H = Hicham
S = Dr Shabbir
H: Asalam Aleikum everyone.
S: Wa Salamun alaikum! Dear Hicham, I was hoping for any other brother or sister to address your question.
H: I've been wondering.
Exactly how does an Islamic marriage take place.
Since, if it were up to an N2I, you'd naturally need the consent of the parents,
but you must also have it acknowledged by an Imam in which he thereafter signs it in his book.
Followed by cultural marriage ceremonies depending on where you're from.
But, the laws and rituals of marriage differs depending on country, culture and religion.
S: Consent of the parents is a great blessing but according to the Qur'an, free consent of the girl/woman and boy/man with sound mind is an absolute requirement. Having an "Imam" is only a tradition. Any grown-up, sensible person can conduct the wedding ceremony. Confirm the couple's free consent in the gathering. Recite any little Surah or some verses of the Qur'an well-suited to the occasion. For example, Ayat-al-Kursi (2:255) is fine. "signs it in his book" - The professional "Imams" get the marriage document signed by the local court but anyone conducting the ceremony can do it. You are right, much of the rejoicing, ritual, costumes, music, dance have a colorful cultural background.
There are only a few laws about marriage:
- Free, willing consent of the mentally competent couple,
- Brief recitation of the Qur'an,
- At least two witnesses,
- Marital gift from the groom to the bride,
- Signing the document by the couple and by two witnesses.
Marital Gift - The husband must pay a marital gift in good faith and in absolute selflessness. The amount given will depend on the financial capacity of the groom.
Commonly called dowry or mehr, the marital gift is ideally a prearranged sum to be given to the bride at the time of marriage. The Qur'an calls it UJOORAHUNNA FAREEDHAH (their portions as a noble duty 4:24) and NIHLA (4:4).
NIHLA is a most beautiful term related to honey. Think how selflessly the worker bees toil for collecting honey from flower to flower and then honestly deposit it in the beehive for equitable use of all the bees. It has been estimated that a bee flies about 35,000 miles to collect one teaspoonful of honey! So, the NIHLA is a sweet, generous marital gift given selflessly as a noble duty. The beauty of NIHLA also lies in the fact that Allah grants more 'weight' to the bride and the groom must come up equal with a generous sweet gift, a gallant gesture of love :-)
H: So how exactly does it work in a true Islamic sense?
Are you married through consent of your counterpart and the acceptance from both sides parents?
In which hereafter the government in which you live grants you the marital status?
S: I think we have dealt with all these matters :-)
H: Best Regards
- A novice in a long road of learning..
S: Love, du'as and best regards.
In-Sha-Allah, the novice of today will become a knowledgeable scholar and guide tomorrow.
Please note that the detestable custom of JAHAIZ (JAAHEZAH) is absolutely non-Qur'anic. Sometimes, the would-be husband and/or his family demand a huge sum of wealth and property from the would-be wife and her family - even a fully furnished house, cars and diamonds etc. Are they marrying a girl or stones?
Surah 102. At-Takaathur – The Relentless Greed
[Author’s Note] This is the 102nd Surah and it has 8 verses. ‘Takathur’ indicates the greed of amassing more and more wealth and material possessions, the mutual rivalry and show-off therewith, and racing for ‘things’ rather than virtue.
With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness
102:1 The relentless greed of material gains distracts you (from the real purpose of life). [57:20, 83:26]
102:2 Until you go down to your graves.
102:3 Nay! But you will come to know!
102:4 Again, Nay! You will come to know.
102:5 Nay, only if you could have certain knowledge.
102:6 You would see it now, the Insurmountable Barrier (in the way of your personal development). [29:54, 79:36, 82:16]
102:7 Finally, you will see it with sure vision.
102:8 Then, on that Day you will be questioned what you did with the boon of life. [21:13]