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Question: Asalaamalikum does a woman in Islam have to get married? What if she chooses to be single for the rest of her life or until she finds a suitable match which may or may not happen. I find some guys to be too dominating and want things done mostly their way. Also I dislike the concept of guys wanting younger girls over more mature women who are still fertile. I am kind of annoyed with the concept of marriage.


Marriage is considered a highly recommended act. But, the issue is not such a black and white; for the ruling changes according to one's circumstances.  Therefore, from a Fiqh perspective, it can readily fall into one of the four categories listed below: Fard (obligatory) or Mustahabb (recommended) or Haram (forbidden) or Halal (permitted). 
1. Marriage becomes Fardh (compulsory) if sexual desire so torments a person that he/she fears falling into the sin of fornication. Since staying away from fornication is mandatory, and since marriage is the only avenue for legitimate sexual satisfaction, it becomes obligatory for such a person to get married. This ruling can be inferred from the juristic  principle in jurisprudence that says: “If a compulsory thing cannot be fulfilled except by fulfilling another, then performing the latter becomes equally obligatory.” 
 2. If, however, a person is not so tormented by sexual desire, and, hence, there is no fear of falling into sin, then it is highly recommended to get married if one has the means to do so. By doing so, one is fulfilling one of the great Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), our perfect role model. 
 3. If a person knows for certain that he or she cannot fulfill the duties required in marriage, and there is no fear of his/her falling into sin, then it becomes haram for such a person to get married. Islam forbids us from doing injustice to another person; this would be the case if one were to neglect his/her spousal duties. 
 4. If a person has no means to marry and is, therefore, incapable of fulfilling his marital obligations, but has a strong desire, it is permitted for him to get married—provided he tries earnestly to seek an honest source of living. Allah has promised to help such a person. We must also add here a further note that the Muslim community must assist such people until such time that they become self-reliant. 
If, however, no such measures are available, and a person finds himself unable to fulfill his spousal duties, he is advised to curb his desires through the discipline of fasting and other acts of sublimation.


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