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Marriage (Nikah) Under Muslim Law

In pre-Islamic Arabia, the term "nikah" referred to a variety of sexual partnerships between a man and woman that were created under specific conditions. Marriage is seen as a civil transaction in Islamic law, and after marriage, a woman retains her identity. She continues to be a unique member of the community; her marriage does not grant anyone additional authority over her person or property beyond what is permitted by law.

Even after marriage, women retain complete ownership of their rights and are free to alienate or transfer their property as they see fit without the husband's interference. She is free to make legally binding agreements with her spouse and, if required, to take legal action against him. The Quran's prohibitions allow women to hold this role with no outside influence over their husbands.

Definition Of Marriage

The Arabic word for marriage, nikah, also refers to the union of the sexes in law. Marriage is described in Baillie's summary as "a contract to legalize sexual activity and childbearing." It is described as "nikah in its primitive sense, which means carnal conjunction" in Hedaya.

Objects Of Marriage

Five goals of marriage were outlined in a dictionary on tarmizi:
  • stifling sexual arousal;
  • organizing domestic life;
  • growing the family;
  • enforcing the goals of the family in the care and duty of wife and children;
  • raising moral offspring.
Hedaya describes cohabitation, society, and equal friendship as three ways that marriage ends.

Nature Of Muslim Marriage

Regarding the characteristics of Muslim marriages, there are differences of view. Some jurists consider Muslim marriage as a religious sacrament, while others just see it as a legal arrangement. To better comprehend the nature of Muslim marriage, it would be useful to consider it in a variety of settings. Muslim marriage is simply seen as a legal arrangement by some text writers and jurists, not as a sacred institution. This statement seems to be reinforced by the fact that marriage, by Islamic law, has certain similarities to contracts.

For illustration
  1. Similar to marriage, beginning a relationship requires a proposal (hijab) from one side and an acceptance (qubool) from the other. A marriage cannot be formally entered into without the permission of both parties, and this consent should not be obtained via force, dishonesty, or any other unethical methods.
  2. A marriage contract under Muslim law can be revoked by a juvenile upon reaching puberty, just as it can in the case of a contract signed by a guardian upon reaching the majority.
  3. The spouses of a Muslim marriage may agree to an ante-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement as long as it is appropriate and does not violate Islamic law. Contracts function similarly.
  4. The provisions of a marriage contract may also be changed within the bounds of the law to take into account specific circumstances.
  5. Although it is forbidden by the holy Quran and hadith, the marriage contract has a provision for breaching it, just like any other contract.
  6. It has certain similarities to a contract in terms of Islamic law.

Kinds Of Marriage According To Validity-On The Basis Of The Validity A Marriage May Be Of Four Kinds, Namely

  1. Valid marriage (sahib or true)
  2. Irregular marriage (fasid)
  3. Void marriage (batil)
  4. Muta marriage

Essentials And Formal Requirements Of Marriages

Even while some social obligations and ceremonial procedures are fulfilled at marriage in Muslim communities, these obligations or norms are not required by law. Adherence to specific paperwork and procedures is necessary for the solemnization of marriage. They are known as the requirements for a legal marriage. Any of these conditions must be met for the marriage to be valid or irregular, as the case may be.

These requirements include a proposal from one of the parties to the marriage or on their behalf, and an acceptance of the proposal from the other party or on their behalf, both in the presence and in the hearing of two males or one male and two female witnesses, all of whom must be adult Muslims.

At the same meeting, the proposal and acceptance must be made. Marriage is not legally recognized if a proposal is made at one meeting and accepted at another. Both writing and religious rituals are not necessary. A Muslim couple can get married without a priest if they so want.

In summary, the following are the essentials:
  1. Proposal and acceptance:
    Hijab-o-Qaboos, which means proclamation and acceptance, constitutes marriage just like any other form of interaction. A marriage offers, or ijab must be made by one party to the union. A marriage must be offered by one of the parties or on their behalf and accepted by the other party or on their behalf in front of and in the presence of two male or one male and two female witnesses who must both be adult Muslims for the marriage to be considered legitimate.

    The proposal and acceptance cannot be made in the same meeting; a marriage cannot be legally consummated by writing or by any religious ceremony if the proposal and acceptance are made in different meetings.

    The words expressing proposal and acceptance must be said in the presence of the opposite party or the presence of their vakil representatives. The parties should hear the words if they are spoken in front of each other.

    One Meeting
    Another prerequisite for legal marriage is that everything must be done in one sitting. Marriage is not legally recognized if a proposal is made at one meeting and accepted at another.

    The exchange of an offer and an acceptance must be reciprocal. Acceptance cannot be subject to conditions. There is no reciprocity between the offer and acceptance when B accepts a proposal to marry her for RS 2000 as a dower and RS 4000 should be paid to her as a dower. As a result, there is no marriage.

    The proposal and acceptance must be made in front of three Muslim witnesses who are all of legal age, sane mind, and gender by Sunni law. The marriage is not invalidated by the lack of a witness, although it is unusual.

    Free Will And Consent
    The permission of the parties to a marriage must be given of their own free choice and without coercion, fraud, or undue influence.
  2. Competent parties
    1. Age of Marriage:
      The ability to enter into a contract is a requirement for getting married. In other words, they need to be capable of getting married. Muslims who have reached puberty and are of sound mind are permitted to engage in a marriage contract.
    2. Puberty:
      When a person reaches puberty, they are ready to engage in sexual activity and start having children. In Muslim law, puberty, and the majority are synonymous.
    3. Marriage of minors and guardianship in marriage- It should be mentioned that unless it is approved after the achievement of the majority, a minor's marriage without the guardian's approval is void.
  3. No legal disability
    Legal incapacity refers to the existence of certain conditions that prohibit marriage.

    These restrictions have been divided into the following four categories:
    1. Complete inability
    2. Comparative inability
    3. Obstructive inability
    4. Directory inability

Nikah by phone video conference and internet
Since the nikah incorporates a component of ibadat and calls for two witnesses, it is more complicated than a simple deed. As a result, a direct proposal of marriage and proclamation of consent via the phone, internet, or video conferencing is unreliable. However, the nikah will be legitimate if a lawyer is assigned for a nikah procedure conducted via these electronic media, and the two parties present their offers and give their witness their assent while acting on the lawyer's behalf.

When the proposal and consent were made, the witness should have been aware of the person named as an attorney or that his name was mentioned together with the names of his father and residence address.

To make things more convenient, the rights and obligations of a husband and wife under a legitimate marriage may be divided into the following three categories:
  1. reciprocal rights and obligations;
  2. the rights and responsibilities of the wife and the husband;
  3. the responsibilities of the husband and the duties of the woman.
According to legal opinion, we may simply conclude that marriage is nothing more than a civil transaction under Muslim law. All contract criteria, such as those for proposal and approval, free consent, and consideration, are met by this. However, marriage in Islam is viewed from a religious standpoint as a devotional act.

There are moral and religious rules that govern marriage. It has both a secular aspect and components of a pure soul connection between two people for spiritual reasons. Husbands and wives are commanded to honour and love one another in the Quran and Hadith. It has been established that having fun and showing one another love and affection are honourable deeds. Marriage is a sacrament by Islamic customs and the teachings of the Quran.

  1. Vakil Search ( (Last Visited on 24th June)
  2. Legal Readings ( (Last Visited on 24th June)
  3. Jus Corpus ( (Last Visited on 24th June)
  4. Law Bhoomi ( (Last Visited on 24th June)

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