Allah alone knows the evil that befalls society because women are prevented form getting married or have their marriages unreasonably postponed. We can easily see its affect on morality when we look at the state of affairs in the world around us.
The Prophet (peace be upon him), with the words above, warned us about these negative consequences. The hadîth addresses to the woman's guardians. A guardian who refuses to allow a woman to marry a suitable man of good religion and character who she wishes to marry is, in obstructing her from marriage, compromising his right to act as her guardian. As a consequence, guardianship will be transferred to the next in line for that duty among her relatives.
In Sahîh al-Bukhârî
(5130), Ma`qal b. Yasâr relates:
I got one of my sisters married to a man who later on divorced her. After her waiting period expired, he approached me again for her hand in marriage. I told him: "I let her marry you, I provided for you, and I was generous towards you. Then you divorced her. Now you come to me to marry her again! No, by God, you will never get her back."
He was a decent man, and she wanted to go back to him. Then ALlah revealed the verse: "So do not obstruct those women from marriage."
So I said to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)after hearing this verse: "Now I will consent to let her marry him."
Sheikh Muhammad b. `Uthaymîn says the following:
If a woman's guardian prevents her from marrying a suitable partner of good religion and character, then her guardianship is transferred to the next in line for guardianship among her relatives. If all of her guardians – in succession – refuse, as if usually the case in these matters, then guardianship transfers to the Islamic judge who will facilitate the woman's marriage. It is the duty of the judge to get the woman married once the matter comes before him and he knows of her guardians' refusal. This is because the judge has general jurisdiction over the matter once the specific jurisdiction of her blood relatives is annulled.
The jurists mention that if a guardian repeatedly refuses a woman's qualified suitors, his character is deemed sinful and this disqualifies his guardianship. In fact, according to the established ruling of the Hanbalî school of law, the right of such a man to lead others in prayer is nullified. We can appreciate how serious a matter this is.
Some people whom Allah has entrusted with guardianship refuse to allow the women under their care to marry qualified suitors. The problem is compounded by the fact that many young women are too shy or scared to appeal their cases to the courts. These women need to look at their situations carefully. Is it really better for them to remain unmarried or to marry at the whims of their guardians after many years when good marriage opportunities are less likely? Or is it better to seek the intervention of the courts to get married, which is her God-given right?
It is certainly better for her to take her case to court, not only for her own sake, but for the sake of other women who will be emboldened to follow her example. It will likewise be a warning to other guardians who would abuse their authority.
Finally, by taking the matter to court, the woman will be enforcing the Prophet's command: "If a suitor approaches whose religion and character please you, then let him marry. Otherwise, there will be a lot of immorality and corruption in the world."
Sheikh Muhammd b. `Uthaymîn also said:
It is high time that women are emboldened to appeal to the courts when their fathers refuse to let them marry men of commensurate character and religion, so the judge can say to their fathers: "Either let your daughter get married, or I will marry her off or appoint someone who will." It is the daughter's right to appeal to the courts if her father refuses to let her get married.
This is a God-given right. Therefore, it is high time we reach that stage where this is the norm. Unfortunately, most young women are too shy to do that.
And Allah is the one who we beseech for success.