What do the pious and expert scholars of Islam say: my parents want me to marry a person I don’t approve of, can I say no?
Yes, this is very clear as there are two conditions in marriage. The first is that there must be witnesses and the other is that you must give your consent. Without the consent, without that permission, there is no marriage. Any kind of coercion into marriage would make it null.
There is a very beautiful example in the life of the Prophet ﷺ; it is a story which is narrated by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. A young woman came to the Prophet ﷺ mentioning that she had been married against her will to her cousin. She was interested in another man called Abu Lubabah but her father wanted her to marry her cousin. When the Prophet ﷺ heard about this he ﷺ said that the marriage was void and she should marry someone of her choice.
And Allah ﷻ knows best
Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari
Director of British Fatwa Council