“And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.” (24:32)
Marriage is undoubtedly a highly sacred act in Islam. When two Muslims get married, they not only committed to human but also making vow to Allah SWT. Allah’s involvement in marriage is direct since there are many of His blessing and reward will be poured for the marriage couple.
There is certain terms of marriage in Islam, which is different with the general “wedding” meaning. Marriage is called nikah in Islamic law. Nikah comes from Arabic language which literally means “wedding”. But the terms for marriage or wedding in the Holy Quran is nikah, refers to the marriage contract. So the terms of marriage in Islam can be defined as “marriage”, “matrimony”, “marriage contract”, and “wedlock”.
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)
Conditions for Marriage Contract in Islam
Understanding the terms of marriage alone is not enough without approaching the practice of marriage itself in Islam. Here are the conditions for marriage contract in Islam:
To make a marriage in Islam valid, the consent from both groom and bride is required. The consent must be done through ijab (proposal before marriage) and qabul (the acceptance of proposal). While the bride is represented by a Wali, a male guardian who look out for the best in her, the bride must express her agreement and willingness to enter the marriage life.
But if the bride is physically incapable, such as having disability, impaired mentally or physically, and other things that limit their capacity to express her consent, it cannot be obtained from her. See also Things to Look for in Marriage Islam
In Islamic term, dowry is mahr. Mahr is better translated as gift for the bride. It’s the right of the bride and forever be in her possession as a security provided by the groom. Even when the couple ended in divorce later, the mahr still belong to the bride. There are many forms of mahr such as jewelry, cash, or valuable assets.
During the ijab and qabul, witnesses are required to verify the marriage contract. The witnesses must be two male adults, one from the bride’s side and one from the groom’s. These witnesses are appointed by both family, and could be someone that completely unrelated to them. See also Types of Mahr in Islam For Marriage
- Prenuptial Conditions Before the Marriage
Before the real marriage take place, both the groom and bride may submit conditions. The points that agreed upon by both sides will become the legal conditions for the marriage. But Muslim couples nowadays don’t usually include all these conditions as legal clauses in their marriage.
These conditions could be where the couple will reside, the education or career of the wife, and visitation agreement with the in-laws.
Steps and Phases in Islamic Marriage
Every religion, beliefs, and cultures has their own custom and tradition when it comes to marriage since it’s a special occasion in every social community. Islam is no different since how marriage in Islam should be getting done through the steps and phases below.
Courtship is the earliest step of an Islamic marriage. Muslims often looking for a partner in their extended network of friends. They will be introduce to each other and after some communication through phone and text, they may decide whether they want to continue to the next step or not. See also Virtues of Getting Married in Islam
Speaking of family involvement, courtship may happen between families where the parents act as the matchmaker.
- Decision Making
As marriage is one of the most important thing in a Muslim’s life, they are very careful in making the decision. During this time, it’s important to ask for Allah’s guidance as well as asking for advice from knowledgeable people. Making a decision whether to marry or not shouldn’t be done in a rush and solely out of sexual desire.
- Nikah (The Marriage Contract)
Marriage is a legal contract and mutual social agreement in Islam. It must be sign under the Islamic law, by upholding the condition and terms of marriage in Islam. Marriage contract is called nikah in Islam, it’s a solemn contract in which all requirement must be fulfilled. See also Benefits of Early Marriage in Islam
- Walimah (Wedding Party)
According to Islamic custom in marriage, the groom is the one who should invite people from the community to celebrate the wedding together. And about how the party is done is different, depending on the local culture. There are various arguments regarding the walimah or wedding party, as some consider it as obligatory while others see it as optional.
- Life After Marriage
Here comes the most essential part. Wedding party only lasted about one or two days, but life after marriage has just started. The newlyweds has to settle themselves into living together, doing their own obligatory and asking for their right. Islam has its very own duty and right of husband and wife. See also How to Become a Good Husband in Islam
- When Problems Appear in Marriage
“Live with them in kindness; even if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good.” (4:19)
Rift and obstacles are unavoidable in marriage life. Whenever it happens, always remember to turn back to Allah SWT.
Just like how every religion has their own customs in marriage, there are also certain terms of marriage in Islam. The terms, conditions, and customs are defined by Islamic law based on Hadith and the Holy Quran. Before getting into the Islamic marriage, make sure that all the things that related to marriage is well understood.