Islam is a strong advocate of Marriage. Islam came out after some complications in the world or we can say that it takes birth for humanity or to gave some rules for life to live it wisely without harassing the rights of others. Islamic Marriage although permits polygamy but completely prohibits polyandry. Polygamy though permitted was guarded by several conditions by Prophet but these conditions are not obeyed by the Muslims.
Opinions of Some Philosophers About Marriage-
- a) Hedaya – “Marriage is a legal process by which the several processes and procreation and legitimation of children between man and women are perfectly lawful and valid.”
- b) Bailies Digest – A Nikah in Arabic means Union of the series and carries a civil contract for the purposes of legalizing sexual intercourse and legitimate procreation of children.
- c) Ameer Ali – Marriage is an organization for the protection of society. This is made to protect society from foulness and unchastity.
Marriage is called Nikah in Islam. Marriage is merely a contract in Islam, it is not like a ritual or a binding of two persons for seven lives like in Hinduism. In Islam no ceremonies are required for marriage. It is a contract that can be made anywhere as prescribed by sharia law. if the conditions for a valid contract are fulfilled then the marriage is constituted.
Types of Marriages in Muslim Law
there are mainly three types of marriages in Muslim law –
- Sahih or valid marriage
- Batil or void marriage
- Fasid or voidable marriage
Sahih Marriage –
Sahih Marriage means a valid marriage in Islam or Muslim law, which means that which marriages constituted according to the essentials of Muslim law are sahih or valid marriages. it confers upon wife, rights of dowry, maintenance, residence. imposes on her to be faithful and obedient to her husband.
Essentials of Marriage-
(i) There should be a proposal made by or on behalf of one of the parties to the marriage, and an acceptance of the proposal by or on behalf of the other party.
(ii) The proposal and acceptance must both be expressed at once meeting.
(iii) The parties must be competent.
(iv) There must be two male or one male & two female witnesses, who must be sane and adult Mohammadan present & hearing during the marriage proposal and acceptance.
(Not needed in Shia Law)
(v) Neither writing nor any religious ceremony is needed.
As by the word void, we can understand that Batil Marriages are those Marriages that are not accepted by the Muslim law and those marriages are null and void and can not be valid on any grounds in Muslim law.
Essentials of a Batil Marriage-
- A Muslim woman marries again when her husband is still alive.
- Bar on consanguinity.
- Marriage through forced consent.
- Marriage is prohibited on the ground of affinity.
- Marriage is prohibited on the ground of fosterage.
Fasid marriages are those marriages that are constituted without any essential condition of the marriages under Muslim law and when those conditions will be fulfilled the marriage will be a valid marriage.
Essentials of a Fasid Marriage –
- A marriage without witness (Not under Shia Law)
- Marriage with the fifth wife.
- Marriage with a woman undergoing Iddat.
- Marriage with a fire-worshipper.
- Marriage outcome of the bar of unlawful conjunction.
A Fasid marriage has no legal effect before consummation but when consummated give rise to several rights & obligations-
- A wife will be entitled to dower, prompt, or anything specified, whichever is lower.
- The wife is bound to observe iddat.
- The children born out of a Fasid marriage will be a legitimate child but there is no right of inheritance
There is another marriage also which is called Muta Marriage –
It is a pre-Islamic custom whereby the Arab women used to entertain men. Muta marriage is a temporary marriage and is recognized in Shia only. Sunni law doesn’t recognize it. A Shia of the male sex may contract a Muta marriage with a woman professing the Mohammadan, Christian, or Jewish religion, or even with a woman who is a fire worshipper but not with any woman following any other religion. But a Shia woman can not contract a Muta marriage with a non-muslim.
The Essentials of Muta marriage are:-
(1) The cohabitation period should be fixed.
(2) There should be a fixed dower
(3) If dower specified, term not specified, it could amount to permanent or regular marriage.
(4) If term fixed dower is not specified, it amounts to void marriage.