Muslim Marriage Contract Basics
Muslim Marriage contract can have only one goal?
It is to meet the philosophical standards of marriage given in Quran. Still a Muslim marriage is not a sacrament. It is a legal agreement between a man and a woman where either of the parties may include certain conditions to avoid future legal complications.
The procedural details of a Muslim marriage contract are not given in Quran. However, any marriage is a Muslim marriage if it contains the two basic conditions:
1- The marriage is permitted by God.
2- The parties give their free consent.
In case of absence of any of these conditions, the marriage can not be categorized as a marriage recognized by Quran. It is duty of the Muslim society to decide procedural details of a Muslim marriage.
Different Muslim societies have developed procedures which may be slightly different from the others. Sunnis prefer procedures given in ‘Hadiths’ collected by Imam Bukhar or Imam Muslim. While the Shias like to follow their own collection of ‘Hadiths’ like Furu Al-Kafi etc.
It does not matter what procedure is decided by a Muslim society. But it matters a lot when the Muslim marriage contract does not intend to meet the overall marriage philosophy of Quran.
Muslim Marriage Certificate
Is written agreement essential?
Quran does not ask for any written agreement of marriage. However, in recent times the legislatives of different Muslim societies have made it compulsory that every Muslim should be signed and registered with the government agencies.
Without a marriage certificate, a marriage is not void or even irregular if it meets other requirements of a Muslim marriage contract. However, in most of the modern Muslim states it may be an offence to not get registered a Muslim marriage. Besides legal implications it is always advisable to inscribe the details of a Muslim marriage to avoid future problems.
Main Elements of a Muslim Marriage Contract
The Muslim Jurists have developed the following general elements of a Muslim marriage contract:
1- Consent of the Parties
2- Payment of dower
4- Aimed to be Permanent in Sunni law but not in Mut’ah in Shia Law
5- May be terminated by either of the parties Any time
Relationships Between Husband and Wife
In Islamic jurisprudence, both sexes are equal in value and rights. However, natural biological differences between the sexes are recognized by Islam. These differences result in different rights, obligations, and roles.
In Sura Rume, Quran talks about dwelling of spouses in tranquility. Almost all interpretations of the verse term it a family life. And when there is a family institution the division of labour and roles is essential to meet not only day to day requirements of the family but also to flourish it into a powerful society.
Traditionally, women assume the main responsibility for the home while men are responsible for supporting their wives and children. But there is no restriction that a woman must feed her children and look after for their daily lives. Even the Last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent to the Nurse Halima for his feeding and early upbringing. Motherhood is viewed as one of the most important roles in a Muslim society. The Muslim mothers are made more respectable than fathers. Even God resembles His love to the human beings with the love of a mother to her children. Besides, the Muslim wives and mothers should be given more respect for the sacrifices that they make for the sake of their families.
The male-female relationship in a Muslim family is described in a Hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Umar:
The Prophet said, “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.” Sahih Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 62, Number 128
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