Forced marriage is not an issue of religion, but it is a cultural practice that violates the right of a woman and as a Muslim. The act of forcing someone to marry is in fact an act that is against the practices and teachings of Islam.
Some think that consent of the bride and/or groom is not needed in marriage or as long as the parents of the female agree to the proposal then it is allowed. This is a wrong concept. Marriage in Islam is suppose to be a beautiful and blessed time for both men and women.
Forced marriages are clearly not acceptable according to The Quran:
O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit the women by forcibly/unwillingly... [4:19]
Marriage is done by mutual agreement:
And if you divorce the women, and they have reached their required interim period, then do not prevent/hinder them that they marry their partners if they mutually agree between themselves in a kind/equitable manner... [2:232]
All examples in The Quran involving decisions between marriage partners are in the reciprocal Arabic word form, e.g. "taraadaa" [2:232-233, 4:24], "tashaawar" [2:233], which means they are mutual.
The relationship between a husband and wife is discussed in affectionate terms in The Quran, not of one enforcing decisions on the other:
And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect. [30:21]
...They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them.... [2:187]
And they say, "Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and let us be the foremost among the righteous." [25:74]
In The Quran, there is a pre-marriage requirement for a male to give the female a dower, see the following examples in which the female is involved in the decision making process:
And give the women their due dowries willingly, and if they remit any of it to you of their own will, then you may take it with good feelings. [4:4]
...And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything else... [4:24]
Lastly, The Quran reminds us that believers are those who conduct their matters by mutual consultation/counsel [42:38]
The following hadith also clarifies the position of forced marriages in Islam;
Khansa Bint Khidam said “My father married me to his nephew, and I did not like this match, so I complained to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him). He said to me “accept what your father has arranged.” I said “I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.”
He said “then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.” I said “I have accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them).
(Fathul Bari Sharah Al Bukhari 9/194, Ibn Majah Kitabun Nikah 1/602)
At first, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told Al Khansa to obey her father, and this is as it should be, because the concerns of fathers for the well being of their daughters is well known. But when he realized that her father wanted to force her in to marriage she did not want, he gave her the freedom to choose, and saved her from the oppression of a father who wanted to force her into an unwanted marriage. The choice that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave to the Al- Khansa is she can either remain married to the man, or divorce herself from him.
This has become a very common issue in today's society. However Islam does not allow force marriage, this must be known to every parent!!
Please share!! This can be of help to many who are possibly facing such issues today..
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