May 18, 2024
Muslim Marriage
Almighty created the opposite sexes for the continuity of the human race and to give strong bonds for creating strong relationships. Hence blood relationship has been proven to be the strongest relationship ever. In this article, we aim to describe the rules for a valid Muslim marriage.

 

Introduction

 What is Muslim marriage? Islam is the voice of human nature. It is the combination of faith and wisdom. Being a complete code of life, Islam guards all natural human rights. Islam argues that man is a social being in its nature, so binding people together in natural relationships is a necessity of life. Allah Almighty created the opposite sexes for the continuity of the human race and to give strong bonds for creating strong relationships. Hence blood relationship has been proven to be the strongest relationship ever. In this article, we aim to describe the rules for a valid Muslim marriage.

          Marriage is a social ritual to create a positive relationship between a male and a female. Islam makes it as simple as possible to promote lawful marriage and eradicate fornication or unlawful relationships. Islam has also granted ideally rational and reasonable laws to strengthen the lawful relationship and discourage the breakage of marriage.

Allah Almighty says:

“And one of His signs is that He has created for you, spouses from amongst yourselves so that you might take comfort in them and He has placed between you, love and mercy. In this, there is surely evidence (of the truth) for the people who carefully think.” (Surah 30, Verse 21)

He a.w.j says:

“O’ mankind!
Have the consciousness of your Lord who has created you from a single soul. From it, He created your spouse and through them, He populated the land with many men and
women. Have spiritual awareness of the One by whose Name you swear to settle
your differences and have respect for the wombs that bore you. Without doubt,
Allah (SWT) keeps watch over you all.”
(Surah 4, Verse 1)

Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with
him) reported that
We were with
the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allah’s Apostle
said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because
it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from
committing illegal sexual intercourse, etc.), and whoever is not able to marry,
should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”

(Sahih
Bukhari: Book of Marriage, 62:4)

 

In Islam, marriage
is considered to be a sacred and important institution that helps to fulfill
one’s spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. The Islamic view of marriage is
based on the teachings of the Quran and the example set by the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Marriage is seen as a contract between two individuals who agree to live together in a partnership based on mutual respect, love, and compassion. It is believed that a successful marriage can lead to the attainment of the ultimate goal of achieving closeness to Allah (God) and fulfilling one’s responsibilities towards their spouse, children, and society.

Islam encourages individuals to get married as soon as they are ready to fulfill the responsibilities of marriage. It is believed that marriage can help to protect individuals from sin, provide emotional and physical support, and create a stable and loving environment for raising a family.

In Islam, marriage is not only a social and emotional union but also a legal one. The marriage contract (Nikah) is a binding agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the husband and wife. It is considered to be a contract that is based on mutual consent and understanding
between the two parties.

Cohabitation without marriage

Cohabiting refers to the act of living together as a couple in a romantic or intimate relationship without being married. It involves sharing a living space, expenses, and daily activities, as well as engaging in a sexual relationship. Cohabitation can be seen as an alternative to marriage or a precursor to marriage for some couples, while for others it may be a long-term arrangement without any plans to get married.
In Islam, cohabitation outside of marriage is considered to be haram (forbidden) and goes against the teachings of the Quran and the example set by Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him). Islam promotes marriage as a sacred and blessed institution that provides a framework for building a stable, loving, and long-lasting relationship between a man and a woman.
The Quran teaches that sexual relationships should only take place within the confines of a legal and valid marriage. In Surah An-Nur (24:32), Allah says, “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.” This verse emphasizes the importance of marriage and encourages Muslims to marry in order to fulfill their physical and emotional needs in a lawful and respectful manner.
Therefore, cohabitation without a valid marriage contract is considered to be a violation of Islamic values and principles. In Islam, marriage is a legally binding contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the husband and wife and provides a framework for building a strong and stable family unit.

 

Followings are the rules for a valid
Muslim marriage according to Hanbali Madhab.

Sec
1.01.   Definition of Nikah

Nikah
is a social contract between two heterosexual persons, to constitute a family for an unlimited period, for the satisfaction of sexual desire and love properly, with
acceptance of full responsibility for all natural consequences of such a
relationship, provided that the burden of expanses of the emerging family would be
on the husband.

Sec
1.02.   Personal Eligibility for Nikah

Each person is eligible for Nikah,
except the person whose sex is not distinguishable, whether it is a male or a female.

Sec
1.03.   Nikah Sahih

The Nikah is said to be Nikah Sahih if it meets the five
conditions given below:

(a)
Identification
of spouses going to marry each other, i.e their full names, fathers’ names, and the clan;

(b)
Consent of
the spouses for marrying to each other, except the maiden;

(c)
Presence of
two witnesses of the Nikah, in the Nikah ceremony,  from adult Muslim men of good character, with the ability to hear and speak;

(d)
Presence of
the supreme Wali of the bride or his Wasi, or his Wakeel, in the Nikah ceremony;

(e)
The offering
of the bride for Nikah, with clear
determination from the side of Wali
or his Wasi or Wakeel and its acceptance from the side of the bridegroom or his Wakeel.

Sec
1.04.   Nikah Fasid

 Nikah that does not meet all
five conditions mentioned in Sec 1.03, is said to be Nikah Fasid, provided
that Nikah is not prohibited by law as mentioned in Sec 1.05.

Sec
1.05.   Nikah Batil

Nikah
that is prohibited by law is said to be Nikah Batil, it is of three types:

(a)
Nikah
of a male or a female with a relation to whom Nikah is prohibited forever, whether it is a blood relationship or
a milk relationship; these relations are

(1)
Real parents
and their ascendants,  how high- so-ever;

(2)
Daughter and
son and their descendants how low-so-ever;

(3)
Real sister
and real brother, step-sister and step-brother from both sides i.e father and
mother

(4)
The children
of brother  and their descendants how
low-so-ever;

(5)
The children
of sister and sister and their descendants how low-so-ever

(6)
Aunt and
uncle from father’s side and their ascendants,
how high- so-ever;

(7)
Aunt and
uncle from mother’s side and their ascendants,
how high- so-ever;

(8)
Parents in
law, and their ascendants,  how high-
so-ever;

(9)
Step-mother and
step-father and their ascendants,  how
high- so-ever;

(10) Daughter-in-law and son-in-law and their descendants how low-so-ever;

(11)
Step-daughter
and step-son and their descendants how low-so-ever,
from a wife or a husband with whom the marriage has been consummated.

(b)
Nikah
of a male with two females of the same blood relationship or milk relationship
is prohibited, these relations may be

(1)
Union of two
sisters in Nikah of the same man;

(2)
Union of a
female with her father’s sister, in Nikah
of the same man;

(3)
Union of a
female with her mother’s sister, in Nikah
of the same man.

(c)
Third type
of Nikah Batil is a collection of
diverse kinds of Nikah prohibited, as follows

(1)
A Muslim
female is prohibited to celebrate Nikah
with a non-Muslim male;

(2)
A Muslim
male is prohibited to celebrate Nikah with a non-Muslim female of a nation, that
is not a Nation of the Book;

(3)
A Muslim
male, may be independent or slave, is prohibited to celebrate Nikah with a non-Muslim female slave,
whatever, her religion be;

(4)
A married
female, being a wife of a male, is prohibited to celebrate Nikah with another
male, until the completion of Iddah
following  three lashes divorce, or death
of her spouse;

(5)
An
independent male is  allowed to celebrate   Nikah
with  four females in his life, so the fifth Nikah is prohibited

(6)
A male slave
is allowed to celebrate Nikah with two
females in his life, so his third Nikah
is prohibited;

(7)
Nikah
with a  fornicator is prohibited until he
repents on her sin;

(8)
When a male
has pronounced Talaq Bayenah to his
spouse, he is not allowed to celebrate Nikah
with the same female again, provided that she fully celebrates Nikah with another person and gets Talaq Bayenah, otherwise Niakh
with her is Nikah Btil;

(9)
Nikah of a
Muslim male or a female in Ihram, dressed for pilgrimage to Baitullah, is prohibited, if accomplished, it is Nikah Batil.

(10)
A person who
accomplishes Lian, is prohibited to
celebrate Nikah with her spouse, to
whom Lian is accomplished;

(11)
When  two males celebrate Nikah with  female relatives
of each other  applying the condition
that there would be no exchange of Mehr,
then such a relationship is Nikah Batil;

(12)
Nikah
for a specified period is Nikah Batil;

(13)
Nikah
with the condition of Talaq after a
determined period is Nikah Batil;

(14)
Nikah
with the condition that the husband would pronounce Talaq to his spouse just after the
accomplishment of consummation is Nikah
Batil.

Chapter
2          Consent of the Spouses

Sec
2.01    Female Spouse’s Consent

(a)
Nobody has a
right to perform Niakah of a female
with any male without her consent or against her will;

(b)
It is
compulsory for the father to take the consent of her daughter, who has ever
accomplished consummation, either legal or illegal, whether with her consent
or against her will, like the female who has acquired Talaq Bayenah after Nikah
Sahih
,  or she has performed Nikah Fasid or Nikah Batil or she has been rapped;

(c)
The consent
of such a female is, necessarily, verbal yes;

(d)
The real
father is recommended without obligation, to take the consent of her maiden
daughter to make her marry a specified male;

(e)
The maiden’s
answer is positive,  or her silence
equals her consent;

(f)
However, the
real father, being the tenderest, has the right to perform Nikah of his maiden daughter to a person of his class, without
taking her consent;

(g)
Nobody,
other than a real father, may enjoy this right.

(h)
If a female
can not declare her consent, being disabled or mentally retarded, her Wali may perform her Nikah without her consent.

Sec
2.02    Male Spouse’s Consent

(a)
Nobody has a
right to  perform Nikah of an adult male to any female without his consent or against
his will;

(b)
An adult
male has the right to celebrate Nikah
with the desired female according to law.

(c)
If a male
can not declare his consent, being or mentally retarded, his Wali may make him marry without his
consent.

 

Chapter 3 Qualification of  Wali, Wasi, and
Wakeel

Sec
3.01.   Qualification of  Wali
      

(a)
Wali
should be an independent, sound-minded, adult, male, Muslim of good character,
the closest relative of the bride based on consanguinity, with essential knowledge
of Nikah and its components;

(b)
In general, the bride’s father is the supreme Wali,
then his ascendants, then her son and his descendants, then her brother from
the common parents, then her brother from her father’s side, then the descendants
of her brother, then her uncle from father’s side and  his descendants, then her father’s uncle and  his descendants, then the person who has
brought her up, then the  relatives closer
and closer based on sanguinity,  as in
heredity;

(c)
A female
slave’s master acts as her Wali;

(d)
A male may
act as Wali of her spouse’s female
slave;

(e)
A female who
has no Wali, Imam or his vicegerent acts as her Wali;

(f)
Imam
or his vicegerent may act as Wali of a female non-Muslim.

Sec 3.02.   (a)    In the presence of supreme Wali,
all other relations remain passive;

(b)    The inferior to
supreme Wali may be active in the following
cases

(1)
Supreme Wali has died;

(2)
He is present
at a distance, at least forty –eight miles, and may not come back in the near
future;

(3)
He is
imprisoned  and  may not be released in the near future;

(4)
He has been
absent for a period of one year, being disconnected, no access to him is possible;

(5)
He does not
fully  qualify to be Wali ;

(6)
He resists
an adult female in his custody, to celebrate Nikah, with a desired male of her class.

Sec
3.03    Qualification of Wasi

(a)
All the
qualities mentioned in Sec 3.01 (a), except the relation with the bride are
required for Wasi;

(b)
Supreme Wali has authorized him as his Wasi in the presence of two witnesses;

(c)
He has right equal to Wali in the case, he has been authorized.

Sec
3.04    Qualification of  Wakeel

(a)
All the
qualities mentioned in Sec 3.01 (a), except the relation with the bride are
required for Wakeel;

(b)
Supreme Wali has authorized him as his Wakeel ;

(c)
He has right
equal to Wali in the case, he has
been authorized;

He
may act in the presence of Wali.

Chapter
4          Offering and Acceptance

Sec 4.01    Offering and acceptance
is the principal component of Nikah,

(a)
The supreme Wali of the bride offers his female relative
i.e bride, to the bridegroom for Nikah,
in return for specified Mehr,  with her full identity, preferably
mentioning  the word Nikah or any  word that is equal to it in a language  spoken by them, other than Arabic;

(b)
Wasi
or Wakeel, authorized by supreme Wali, may act in replace of Wali for offering in an aforementioned
way;

(c)
(1)     The bridegroom  or his Wakeel,
verbally declares that he accepts the offer;

(2)
A dumb may
express his acceptance, through writing or hinting or Wakeel;

Chapter
5          Marriage of non-Muslims

Sec
5.01    Validity of non-Muslim Marriage

Marriage of non-Muslims, performed according to their religion, whatever their religion may be,
is valid, provided that

(a)
They have
not married to the prohibited relations, mentioned in Section 1.05;

(b)
They have
not married for a specified period;

(c)
They have
not married with the condition of optional cohabiting.

Sec
5.02    Validity of Marriage after
Conversion to Islam

(a)
When both
spouses convert to Islam unanimously, at the same time, their previous marriage
is valid;

(b)
When a
non-Muslim male spouse converts to Islam and his female spouse  remains non-Muslim, their previous marriage is
valid, provided that the female spouse belongs to the Nation of the Book;

(c)
When a
non-Muslim female, from Nation of the Book, being a wife of a Muslim male,
converts to Islam, their previous marriage is valid;

(d)
When a
non-Muslim female from the Nation of the Book, converts to Islam alone, her
marriage with her non-Muslim spouse dissolves, whatever his religion may be;

(e)
When a non-Muslim
person, other than the Nation of the Book, converts to Islam, before consummation,
his marriage with such a non-Muslim spouse, dissolves;

(f)
When a
non-Muslim person, other than the Nation of the Book, converts to Islam, after consummation,
the conversion of the non-Muslim spouse will
be awaited, till the completion of Iddah,
if he converts within Iddah, their
marriage remains valid, otherwise dissolves;

(g)
When a
non-Muslim independent male converts to Islam and has more than four wives,
then there are five possibilities as follows:

(1)
The wives
belonging to Nation of the Book, would remain his wives, provided that they are not more than four, and his marriage with wives of other religions
would be dissolved;

(2)
If his all
wives are from the Nation of the Book, he has the option to choose four of them,
and pronounce Talaq to others;

(3)
If his all  or more than four wives convert to Islam with
him unanimously, at the same time, he has the option to choose four Muslims,
and pronounce Talaq to others;

(4)
If his four wives  convert to Islam, pronounce Talaq to others;

(5)
If less than
four of his wives convert to Islam, and the remaining are from the Nation of the
Book, he has the option to complete number four adding to Muslims and pronouncing,
Talaq to others;

(h)
When a
non-Muslim male slave converts to Islam and he has more than two wives, there
are three possibilities:

(1)
His all
wives convert to Islam with him unanimously, at the same time,

he has the option to choose two of them and pronounce, Talaq to others;

(2)
His two or
more than two wives are from the Nation of the Book, he has the option to choose
two of them and pronounce, Talaq to
others;

(3)
His one wife
converts to Islam and others remain non-Muslim from the Nation of the Book, he
has the option to choose two of them including one Muslim, and pronounce, Talaq to others;

Sec
5.03    Validity of Marriage after
Apostasy

(a)
When a
couple or one spouse diverts from Islam, before consummation, their marriage
dissolves at once;

(b)
When a
couple or one spouse diverts from Islam, after consummation, their marriage
dissolves at the completion of Iddah.

Chapter
6:  Mehr
/Sudaq

Sec
6.01    Definition of Mehr
  

The settled amount of wealth, paid by the bridegroom to the bride,
or promised to be paid on demand is called Mehr or Sudaq (dowry).

Sec
6.02    Payment of Mehr

On the basis of the mode of payment, Mehr may be classified into two types:

(a)
Mehr
paid instantaneously;

(b)
Mehr
promised to be paid on demand after a specified or unspecified period

(1)
Mehr
promised to be paid on demand after a specified period is necessary to be paid
on the due date;

(2)
When no
period is specified for the payment of Mehr,
it is necessary to be paid on Talaq
Bayenah
 or the death of any spouse or
both of them;

(c)
Some of the
Mehr may be paid instantaneously, while other remaining quantities may be delayed
for the specified or unspecified period, with the agreement of the parties.

Sec
6.03    Quantity of Mehr

(a)
The quantity
of Mehr is not specified by law,
whatever quantity is settled by the agreement of the two parties, it is a valid
Mehr, necessary to be paid according
to the settled mode of payment.

(b)
The
recommended quantity of Mehr range
from four hundred to five hundred  Hijazi Dirhams, or the amount equal to these
silver coins.

Sec
6.05    Possession of Mehr

In general, the whole Mehr
remains in the possession of the bride, so she may spend it according to her own
will.

Sec
6.06    Mehr Fasid

When an invalid thing is prescribed as Mehr, like things that are not considered wealth, it is declared Mehr Fasid and the bride deserves Mehr equal to Mehr of women of her class.

Sec
6.07    Controversial Mehr

(a)
When
controversy arises between the spouses, or their inheritors, about the quantity
or quality of Mehr, then the claim
with the oath of husband or his inheritor is reliable, provided that there is no
evidence of the contract;

(b)
When
controversy arises between the spouses, or their inheritors, about the
possession of  Mehr, then the claim with the oath of wife or her inheritor is reliable,
provided that there is no evidence of the contract;

(c)
When a female
or her inheritor claims for Mehr on
her spouse, and her spouse denies it, then the claim with the oath of the female or her
inheritor is reliable, provided that there is no evidence of the contract.

 

Sec
6.08    Reduction of Mehr

When a bride is pronounced Talaq
Bayenah
before consummation, or the death of any or both spouses occurs before consummation, she deserves half
of the settled amount of Mehr.

Sec
6.09    Gift and Mehr

The gift given by the bridegroom, in addition to the settled Mehr, is not a part of Mehr.

Chapter
7: Celebrating  The Marriage:

Celebrating marriage with joy and happiness is recommended in Shariah.
Small girls are allowed to sing rhymes and songs of modest nature that are not
involved with any corruption of character. Free mixing of men and women is
prohibited. The bridegroom is recommended to offer palm dates to the guest in the Nikah
ceremony.

Chapter
8: Walimah/ The Wedding Party

The bridegroom is strongly recommended to offer Walimah/The
Wedding Party to his relatives and friends. He is free to choose the menu
according to his pocket, though mutton is preferable.

Chapter
9: Household Expenses

It
is the duty of the male spouse to bear the household expenses of the newly formed
family, after Nikah. The female spouse can share the expenses if she has
a permanent job, though she is not obliged at all to bear the expenses.

Chapter
10: Household Work

The male
spouse can demand his female spouse to
do household work, according to the conventional practices of the community,
though he can’t compel her by force to do it.

Chapter
11: Sexual Rights

The male
spouse is obliged to stay with her female spouse at least once a night in every
four nights. While, the female spouse is obliged to entertain her male spouse,
whenever, he demands, provided that it does not affect her health. The male spouse
is obliged to have sexual intercourse with her at least once in four months,
provided that he is capable of inte
rcourse.

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