In the name of Allah,
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
The Prophet (ﷺ) decreed that one should not try to cancel a bargain already agreed upon between some other persons (by offering a bigger price). And a man should not ask for the hand of a girl who is already engaged to his Muslim brother, unless the first suitor gives her up, or allows him to ask for her hand.[i]
Imam As sanani stated:
This prohibition is to evade already settled betrothal (engagement to marry). If the girl is already promised to someone, the second person should not make a proposal. However, if the first is canceled, then it is permitted to make a proposal. ‘[ii]
This engagement issue includes three scenarios:
First, If his brother’s proposal is refused, he can propose.
Second, if his brother’s proposal is approved, it’s forbidden to propose. No difficulty with these two cases.
Third, he was unaware of his brother’s proposal’s acceptance or rejection. Three additional scenarios exist in this scenario: (1) Probable knowledge of proposal acceptance; (2) Probable knowledge of proposal rejection; (3) No discernible information.
In these situations, Sheikh Uthaymeen (R) believes it is unlawful to propose to women. If the woman or her parents wanted to accept the first suitor, the second proposal might have ruined their plans. This would be against the rights of the first suitor. To put it briefly, one cannot propose to a woman until he or she has ascertained with certainty whether or not the first suitor was accepted[iii].
Allah Knows Best
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[i] Bukhari 5142
[ii] Bulugh al-Maram – Collection of hadith by al-Hafidh ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. With brief notes from the book Subul-us-Salam written by: Muhammad bin Ismail Al-Sanani. English Publication- Hadith 832. Page 315 Darus-salam Publishers
[iii] The Book of Marriage from the Explanation of Bulugh Al-Maram Part 1 Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al-Uthaymeen Maktabatulirshad Publications, USA. Page 121