Are arranged marriages condoned in Islam?
  • If by “arranged marriage” one means that a man and woman are not permitted to meet before marriage or are forced to marry against their will, this is a cultural practice in some Muslim societies and is not based on Islamic teachings. In fact, according to Islamic teachings, both the man and the woman must give their permission before marriage, and a person whose consent was not taken can automatically be divorced from his or her spouse. If by “arranged marriage” one means that a couple meets through referrals by family or friends, and freely choose to marry or not afterwards, this is still a common practice among Muslims, although increasingly young people are meeting in college, at work or online. Note that matchmaking exists in other religious traditions, such as Orthodox Judaism, and is a growing option for busy professionals among Americans of all faiths through private and internet matchmaking services.