The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
maid. She is “free to choose a husband at whatever time she pleaseth”, for the purchase of women is forbidden (Q and A 30).
91.This is My bidding unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves. ¶63
While marriage is enjoined in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá’u’lláh clarifies that it is not obligatory (Q and A 46). Shoghi Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf, also declared that “marriage is by no means an obligation”, and he affirmed that “in the last resort, it is for the individual to decide whether he wishes to lead a family life or live in a state of celibacy”. If a person has to wait a considerable period of time before finding a spouse, or ultimately must remain single, it does not mean that the individual is thereby unable to fulfil his or her life’s purpose, which is fundamentally spiritual.
92.We have conditioned it ... upon the permission of their parents ¶65
In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi has commented on this provision of the law:
Bahá’u’lláh has clearly stated the consent of all living parents is required for a Bahá’í marriage. This applies whether the parents are Bahá’ís or non-Bahá’ís, divorced for years or not. This great law He has laid down to strengthen the social fabric, to knit closer the ties of the home, to place a certain gratitude and respect in the hearts of the children for those who have given them life and sent their souls out on the eternal journey towards their Creator.
93.No marriage may be contracted without payment of a dowry ¶66
The Synopsis and Codification, section IV.C.1.j.i.-v., summarizes the main provisions concerning the dowry. These provisions have their antecedents in the Bayán.