Forced Marriages
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Saadia Malik

What does Islam say about forced marriages? My parents want to marry me to a person I do not like and I also do not want to do anything un-Islamic. Personally, I mean, it’s my life and I will be held responsible for what I do, so why are they forcing me to do something I don’t want to do? What should I do?


Forced marriages are not acceptable to Islam. Parents are required to play a very active role when it comes to making decisions about their children’s marriage, but the final consent lies with the ones who are expected to sign this social contract. If that right is not upheld, obviously, many problems will result. Our religion, on the other hand, places great emphasis on the sanctity of a healthy household and a loving family, for they are the backbone of an ideal Islamic society.

One will find numerous Āhadīth relating to the woman’s consent in marriage. Of course, that is because society, over the years, has mostly kept women in repression and not men. Thus, if intelligibly considered, such Āhadīth serve to highlight the importance of consent on the part of both the man and the woman. For example:

 Ibn ‘Abbās reported that a girl came to the Messenger of Allah and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice... between accepting the marriage or invalidating it. (Musnad Ahmad, No: 2469)

 Another observer narrates the same report, but adds:

 The girl said: ‘Actually, I accept this marriage, but I wanted to let women know that parents have no right to force a husband on them’. (Ibn Mājah, No: 1873)

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