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Tuesday 23 April 2024  
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Home » Social Dealings » Marriage and Engagement

A Father Forcing His Daughter to marry is Forbidden

I have a sister from my father and he gave her in marriage to a man without asking her opinion when she was twenty-one years of age. The witnesses testified falsely in the marriage contract, saying that she agreed, and her mother signed the marriage document on her behalf. In this way, the marriage was completed, while she still rejected it. What is the ruling on this contract and the false witness (therein)?

If this sister was a virgin and her father forced her to marry this man, some of the scholars hold that the marriage is valid. They hold the view that the father may force his daughter to marry a man whom she does not want, if he is suitable.

But the strongest opinion in this matter is that it is not permissible for the father, or anyone else, to force a girl to marry someone she does not want to, even if he is suitable. This is because the Prophet Sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam said:

“The virgin must not be given in marriage until her permission has been sought.” Al-Bukhari no.5136 and Muslim no. 1419

This is general, so no guardian is excepted from it. In fact, it has been reported in Sahih Muslim:

“The father must seek the virgin’s permission.” Muslim no.1421.

So the virgin and the father have been specified. This is specified in cases of disagreement, and so it must be acted upon. Based upon this, a man’s compelling his daughter to marry a man whom she does not want to marry is forbidden.

The Lawgiver (i.e. Allaah) has prohibited it, so He does not want the (Muslim) community to be involved in it, nor to practice it. And if we declare it to be valid, it means that we are involved in it, and we are practicing it, and giving it the status of those contracts which the Lawgiver has permitted. This is something that cannot be.

Therefore, the strongest opinion is that your father giving his daughter in marriage to a man whom she does not want, is an unlawful marriage, and the contract is unlawful. So it must be examined by the Court.

As for one who supplies false witness, he has committed a major sin, as confirmed by the Prophet Sallalaahu alaihi wa sallam who said:

“Shall I not inform you of the greatest sins?” At-Tirmidhi no. 2301.

And he mentioned them while he was reclining, then he sat up and said:

“And I warn you against false speech, and I warn you against false speech. Rather: False testimony.” Al-Bukhari no.2654 and Muslim no.87.

- and he continued to repeat it, until we wished that he would be silent.

So these false testifiers must turn to Allaah in repentance and retract their testimony. Likewise the mother, since she signed on behalf of her daughter untruthfully, she has sinned by that, and she must turn in repentance to Allaah and she must not do such a thing again.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen
Fataawa Islamiyyah, Darussalam, volume 5, pages 438/439
Other subjects of interest:

Marriage and Engagement
Family and Society
Divorce and Separation
Child Custody
Buying and Selling
Loans and Mortgages

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