Are Forced Marriages Permissible in Islam?

A woman has the right to accept or reject marriage proposals and her approval is required to complete the marriage contract. She cannot be forced to marry someone against her will and if this occurs for cultural reasons, it is in direct opposition of Islam. By the same principle, women also have the right to seek divorce if they are dissatisfied with their marriage.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), prohibits forcing a virgin in marriage without her permission, whether it be her father or someone else:

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “A non-virgin woman may not be married without her command, and a virgin may not be married without her permission; and enough permission for her is to remain silent (because of her natural shyness).” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and others]

In Islam, marriage is based on mutual peace, love, and compassion. God says about Himself, “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy…” (Quran 30:21)

Muhammad (pbuh) embodied the best character and is a role model for all Muslims. His example of being helpful around the household and treating his family with compassion and love is a tradition that Muslims strive to implement in their daily lives. Muhammad (pbuh) treated his wives with the utmost respect and honor and was never abusive towards them. One of his traditions clearly states, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives.”

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