Conditions of Muslim Matrimony
Muslim matrimony requires the acceptance of three parties; the groom, the bride, and the custodian of the bride. The custodian, referred to as the “wali” is any male member of her family, preferably her father. In the event the bride is not of the Islamic faith, someone from her faith will give her in marriage.
Once certain conditions have been met, the marriage contract is formalized, and payment in money or possessions is agreed. The groom makes the payment to the father of the bride. The money or possessions become the property of the bride. Just after these conditions have been met can the marriage ceremony take place. The bride’s consent is mandatory. Only after the bride and groom have ratified the marriage contract, is the marriage publically declared.
Although it is not mandatory, the individual performing the marriage ceremony should be knowledgeable in the faith. In many cases, the person who conducted the ceremony will also deliver a sermon at its conclusion. However, if the groom is religiously educated, he may provide the sermon himself.
It is usual that at the conclusion of the ceremony, a celebration takes place. The celebration will be in line with the couple’s customs. The ceremony may last only for an hour or two, or it may carry on for several days.
The Prerequisites of Muslim Matrimony
Islam values sex and companionship. Islam advocates marriage as the foundation of a family, and to fulfill a basic human need. The Kuran states that believers of the faith should marry, regardless of their financial status. Marriage in Islam is a way for people to protect themselves from immorality.
The marriage is to be conducted through contract, and a payment to the bride in the form of a sum of money or possessions.
No fornicator has the right to marry a chaste partner. For the marriage to take place, the couple must purify themselves of this sin.
A man may marry a Muslim woman or a woman from the “people of the book.” A Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man.
If the bride is not a virgin, she must give her verbal consent to marriage, and her custodian cannot be her father or paternal grandfather.
The object of Muslim matrimony is little different from marriage between people of other faiths. Marriage lets people establish happy, productive families.