I am currently in a discussion with someone who argues that Islam worsened women’s rights in Arabia. I have dealt with most of his objections, except this one:

Before Islam, Khadija[R.A] was able to Marry Muhammad( PBUH ) of her own will, however after Islam, a woman who arranged her own marriage was considered an Adulteress :

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that: the Messenger of Allah said: “No woman should arrange the marriage of another woman, and no woman should arrange her own marriage. The adulteress is the one who arranges her own marriage.” Sunan Ibn Majah 1882

Hence, Islam worsened women’s rights in Arabia.

so my Question is, Were Arabian women able and allowed to Arrange their own marriages before Islam?


  • Yes prostitutes.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jul 12 '21 at 14:34
  • 1
    @Medi1Saif Sorry i dont understand . A prostitute doesnt marry her client does she?
    – dia bu
    Jul 12 '21 at 14:35
  • Not really, but she can chose with whom she can be intimate. This was described as a pre islamic marriage in a hadith.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jul 12 '21 at 14:45
  • @Medi1Saif Then please tell me this hadith ref
    – dia bu
    Jul 12 '21 at 14:57
  • 1
    Marirages in pre-islamic times were also arranged by the male wali. And this was also the case for the marriage of Khadijah as she was given in marriage by her father Khuwalid or her uncle 'Amr, see seerahs e.g. Ibn Kathir. Women could (and still can in Islam) propose marriage but the contract is done by the wali according to the majority opinion.
    – UmH
    Jul 12 '21 at 15:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .