Muslim marriage just like in any other faith is a sacred institution. It’s a binding contract between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman. Muslim marriages are conducted in accordance with the laws of the Islamic Shariah. Parents usually arrange Islamic marriages. The woman’s parents make the proposal for marriage to the man and with acceptance from both sides, the ceremony of engagement is held before the marriage proper. The Islamic marriage is solemnized by a priest after seeking the bride and groom’s consent for the marriage. After obtaining this consent, the bride and groom proceed by signing the marriage proposal in front of witnesses. The Koran or holy book is placed between them and they are made to see each other through a mirror. Dates and sweets as well as food are distributed in the marriage ceremony. Premarital intimacy is strictly prohibited in an Islamic marriage. A marriage is highly valued in Islam, it is believed to be the foundation of any Islamic society.
Muslim marriage is characterized by the offering of dowry by the Muslim man to his would be wife. The major aim is to safeguard the Muslim woman’s economic status in case of any unexpected incident. The dowry or the Mahr is payable before or after the marriage, however failure to do this will lead to invalidation of the marriage. The husband in a Muslim marriage is mandated to support his spouse financially and protect his wife always. It is also mandatory that the man make provision of religious Islamic materials for the education of the wife and the children.
Polygamy is one marriage practice that differentiates between Islam and other religion. Muslim men are allowed to marry as much as four wives so far they can support and protect them. A Muslim woman however must not marry more than one man. Islam permits the marriage of a Muslim man to women of other faiths like Jews or Christian women. Though the Islamic law permit’s the marriage of Christian or a Jewish woman to a Muslim male, it however does not permit them to inherit their spouses property unless conferred by the Muslim man on his spouse.
Islam lays down strict regulations regarding marriage as marriage and family are the building blocks of an Islamic society. The moral contract between husband and wife in Islam is governed by certain rules and regulations. Islam outlines the duties of a husband and that of the wife in a family. It is this ordered lifestyle that would form the basis of a healthy family. This would lead to the growth of a strong Islamic society. The ultimate aim being for the growth of Islam and fostering of unity and understanding among Muslims and other faith.
Many people go into relations hoping for many things and expecting a great marriage. The first few years of marriage are blissful but as life progresses, they begin to realize it is quite difficult and not really what they had expected. Muslim couples should ensure they arm themselves with the necessary information regarding marriage before making commitments. The marriage is a partnership and not a dictatorship as is popularly believed. The husbands roles is not only to nourish but also seek advice from his wife regarding issues pertaining to the family and his personal life. This should be done peacefully and if problems arise, should be resolved quietly and amicably. In a Muslim marriage there are acceptable things ‘halal’ and unacceptable things ‘haram’ when it comes to sex. It is therefore important couples put time and effort in satisfying their partner in the right manner acceptable to Allah.
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