Divorced Woman Prevented from Remarrying by Her Parents
Fatwa No: 82526

Question

Can a divorced woman with a child get married without the consent of her parents? What is the ruling when the parents object and prevent their divorced daughter (after the Iddah period) from getting married to one whom she likes? Are there any virtues of a girl marrying a man who has embraced Islam? What is the ruling of marrying a person whom you have fallen in love with and you know very well he/she will be your ideal husband /wife? Do the Parents have a right to keep a girl unmarried? Will she be disobeying her parents, if she gets married without the consent of her parents?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The woman should not, under any circumstances, marry without the consent of her Wali (guardian). No doubt that the father of the woman is her legal guardian. The evidence for this is the general ruling set by the Hadeeth: “There is no marriage except with [the consent and presence of] a Wali (guardian).” [An-Nasaa-i, At-Tirmithi and Ahmad]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also said: “Any woman who gets married without the consent of her Wali, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid.” [Al-Haakim, Ahmad and others]

So, the majority of the Muslim scholars (Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’i, Ahmad and others) consider that this kind of marriage is invalid based upon the above Hadeeth. We believe that this opinion is sound and everyone should accept its ruling.
As for your second question, know that the opinion of the father predominates over the opinion of the daughter. He is more able than her to perceive the benefits for her future life.

Thus, she does not have the right to disagree with him since she might not know the reasons why he refused her to marry a certain person. At the same time, a father has no right to refuse the marriage of his daughter to a suitable match, especially when the man wants to marry her and she is also interested in him. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said in this concern: “If a man whose religion and moral conduct are pleasing to you proposes to you, then let him marry; otherwise there will be great mischief and corruption on earth.” [At-Tirmithi]

If the father refuses to marry her to a good suitable match without any legal reason, then she has the right to take legal action; i.e., to complain in an Islamic court or to some Muslim authorities or Muslim centers to protect her from that injustice and help her get her right of marrying a suitable man who wants to marry her.

As for your third question concerning merits of marriage to a new Muslim, the answer is that generally speaking marriage is preferable, but any particular distinction if done with a new Muslim are unknown to us.

We believe that in marriage the most important criteria are religion and good moral character.

As for your question about marrying a person whom you like, then marriage is actually founded on love and mercy.

Allah Says (what means): {And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who reflect.} [Quran 30: 21]

No doubt the fact that both spouses love each other is among the important ways of prolonging and strengthening this love.
This is why it is lawful for the one who proposes marriage, to look at his intended wife to find something that he likes about her.

The answer to your fifth question is included in the answer to your third one.

Allah knows best.

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