An-Nikah: The marriage covenant

An-Nikah: The marriage covenant

Mutual Agreement of Bride and Groom

Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant (mithaqun ghalithun) as expressed in Quran 4:21. The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.

Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.

Mahr

The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.

'And give the women (on marriage) their mahr as a (nikah) free gift" (Quran 4:4)

Mahr is a token commitment of the husband's responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself. The amount of mahr is not legally specified, however, moderation according to the existing social norm is recommended. The mahr may be paid immediately to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date, or a combination of both. The deferred mahr however, falls due in case of death or divorce.

One matrimonial party expresses 'ijab" willing consent to enter into marriage and the other party expresses 'qubul" acceptance of the responsibility in the assembly of marriage ceremony. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) is then announced publicly.

Sermon

The assembly of nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim officiating the marriage. In marriage societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood. The documents of marriage contract/certificate are filed with the mosque (masjid) and local government for record.

Prophet Muhammad (S) made it his tradition (sunnah) to have marriage sermon delivered in the assembly to solemnize the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, as well as the participating guests in the assembly to a life of piety, mutual love, kindness, and social responsibility.

The Khutbah-tun-Nikah begins with the praise of Allah. His help and guidance is sought. The Muslim confession of faith that 'There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger" is declared. The three Quranic verses (Quran 4:1, 3:102, 33:70-71) and one Prophetic saying (hadith) form the main text of the marriage. This hadith is:

'By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me". (Bukhari)

The Muslim officiating the marriage ceremony concludes the ceremony with prayer (Dua) for bride, groom, their respective families, the local Muslim community, and the Muslim community at large (Ummah)

Marriage (nikah) is considered as an act of worship (ibadah). It is virtuous to conduct it in a Mosque keeping the ceremony simple. The marriage ceremony is a social as well as a religious activity. Islam advocates simplicity in ceremonies and celebrations.

Prophet Muhammad (S) considered simple weddings the best weddings:

'The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed". (Mishkat)

Primary Requirements

  1. Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
  2. Two adult and sane witnesses
  3. Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both

Secondary Requirements

  1. Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride
  2. Written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
  3. Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma'zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
  4. Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage

The Marriage Banquet (Walima)

After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are invited to the marriage feasts.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

'The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out". (Mishkat)

It is recommended that Muslims attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts upon invitation.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

"...and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet". (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)


Printed with permission: Marriage and Family in Islam by Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

Comments

Salamaleykum all,
I have a question regarding one muslim sister who fell in love with a Christian man. The man converted to Islam and they have relationship together without marriage. Because the girls father is not agree to a girl to marry a man (black). Her father being racist. Now girl hiding their relationship with a man. They want to make it halal and do nikkah without letting her father know. Is it the right decision for both of them to do it? Please help them to decide.

Location

New York

A Muslim man having a loving family with wife and two kids , has got a chance to guide a non practicing divorced Muslim girl, in his work place. As a result, (Alhamdulillah) she started practicing Islam. She is also having a kid. As Islamic background from her family is weak, this man helped her to understand better and encouraged to practice Islam and now also continuing his efforts.

During this phase they developed a relation in their hearts and they wanted to marry each other for just to be in a halal relation as they fear Allah. Man told this story to his wife in vague and she is not interested at all.

Although plural marriage is allowed in islam, in present scenario,it is considered as a shameful act and not acceptable to his wife and her wali, they were forced to marry secretly (with good intention and for the sake of Allah), without the consent of his wife, his family and her family, to make their relation halal. The nikkah was done in the presence of two muslims (strangers to them) and he gave mahr to her and pronounced their nikah. This matter is not known by anybody else, and they want to keep it as secret as far as possible to avoid issues in their personal and social life. They are very much understanding and ready to sacrifice anything for the sake of Allah.

Is it islamically right to object a marriage since it is a plural marriage and if in such a situation they pronounced their marriage without the knowledge of both the families, is it a valid one? If not, what should be done to make it valid. Please advise.

Location

UAE

Brother what you have done is completely wrong. Where in Quran is it written that you have to marry multiple times to obey Allah and why have you written Allah's consent everywhere. Please dont blame almighty for your wrongdoings. It was totally haraam to fall for a woman and marry her without your loving family's consent. You have and are still cheating your family and cheating is the biggest mistake in islam. Please dont justify your love and lust.

Location

Oman

As far as I know, a man cannot perform a second marriage without the consent of his first/existing wife. He shouldn't have fallen for that second woman to being with, talking to that woman was haram for him. It is stupid to try and justify something like this. He is doing injustice to his first wife, and his second marriage cannot be valid without the consent of his first wife.

Location

Bangladesh

According to the Quran, there is no mandatory requirement for a married man to marry another woman. However, it is customary to inform and have consent.

Location

London

my friend loved a person and getting closer day by day.but it is Haram in islam and then they decided to get married.our friends was their witness and they followed every rules.but we didnot signed in any paper.
is it accepted in Islam??
is it legal?

Location

Bangladesh

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