I do not want to get married but my parents want me to; am I Islamically obliged to agree?
It should be noted that marriage is part of the teachings and practice of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) rebuked those who wanted to remain unmarried. He said: “As for me, I marry women. Whoever turns away from my Sunnah (my way) is not of me.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4776) and Muslim (1401). What is meant by “my Sunnah” is his guidance and path. No one has the right to forsake the path, guidance and Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) for the sake of some worldly matter because he is keen to pursue further studies or earn more money or seek some social position, or because of some specious argument of the evil doers that comes to his mind, and so on.
This teaching is more emphasized at times of fitnah (turmoil or temptation) when a person fears for himself (that he may give into temptation) because there is no control and no one is watching him. So the Muslim is enjoined to seek help in controlling his evil inclinations and in resisting the Shaytaan by all possible means, and he is enjoined to seek and attain chastity. If he fears that he may give in to temptation, then it is obligatory for him to get married, so as to ward off temptation and corruption from his religious commitment.
You should understand that some younger women may be sought in marriage at a specific age, when compatible and righteous men propose marriage to them, but they refuse on the grounds that they want to complete their studies, or they are looking for someone who is more rich, and so on. Then they grow older and spend the rest of their lives waiting. By doing so, they go against the command of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to accept a righteous husband who is religiously committed and of good character.
“If there comes to you one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then give [your daughter or other female relative under your care] to him in marriage, for if you do not do that there will be fitnah in the land and a great deal of mischief.” [Hadeeth narrated by at-Tirmidhi]
By doing that, the woman forgets her true role in life, the purpose for which Allah created mankind in two halves, male and female, and made that one of the signs of His might and power, and of His Oneness, may He be exalted.
See also the answer to question no. 117072
Therefore we do not agree that you should disregard the idea of marriage altogether on the grounds of pursuing further study or seeking material gains. If you do have a clear reason for that, then explain it to your parents and come to some mutual understanding about it, so long as you are not using that as an excuse to forgo marriage altogether and ignore one of the greatest means of maintaining a sound way of life and establishing true servitude (‘uboodiyyah) to Allah in this world.
But if what you meant is that you do not want to marry a particular individual, for some reason, although you accept the principle if a compatible man proposes to you, then this is your right and there is nothing wrong with that; your parents do not have the right to force you to marry a particular person.
Please see also the answer to question no. 163990
And Allah knows best.
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