Category: History
Fatwa#: 17490
Asked Country: Canada

Answered Date: Feb 12,2009

Title: I would like to know where there is an aiyat in the Quraan or if you would have some knowledge about the issue of the changing global life expectancy and its relation to marriage.

Question

I would like to know where there is an aiyat in the Quraan or if you would have some knowledge about the issue of the changing global life expectancy and its relation to marriage. Was it that people in the time of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) were getting married at a younger age (especially for girls) because they were not living that long- around 40 years old or so? I know that the current life expectancy has increased and it is predicted that the future predictions show that we are living longer than ever before. Is this true according to you?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

The appropriate time for marriage is related to a person's reaching of puberty, not the average life expectancy.  It is not true that the people in the Prophet's صلى الله عليه وسلم lived to around only 40 years of age.  In fact, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم received the first revelation at the age of 40 and passed away when he was 63 years old.

Contrary to your belief, people in the past lived longer.  Ādam عليه السلام and Nūh عليه السلام lived for almost 1000 years.  However, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم informed us that the average life span of his ummah will be between sixty and seventy years of age (Tirmidhī). 

Regardless of the current and historical trend of life expectancy, our primary focus should be on how we live our life, no matter how long or short it is, and whether it conforms to the way shown by Allāh Ta'ālā and our beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. 

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَى وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِي إِنِّي تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ (الأحقاف: 15)
قال ابن كثير رحمه الله تحت هذه الآية:

{ حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ } أي: قوى وشب وارتجل { وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً } أي: تناهى عقله وكمل فهمه وحلمه. ويقال: إنه لا يتغير غالبا عما يكون عليه ابن الأربعين.

(تفسير ابن كثير 7/280؛ طيبة)

 

حدثنا إبراهيم بن سعيد الجوهري حدثنا محمد بن ربيعة عن كامل أبي العلاء عن أبي صالح عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عمر أمتي من ستين سنة إلى سبعين

(سنن الترمذي 2/59، أبواب الزهد، باب ما جاء في أعمار هذه الأمة ما بين الستين إلى السبعين؛ قديمي)

And Allah knows best

Wassalam u Alaikum

Ml. Abrar Mirza,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah

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