Neither the father nor anyone other than the father may force a woman who is under his guardianship to marry a man that she does not want to many. In fact, her permission must be sought. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“The non-virgin [without a husband] must not be married until she is consulted. A virgin must not be married until her permission is sought.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) how is her permission given?” He said, “By her being silent.” Another narration states, “Her silence is her permission.” Yet a third narration states, “A virgin’s father seeks her permission and her permission is her remaining silent.”
The father must seek her permission if she is nine years of age or above. Similarly, her other guardians may not marry her off except by her permission. This is obligatory upon all of them. If one is married without permission, then the marriage is not valid. This is because one of the conditions of the marriage is that both partners accept the marriage. If she is married without her permission, by threat or coercion, then the marriage is not valid. The only exception is in the case of the father and his daughter who is less than nine years of age. There is no harm if he gets her married while she is less than nine years old, according to the correct opinion. This is based on the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) marrying Aisha without her consent when she was less than nine years old, as is stated in authentic Hadith. However, if she is nine years old or more, she cannot be married, even by her father, except with her consent. The husband should not approach the woman if he knows that she does not want him, even if the father approves of it. He must fear Allah and not approach any wife that did not want him even if her father claims that he did not coerce her. He must avoid what Allah has forbidden for him. This is because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ordered that her permission must be sought. We also advise the woman to fear Allah and to accept the man if her father finds that he is suitable to marry her, as long as the prospective groom is good in his religion and character. This is true even if the one who is doing the marrying is not the girl’s father [but her legal guardian]. We make this advice because there is lots of good and lot of benefits in marriage. Also, there are lots of hazards in living as a maiden. I advise all young ladies to accept those men who come to them if they are qualified. They should not use schooling, teaching or other causes as an excuse to avoid marriage.
Shaikh ibn Baz
1. These narrations are recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.–JZ