Forced Marriage is not acceptable
Bismillahir Rehmanir Raheem
The idea of a woman being forced into a marriage against her own wishes is not acceptable from the Islamic point of view. A woman came to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and complained that her father had married her to his nephew without asking her consent first. She stated that the purpose of that marriage was that her father wanted his reputation enhanced through that marriage. The Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) annulled that marriage. When he had done so, and the woman was free again, she said to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam): Now I am free. I willingly consent to this marriage. I only wanted it to be known that men have no say over women in their marriages.
It is often thought that because a father acts for his daughter in marriage, he can marry her to whomever he likes, without seeking her consent. People, who suggest this, make a very superficial judgment. By requiring a father or a guardian to act for the woman in her marriage, Islam emphasizes the woman's honor. Marriage in Islam is the way to establish a family, and this is conducted through families. Therefore, the woman appears to have the consent of her family to her own marriage. She does not appear as the weaker party in a civil contract.
There is no rigid process of choosing a husband. If a man proposes to a family seeking to marry one of their daughters, then he must have based his choice on either first hand knowledge or proper investigation. Similarly, if the woman's family makes the approach, then it must be based on a good knowledge of the man and his character.
As we all know, Islam does not permit the sort of free-mixing between the bannedes, which is known in Western societies. If some aspects of that social mixing is practiced among certain sections of society in Muslim countries, then that is something Islam disallows. In a certain situation, a woman is able to know the character and nature of a man and she feels, on the basis of her knowledge, that he can make her a very good husband. It is perfectly conceivable that a woman can acquire such knowledge of a man, either because he is her colleague at work, or because she has had a chance to see him acting in different situations. Such knowledge would enable her to understand his character and to find out that he can be a good family man.
When a woman has known such a man and wishes to marry him, she should speak to her family about it. Her father or guardian will take over and speak to the man either directly or through intermediaries. All this is appropriate. What is not appropriate from the Islamic point of view is that the woman should try to get the man into a love relationship with her as it happens in films or in Western societies.
If a woman selects a man as her future husband and he is considered to be good for her from the social point of view, then the father is required to facilitate her marriage.
Sayyidah Hafsah bint Omar (radi Allahu anha), Sayyiduna Omar's - radi Allahu anhu daughter, became a widow when her husband,Hazrat Khunais bin Huthafah (radi Allahu anhu), who was a companion of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), passed away in Madinatul Munawwara Munawwara. Sayyiduna Omar (radi Allahu anhu) reports: I went to Uthman bin Affaan (radi Allahu anhu) and offered him Hafsah (radi Allahu anha) saying, If you wish, I will give you Hafsah (radi Allahu anha) as a wife. He said, I will consider the matter. I waited for a few days, then Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) met me and said, I have considered the matter and I do not wish to be married now.
Sayyiduna Omar (radi Allahu anhu) goes on in his report: I then met Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and said, If you wish, I will give you Hafsah (radi Allahu anha) in marriage. Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) kept quiet and gave no answer whatsoever. I felt more aggrieved with him than I was with Uthman (radi Allahu anhu). After a few days, Allah's Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) proposed to marry Hafsah (radi Allahu anha) and I gave her away in marriage to him. I then met Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and he said, You might have felt something against me when you offered me Hafsah (radi Allahu anha) and I gave no reply. I answered in the affirmative. He said, What prevented me from answering your proposal was that I had learned that Allah's Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had expressed his wish to marry her. I am not one who reveals the Prophet's (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) secret.
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