Allah Almighty describes the beauty of the sacred bond of marriage in the Holy Quran:
And among His signs that He has created for you — from your very selves — spouses, to dwell to one another. And He ordained between you tenderness and mercy. There, truly are signs in this for those who reflect. (Ar-Rum 30:21)
In Islam, husband and wife not only become “one” when they get married, actually they always have been. How?
Allah Almighty created Hawaa (Eve) from Adam, and so women and men literally are one right from the start.
Why then is it that so many men and women do not respect this sacred matrimonial bond and break it apart either by ending the contract or living together without tenderness nor mercy?
The Islamic Marriage (Nikah) is a process that you need to go through in its correct procedure otherwise you might end up with a marriage totally different from what you aspired. Moreover, rights and duties should be clearly set and defined.
Let’s shed light at the procedure of an Islamic Marriage.
Choosing your Spouse
In order for a marriage to be successful, it needs to start with a sound choice.
Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying:
Whoever comes to you and you’re pleased with their deen and character (khuluq) marry them! (Tirmidhi)
He (peace be upon him) also said:
A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be besmeared with dust. (Muslim)
So you need to set your priorities straight and start off with looking for religiosity and good character.
Who said your spouse can’t look good too or be well off, etc.?
Just don’t compromise religiosity and good character.
Mutual Agreement Between Bride and Groom
Both bride and groom need to give their consent to the marriage and it is prohibited in Islam to force anyone into a marriage, the contract is automatically nullified if that is the case.
Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.
If in any case a divorce is later required, it is recommended that they try to solve their issues primarily, and if they still want to end the marriage that is permissible as the marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.
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. (An-Nisaa 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.
The assembly of Nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim officiating the marriage.
In Muslim societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the Nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trustworthy 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 (peace be upon him) 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.
Marriage 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 (peace be upon him)) considered simple weddings the best weddings:
The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed”. (Mishkat)
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 bothPages: 1 2