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Stopping a forced marriage

Fatwaa ID: 2004

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatu, I’m a 17 year old girl.

Exact 4 months ago I was engaged to a guy that my family is close with. My father spoke to him and said he has a good personality and told us to see each other. I saw him for few mins, yet i did not know anything about himself because it was a quick 5 minute meeting. Therefore I took my father’s words and said “if you think he’s good then he is “ So i did not say anything specific. Then we went on a “date” to learn more about each other. I refused at first because it was going to be us alone and that is prohibited as i’ve read in books and i wanted nikkah to be done first in order to not commit any zina.But i couldn’t marry a guy without speaking to him or knowing who he is. He told me his childhood stories mostly but he never spoke about how he sees life or how he is currently. I noticed he did not lower his gaze at all, it is lawful to look with the intention of marrying the individual yet to me it looked like he was looking in lustful ways.I ignored that action of him . He was nice with his words, no disrespecting comments or any inappropriate words. Then we did not speak for a month. After a month to my engagement , my father told me that i should start talking to him to know more about him. We started chatting and we both were shy so it was only greetings. Then he wanted to meet me again. That was our second date. He made threatening jokes, abusive jokes( such as “ If i come home and the food isn’t ready i will beat you up so make my food ready right before i come”) and he said “If we argue, know that i’ll leave the house and not be back for hours or days and it’s upto me to decide” I told him this is wrong and we should learn to understand each other especially when i’m 17 and he’s 23 . I also ignored this because i have never ever disagreed to my parents and i hoped that he changed his words. One day i thought about it and finally told my parents about this, my mother spoke to him and he decided to make it up by bringing me out anywhere i wished but he kept saying “it’s ur chance so use it up because i won’t be doing what you ask all the time” Further on, just last month i found out many other sins he has been committed and one of them was being sexually active with different women even during our engagement. I did have some jealousy because he is out with another 2 other girls while saying i will be his wife. All these actions to me seemed like he’s true identity is being revealed so one night I prayed tahajjud and ever since then i have the stubborn thought of not marrying him. I told my parents to stop the engagement but they are saying he will change his actions and so on. They also fear that people will put my reputation down and i should just marry him at this point.My parents saying “ you agreed at first so this is not a force mariage and men cheat whatever” in a anger tone. They have also abused me to change my mind about this yet i didn’t. Earlier this morning, December 5th, I prayed Istikhara for guidance. And i have finally decided to ask any Imam if there’s more ways to stop this engagement.

I agreed to this marriage because my father said he is a good man but turns out he isn’t.I did not go for his look, nor his wealth because i did not see that. I thought he could at least have character and Din but no he did not have any of the above. My father and his father gave each other a promise type of speech. My father don’t want to break his promise because he is not seeing a valid reason for this engagement to be stopped. I would like you to give me advice on what is right in this situation. I do not like this guy and did not like him but agreed because my father said he is a good man. Is it lawful for this engagement to be stopped?I do not wish to marry this guy.

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

We take note of the details of your query. We pray that Allaah Ta’aala makes it easy for you.

At the outset, we would like to point out that unrestricted and unmonitored seclusion between non-mahrams is impermissible even if they are potential suitors. Furthermore, your father’s encouragement for you to start talking to him is unbecoming and inappropriate. Likewise, we would like to point out that such long periods of “engagement” is unIslamic and only leads to haraam.

Nevertheless, as long as the nikaah has not taken place, you may break the engagement and call off the marriage. Your father’s insensitivity is unfatherly. He should be considerate of your life and future. Do not expect a suitor to change, especially after whatever he has thus far manifested. Whatever you have seen are valid reasons to say no and break the “promise”. Your parents abusing you, including emotionally, is haraam. You are in your full right to say no to the marriage and call it off. Do not feel compelled to agree to something you will regret for the rest of your life. You have made istikhaarah and decided to say no. You may proceed with that.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

06/16/1445 AH – 12/30/2023 CE | 748

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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