Thank you for writing to us. I will try to respond
to your question in the light of Javed Ahmad Ghāmidī’s views. Please note that
the Islamic sharī‘ah gives all the right both to male and female adult believers
to choose their marriage partner. However, we are obliged to follow the norms of
the society. And just as we are obliged to respect the parents and give them due
regard they too are expected to be considerate. It is no doubt very important to
seek the backing of the parents and family and their open approval, for no
marriage is successful without backing and support from the family and friends.
When we marry on our own we have no guarantor, in absence of the society, family
and friends, to protect the rights of any of the couple. We know that our
relationship does not go on smooth forever. There are always hard times when
friends and family step in and provide us moral and social support. Since we
know that Islam not only promotes the institution of family, it explicitly
introduces measures to keep the union intact. Here we can see that the Islamic
teachings implicitly stress the importance of the role of the parents, the
elders and the society. This is why approval and support of the parents is very
necessary and you seem to acknowledge that. I would suggest you try to talk to
your parents respectfully and with the help of their friends and other elders
among the near relatives. Their help can be of great help in setting the affair.
Pray to God to help you put your problem before your family. You should not
leave any stone unturned in trying to please them before taking a serious step.
Having said that, I must clarify that parental consent is
not a condition of the validity of a marriage. You can, therefore, decide to go
for the court marriage if all efforts fail and you realize that your right is
unjustly being denied you. In that case, the position of the parents and family
will be replaced by the court. This, however, may demand from you the price of
losing the love and care of your family and the society and if, God forbid, your
husband does not behave well in future you may find yourself helpless.