Forced marriage

There is no place for forced marriage in Islam.

While the practice of forced marriage seems to be in decline, it does still raise its ugly head from time to time. Some have even tried to defend this cultural practice as ‘Islamic’.

Islam is clear in giving the right to choose a partner to both the bride and the groom. Consent of both parties is an essential component of a valid marriage.

Forced marriages should not be confused with arranged marriages where, as is often the case in many cultures, extended families may suggest potential suitors, parents help in matchmaking, etc. This can be a perfectly acceptable tradition, so long as the couple are free to make their own choice of partner.

We adopt the Islamic view that a woman can propose marriage, give her own consent for marriage, can keep her family name, and if things go wrong, can also seek divorce of her own volition. She is not reliant on any male relatives for such matters.