There’s No Forcing a Daughter On a Husband She Doesn’t Want

October 29, 2007

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There’s No Forcing a Daughter On a Husband She Doesn’t Want
Q: Is it acceptable for the father to force his daughter on a husband she doesn’t like?
A: It’s not for the father, or anyone else, to force his daughter [lit charge] on a husband she doesn’t like. Rather, you need her her permission, as the Messenger (PBUH) said: “Do not marry a young woman without her counsel, and do not marry a virgin without her permission.” They said [the people of Medina] “O Messenger of Allah, how does she give her permission?” and he said “She stays silent.” In another phrasing he said, “Her permission is her silence.” and in a third phrasing: “The virgin gives her consent to her father, and that consent is her silence.” So it is necessary for the father to seek her permission if she has reached nine and above. Similarly, those responsible for finding her a husband can not marry her off without her consent. This is obligatory for everyone. If one marries without consent, the marriage is invalid. This is because the condition of marriage is the pleasure of both bride and groom. So if she married without permission and was coerced under severe threats or by beatings, then the marriage is invalid, except for the father of a girl under nine. If you marry her off and she is younger than nine, there’s no objection to the validity [of the marriage], because the Messenger (PBUH) married Aisha without her permission and she was under nine. We have in a Sahih Hadith, As for when she has reached nine and above, there’s no marrying her except with her permission, and that goes for the father. As for the husband, if he knew she didn’t like him, he needs to not continue with it, even if the father is on his side [lit: tolerant towards him], its necessary to fear God and not pursue the woman who doesn’t like him. If the father claims he wasn’t forcing her, he needs to be wary of what God has forbidden him to do, because the Messenger (PBUH), ordered the seeking of consent and that we recommend the engaged girl to fear God and consent, if the father saw it fit for his daughter to marry, and if the suitor was of good faith and morals. [This is also true] if the person who arranged the marriage was someone other than the father. Marriage is very good and very beneficial, and there’s danger in bachelorhood. For that we recommend generally that young women agree when they are presented with a decent man, and not give excuses of studying or teaching or some such thing.
God is the Arbitrating Authority.

Sheikh Ibn Baz

Taken from Fataawa al-Maraa “Fatwas on Women” by Sheikh Ibn Baz, Sheikh Authimein, and Sheikh Jabreen. Riyadh, Dar al-Watan lil-Nashr, 1993/1414. Translated by Josh Berer

Vocabulary and Translation Notes

مولية Protector, charge

نكح – Marry

أيم – Unmarried young woman

بكر – Virgin

لفظ – Phrasing, wording

ولي / أولياء – Relative, friend, legal guardian

قهر – Coerce, force

وعيد – Threats

حرج – Prohibition, confinement, restriction

زعم – To claim

وصّى – To recommend, to entrust

مصلحة / مصالح –Matter, requirement, that which is beneficial

عزوبة – Bachelorhood, single-ness

كفء – Capable, competent, suitable

Translation Notes

فلا يزوّجها إلا بإذنها ولو أبه أبوها – “So don’t marry her off except with her permission, and that goes for the father.” That last clause confused me a bit.

لما في النكاح من الخير…-“Marriage is good…” Also a confusing wording, as literally it reads “Whereas in marriage is from good…”

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