As parents, it makes sense to follow the methods that were used by generations before, such as arranged or assisted marriages; but not as forced marriages, which can seriously harm the children pushed into these farcical marriages.
In Islam, it’s no secret that parents are a direct gateway to Jannah for their children. As Parents, we possess infinite importance, and this is mentioned numerous times throughout the Qur’an and teachings of the Prophet SAW. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Therefore, we have the great responsibility of ensuring that our children grow up to lead Islamic-orientated lives in order to preserve the Ummah and the Deen of Allah. Allah has given considerable importance to parents in taking decisions for their children, which include selecting spouses for their children so they may cultivate fulfilling and successful marriages. These days it is a daunting tasks, parents have to do considering myriads of religious and social decadence in the society.
Today, marriage in Western societies is taking a back seat, as ‘co-habitation’ and having numerous partners is the norm. We have to be involved to prevent fitnah because, while the children are doing self search one of the worst sins that take place is flirtatious, pre marital sex and chatting which can often lead to haram and zina. The Prophet SAW said that when a man and woman are alone together the third person is Shaytan (Bukhari). But parental guidance is helpful to prevent late intervention, sometimes it might be too late, to do a positive assessments, of their partners. We are obviously a major part in deciding potential partners for our children, but, if they do find someone for themselves, it helps to be open and accepting to the idea, and approach such prospective marriages with an open mind. The Prophet SAW advised us that if a child has sought a potential spouse whose Islamic understanding is pristine and possesses a good character, then one should accept the proposal.
As fathers we have the natural intuition of knowing whether a brother or a sister is genuine or not so we can use this to our advantage and make sure we are involved in the discussions at every step of the way, so that our children fall in love with inappropriate person. Parental instincts always kick in when we feel our children are under some kind of stress or threat. It’s completely natural. However, while getting involved we need to be honest with our children. The more the child understands why you do not approve of the person chosen, the more likely she or he to listen to you, but If the child feels his/her future spouse is being attacked, parental involvement will be repelled. Islam does not allow us to force children into marriage, but give us certain rights to intervene by playing detective and finding out everything one can about such; this helps to make a more informed choice for the child, when it comes to marriage. As Parents we shall be held to account for everything that results from poor decisions we make about our children, or they made, while making a choice of spouses.