In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put Love and mercy between your(hearts), verily in that are signs for those who reflect." [Surah ar-Rum 30:21]

Marriage and Divorce

(by Mufti Sharif Sayd, lecturer of Hadith, Darul Uloom al Arabiyyah al Islamiyyah)

Marriage
What is required for the Wedding?
1.  A groom, bride and two witnesses are minimum requirements for a marriage ceremony. Marriage can be performed with a minimum of these four people.
2.  Instead of the groom or bride, their parents (the wali) or representatives (the wakil) can do the arrangement.
3.  Inviting guests for the marriage ceremony or wedding is very good but it is not necessary.

 

The Procedure of a Marriage Ceremony

1.  Either the groom or the bride will give a proposal in front of two witnesses using the past tense, like, “I married you.” The other will accept the offer by saying, “I accepted it.” Now the marriage has been concluded. (The groom and bride must be adults.)
2.  If on behalf of the groom and the bride, their parents (wali) – who have taken consent from the bride or groom – or elected representatives (wakil), accept or give a proposal, it will be accepted. For example, the groom uses the imperative by saying, “Marry your daughter to me,” and the father of the bride says, “I have married her to you.”

The Need for Marriage

1.  Through marriage one will acquire the qualities of a balanced life, tolerance, compassion and wisdom. Such qualities will help build a positive society.
2.  Marriage is a good way to take society out of shamelessness, promiscuity and wickedness.
3.  After a marriage is concluded, the family structure will begin to form, and the man and woman will seek to take their roles in society.  
4.  Marriage is a sacred bond. The love which is stored in the human heart can rightfully be expressed physically, thus eliminating violence from people’s minds and increasing affection. The tendency for crime will be lowered in the human mind. It creates sympathy and responsibility towards others. Thus the need for marriage is great.

 

Benefits of Marriage

1.  Physical contact is validated by the marriage of a man and woman. In fiqh, this is called “hill al-istimta‘.” This connection will remain until divorce or death.
2.  A familial tie is created between the husband and wife, so both become parts of one another. In fiqh, this is called “juz’iyyah.” This connection will only be broken by divorce and remains intact after death.


Mahr (Dowry)

1.  Mahr is essential in the marriage.
2.  Marriage is not correct without mahr, although a marriage is valid whether or not the mahr was stipulated before the marriage.
3.  If the mahr is not stipulated at the time of the marriage contract, an equivalent of the mahr of the bride’s sister or paternal aunt (mahr mithl) will be necessary.
4.  Giving the mahr to the wife is necessary, and to do so right away is recommended.
5.  Some people think mahr can only be given at the time of divorce, and is not given otherwise, which is why they stipulate large amounts of money as mahr. This is wrong and a misunderstanding of the rules.

Marriage or divorce pronounced by an infant or a mad person is void. 

 

Divorce


Types of divorce (talaq)

1. There are two types of talaq:

    a. Talaq Raj‘ee (revocable divorce)

    b. Talaq Ba‘in (irrevocable divorce)

2. If a clear and explicit talaq is issued, it is Raj‘ee. With Talaq Raj‘ee, the marriage does not dissolve. The talaq can be revoked. However, after the ‘Iddah (waiting period) of a Talaq Raj‘ee, the talaq becomes Ba’in.

 

3. If the talaq is issued using unclear and ambiguous words, the talaq is Ba’in. For example someone issues a divorce to his wife by saying: “You are forbidden for me,” “you are not my wife” etc. Or the wife says, “Give me divorce right now” and the husband replies “ok.” Or he says, “You are not permitted to do a certain thing, and if you do it, you will be divorced,” and the wife did that thing. The result is that the marriage is broken and the previously married couple now become like an ordinary man and woman to each other.

4. With a Talaq Ba’in, the marriage breaks, even if only one is issued. However, in the ‘Iddah (waiting period) or after the ‘Iddah, the man and woman have the option to perform a new marriage if they both agree. Furthermore, after the ‘Iddah (but not during the ‘Iddah), the woman has the choice of marrying another man.

 

These rules apply until a total of three talaqs (whether Raj‘ee or Ba’in) have not been issued.

5. After three talaqs have been issued, whether Raj‘ee or Ba’in, the wife becomes mughallazah, which means they are not like an ordinary man and woman to each other, but become severely prohibited for one another. She cannot marry him until Halaalah has taken place. Halaalah is a process wherein the wife completes her ‘Iddah, after which she marries another man and consummates her marriage with him. The second husband then divorces her or passes away. After she has observed her ‘Iddah from this second husband, Halalah is complete, and it is now permissible for her to remarry the first husband.

 

The Procedure of Divorce

1.   One Talaq Raj‘ee is issued. This allows the husband the opportunity to take back the divorce during the ‘Iddah. If ‘Iddah is over, he can arrange a new marriage to take the wife back.
2.   Giving three talaq altogether is not sunnah but bid‘ah and sin. This should be totally avoided.  
3.   Talaq can be issued in writing or verbally.
4.   Witnesses are not necessary at the time of divorce. A divorce can be done without witnesses.


After Divorce

1.   After divorce there is a waiting period, called ‘Iddah, of three menstrual cycles. According to Imam al-Shafi‘i (rahimahu Llah), ‘Iddah is three periods of purity, i.e. the periods in between the menstrual cycles.
2.   At the time of ‘Iddah, maintenance, clothing, food and accommodation of the wife are from the responsibilities of the husband.
3.   If the divorcee is breastfeeding a child, the husband must pay for maintenance.


The Procedure of Revoking a Talaaq Raj’ee

1.   The husband may revoke his divorce by verbally expressing his desire to take her back into his marriage.
2.   He may also revoke the divorce by having physical contact with her (by way of kissing, fondling, touching her with passion or having intercourse with her).


The Rights of the Wife over the Husband

1 The wife must be provided food, shelter and clothing in accordance with the husband’s ability.
2. Remember, the wife is not a slave, so no work can be imposed on her.
3. The wife’s privacy and honour must be defended. Therefore, she can’t be forced to live with others. If the husband has the ability, he must accommodate her in a separate room or house.
4.  The wife cannot be forced to separate from her father, brother, sister and relatives. She must be given opportunities to meeting with them.


The Rights of the Husband over the Wife

1.   She must preserve her chastity and defend all other trusts.
2.   She must defend his privacy, value and status.
3.   The wife must keep the needs and desires of the husband in mind.
4.   She must respond to her husband’s invitation.
5.   She must behave well with his family.
6.   The wife must not pressure her husband to buy things he cannot afford.


The Best Man

1.   The best man is he who is good to his wife. (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)


The Best Wife

1.    The best wife is the one upon seeing her, the husband becomes happy.
2.    If the husband is away, she protects her own virginity and her husband’s resources and status.
3.    She is obedient when asked for something (Ibn Majah)


Head of the family

1.    All work needs a responsible head. Without a responsible head, there will be no discipline in any work. Islamic rules have designated responsible leaders for every work, who is responsible for all subordinate to him. He will be reckoned before Allah with regards to his custodianship. The husband has been made the custodian of the family, and he is responsible for it.
2.    Everyone will be subordinate to him under the Shari‘ah, including his wife.
3.    It is best for the husband to not take any decision concerning the family without first consulting the members of the family, including his wife.

 

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