Can My Mother Force Me to Marry Someone?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

My mother wants me to marry a man living in our house who has helped us before the death of my dad. I am in a relationship with someone else that I love and we want to get married.

Can my mother force me to marry the man she chose?

Answer: Wa alaykum salam

May Allah facilitate ease for you in this challenging situation.

Contrary to the father, the mother may not enforce marriage upon the daughter. Similarly, the validity of a marriage is not dependent on the mother’s approval or permission.

That being said, the mother holds a very high and lofty position in Islam. The Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said, “The parent (mother and father) is the best door to Paradise. You may destroy that door if you wish; or you may protect it.” He sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam also said, “Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers.”

I would advise that you determine why is it that your mother prefers the gentlemen living in your home over your current “partner”. It may be that she believes he is not the right person for you. She may have some insight into the situation that you may not be aware of. I therefore advise that you have a sit down with your mother with an open heart, trying to understand what her reasons are. Mothers only act out of concern for their children. If however, you find that her reasons are not acceptable, then try speaking to one of her friends or a local scholar that may speak to her about your situation.

Nonetheless, always remember that your mother is irreplaceable and that as far as possible, strive to please her.

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.