Predestination and Selection of a Marriage Partners
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Tariq Haashmi

I have a question that relates to the problem of predestination and free will. Many people say that matches have already been predetermined by God. Parents have no right to force their children to marry the individuals of their choice, they maintain. My question is: do I have authority to make a decision in this regard or the matter has the already been decided by god? I would be very grateful for your reply soon.


First of all I would like to mention that there is no religious basis for the view that pairs are made in Heaven and, therefore, we should not exercise our will in this regard. If a person has no right to choose his marriage partner and the issue is predetermined then the parents too would have no right to decide the matter for their children. Everyone would be required to wait for miracles to happen. We believe that in this case the right which the parents and elders want to exercise primarily belongs to the individuals involved. As for the belief of predestination, there is no denying the fact that the circumstances we live in and choices we have in this worldly life are predetermined. Our parents, tribe, our nation, our country, our financial status and almost everything are predetermined. We cannot do anything about these issues. This does not however mean that we should not exercise our will in any issue at all. We are obliged to respond to these circumstances and are morally responsible for our decision and actions. There are issues in our life where we need to put our effort and change them and areas where we are bestowed with the freedom of choice. We are in fact put in certain circumstances and have been given the will to respond to various aspects of the test and the trial in these circumstances. Every individual has sufficient knowledge of the boundaries between where he leaves the matters to the will of God and where he exercises his will. The line between the two kinds of matters is distinct and clear.

The matter of deciding one’s life partner lies within the sphere where we are able to exercise our will. This is what we usually refer to by saying that one has have to choose the right match. To say that pairs are made in Heaven means that the Almighty already knows with who one would marry but one has to decide for one’s self. Thus the sentence should only be taken as an expression of our belief that the Almighty knows what will happen in the future and what we will do next. He has all power to do what He wills. It should not stop us from putting in our efforts to acquire things of our liking deeming the existing state of affairs predetermined. Nobody would for example starve himself to death and hold that God wanted him to act that way and that He is responsible for this act. In short, it is our belief that God has predestined many things and knows everything which will happen. However, this does not mean that a person must not decide on whom to marry.

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