Can a muslim girl marry without the consent of her parents?

Q:

Assalamualaikum, i wanted to know if a girl can give her permission to marry in islam without having her wali’s(father)permission? I am 20 and i have a bf. Both of his parents have agreed to let us marry but my mother said i should wait until I’ve graduated and not before my two elder sisters (age 23 and 28 ) is married(  also both of them are in a relationship and are planing to get married after 3years)My mother says i cant get married before my sisters as its not in our culture but i am afraid that i may fall into haram. I prayed to Allah to show me guidance and give me patience to go throw this difficult time. i wanted to end this relationship and we (me and my bf) talked it through that we are gonna break up but its quite difficult because i love my mother and i don’t want to hurt her feelings but also i really want to start over this relationship with my bf by nikkah. My father on the other hand doesn’t care about how we feel and doesn’t wanna listen to what i want to say. My bf is 21 and he is currently doing business and is stable enough to take care for both of us and asked me to wait for 1year and then he is wanna ask for my hand in marriage. My question is, my parents are denying our proposal saying we are too young for marriage and we aren’t stable enough? They are even ready for me to continue doing haram rather than marrying. What should i do? Ive been praying to Allah to show me guidance and give me sabr. i dont want to hurt my parents or anyone i just want to know what is the correct ruling on getting married if the parents are denying the marriage just because of financial stability and young age. Thank you.

A:

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

While answering this question, the best I can do is to cite her one of my earlier answers

“In Islam, it is not a sin if you feel a special affinity or inclination towards a certain individual since human beings have no control on such natural inclinations. We are, however, definitely responsible and accountable if we get carried away by such feelings and take specific actions or steps that might be deemed as Haram (forbidden).

As far as male and female interaction is concerned, Islam dictates strict rules: It forbids all forms of ‘dating’ and isolating oneself with a member of the opposite sex, as well indiscriminate mingling and mixing.

If, however, one does none of the above, and all that he or she wants is to seriously consider marrying someone, such a thing itself is not considered Haram. In fact, Islam encourages us to marry persons for whom we have special feelings and affinity. Thus, Islam recommends that potential marriage partners see one another before proposing marriage. Explaining the reason for such a recommendation, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “That would enhance/foster the bonding.”

This permission notwithstanding, we are advised against getting carried away by merely the outward appearances of a person; these may be quite misleading. Marriage is a life-long partnership and a person’s real worth is determined not by his or her physical looks, but more so by the inner person or character. Hence, after having mentioned that people ordinarily look for beauty, wealth and family in a marriage partner, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, advised us to consider primarily “the religious or character factor” over and above all other considerations.

Further, Islam’s insistence on parental involvement in the selection process is to ensure that a person exercises his or her choice correctly. In other words, so parents can step in if there is a serious issue of compatibility.

Compatibility entails a person’s worth in a spiritual and moral sense: the only primary criterion that makes or breaks a marriage. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “If a person of acceptable religion and character presents himself for marriage, marry him, otherwise, there would be widespread sedition and rampant corruption in the land.”

Therefore, if you have made a choice based on the above consideration, then your parents have no right to stop your marriage. Since it is your choice to eat the food you wish to eat, likewise, it is your choice to decide whom you wish to choose as a life-long partner. They cannot stop you from marrying the person you want simply because the person is not sharing your culture or ethnic background.

Parents, however, have the authority to intervene should you choose someone of questionable moral and religious character. Should you proceed in such a case against their wishes, your marriage is deemed null and void according to the rules of Islamic jurisprudence.

If, however, your parents objection to your marriage is based purely on racial, cultural or ethnic grounds, you are allowed to seek other channels of authority to intervene in such a case, as long as the person of your choice is of acceptable religion and character. The concerned authority is supposed to get the parental consent to the marriage, but should they insist on their stand, the authority is sanctioned to authorize your marriage.

This last option should only be exercised after you have exhausted all endeavors to communicate with your parents, both individually and through other channels in the community such as elders or respectable leaders or Imams. It is more likely that parents are concerned about their children for genuine reasons, and that once things are explained to them, they will probably, relent.

You may also consult another answer posted here:

Almighty Allah Knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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