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Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam answers

As a Muslim: Is it allowed to use social media for seeking a spouse?

Sunday 04-06-2017 - 11:03 PM
Are social media the perfect place to find the right person?
Mohamed Arabi
Etiquettes of seeking
Etiquettes of seeking a spouse - Photo credit: Others

Cairo- Dr. Ahmad al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, said that it is important to pick and choose the right partner for marriage for haste makes waste. “Young people should not rush such an important decision that might result in grave emotional and psychological consequences,” he advised during his daily show, broadcast before sunset on Egyptian state-run TV all through the holy month of Ramadan.

 Al-Tayeb reminded viewers of an old adage: “Who marries hastily will remorse swiftly.” Then, it will be too late to rectify the problem.  For young men wanting to marry, I would say, the choice of a potential wife must be through the following legitimate means: The family, and the inquiry on her conduct and appearance. The Messenger of God (peace and blessings upon him) said: “If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so.”

Therefore, it is neither permissible nor advisable for a man to see a picture of his potential wife, and decide to marry her according to that. There are several modern means that might be used to enhance or change the quality of pictures. Once the marriage contract is signed according to that, it will be too late if either partner finds out that reality is far removed from the picture on which they based their decision. In such unfortunate cases, the husband or the wife might become victims of manipulation, and the marriage will end in divorce as a consequence.  

 

Dr. Ahmad al-Tayeb,
Dr. Ahmad al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar

Al-Tayeb stressed that there is no objection to a sincere young man to propose marriage and see the bride-to-be in the presence of her family. Such an introduction goes a long way to consolidate the would-be marriage. It might cultivate a sense of mutual appreciation between the two who are planning to start a family together.

Similarly, there is no objection to modern social communications, if this will lead to proper knowledge of each other.  However, if there is any slight notion of deception or manipulation, then it is not permissible.

Al-Tayeb again reiterated his call for taking the time to pick and choose, investigate and learn about your prospective spouse, especially if the way of acquaintance is through modern means such as pictures and video chats.  He pointed out, however, that marriage through the modern means mentioned, has contributed substantially to the high rate of divorce, among other reasons.  

 

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