Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My father is blackmailing me to get married against my will. I had someone else in mind, but my father rejected him. Should I just accept his orders so this torture ends, and trust in Allah? Or should I fight for my God-given rights?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]
Dear sister, I am sorry that you are in such a difficult situation. Who you marry is a tremendously important decision, and it must be yours to make. You alone will bear the ultimate brunt of your marriage, whether it be a happy one, or a troubled one.
The fiqh is clear. Your marriage contract is invalid if you are forced into it.
What is your prospective suitor like? Aside from the fact that your father is forcing you, what good qualities does he have? Is he someone you could build a life with? Try to reflect upon this from a place of calm. If he is suitable for you, then I recommend that you give him a chance. If he is not, then you need to speak your truth.
Your sanity and safety matter to Allah. What are the consequences if you go against your father’s wishes? Who can you call on for support? Please proceed wisely.
Please perform the Prayer of Guidance until the day you have clarity, or until the day of your nikah.
Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, before the entry of Fajr. Pour your sorrow out to Allah.
Who does your father listen to? What is your mother’s role in this situation? Can she advocate for you, to your father?
Do you have grandparents, aunts or uncles who can persuade your father not to force you into marriage? If not, can you find a respected member of your community to support you?
Seek comfort in regular recitation and listening to the Qur’an. Listen to podcasts such as Content of Character to inspire you, and to remind you of what is pleasing to Allah.
Please empower yourself with knowledge. When registration reopens, please enrol in Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages and
Excellence with Parents: How to Fulfill the Rights of Your Parents.
All parents are deserving of respect and good character – even abusive ones. The key lies in balance, and this is an ongoing conversation. Do not be a doormat, and do not be an oppressor. Assert yourself with conviction and excellent character.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” [Qur’an, 2:155]
Please know that Allah knows how hard this is for you. Nothing is lost with Him. Do your best to exercise patience tempered with wisdom. Always strive to uphold excellent character, especially when your father does not.
I pray that Allah guides you to what is most pleasing to Him. May He bless you with a loving and tranquil marriage which brings you and your husband closer to Him.
[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.