Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
If a girl and a boy want to marry each other at the age of 15 or 16, is it right? If they do not inform their parents, Islamically, is that right or wrong?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure, and the Lord’s anger is in the parent’s anger.” [Tirmidhi]
I don’t know the specifics of your situation. The general rule is that secret marriage is strongly discouraged. There are exceptions, but these are very rare, and you must consult a trustworthy and knowledgeable local scholar before making any decisions.
Your father is your mahram, and you are under his guardianship. It would break his heart, and your mother’s, for you to marry in secret. Hurting them like that counts as a major sin.
If you were an older, divorced woman with knowledge about men and the world, then things would be differet. However, you are very young, have never been married, and I am concerned for your long-term well-being.
It sounds like you are already in love and fear committing sin. I see four options:
a) End this relationship temporarily
Take a break from each other. Revisit the conversation about marriage when you are both older, calmer, and less emotionally attached. Be honest with yourselves. If you weren’t already so in love, would you both make a good match? Do you both resolve conflict well? Is he able to financially provide for you? Would he make a good father for your children?
b) End this relationship permanently
This will take a lot of self-control. Give this relationship up for the sake of Allah, and for your own long-term happiness. Heartbreak is devastating, but you will recover over time. Additionally, Allah has already determined who you are meant to marry. If he is written for you, then you will marry when the time is right. If he is not, then no amount of forcing the issue will make it happen.
c) Get married in secret
I strongly advise against this. In addition to deeply hurting your parents, you risk falling pregnant. No contraception is 100% effective. What will you do if you fall pregnant? Your child will be legitimate because of your marriage contract, but what will you say to your parents? That you marred in secret, are sexually active, and are unprepared to raise a child?
d) Get married with your parents’ blessings
This will take a lot of courage, but if written, will bring about tremendous khayr in your dunya and akhirah. Please speak to your parents, and be honest about how you want to get married. For young marriage to work, you will need the support of both of your families. Marriage is something sacred and beautiful in our deen, and is something that ought to be celebrated openly. The first year of marriage is challenging, so having your family’s support would be invaluable.
Prayer of Guidance
Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times to help you reach a final decision. Watch what Allah unfolds for you. Whatever Allah makes difficult is not good for you, and whatever He facilitates is better for you. For example, if you speak to your parents and they strongly oppose the idea of you getting married, then that is your sign to end this relationship. However, if your parents are supportive, then that is your sign to get married.
I encourage you both to complete this excellent course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.
A successful Islamic marriage needs more than love. It needs a strong foundation of sincere concern for one another, for the sake of pleasing Allah. Young marriage, in particular, needs the emotional and often financial support of families. For example, a young married couple may not be able to afford to rent their own apartment at first. If there is enough room, then a more feasible option is staying with either the bride’s parents or the groom’s parents.
Dear sister, please choose wisely. When you are 15, it is harder to think long-term. Your frontal lobe, the part of your brain that is responsible for reasoning and long-term planning, is still developing. Studies show that the frontal lobe fully develops by the age of 25. That is still ten years away for you. This is why consulting with your elders is so important, until you are mature enough to make decisions more independently. My biggest concern for you is the long-term impact of making a rash decision now.
Young marriage can work, but with the combined effort of more developed frontal lobes, such as those of your parents, and your older siblings.
I pray that Allah grants you patience, wisdom, and acceptance of His Decree. When the time is right, I pray that Allah grants you a tranquil marriage, righteous children, and the blessings of your parents.
Can I Marry in Secret With the Minimum Conditions for a Valid Marriage in Order to Avoid Fornication?
Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.