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Marrying a Widow In Islam

by | Feb 12, 2019

Marrying a widow in Islam has a great reward. “When are you going to marry ?” “ For GOD’s sake, please agree to marry now; what are you waiting for?”

You have a settled business, have a house of your own, going overage, for what reason you are still delaying your marriage? “ and many such other sarcastic questions I had to face every day by my family.

After my father’s death at a young age, I became the only earner of my family as I was the elder most. I had the responsibility of 3 younger sisters and two younger brothers on my shoulder.

This burden was so heavy that it took almost 15-20 years of my life to take it off. I was busy earning for my family all these years, providing them better living standards, and educating my siblings. Now Alhamdulillah’s, my sisters have been married and are spending their lives happily with their husbands and children.

In the hustle and bustle:

I spent my youth and did not marry. As marrying would increase my burden, I wanted to educate and marry my siblings to get free from their responsibility.

 Now, I am above my forties, and obviously, it’s hard to find a virgin spouse at this age. Most matches I find are either widowed or divorced. And I am confused. Would marry a widow be a good decision or not? What should I do while my family Is forcing me to marry as soon as possible?

Many of us can face a similar situation when one is offered to marry a spouse who is already divorced or widowed. Islam is not a monastic religion. In historic Judaism and Christianity, widows were vulnerable because the Old Testament recognized no inheritance rights for them.

Marrying A Widow In Islam:

In the Eastern world, for example, in India and China, a widowed woman faces severe obstacles. She might be unwanted by her deceased husband’s family and even her own family. One considers her as a burden. There is a city where widows go to live in poverty in India until they die.

However, if you come across such a situation, the following are some points that can help you in making the right decision, whether to marry a widow or not.

1) Your first choice should be to marry a virgin spouse. The reason is fertility, level of energy, and adaptability of unmarried ones. It was narrated that Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked me, ‘Have you got married?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘A virgin or a previously-married woman?’ I said, ‘A previously-married woman.

He said, ‘Why not a young girl, whom you could play with, and she could play with you?’ I said, ‘I have sisters, and I wanted to marry a woman who could gather them together and comb their hair and take care of them.’ He said: ‘You will reach, so when you have arrived (at home), I advise you to associate with your wife (that you may have an intelligent son).’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1991; Muslim, 715)

2) In Islam, the re-marriage of widows has been greatly emphasized. At the same time, it has also been often stated that people, who bring up orphans, are very dear to Allah Almighty. This should give an excellent idea of the reward for someone who gets married to a widow and supports her children from her deceased husband.

Marrying A Widow: “A giver of maintenance to the widows and the poor is like a giver in the way of Allah (SWT), an utterer of prayers all night and fasting during the day.” (Bukhari)

3) Be careful full you can not marry a woman in iddah. Let her complete her idea. Meanwhile, you can get time to reconsider and improve your decision about marrying.

4) Marriage brings a lot of changes in your life. Be care full; An unmarried spouse would be easier to modify according to your choice than a married one. As he/she would be mature, would have developed habits according to previous husband/wife. So he/she might take time to adjust with you. Be patient and try to be cooperative

5) Be aware. There would be a lot of comparisons! Although it would be a new start over for your spouse, your spouse would try to minimize the interference of his/her previous marriage in this new relation. But whatever you do, the reality is, he/she had a previous relationship. Maybe he/she doesn’t speak about it or doesn’t react, but there would be many comparisons going on in minds. Any harsh or strict attitude of yours can remind her/him of previous conditions.

6) You should marry her/him Feesabillaah to please Allah as you have no surety of your good deed being accepted and rewarded. Never taunt your spouse about his/her previous marriage.

Be Very Careful In The Case Of Your Spouse:

7) Be very careful in the case your spouse has already children. It would double your rearward in a sigh of ALLAH, but it would be very much demanding to manage, especially when you are going to have children of your own too.

8) A spouse having a second marriage with you can prove her/himself much better if he/she determines to make this relationship better than the previous one. Such a spouse, if wise, can prove her/himself better than the one having the first marriage with you by deciding not to repeat the mistakes done in previous matrimonial relations.

In the end, I would say that marrying a widow or widower is an act of high reward. As one is preferring a widow over a virgin spouse. But this adds to your responsibility.

You would have to be more careful and tolerant with your spouse than if he/she had the first marriage with you. The best option is to do istikhara if you are confused about your decision. May ALLAH guide us to the right path. Ameen.

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