen by the wayside. If this continues without any serious change, it is possible that the current Muslims in the West will not exist beyond two generations.

Are Women Marrying Less Because They Have More Rights?

One of the common contentions is that women nowadays are opting not to marry because of their greater “freedom” and “rights,” and because they can now choose marriages which make them happier – that’s if marriage makes that individual woman happy at all to begin with. However, there is no indication that increasing a woman’s liberal “rights” makes her any happier nor that getting married materially harms a woman’s happiness. In fact, many studies indicate the exact opposite.

The Trans-Humanist Project

The idea that the world is fundamentally explainable by evaluating the smallest physical component is called “atomism.” The universal principle which is believed to explain truth, life, and the cosmos to an atomist is based on breaking down reality to the smallest physical composite components and analyzing them. From there, the materialistic atomist believes they can construct reality from the bottom-up and develop an overarching theory to explain it.

Atomism metastasized later into a sort of social atomism, known as “individualism.”

Individualism is coupled with secularism, which is undergirded by the belief that anything which cannot be perceived by the senses, or built upon atoms, is not objectively true. As a result, this leads to a sort of theological atomism, that God cannot be objectively proven and should not be considered in the public sphere – or at all.

By bringing smaller components together, the atomist worldview was able to produce great technological progress, believing that by building these material advancements they were improving life.

Technological progress, secularism, individualism, and liberalism are all culminating in “trans-humanism,” i.e., the use of technology to “improve” the human race.

Trans-humanism seeks to augment fundamental human experiences and virtualize them. Instead of intimacy, a person can watch pornography. Instead of a relationship, a woman can use social media. Instead of pregnancy, a person can use an artificial womb to create a child. This represents the impending danger, not only to marriage, but to the entire human species.

RELATED: Artificial Wombs Are a Technological Nightmare Waiting to Happen


Muslims that truly fear Allah, and believe in his Prophet ﷺ, would be in a rush to get married considering the current situation in the world. This applies even moreso for sisters.

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَنْزِلُ الدَّجَّالُ فِي هَذِهِ السَّبَخَةِ بِمَرِّقَنَاةَ فَيَكُونُ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ يَخْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ النِّسَاءُ حَتَّى إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَرْجِعُ إِلَى حَمِيمِهِ وَإِلَى أُمِّهِ وَابْنَتِهِ وَأُخْتِهِ وَعَمَّتِهِ فَيُوثِقُهَا رِبَاطًا مَخَافَةَ أَنْ تَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِ

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The False Messiah will come upon this marsh of Marriqanat (near Madinah). Most of those who go out to him will be women, until a man goes back to his wife, his mother, his daughter, his sister, and his aunt to shackle them tightly, fearing they would go out to him.” (Musnad Aḥmad 5330)

If our younger siblings in Iman have unrealistically high standards, then perhaps they are seeking the “paradise on earth” that Dajjal will be able to give them.

RELATED: How al-Dajjal (The Antichrist) Deceives People

The above hadith demonstrates that marrying a righteous man may be the only protection many sisters have against al-Masih al-Dajjal.


The ideal solution to this problem is clear: Muslims should engage in a mass-marriage campaign. Muslims should be encouraged if not commanded to marry. However, the likelihood of such swift united action occurring is slim.

Despite the obligation of getting married, it seems that very few Muslims are seeking marriage whatsoever. Even among those that claim to seek it, very few are serious. Some even back out after both parties have agreed to marry. Muslims simply do not have the liberty to stipulate much in a future spouse.

Therefore, a series of more realistic focused solutions is proposed.

For Muslim youth unable to marry, they should better themselves religiously and spiritually in order to save themselves from the depression which could result from their celibacy and single lifestyle. We cannot control the failure of the previous generation to help us. We cannot change their resignation to greater society, or lack of understanding of the attack on the family unit. We also cannot control the unrealistically high standards, or lack of seriousness in some young Muslims regarding marriage. What we can control is how we utilize our free time and whether we funnel it into positivity or allow it destroy us.

Ultimately, this life is a test, and tests occur in different fashions. Some are tested with extreme poverty, starvation, life in a warzone, disease, incarceration, rape, molestation, or a myriad of other difficulties. Being unable to marry is indubitably difficult, however, those Muslim youth unable to do so should look towards their siblings in Iman whom struggle more than them and be grateful for what they have.

Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه reports:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ انْظُرُوا إِلَى مَنْ أَسْفَلَ مِنْكُمْ وَلاَ تَنْظُرُوا إِلَى مَنْ هُوَ فَوْقَكُمْ فَهُوَ أَجْدَرُ أَنْ لاَ تَزْدَرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ

The Messenger of Allah, peace  and blessings be upon him, said, “Look at those below you and do not look at those above you, for it is the best way not to belittle the favors of Allah.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Our siblings should not feel upset or dismayed at being unable to get married. If you seek Jannah, then seek it, and Allah will grant you those things to facilitate your goal.

If you are not granted a spouse despite your best efforts, then the candidates in the pool are not conducive to your ultimate goal.

As for the greater Muslim community, it must produce a wider solution before a large number of our sisters age themselves out of the marriage pool and before a large number of brothers give up on marriage, turning to haram alternatives permanently instead. The Jama’ah in the West faces a looming depopulation crisis.

If we do not start encouraging our youth to get married in their teens, and supporting those whose first marriage happens to fail for whatever reason, then we just have to accept that their sins are on our necks.

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Ismael M

Another comprehensive article from brother Abu Lut. Much appreciated, and a necessity in these times. JazakAllahu Khairan.


Quite well summarized and insightful article on the problems of our communities. Covers most or all bases. This should be made viral. May Allah make it easy for all of us.

Umm Lut

My favorite part:

“Our siblings should not feel upset or dismayed at being unable to get married. If you seek Jannah, then seek it, and Allah will grant you those things to facilitate your goal.
If you are not granted a spouse despite your best efforts, then the candidates in the pool are not conducive to your ultimate goal.”

حق, May Allah reward you and may He prevent us from ever being ungrateful to Him. Amin.

Maaz Ahmad Khan

Single most important article describing the the worst crisis of our time.


Deep psychological analysis. Mashallah.
It seems to me that sisters have a lack of self awareness more than the brothers.
Fathers have failed in raising their daughters to understand that it takes time for a man to become somebody and that if you want a decent lifestyle you should then marry an older man or if you dont like older marry a young man and be patient with him and build your life with him. Fathers are complete failures in this regard.


Completely agree. Muslim parents are extremely neglectful with regards to this subject. Fathers in particular. They obviously mean well but the way they go about their business is very destructive. When the girl is 18 (peak) he discourages her to get married, when she’s 28, and less desirable, he’s impatient and rushes her.


Must read and share.


“By the time many sisters become serious about marriage nowadays – during their late 20s or early 30s – their best opportunities are gone. When most brothers really desire to be in a relationship – in their mid-teens to mid-20s – they are not allowed to enter the marriage pool.”

Very true. Women postpone…men postpone indefinitely.  


Don’t women postpone indefinitely as their biological clock is shorter then mens? I find that as both men and women age, they become more selective rather than less selective. And they both get set in their ways.

Yusuf ibn Tashfin

Depending on the case, it’s usually divorced people with past experience that become more selective. But most people become less selective regarding physical looks when they become older in my opinion


Women do want to get married, but very late in life (starting in their late 20’s)…but by that time they are prized out of the market. They see their twenties as personal time meant for education, work and leisure.

The longer a man has to wait for it the less he wants and needs it. At the very least he become indifferent.

Selectivity has to do with options. The less options you have the less selective you can be. Options primarily have to do with physical and financial attractiveness.


Another reason adding to this crisis is; in western cultural large age differences aren’t socially acceptable. People will typically accept a difference of 3 to max. 5 years. Many Muslim women have adopted this position as well. A 20 years old will be of the view that a 30 year old man is too old for her. And a man who wants to start a family preferably doesn’t want a woman 30 and above for procreation purposes.


You wrote about “the owner and his sabiyyah” when you were talking sexual relationships allowed in islam. I didn’t get it. What’s “sabiyyah”? Sorry if I seem a little ignorant


Still waiting

Fatiatu Inusah

This is a comprehensive article on marriage; very critical and informative. May Allah reward your efforts, Abu Lut and the MS team.


The Arabic word that is mistranslated as marriage here is “nikah” which means sexual relations. One type of which is the expensive one through marriage and the other one is a verbal Aqd or agreement through the concept of ma malekat aymanakum. The women in both these cases need to be muhsinat or chaste/fortified as per Quran 4:25.


Why every time anyone speaks about muslim men not being able to marry its always with the adjective young?

im nearly 40 and incapable of marrying for not having a university degree and not owning property. And im NOT YOUNG.

and you telling me this marriage thing is religious and spiritual thing? Then why i must remain sexless and affectionless for the rest of my life just because i have no degree and i dont own property? That would be a difficulty and there is no diffculty in religion.

Ahmed Shaikh

You have never married, brother?


Nicely written, I would like to draw attention towards a different aspect. In subcontinent I feel difficulty in marriage is because of parents, Firstly they have this perception that if a boy marries on his own then it’s a great embarrassment for the family. They want to be the one to choose and in a way act as wali of the boy which is not from the deen of Allah. And then parents have that high expectations when looking to a bride/groom which in turn delays the marriage.


I converted a decade ago and faced problems getting married due to racist fathers and Muslim women not taking it all too seriously. I have indeed reached a point where I do not consider getting married as much as I used to. And if I do go for it, it will most likely be with a non-Muslim. Marriage is being romanticized a lot, but we converts must be real at times and just accept the fact that some of us have it easier to be with non-Muslims than with Muslims. Allah will do whatever he wants.


There is no sabaya in Islam. Mulk Al yameen means what your oaths possess…it’s a verbal Aqdat or verbal agreement. A concubine in the past and a girlfriend today will do the job. Female agency is clear cut in the Quran – 4:19, 24:32-33, and 60:10