Freedom in Marriage

Issues concerning freedom may arouse a special sense of curiosity; they always look appealing and interesting to people. Perhaps it is because freedom has been human beings’ ideal throughout history. Everyone is so interested in freedom that they have tried to achieve it through any available means. However, freedom is a broad concept with many aspects which are related to all areas of our lives. This essay will refer to one of its effective and fruitful aspects, which is freedom of choice.

 

The first step in forming a family is choosing a spouse. Now let’s see Islam's point of view toward freedom of choice in marriage:

 

"A marriage is not correct and valid unless through freedom of choice."

 

Such a condition for marriage at the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was very strange and caused fright and anger among people since it was in complete contrast with their core beliefs; at that time women were given a very low rank compared with men, and they were considered inferior to them.

 

Freedom in Marriage

 

Freedom in Marriage & prophet Muhammad


To clarify the Islamic model of a free marriage, here are two stories from that time:

 

A frightened girl came to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and while she could hardly breathe, said to him: “…oh, why is my father like this?”

 

“What has he done?” said the Prophet (PBUH).

 

“He wants me to marry his nephew without asking my idea about him. I do not love him and how can I marry a person whom I do not love?” said the girl.

 

“If you do not love him forget about him and marry the one whom you love.” said the Prophet (PBUH) calmly.

 

The girl was pleased after hearing the Prophet’s (PBUH) words. She said then, “actually, I love him very much and I would not choose anyone else as my future husband instead of him. But since my father did not ask my opinion, I intentionally came here to know your idea. Now that I know what you think, I will tell all the girls that their fathers do not have the right to choose their husbands.”

 

This woman is one of the thousands who made our history, those poor people who lived in the darkness of ignorance. The story mentioned above is a sample of the situation of women in the era of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

 

Freedom in Marriage

Here is another story:

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had one child named "Fatimah Zahra" (AS). She was so dear to the Prophet (PBUH), and everyone knew that. There were some great men who wished to marry her. One of them was Imam Ali (AS), the first successor of the Prophet (PBUH) and the leader (Imam) of Muslims.

 

When he went to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked for his beloved daughter’s hand, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that some others came to him for this reason too, and he shared their requests with his daughter, but she respectfully rejected their marriage proposals. “Now, I will deliver your proposal to her,” said our dear Prophet (PBUH). Then, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) informed his beloved daughter about Ali’s (AS) proposal, but this time and unlike her reply to previous proposals, she remained silent as a sign of satisfaction. So the Prophet (PBUH) went to Ali happily and congratulated him on the good news.

 

The last mentioned story is a very good example of portraying Islam's approach towards marriage and the importance of freedom in it, regarding the lifestyle of our holy leaders.