بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
While explaining the hadeeth of Fatimah bint Qaes (may Allah be pleased with her); in which she approached the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and informed him that individuals have approached her for marriage, upon hearing the names of these individuals the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم replied:
As for Abu Jahil, he does not remove the stick from his shoulder (he beats women), and as for Mu’awiyah, he is poor. Instead, marry Usamah. (Saheeh Muslim)
Sheikh ‘Uthaymeen commented (in summary):
If it were said: How can the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم say: “As for Mu’awiyah, he is poor”, while he (the Prophet) doesn’t know? It’s possible he (Mu’awiyah) will become wealthy (in the future). And actually, this did take place. Mu’awiyah became a ruler; in fact he became one of the wealthiest rulers.
Thus, we say: From this hadeeth a vital benefit can be derived, which is: That which should be considered is what is apparent, not what will possibly occur in the future. Pay close attention to this principle. An individual is not commissioned to (consider) matters of the unseen, but rather, he is responsible for that which is in front of him.
Consequently, we know the answer for a commonly mentioned question (issue). This occurs when a man who is not practicing seeks to marry a practicing female. The female would like to marry him and thus she says: It’s possible that Allah will guide this man by way of me. This action (him changing) may or may not occur in the future. She does not know, but that which is presently apparent is that this individual is not practicing. If the female was to say: It is possible that Allah will guide him by way of me, we will respond: It is (also) possible that Allah will lead you astray by way of him! Both of these outcomes are possible, and you (the female) being led astray by way of the man is more likely, due to the fact that the authority and influence of the man over the woman is much greater than her authority and influence over him. Likewise, how many men put pressure on their wives to perform something that the husband wants, and due to his pressure, the female falls into something she herself dislikes. This is something which is known and proven. The most important benefit in this issue is that a person is responsible for that which is apparent, not that which will may or may not occur in the future.
Source: Fathul Thee Jalalee wal Ikram bi Sharh Bulough al Maram vol. 11, pg. 201
Translator’s note: May Allah have mercy upon our beloved Sheikh and father Sheikh Muhammad bin Saleh al ‘Uthaymeen. Indeed his statements and clarifications are filled with wisdom and sound understanding. The advice of the Sheikh can also be applied to the common day belief of many sisters (when approached for marriage by individuals not upon the methodology of the Salaf): I know he’s not Salafi, but ان شاء الله he will come to the minhaj through my guidance and direction! Then after a few months, we find the sister attending the gatherings of the people of innovation and those supporting them! We have even witnessed sisters falling into major shirk, innovation, and defending the callers to hizbiyah due to being married to individuals not upon the methodology of the Salaf. Similarly is the statement of some females, when approached for marriage by an individual who has a proven reputation of mistreatment of women, you find some women saying: I will be the one to change him! Or: He will never treat me the way he treated others! These spurious statements and the likes are clear examples of how females place themselves in dreadful predicaments as it relates to marriages.
May Allah guide our women to that which is better, and may He keep us all firm upon the straight path.
Mustafa George DeBerry
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
17th of Dhil Hijjah | Oct. 22, 2013