Maliks Muwatta Book 028, Hadith Number 002.

Section : Asking for Someone's Hand in Marriage.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Abdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not ask for a woman in marriage when another muslim has already done so."

Malik said, "The explanation of the statement of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, according to what we think - and Allah knows best - is that 'Do not ask for a woman in marriage when another muslim has already done so' means that when a man has asked for a woman in marriage, and she has inclined to him and they have agreed on a bride-price, which she has suggested and with which they are mutually satisfied, it is forbidden for another man to ask for that woman in marriage. It does not mean that when a man has asked for a woman in marriage, and his suit does not agree with her and she does not incline to him that no one else can ask for her in marriage. That is a door to misery for people."