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Last Updated: 2009/10/30
Summary of question
Is the marriage of a virgin without her father’s permission valid? In the case of her doing such and now wants a divorce, what should she do?
question
It has been several years that I have been married without my father’s consent. Of course later he gave me permission. Now after several years and not having ever consummated the marriage, we want to get divorced. Are both our marriage and divorces valid? This is while my family isn't content with our divorce.
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Detailed Answer

Salam Aleikum and thank you for your question. We wish you success in the path of correction you have chosen for yourself.

According to the Shia point of view, the baligh virgin girl who can distinguish between what is to her benefit and what isn't, must get her father’s or paternal grandfather’s (in the case of not having a father) permission if she wants to get married. In the case of her father or paternal grandfather not being present in a way that she can't get their permission, and her having the need of getting married, their permission will no longer be a condition. The same goes for the woman who isn't a virgin; she doesn’t need to get permission either, if her virginity was lost to a previous husband. In the case of her virginity being lost by a mistaken intercourse, or even adultery, it is a mustahabb precaution to get permission if possible (which means it is better, although it still isn't a condition and isn't wajib).[1] [2]

If your marriage was without your father’s permission, then you need to act according to one of the following that Ayatullahs Khamenei, Makarem Shirazi, Safi Golpaygani and Hadavi Tehrani have said:[3]

Ayatullah Khamenei: It is necessary as an obligatory precaution for the virgin to get the permission of her father or paternal grandfather when getting married and if she gets married without permission, it is an obligatory precaution to either get the permission or for the husband to waive the rest of the marriage period (in temporary marriages) or to divorce her (if the marriage was a permanent one).

Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi: If it is possible, they must get the father’s consent, and if not, the marriage is void, and as an obligatory precaution, the husband should waive the rest of the marriage period if it is a temporary marriage, or divorce her in the case of it being permanent.

Ayatullah Safi Golpaygani: In my humble opinion, as an obligatory precaution, the marriage of a baligh virgin girl must be with the permission of her father or paternal grandfather and in the case of her not getting permission, it is an obligatory precaution that the two get divorced and if they want to get remarried, to do it with their permission. Of course, if the father gives consent to the marriage after it has been done without his permission, the first marriage contract will suffice.

Ayatullah Mahdi Hadavi Tehrani:

1- Getting permission for a virgin girl is in accordance with precaution, although it isn't a condition for the validity of the marriage.

2- In the case of permission being a condition for the validity of a virgin girl’s marriage, even if it comes after the marriage contract has been executed, it will suffice and the marriage will be valid.

3- Divorce is possible in any case, and the consent of the families isn't a condition for its execution.

Therefore, if you got married with your father’s permission, or if according to Ayatullahs Khamenei, Safi, and Hadavi Tehrani, were able to get consent after getting married, your marriage was valid and you can get divorced and since according to what you said, you didn’t consummate the marriage, you will be separated when the divorce is executed and there will be no need for you to observe the iddah (waiting period).[4] But remember that although Islam allows divorce, it frowns upon it. It is good for you to respect some of the social and family norms that aren't hard on you and if you have really made your decision to get separated, to do it in a way that your parents aren't made upset.

For further information, see:

The reason why the virgin girl must get permission for temporary and permanent marriage, Question 2074 (website: 2125).



[1] Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pp. 458-459.

[2] Adopted from Question 3923 (website: 4209).

[3] Religious inquiries from the offices of Ayatullahs Khamenei, Makarem, Safi and Hadavi Tehrani.

[4] Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 529.

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