“The Consent of the Woman Before Marriage is Essential, and She Cannot Give Herself Away in Marriage.” The Book of Marriage, Buloogh al-Maraam, Explanation of Shaikh al-Fawzaan


Title: Kitaabun-Nikaah (The Book of Marriage) from Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan’s explanation of Buloogh al-Maraam min Adillatil-Ahkaam of Al-Haafidh Ahmad Ibn `Alee Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee (Born 773H, Died 852H). Shaikh Al-Fawzaan’s tremendous explanation is entitled Tas-heel al-Ilmaam bi-fiqhil-Ahaadeeth min Bulooghil-Maraam and is printed in seven volumes. The following is a translation of this important and very enlightening chapter, adapted in places for brevity and simplicity. The following is from volume 4.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullaah) said:

985 (English print, no. 838): Narrated Ibn `Abbaas (radiyallaahu `anhumaa) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) 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-Nasaa’ee, 6/85. Declared to be authentic by Ibn Hibbaan, no. 4089.

986: Narrated Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu `anhu) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) 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 Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:

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 position of the vast majority of scholars. Furthermore, if it is the case that she can cannot 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.