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A Guardian Refuses to Marry His Daughter Off: Can She Marry Herself?

06 February, 2019
Q Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. A father is not willing to marry his daughter off and justifies his decision saying that the personality of the person is not attractive and he has a dark complexion. Otherwise, he is employed, educated and noble. Who can help the girl to marry that person? What does our religion say about this issue? Is the father's presence during marriage contract obligatory? What is the case if no blood relatives are present as the father does not want anyone to participate? Jazakum Allahu Khayran.


Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

You have every right to marry the person you have chosen as long as the above criteria are fulfilled. Your parents’ objections based on color, and so on are clearly invalid.

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In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada , states:

Marriage is primarily intended to protect the person’s chastity by guarding against fornication, and thus, enable each other to build the foundations of a happy family. These principles are only fulfilled when the parties enter into marriage with full consent, of their own accord, without any external pressure.

It is, therefore, important for people to choose marriage partners who have good character, moral integrity and faith. The role of parents in the marriage of their children is limited. They are only to ensure that the latter makes the right choice.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If a person of pleasing character and faith comes forward as a suitor, accept him/her; otherwise, you are opening the door to corruption.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Therefore, it is imperative that parents agree to marriage once these criteria have been fulfilled.

 The role of the daughter’s guardian, whether he is a father or a relative, with regard to her marriage is to guarantee that she selects a good candidate for marriage.

 It is not Islamic to prevent a girl to marry someone who has good morals and he is compatible with her on the pretext that he has a dark complexion or something similar.

Guardians should fear Almighty Allah regarding their daughters and should not help Satan against them. This is especially so in this world where vice is widespread and every responsible person is asking Almighty Allah to protect his dependents against falling prey to sin and vice.

You have every right to marry the person you have chosen as long as the above criteria are fulfilled. Your parents’ objections based on color, and so on are clearly invalid.

I advise you to approach your parents again either by yourself or through wise people in the community they trust in order to urge them to change their minds.

If they persist in their refusal, you have the right to marry the person you choose. In this case, you should ask the next closest male relative to give your hand in marriage on your behalf.

If no one is willing to do so, you are free to delegate someone as your representative and get married.

Marriage performed in this way under the above circumstances is considered perfectly valid in Islam.

Having said this, however, I must also point out that you should still seek to establish good relations with your parents. May Allah inspire all of us to speak and act correctly.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.