Marriage in Islam is intended to cater to multiple purposes which include, above all, spiritual tranquility and peace, and cooperation and partnership in fulfilling the divine mandate. Islam – being a natural way of life – takes into account all of genuine human instincts such as physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, etc.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) urged us to seek somebody with a good character and apparent commitment to the teachings of Islam. He (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Whenever a person you’re satisfied with his character and faith approaches you for marriage, accept him.” (Related by At-Tirmidhi)
Regarding this issue, a prominent Muslim scholar and da`iyah Zeinab Mostafa said that if a lady together with his prospective spouse decided to conceal their marriage and only planned to involve two witnesses aside their parents in order to stay safe from the threats of the lady’s cousin whom she was engaged with before she decided to ignore him due to his bad character, such marriage is not considered secret marriage. In other words, so long as the parents are aware, and they approve of the marriage, and there are two just witnesses, then the marriage is valid.
An engagement is nothing but a promise of marriage. Thus, a lady can opt out of it and marry another person whom she feels more satisfied with.
May Allah guide all to what pleases Him
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