The Consent of the Woman Before Marriage is Essential, and She Cannot Give Herself Away in Marriage: Shaikh al-Fawzān (Bulūgh Al-Marām)

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Al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullāh) said:

985 (English print, no. 838): Narrated Ibn ‘Abbās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) that Allāh’s Messenger (salallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

الثَّيِّبُ أَحَقُّ بِنَفْسِهَا مِنْ وَلِيِّهَا وَالْبِكْرُ تُسْتَأْمَرُ وَإِذْنُهَا سُكُوتُهَا

“A previously married woman has more right to her person than her guardian. The virgin must be consulted [prior to marriage], and her silence is her consent.”

Reported by Muslim, no 1421, 67.

And in a report:

لَيْسَ لِلْوَلِيِّ مَعَ الثَّيِّبِ أَمْرٌ وَالْيَتِيمَةُ تُسْتَأْمَرُ

“The guardian has no authority to command a previously married woman. And the orphan girl must be consulted (before marriage).”

Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 2100. An-Nasā’i, 6/85. Declared to be authentic by Ibn Hibbān, no. 4089.

986: Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu `anhu) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

لَا تُزَوِّجُ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمَرْأَةَ وَلَا تُزَوِّجُ الْمَرْأَةُ نَفْسَهَا

“A woman cannot give another woman away in marriage, and she cannot give herself away in marriage.”

Reported by Ibn Maajah, no. 1882. Ad-Daaruqutnee, 3/227. All the narrators are trustworthy. The narration is authentic with this wording.

Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān (hafidhahullāh):

This hadeeth just like the previous one proves that a woman cannot give herself away in marriage, she cannot marry herself off. That is because the contract of marriage is the right of the guardian. And were she to marry herself off, then that marriage would be invalid and void, as previously stated. And this is the position of the vast majority of scholars. Furthermore, if it is the case that she can not give herself away in marriage, then likewise she cannot give another woman away in marriage either, because of the fact she does not have the right over the marriage contract; rather that belongs to her male guardian. Meaning that cannot marry off, for example, her daughter, her sister, or a near or far relative because she is not considered to be the guardian in marriage.


Adapted from volume 4: Kitābun-Nikāh (The Book of Marriage) from Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān’s explanation of Bulūgh Al-Marām min Adillatil-Ahkām of Al-Hāfidh Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalāni (born 773H, died 852H), entitled Tas-heel al-Ilmām bi-fiqhil-Ahādeeth min Bulūghil-Marām and is printed in seven volumes.

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