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26 January 2012

Forced Marriages and Islam

“We have selected this girl for you”, “we have selected this boy for you for marriage”, these are the common words that come out from parent’s and guardians’ mouths when the children reach the age of marriage. Islam does not give provision to force the kids in the matter of their marriage. Marriage is the most important decision of one’s life. While deciding or thinking about it, parents must not force their kids to marry the person of their choice, instead they should give their children the liberty of choosing or at least expressing their likeness or dislikeness about the person.

Islam is the religion which gives full liberty to kids to decide for their marriage themselves. Boys are somewhat exempted from being forced but girls fell victim of forced marriages quite often. Their opinion is never considered worthy of giving a thought and mostly, they are forced to live happy with a person whom they do not like. This is very common in subcontinent.

"A girl once came to Muhammad s.a.w.w and said that she was given in marriage forcefully by her father and she did not like that person. Her nikah was nullified by Prophet s.a.w.w. at the spot” [Boook-Bukhari]

This hadith shows that when a girl is not ready to marry a person, her nikah cannot take place. Similarly, for those girls whose parents do not agree to marry her the person of her choice, the wali ship of father is nullified and the next in line paternal blood relation becomes her wali and if she does not find anyone then the qazi is her wali and if she then gets married, there will be no sin upon her. These are the provisions given by ALLAH swt, how can one challenge them?

Mostly, the case of marriage is made an issue of ego by parents. They think that since they have raised their kids, they are even entitled to decide for their lives. Islam says, when kids grow up they should be shown the world, they should be practical enough to take decisions boldly. But when parents jump in and out of ego, they stop their kids and make them to rebel; they actually go against the rules of shariah.

Surely, parents should be given prime importance while deciding about life and their suggestions should be given prime weight, but parents should not hinder their kids from respecting them or to make them do a thing which they will not like.

Forced marriages are not solution to problems, they themselves are problems. If your daughter spend her life without living a single day of happiness and she could not love her husband because that man was not liked by her or parents did not ask her before deciding, parents will be responsible for the discomfort for their daughter, same goes for the sons. So avoid forcing your kids to marry person of your choice but listen to them and also learn to honor their decisions. Similarly, kids must not rebel but make their parents understand first, if they do not listen, then there will be no blame on kids.
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