Forced Marriages


By Sami Zaatari





Indeed the act of forced marriages is something that is not good, nor fruitful, because its foundation is corrupt, and whatever stands upon a corrupt foundation shall eventually falter and will not have a good ending. Forced marriage is essentially the act of forcing a lady to marry a man without her consent or will, basically she has no choice or say in the matter, she has to do it, whether she likes it or not. And this is not correct at all, since women have their rights, and you cannot force them to love somebody.


To begin with, women in Islam have a choice as to who they want to marry; if they deem a man to be unfit for marriage for whatever reason, then she has the right to not marry him, she cannot be forced into it as the prophet Muhammad himself said:


Aa'ishah reported that a girl came to her and said, "My father married me to his brother's son in order to raise his social standing, and I did not want this marriage [I was forced into it]." ?Aa'ishah said, "Sit here until the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) comes. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came and she told him about the girl. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent for her father, then he gave the girl the choice of what to do. She said, "O Messenger of Allaah, I have accepted what my father did, but I wanted to prove something to other women." (Reported by al-Nisaa'i, 3217).


So as you can see, a lady came to Aisha informing her that her father had forced her to marry someone she did not want, Aisha called the prophet Muhammad to see what his ruling on the matter would be, and as you can see the prophet then sent for her father, and gave the girl a choice in the matter, as to whether she wanted the marriage to remain intact or get a divorce.


Hence this makes it all clear that forced marriage is not allowed, that the lady has a choice in regard to the matter. Another hadith records the prophet Muhammad saying:


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! How can we know her permission?" He said, "Her silence (indicates her permission)."

Once again the prophet Muhammad forbids forced marriages, he makes it clear that the female party must be consulted, basically informing her of the man whom they want her to marry, so then she can decide. And the prophet also makes it clear that a virgin also has a choice as to whom she wants to marry. Hence it is crystal clear that forced marriages are forbidden, and these orders from the prophet Muhammad must be followed since Allah has told us:

YUSUFALI: It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.


So whenever the prophet Muhammad makes a ruling on a matter, we must follow it, and we have no right to contradict it, to do so is to commit a major sin, hence any Muslim who thinks its okay to force a lady into marriage is committing a major sin since they are disobeying God because he called on us to obey the prophet.


Here is another hadith from the prophet Muhammad concerning forced marriage:


Volume 7, Book 62, Number 69:

Narrated Khansa bint Khidam Al-Ansariya:

that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah's Apostle and he declared that marriage invalid.

So therefore forced marriage is not allowed, it is corrupt, and a corrupt foundation does not have a fruitful ending. Last but not least, here is what Allah says concerning this matter:

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.


Allah the most high forbids the act of forced marriage, so therefore this act is a sin and against God's true teachings.


And Allah Knows Best!