What Does Islam Say About Forced Marriages?

In some cultures, a girl’s right to marry is ignored. Educated men and women now talk about marriage at home, but in some cultures, women may still be discouraged from talking about marriage. In these cultures, parents may an arrange a marriage for their children.  

Some Muslims from these cultures don’t accept the idea of a marriage for love. If you are one of them, read this post in its entirety before you get angry and flustered. We will discuss what Islam says about consent and marriage.

Did you know that Islam takes a woman’s opinion of marriage into account? Do parents have the right to force their children to marry? Unfortunately, people misunderstand religion and fathers mistakenly believe they have the right to marry their children off to whomever they wish, without their children’s consent. Is this even Islamic? Short answer: Absolutely not.

Is There A Concept of Forced Marriage In Islam?

Unfortunately, many are denied the right to marry. In many parts of the world, parents simply tell their children that the wedding will take place on that day. Islam does not teach us this. Women often ask, “Do women have a say in Islamic marriages?” Islam gives women the right to consent to marriage. In fact, the marriage is not valid without a woman’s consent. 

Parents cannot simply marry their daughter off without her consent. Parents should find out if they have their daughter’s consent to the marriage, and set an example from the life of the Holy Prophet. Ali (RA) once sent his proposal to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), who wanted to marry his daughter Fatima. 

Islam gives women the right to consent to marriage. In fact, the marriage is not valid without a woman’s consent. 

He did not accept the offer and simply said: “In Sha Allah”” (if God wills). Then the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) approached his daughter Fatima (RA), discussed her proposal, and asked her permission. After accepting the offer, the Prophet (PBUH) accepted Ali’s (RA) offer. This shows how important it is to get a daughter’s opinion about marriage. 

There is a hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that prohibits forced marriage of girls in Islam. The hadith was written as Saheeh Muslim in 1419 and is also included in Saheeh al-Bukhari 6968. The Holy Prophet said that “a woman (whether she is a virgin, divorced, or a widow) cannot be married to anyone until her permission is sought.” This shows that Islam does not condone forced marriages.            

Forced Marriage: What Does the Quran Say About It?

From the life of the Holy Prophet and examples of his teachings, it’s clear that Islam does not allow forced marriages. However, the Quran also prohibits forced marriage of women. This is a verse from the Quran that forbids forced marriage in Muslims.

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.” — Quran 4:19

Can A Muslim woman Propose to A man?

Another misconception is that women cannot ask a man to ask for marriage. Many Muslims consider it a culturally indecent act. But that’s quite contrary to the truth. It is not Islam that considers a marriage proposal from a woman an act of indecency. This idea was given to people by culture. People need to do a better job of separating the deen from their cultural beliefs.

Let’s look at a historical situation where that actually happened, using an example from the life of the Holy Prophet. Khadija bint Khuwaylid was the employer of the Prophet (P.BU.H). She was impressed by the honesty and truthfulness of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and offered to marry him. The Holy Prophet accepted the proposal and they got married.

People need to do a better job of separating the deen from their cultural beliefs.

What can be a better example than this? There is no restriction in Islam about who is allowed to send a marriage proposal. Hence, if you are a woman and want to marry someone, you can send a proposal. It also emphasizes that marrying a Muslim woman without her consent is completely contrary to Islamic tradition.

what’s the best way to marry for love?

Now you know that marrying for love is totally acceptable in Islam. Whether you are a woman or a man, Islam gives you the right to consent to marriage. In Islam, parents cannot force their children to marry. So you can marry the person you like. Here is how you can marry someone of your own choice if you are a Muslim.

It’s important to assess compatibility and ask questions about the other person to get to know them first. This should be done in order to avoid marrying the wrong person in haste. There are certain parameters that you need to know about if you want to marry the right person. So determine whether the other person is right for you or not. Once you are done with this step, then ask the other person directly if he wants to marry you or not. Ask the parents about their opinions if the other person agrees to marry you. 

what should I do if my parents do not agree?

Even if you do your best, you may not be able to convince your parents to marry the person you want. You tried your best, but your parents wanted you to marry someone you didn’t love. Although it may seem that you are going against your parents, you can still marry the person you love. Islam has given ultimate authority to you to decide your own fate when it comes to marriage.

However, it’s better to try and have your family on board with your marriage, so that you do not break family ties. But if there’s no other choice, it’s ultimately up to you to choose your own partner — your parents don’t get to make the decision for you.

why do some parents disagree with marriages for love?

If Islam gives women the right to marry anyone, why are some parents not allowing their daughters to avail this right? There are several possible reasons for this. One reason may be their way of thinking, as they may unfortunately consider their daughters to be “property” and thus not allow them to assert their rights.

Other parents are not well-informed about Islam, and are unaware of the rights that Islam gives to women. The best way to deal with this is to study the Quran. Thus, you will not only know your rights as a woman, but you can easily convince your parents of your rights, based on the teachings of Islam. Now, you can also learn the Quran online to get Islamic teachings without stepping out of your home. 

In this post, we have discussed whether Islam allows women to marry for love or not. We hope that this post has informed you of your rights a bit better.

Be sure to check out @muslimgirl’s latest on Snapchat for today’s episode on marriage.

If you’re in the UK and you’re in crisis, you can call the Muslim Women’s Helpline at 020 8904 8193 or 020 8908 6715. If you’re in North America, and need assistance, contact the NISA Helpline at 1.855.623.4624 Ext: 2 or Naseeha at 1-866-NASEEHA (627-3342).