DNA test to gauge marriage compatibility
From some quarters, a demand is being made that DNA test should be made compulsory for the would be groom and the would-be bride so as to find out whether they are or may be afflicted by any dangerous disease or any inherited disease.
Islam recommends that the would-be groom and the would-be bride should see each other’s face before marriage. There is a Hadith in this regard:
Translation: You see her. This will be a means of lasting love between you. (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 1110)
Also, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has encouraged marrying a woman who has the (greater) ability to bear children. Thus, there is a Hadith in this regard:
Translation: Marry those who would love and are able to bear more children, as I take pride in your (greater) numbers over other nations. (Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith No. 2052; Sunan Nasai, Hadith No. 3240)
However, these are not such things that warrant DNA testing. The Hadith establish permission to only see the face. This is to find out the beauty of the would-be bride. To find out whether she is of a loving nature, one might look at her relations with her own near and dear. Similarly to find out her childbearing capacity, one may look at the number of children the women of her family have.
The scope of these things is pretty limited. However, the information gained from a DNA test is so vast that nothing escapes from it. As scientists say, a DNA test can show up traits of diseases which may afflict one in the future as well. Consequently, if a girl’s DNA test shows that she has traits of so and so disease (that might or might not show up in the future) nobody will want to marry her. The same will happen for guys. Eventually, many young men and women will end up remaining unmarried. This will soon lead to a disastrous outcome for the whole society.
In light of all this, there is no permission in the Shariah for getting a DNA test before marriage (for the purpose of marriage).
If marriage is performed without DNA testing and after marriage a disease comes up, then life can be led with mutual cooperation and patience. The Shariah has provisions for divorce, separation of annulment of marriage in case of fatal and dangerous diseases.
If one talks about diseases which might afflict one in the future, then naturally people will not like to marry people with those traits. Although where there is a possibility of the disease assailing one in the future, it is not at all beyond the Power of Allah Most High that those diseases don’t show up at all and He keeps them safe and sound out of His Benevolence.
However, if there is a highly probable danger of diseases like AIDS, then only up to that extent or to find out whether that person is actually afflicted with that disease, a (limited) DNA test might be permitted.