Father Can Arrange a Prepubescent Daughter’s Marriage without Consent?

Ustadh Farid Dingle answers a question about a father forcing his prepubescent daughter to marry.

From what I have read on another website, a father can forcefully arrange his daughter’s marriage without her consent if she is prepubescent. Why is this allowed?

Even if this marriage is supposed to have a clear interest for her, this does not mean she is ready to be married. If she is forced to be married when she doesn’t want to, then she will be trapped in an extremely miserable, depressing, and ungrateful life.

Is there any way she can get out of a marriage she does not want to be in so soon? Please answer.

Dear questioner

While it may be true in principle that the father has the right to marry his prepubescent daughter to a suitable match even without her consent, it is not the Islamic teaching, and is not what is applied by most Sharia-influenced laws applied in many Muslim countries.

The Islamic teaching here is to have the daughter’s full, un-coerced approval. “The Prophetic example is that the guardian asks her permission before marrying her off.” (al-Ikhtiyar)

Many Islamic family law codes stipulate that the daughter be 18 years old and that she give her explicit approval. I would suggest you have a scholar discuss this issue with your guardian and family.

Please also see: My Father Is Emotionally Blackmailing Me to Get Married. What Do I Do?

N.B. I wouldn’t agree wholeheartedly with the statement in the answer above that “Your marriage contract is invalid if you are forced into it,” as we have mentioned.

I pray this helps

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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