Q: “Is marriage fate or a choice?”
“What is the difference between this question and the question: (is it fate or a choice that) one is rich and another is poor, and one is beautiful and one is ugly, and so on. No doubt what is decreed for a person is something that will happen and there is none that can avert it. But he is responsible for making the effort; after that, he is not at fault for the outcome of the matter if it happens contrary to his choice.
So if this person got engaged to a woman and was eager to do so as she was righteous, then with time it became clear that she was evil! Of course, this was fate. But everything happens as decreed, like the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Everything happens as decreed, even laziness and activeness.’ However, this does not mean that a person, within his capabilities, is not responsible for striving to choose that which is good. No, this is something else. So a person must strive, then the rest is up to Allaah تبارك وتعالى.
So the answer is: of course it is fate, but we shouldn’t understand that it is fate and so -as some people say- a person just puts his trust in Allaah and that’s it. No, (rather) he takes the means, then he puts his trust in the Lord of all lords.”
[silsilatul hudaa wa nnoor 134/5]