Forced marriage is allowed in Islam

Misconception: Forced marriage is allowed in Islam

Background: Some think that consent of the bride and/or groom is not needed in marriage or as long as the parents of the female agree to the proposal then it is allowed.

Forced marriages are clearly not acceptable according to The Quran:

O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit the women by forcibly/unwillingly… [4:19]

Marriage is done by mutual agreement:

And if you divorce the women, and they have reached their required interim period, then do not prevent/hinder them that they marry their partners if they mutually agree between themselves in a kind/equitable manner… [2:232]

In the following verse, it is also made clear that a couple undergoing divorce can only get back together if they both wish to:

And the divorced women shall wait for three menstruation periods; and it is not lawful for them to conceal what God has created in their wombs, if they believe in God and the Last Day. And their husbands would then have just cause to return together, if they both wish to reconcile… [2:228]

All examples in The Quran involving decisions between marriage partners are in the reciprocal Arabic word form, e.g. “taraadaa” [2:232-233, 4:24], “tashaawar” [2:233], which means they are mutual.

The relationship between a husband and wife is discussed in affectionate terms in The Quran, not of one enforcing decisions on the other:

And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect. [30:21]

…They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them…. [2:187]

And they say, “Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and let us be the foremost among the righteous.” [25:74]

In The Quran, there is a pre-marriage requirement for a male to give the female a dower, see the following examples in which the female is involved in the decision making process:

And give the women their due dowries willingly, and if they remit any of it to you of their own will, then you may take it with good feelings. [4:4]

…And unto those with whom you desire to enjoy marriage, you shall give the dowers due to them; but you will incur no sin if, after [having agreed upon] this lawful due, you freely agree with one another upon anything else… [4:24]

Lastly, The Quran reminds us that believers are those who conduct their matters by mutual consultation/counsel [42:38].