Forced Marriage in the View of Islam
There are many cases of forced marriages that are applied not only against women, and not only in the developing countries of the world, but globally to males and females who are under-aged or adults.
What is a forced marriage?
Based on a UK official website, “forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. It is when you face physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. if you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family).”
Forced marriages, for example, caused by the desire of parents who do not want to give up the perceived nobility of the family line, ethnicity/nationality, or due to business relationships may create an unhappy marriage. It is stated in the Arab News that over the summer holidays, forced marriage is likely to increase in Britain, i.e. when the daughter goes on vacation and without her knowledge, when she is asked to marry with a man chosen by her parents.
According to the data cited by The Guardian, more women than men were helped by the FMU (Forced Marriage Unit) in the UK. In 2012-2013, 82% of the victims of forced marriage were female, and 18% were male. More than half of the victims that the FMU dealt with were under 21, with one in eight under the age of 16 – below the legal age of consent for marriage in the UK. Around a third of the victims were between 18 and 21.
It is important to clarify that Islam does NOT allow forced marriages. Even marriage conducted without permission may cause the marriage itself to be considered invalid.
In the Holy Quran, it is mentioned that:
O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion…” (An-Nisa 4:19).
This is confirmed by the following hadiths:
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No previously-married woman should be married off without being consulted, and no virgin should be married off without asking her permission.” They said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what is her permission?” He said: “If she remains silent.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4843; Muslim, 1419.
It was narrated from Khansa’ bint Khizaam al-Ansaariyyah that her father married her off when she had been previously married, and she did not like that. She went to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he annulled the marriage. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4845.
And it was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a virgin girl came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him that her father had married her off against her objections. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave her the choice. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2096; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
Therefore, forced marriage is not derived from the teachings of Islam. Islam glorifies the prestige of a woman and she is even entitled to refuse when the man who is proposed to her is not her own choice.