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Question 076: I am 48 years old. I love a girl 44 years of age. We want to get married by nikah. The girls father has passed away. She has two brothers who will not allow her get married because she is the hard worker of their family business. She has to do all the work whereas the elder brothers do not contribute. We really want to be together through nikah, as we are deeply in love. Please, tell me what to do? So, please tell me about Father’s permission for marriage and Brother’s consent if it is required?

Answer 076: According to maraja, a rashidah virgin girl whose father passed away doesn’t need others’ permission to get married. [1]

In marrying a virgin woman, whether Muslim or from Ahlul Kitab, it is necessary to get the consent of her father or paternal grandfather, if she is not independent. However, it is precautionarily obligatory to seek their consent [i.e., of the father or the paternal grandfather], even if she is independent. Consent of the woman’s brother, mother, sister or other relations is not required.[2]

The right of guardianship of the grandfather is not dependent on the father’s life or his death. In case both of them are living. Each one of them shall have right of guardianship independently. Of either of them dies, the survivor shall have exclusive right. While both of them are still living, if either of them initiates in marrying his ward, on chance shall be left for the other.[3]

The consent of the father or the paternal grandfather to marry a virgin woman, who is both adult and sensible, is not required [in the following cases:] if they stop her from marrying someone who is her equal in the eyes of both shar’ia and common practice; if they completely withdraw from the involvement in her marriage; when it is not possible to get their consent because of their absence.[4] In these cases, she is permitted to marry, if she is in need of marriage. The consent of the father or the paternal grandfather is not required in the marriage of a non-virgin woman (that is, a girl who had previously married and had sexual intercourse).[5]

Conclusion: Since the girl’s father passed away and her brothers have no dominance over her, and furthermore she is rashidah, (meaning that she well understands what is to her benefit and what isn’t), you both would be able to get married without their permission.

For further information on this issue, please read the following answers:

Index: Looking at non-Mahram Body for Marriage, answer 611.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

Index: Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

Index: Chatting on the internet with non-Mahram, answer 350.

Index: Shaking Hands with non-Mahram Man or Woman, answer 603.

Index: Fiqhi rights of a father to his children upon divorce, answer 202.

Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja, Issue: 2376; Tabrizi, Minhaj al-Salehin, Vol. 2, Issue: 1237; Wahid, Tawzih al-Masael, Issue: 2440; Khamenei, Istiftaat, Q. 55.

[2] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomieni, Vol. 2, rules regarding authority of guardians to contract marriage and their ward; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Books » A Code of Practice For Muslims in the West, Marriage, General rules.

[3] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomieni, Vol. 2, rules regarding authority of guardians to contract marriage and their ward.

[4] . Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja, Issue: 2377; Ibid, Noori Hamedani, Issue: 2373, Ibid, Vahid, Issue: 2441; Khamenei, Istifta, Q. 83.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Books » A Code of Practice For Muslims in the West, Marriage, General rules.

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