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Marriage Without Parents’ Knowledge

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 4/23/04

Q. A woman married in court in Pakistan shortly after coming of age, without notifying her parents, or asking their view concerning her marriage. Her parents are upset because they would have preferred a better husband for her. Could you please explain the position of her marriage from the Islamic point of view.

(Name and address withheld)

A. The majority of scholars and schools of Islamic law consider it a condition for the validity of a marriage that the woman’s father or guardian should act for her. This is based on the Hadith that states: “No marriage is valid without the presence of the woman’s guardian and two witnesses.” However, the Hanafi school of Islamic law does not make such a condition. It considers the marriage valid when the woman acts for herself, provided that the other conditions are met. The argument of the Hanafi school is based on the fact that when God speaks about marriage in the Qur’an, He attributes all action to the woman herself. Without wanting to go into the merits of either view, we say that both have strong basis.

As this marriage was conducted in a court in Pakistan, where the Hanafi school is predominant, it took into consideration all the legal requirements applicable in the country. Therefore, it is valid and no action needs to be taken on that count. The father may be angry with his daughter, and rightly so, but this does not invalidate the marriage. He himself would not like her marriage to be pronounced invalid, since it has taken place. The other point raised by the family is the social status of the husband and the fact that he is rather poor. The advice I would give to the family is that since their daughter has married the man in full knowledge of his economic circumstances, they should not make it a cause of a problem. In fact, they should try to assist their daughter and her husband if they can, in order to improve their situation. Otherwise, they should place their trust in God and pray to Him to assist their daughter and her husband. They may be poor now, but better days may be in store for them.

Supplication in Prayer

Q. Is it appropriate to pray for oneself during a formal prayer, say, when we prostrate ourselves, or when we bow in ruku’? Which is the best time for supplication, or dua’?

S. Mohammed

A. Some scholars take a restrictive view, saying that supplication, or dua, other than what the Prophet used in prayer, should be limited to the final part in tashahhud, just before ending prayers. Their view is based on the Hadith that defines prayers as “glorification of God, extolling His praise and reading the Qur’an.” Other scholars take a more general view, considering supplication to be an essential part of worship. These consider that every part of the normal prayer, such as ruku’ and prostration, as well as the standing up position after ruku’, to be good times for supplication. This latter view is perhaps more accurate, particularly when we consider that when we stand up after ruku’, the imam says sami’a Allah-u liman hamidah, which means “may God answer the prayers of a person who is grateful to Him.” The congregation immediately say: “All praise is due to God.” Thus, they recognize His blessings and express their gratitude for them. This means that they are included in the first supplication by the imam, requesting God to answer their supplication. This means, in effect, a request that God answers their prayers. It is, then, time to say such prayers.



Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

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