The Consent of the Girl
It is the girl’s right to make a decision concerning her marriage, and her father or guardian is not permitted to override her objections or ignore her wishes. The Prophet (peace be on him) said, A woman who has been previously married has more right concerning her person than her guardian, and a virgin’s consent must be asked about herself, her consent being her silence. (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Ibn Majah and some other transmitters report the following hadith:
"A girl came to the Prophet (peace be on him) and informed him that her father had married her to her cousin against her wishes, whereupon the Prophet (peace be on him) allowed her to exercise her choice.
She then said, ‘I am reconciled to what my father did but I wanted to make it known to women that fathers have no say in this matter.’
The father of a girl must not delay marriage of his daughter if a proposal is received from a man of equal status who is of sound religion and character. " The Prophet (peace be on him) said, “Three matters should not be delayed: salat when its time comes, burial when the funeral has arrived, and the marriage of a single woman when a man of equal status has proposed.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi.)
He further said, “When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks for your daughter in marriage, accede to his request. If you do not do so there will be corruption and great evil on the earth.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi.)
It is haram for a Muslim man to propose to a divorced or widowed woman during her ‘iddah (that is, the waiting period during which she is not allowed to remarry), for this waiting period is part of the previous marriage and may not be violated. Although one may, during this period, convey his desire for marriage through indirect hints or suggestions, it may not be done through an explicit proposal.
Says Allah (SWT):
"And there is no blame on you in what you proclaim or hide in your minds concerning betrothal to women. Allah knows that ye cherish them in your hearts: But do not make a secret
contract with them except in terms Honourable, nor resolve on the tie of marriage
till the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that Allah Knoweth what is in
your hearts, and take heed of Him; and know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most
Forbearing." (Surah 2: Verse 235)
It is likewise forbidden to the Muslim to propose to a woman who is already betrothed to a brother Muslim; the one whose proposal has already been accepted has acquired a right which must be safeguarded in consideration of goodwill and affection among people, especially among his brother Muslims. However, if the first suitor terminates his betrothal or gives the second suitor his permission, there is no harm in proceeding with it.
Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said,
“A Believer is a brother to another Believer. It is therefore not lawful for him to outbid his brother in buying something or to propose to a woman when his brother has done so, unless he gives him permission.” And al-Bukhari reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “A man must not propose to anther man’s betrothed unless he withdraws or gives him permission.”
Article Contributed by: itsIslam Staff