Defects that Must be Disclosed to a Potential Marriage Partner
Fatwa No: 461476

Question

Assalamu Alaikum. I am a male with a medical condition with my penis called hypospadias. I was born with this medical condition. A summary of the condition is that the hole where maniy, urine, etc. exists, is not at the tip of the penis. The hole in my penis is actually on the area where the penis head (glans) and the penis shaft meet. My penis hole is maybe around 1 cm farther than where it should be. Now my question is, if I want to get married, and I meet women who I want to marry. Do I have to tell them about my condition (hypospadias) before we get married? Do I ever have to tell them about my condition? I am scared that if I tell women about my condition, many of them will not accept to marry me. Jazakum Allahu Khairan.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There is a difference in opinion among the jurists regarding the nature of the defects that must be disclosed. Some scholars limit them to defects that form an impediment to copulation, or repulsive or contagious diseases, such as leprosy. While some other scholars are of the opinion that the disclosure shall be for every defect that does not achieve the purpose of marriage or make the spouse loathe the other spouse, which is the opinion chosen by Imam ibn Al-Qayyim and Sheikh ibn Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him among the contemporary scholars.

What we have learned from the physicians about the disease mentioned in the question is that it is one of the causes of male infertility, and if this is the case, then the fiancée must be informed about it, and you must not conceal it from her, because having children is one of the main purposes of marriage. Umar ibn Al-Khattab commanded an infertile man to disclose his defect. Also, Ibn Al-Qayyim said in (Zad Al-Ma’ad): Saeed ibn Mansoor said that Hushaim told them that Abdullah ibn 'Awf narrated on the authority of Ibn Sireen: “That Omar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, sent a man for some works, and this man married a woman, and he was infertile. So, Omar asked him: did you inform her that you are infertile? The man answered: No. Omar said: then go and inform her, and give her a choice. [End of Quote]

Therefore, it is better to tell her about your illness to avoid the difference of opinion among jurists, based on the jurisprudential rule stipulated by the scholars that states “getting away from the difference of opinion is desirable”, and avoiding the ways for a future dispute.

Allah knows best.

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