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How Can a Girl Leave a Marriage That She Was Forced Into?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

 Question: There’s a girl whose parents are forcing her to get her married, while they know she is very hesitant. Out of fear of her parents and family and through a lot of pressure, she is made to say yes in her nikah as her walis (parents) are right next to her. Is the nikah valid at all? And what can she do to get out of it, if it is?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that your friend is going through this trouble. She should have known that the time to speak was not at the nikah ceremony but long before that.

Options

Her options are really two. Assuming that she has consummated the marriage with him, she can ask for a release from marriage by offering a payment to her husband (khul`) or requesting him to divorce her. Both require his consent. See the details here:
https://dev.seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/can-women-stipulate-marriage-contract-right-initiate-divorce/

If she has not consummated the marriage and still has not lived together, she can ask him for an annulment, requiring her consent. She should pray istikhara, discuss the matter with her parents and with the groom, and make haste in her decision not to waste anyone’s time and money any further.

Speak up

Really, her lack of communication and fear drove her to this decision, and she must learn to stand up for herself and speak the truth. Marriage is a weighty matter and not one to stay quiet about. If she does decide to stay, she may come to love the man’s good character, kindness, and care and grow to love him. I pray that she makes the right decision.

Given the considerations in such cases, please consult reliable local scholars about the situation’s specifics—Jazakum Allah khayr.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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