Forced marriages are not acceptable to Islam.
Parents are required to play a very active role when it comes to making
decisions about their children’s marriage, but the final consent lies with the
ones who are expected to sign this social contract. If that right is not upheld,
obviously, many problems will result. Our religion, on the other hand, places
great emphasis on the sanctity of a healthy household and a loving family, for
they are the backbone of an ideal Islamic society.
One will find numerous Āhadīth relating to the woman’s
consent in marriage. Of course, that is because society, over the years, has
mostly kept women in repression and not men. Thus, if intelligibly considered,
such Āhadīth serve to highlight the importance of consent on the part of both
the man and the woman. For example:
Ibn ‘Abbās reported that a girl came to the Messenger
of Allah and she reported that her father had forced her to marry without her
consent. The Messenger of God gave her the choice... between accepting the
marriage or invalidating it. (Musnad Ahmad, No: 2469)
Another observer narrates the same report, but adds:
The girl said: ‘Actually, I accept this marriage, but I
wanted to let women know that parents have no right to force a husband on them’.
(Ibn Mājah, No: 1873)