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Answering Islamophobic Claims

Forced marriages and Islam


It’s become common to the issue of forced marriages, being linked to Islam, that Islam somehow teaches, and sanctions for the act of a forced marriage.

The act of a forced marriage is when either the husband or wife have no say in the marriage, and against their will, are married off anyway.

So what does Islam have to say about forced marriages? Does Islam sanction it? Does Islam call for it? Is there any Islamic text that says you can marry a lady against her will, to force her into a marriage?

The answer is a clear no, in fact Islam says quite the opposite, in the Quran we read the following teaching:

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. (4:19)

So the Quran explicitly says that men cannot inherit women against their will, and so this obviously means that forced marriages aren’t allowed, it can’t get any clearer than that.

The above verse from the Quran should be enough to prove the point, but let’s also consult some of the hadiths for further evidence that Islam does not sanction or allow the act of forced marriages:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: "A virgin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) allowed her to exercise her choice. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 11, Number 2091)"

In this hadith we read about how a virgin was married off against her will by her father, and the virgin went and took her complaint the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) listened to her complaint and gave her the right to exercise her choice in the matter.

In another hadith we read the following instructions from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission [Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.67]

So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) clearly taught that women must be consulted about the marriage, and she cannot be given in marriage unless she grants permission, meaning she accepts it.

In conclusion, the Islamic texts are clear, forced marriages are not allowed in Islam, a women must be consulted, and must give their permission to any marriage. 


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