Islam like other heavenly religions, has arranged the relationship between man and woman. So, marriage has been legislated, and in order to protect the individual rights and to keep the family and society healthy, rules have been set for it.
In this episode we will talk about the rights, the responsibilities and duties, and how a marriage can be conducted in Islam.
We will begin with marriage.
If a man and a woman want to marry, and they both are Muslim, sane, and have reached puberty what should they do?
Firstly, it is compulsory on the woman that was not married before to take permission from her father or paternal grandfather. So, without the father or grandfather, if they are alive, the contract is not valid.
Does this happen even if she is not dependent on her family and runs her own affairs?
Some of the jurists advise precaution in this matter and say even if she is independent and she is the one that manages her affairs it is compulsory on her to take permission for that. Check this specific issue with the jurist you follow.
But a woman who is a divorcee or widow that has had physical intimacy with her husband, is allowed to be married without seeking the permission of her father.
But from the side of the man, it is good to seek the consent of his father for marriage out of kindness towards parents.
The second point before marriage there should be an agreement of rights and responsibilities in the marital life.
Islam has provided rules for marital relations clarifying the obligations for a couple. Many Muslims accept these rules the way they are, but both have freedom to rearrange some of the rights and duties and add some new points.
Let’s review together some of the most important points:
The husband is obliged to:
- Give the Mahr to the wife as per her request.
- The husband is obliged to provide his wife with food, clothing and housing in conformity with her social status and dignity
- There should be a natural physical intimacy between them at least once every four months. For more details on this issue, refer to the books of Islamic law.
Now, some of the wife’s duties:
- That she allows the husband to have physical intimacy.
- And she does not leave the house without his permission.
As we mentioned the couple have the right to agree on conditions that suit them in their marriage contract. So, it is possible for example for a woman to add a point and to take the right of divorce for herself. Or to be paid for the housework. Similarly, a man can stipulate that she will be responsible for raising the children or fulfilling the household chores like cooking, etc.
What’s important that these conditions should not oppose the law and they should be discussed before conducting the marriage. If they don’t discuss any changes, then the default Islamic law will be in act.
A question, what is Mahr?
It’s one of the fixed rights of a woman. It is something valuable like money or property that the husband gives to the wife for the marriage.
It is recommended to follow the tradition of the Prophet in Mahr which is five hundred dirhams of silver.
Without specifying the Mahr, the permanent marriage is still valid but the Mahr right stays for the wife. For more information refer to your Islamic Laws book.
How to conduct a marriage?
It’s very simple and does not need a witness or a third person. What is compulsory in a marriage contract is the proposal i.e., the woman offers marriage and then the man accepts. This proposal and acceptance should to be recited in Arabic if possible. They are also allowed to appoint a scholar or someone to recite and conduct it on their behalf.
As an example, let’s conduct a marriage. The woman says to the man: “زوجتك نفسي على مهر المعلوم والشروط المعلومة” “Zawwajtuka Nafsī alā Mahril Ma’lūm Wa shurūt al-ma’lūma”. Which means “I offer myself in marriage to you for the specific Mahr on the specific conditions”.
And the man says: “قبلت” “Qabiltu”, which means I accepted. And according to some jurists the other way is also allowed. This means the man will say: “أتزوجك على مهر المعلوم” “Atazawwajuki alā mahril ma’lum”. I marry for the specified Mahr, and the woman says:”قبلت” “Qabiltu”.
Good, what we have mentioned was permanent marriage but there is another kind of marriage known as temporary marriage, what is it?
Temporary marriage is limited to a fixed time and it ends automatically after the expiration of the time agreed upon in the marriage.
The temporary marriage has similar conditions as the permanent one, like that the woman should seek the permission from her father or grandfather, etc.
But they are different in some issues. Let’s review them together:
In the temporary marriage:
- It is compulsory to specify the duration. if the time is not specified the contract is void. Some jurists say if the duration is not specified, the marriage remains valid but it will become permanent!
- It is compulsory to specify the Mahr and if it is not specific the marriage is invalid.
- The man doesn’t have to cover the wife’s living costs. But the wife can stipulate this right in the marriage contract.
- There is no inheritance between the couple if one of them dies.
- According to some jurists a Muslim man who has a permanent wife is not allowed to get married temporarily with a woman of Ahlul-Kitab or the people of the Book.