Secret marriage

Q 30: There is a young man whose parents asked him to marry a woman whom he dislikes. If he does not marry this woman, they will never forgive him. Is it obligatory on him to marry this woman whom he dislikes to avoid the wrath of his parents and to seek their pleasure? Is `Urfi marriage (without an official contract) which is kept secret permissible? Is it obligatory on the husband to tell his parents about his marriage?

A: First, obedience to parents is obligatory. (Part No. 19; Page No. 135) The son is also obliged to honor and treat them kindly as the texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah indicate. But, he is not obliged to obey them with regard to marrying a woman whom he does not want. He disobeys them for his fear of the bad consequences of such an unwanted marriage which may lead to divorce. He should in all cases consider his parents, treat them gently, avoid the clash of opinions, and be careful of harsh treatment. He should therefore go ahead and do what he sees is beneficial for himself, as he is aware of his own needs and personality. Second, public announcement is the basic element of a Muslim marriage, and it is impermissible to keep it secret. There are great and clear-cut wisdoms behind the obligation of making the marriage public, amongst them is to distinguish it from adultery which is committed in secret. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.