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Are There Any Legal Leeways to Get Over the Refusal of a Guardian Regarding an Interracial Marriage?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum,

I would like to know what are the options available for a woman whose guardian prevents her to marry another respectable muslim based only on cultural and racial considerations?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The basis is that a woman needs the permission and consent of her guardian (wali) before marrying, and doing anything otherwise would be wrong, and even sinful if it causes undue hurt to her parents.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There is no marriage without the consent of the guardian.” [Tirmidhi & Abu Dawud]

However, in cases of serious difficulty in obtaining the permission of the guardian, there is legal basis for her to marry without his permission.

As Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam writes, “…this acceptability is merely a concession which may be resorted to in situations of need and a blessing for those women who fall victim to their parents’ mistreatment and abuse. In cases where parents force their daughter to marry against her wishes– based purely on caste, wealth, and other similar preferences– and give more importance to their personal gain over and above her interests, this ruling can be an important haven.” [Elucidation of Forty Hadiths on Marriage]

Though this is not a general ruling, and it is certainly not permission for “couples” to make their own mind up about whether or not they have a legitimate excuse.

Hence, I’d advise getting in touch with a local, righteous scholar who can directly assist in your situation. With that, pray the Prayer of Need (salat al-hajah). [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?]

Please also see: Video: Finding a spouse, maintaining strong marriages and: Marriage in Islam: A Reader and: Supplicating So Parents Accept My Choice for Marriage

And consider taking: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani