Muslim marriage: Marriage in Islam is recognized as the basis of society known as "Nikah". In Muslim law, marriage is purely a civil contract. Marriage in Islam is viewed from 3 points such as legal, social, and religious. According to Mohammedan law, marriage is not a sacrament but a civil contract. Marriage has been constructed as a meritorious act.
Types of Muslim marriage
1) Valid marriage – In this type of marriage, marriage has been contracted by following all the religious and legal requirements. The birth of offsprings from such marriage is regarded as legitimate. The wife has the right to dower, maintenance, and inheritance of property invalid marriage.
2) Void marriage – This type of marriage is not legal as it does not involve any legitimate, responsibilities in the material contract. The children born from this marriage is treated as legitimate. A marriage is considered invalid if it is performed by not taking into consideration prohibitions such as affinity, fosterage, consanguinity, etc.
3) Irregular marriage – This marriage violates some temporary prohibitions. In this marriage, some formality has been left unfulfilled. Some examples of irregular marriage are
- Marriage without the required number of witnesses.
- Marriage with two sisters simultaneously.
- Marriage with 5th wife.
- Marriage prohibited by reason of difference of religion.
Mehr or Dower
Mehr constitutes some amount of money, gold coins, and share in the household immovable property which is promised to be given by the bridegroom to his wife upon his death or divorce. Mehr is also referred to as bride price. After the Mehr is fixed and agreed upon it is entered and is signed by the parties in the marriage contract in the presence of "Kazi". The amount of Mehr depends upon the social status of the bride and the bridegroom. It is a unique concept of Muslim matrimonial law.
Types of Mehr
1) Specified dower – This type of dower is allotted by the mutual consent of parties. It could be payable immediately on marriage or on the dissolution of marriage or on the occurrence of the specified event.
It is of two types:
- Prompt Dower – Promp dower means dower is paid immediately on marriage by mutual consent of the parties if demanded by the wife.
- Deferred dower – It is not paid immediately but postponed or delayed until much time when the dissolution of marriage occurs or in some specific event.
Talaq or Divorce
1) Talaqu's-sunna – It is the approved form of dissolution of marriage.
It is of two types:
- Talaq Ahsan – It is the most approved form of type of talaq. It consists of a single pronouncement of the word talaq in the period of tuhr which refers to the period of purity. The woman is free from her menstrual cycle courses in this period. The pronouncement at the time of tuhr is followed by abstinence from sexual intercourse during Iddat. A pronouncement at the time of talaq is revocable until the completion of the period of Iddat.
- Talaq Hasan – It is a less approved form of dissolution of Muslim marriage. Here husband has to make 3 successive pronouncements during three consecutive tuhrs or periods of purity of life. It is important that these pronouncements should be made during abstinence from sexual intercourse in each tuhr.
2) Talaq Bida - These are disapproved forms of divorce among Muslims.
It is of 2 types:
- Triple declaration – In this form three pronouncements are made in a single tuhr either in one sentence or in three sentences, either the husband will pronounce, I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you with the pronouncement divorce becomes permanent. This form of talaq is considered illegal according to Fatimid laws. But according to Hanafi law, it is considered lawful.
- Single declaration – It comprises of single permanent pronouncement made either during the period of tuhr. This talaq may be given in writing. This form of talaq comes into effect immediately with the dissolution of marital tie.