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Should health concerns be disclosed to the other party when considering a rishta [marriage]?

A marriage  can  be dissolved  through qada [court]  if  the spouse becomes aware of certain health issues that were not disclosed before the marriage. In this case, the person who concealed the health issues would be considered the one at fault for the termination of the marriage and would be responsible for any damages given to their spouse. Here, ‘health issues’ refer to those illnesses that prevent one from fulfilling one’s basic responsibilities in a marriage (Fiqh Ahmadiyya,vol. 2, p. 96–99).

Disclosing serious health issues before marriage is our responsibility. If we are not sure about minor health issues, we can ask ourselves: “If I were in the other person’s position, would I want this health issue disclosed to me?” If the answer is yes, then it would be closer to taqwa [righteousness; fear of Allah] to disclose it. Also, there is nothing wrong with asking about health issues when considering a rishta. The Holy Prophet sas  said:

Marry women who are loving and very prolific and fertile.

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 11, Hadith 2045)

Accordingly, when the Promised Messiah as was arranging the marriages of two of his sons, he would first find out how many children and siblings the other family had. Hadrat Musleh Mau‘ud ra also advised people to find out how many children the family they are considering has (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, vol.3, Khutbat-e-Nikah, p. 396, 397).

Having children is a fundamental purpose of marriage, and any health issues relating to it should be disclosed. This does not mean that we should not marry men and women who are sterile or barren. However, reproductive health, and health in general, should be taken into consideration.

Updated on February 23, 2019

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