Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Know that if a mature , sane girl requests that her guardian (such as her father) marry her off to a suitable match, it is obligatory for the guardian to promptly marry her off out of preservation for her [m: chastity]. If he prevents her, he is sinful. Our jurists refer to this prevention as `adl , which is forbidden and falls under the category of minor sins. Because of this, the girl can now bring her case before a judge. If he establishes that her guardian indeed prevented her from marrying a suitable match, he now has the right to marry her off against the guardian's consent. If the girl doesn't bring her case before a judge and the guardian repeatedly prevents her, the `adl becomes a major sin and the guardian thereby becomes morally corrupt (Ar. fasiq) (Allah be our refuge). The guardianship is then transferred from him to one with less right to it, such as her brother, who then marries her off against her father's will, as is established and well-known in the books of our imams.
It is obligatory for guardians to fear Allah regarding their sons and daughters and to look out for their religious and this-worldly interests without obstinacy, for this is their duty that Allah has enjoined upon them, “for every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you is responsible for his flock.” 
I say to this girl that if your father insists on preventing you and you genuinely fear falling into shameful acts, you can follow the Hanafi school with regards to the validity of marriage with two witnesses and without a guardian, but on condition that the groom is a suitable match . The girl should be wary of marrying out of mere caprice lest she fall prey to the morally corrupt without discerning a Muslim who is worthy of marriage from other than him. For this reason, Allah (Most High) caused the father and guardians like him to be responsible for the woman's marriage, as they are generally more capable of determining who is righteous from others.
And Allah knows best.
Amjad Rasheed, Tarim
(Translated by Sidi Moustafa Elqabbany)
Shaykh Amjad Rasheed is a Jordanian Shafi`i faqih and PhD in Islamic Law. He has studied under top scholars in Jordan, Syria, and Tarim, and obtained ijazas from his teachers. He is a student of Shaykh Nuh Keller, and is currently teaching the Shariah sciences, including high-level texts in fiqh and usul, at the Faculty of Shariah in Tarim (Hardamawt, Yemen) under the guidance of his teacher the noble faqih and mufti Shaykh Muhammad al-Khatib.
1. i.e. Having passed puberty. 2. `adl -- spelled `ayn (ع), dod (ض), lam (ل) -- means severity or harshness, in contrast to `adl spelled with a dal (د) as the middle letter, which means justice. 3. Taken from a hadeeth in Saheeh Al-Bukhari. 4. Suitability in marriages is a technical term of fiqh with specific requirements. ]
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