Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 479 [Read full issue]
The Right To Marry
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 we have made a choice based on the above consideration, then our parents have no right to stop our marriage. Since it is our choice to eat the food we wish to eat, likewise, it is our choice to decide whom we wish to choose as a life-long partner. They cannot stop us from marrying the person we want simply because the person is not sharing our culture or ethnic background.
Parents, however, have the authority to intervene should we choose someone of questionable moral and religious character. If, however, our parents' objection to our marriage is based purely on racial, cultural or ethnic grounds, we are allowed to seek other channels of authority to intervene in such a case, as long as the person of our 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 our marriage.
This last option should only be exercised after we have exhausted all endeavors to communicate with our 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.
“IslamOnline.Net” – Ahmed Kutty