6 Things You Didn't Know About Marriage In Islam
The marriage contract is called nikah. It's an Arabic word whose original literal meaning was "sexual intercourse", but which already in the Quran is used exclusively to refer to the contract of marriage.
Marriage in Islam is a social and legal relationship intended to strengthen and extend family relationships. Islamic marriage begins with a search for an appropriate partner and is solemnized with the agreement of marriage, the contract, and the wedding party. Islam is a strong advocate of marriage, and the act of marriage is considered a religious duty through which the social unit—the family—is established. Islamic marriage is the only permissible way for men and women to engage in intimacy. Here are some interesting facts about Islamic marriage.
Marriage In Islam: Interesting Facts You Probably Don't Know
Two sentences and it's done.
Marriage in Islam is valid with just two sentences. When a father says these words in the presence of witnesses: “I give my daughter to you in marriage.” And the groom replies: “I accept her in marriage.” This makes the marriage valid, and both of them are lawfully husband and wife.
But if he has several daughters, the father will have to mention the daughter by name. Then he says: “I give my daughter, Qudsiyyah, to you in marriage.”
The matter of witnesses
In order for a Nikah to be valid, there must be at least 2 male witnesses. And they must be Muslim. If there are no male witnesses, the marriage is void, and if there are male witnesses who are not Muslim, it is also void. If there are only female Muslims, it is void. The rule is there must be at least two male Muslim witnesses for the marriage to be valid.
Arranged marriage and polygamy
Marriage in Islam supports arranged marriages and polygamy. An arranged marriage is still common in many Muslim cultures, but a woman also has the right to refuse a marriage match. And, while polygamy is considered lawful in Islam, a polygamous marriage may only occur where both (or all) women are in accord and agree to be co-wives.
Divorce in Islam
Divorce is legal in Islam, and a woman has a divorce settlement even before marriage. Also, in marriage a man’s property becomes communal property by law; but a woman’s property remains in her own claim.
Sex in Islamic Marriages
Obviously, Islam has a long way to go in regards to creating a healthy relationship with sex. (Still, don’t we all?)
However, when sex happens within the container of the laws of Islam, i.e.; between a lawfully wedded woman and man, Islam (on the whole) has fewer sex-negative or sex phobic views than you would think.
Islam allows contraception, as well as first-trimester abortion. In addition, sex has many extra-procreative purposes in Islamic faith, including deepening companionship between husband and wife.
Wedding Party (Walimah)
The public celebration of marriage usually involves a wedding party (walimah). In Islamic marriage, the family of the groom invites the community to a celebration meal. The details of how this party is structured and the traditions involved vary from culture to culture: Some consider it obligatory; others highly recommend it. A walimah does not usually involve lavish spending. Not when the couple could wisely spend that same money after marriage.