Rafed English

Marriage Negotiations

When a marriage is being considered, it is customary among Muslims to conduct investigations about both families. Then they conduct negotiations to determine the conditions for the marriage and the wedding ceremony, and to establish the amount of the nuptial gift. Among the questions asked, the families should try to answer those questions that are appropriate and within the framework of the holy religion. They should also do the same regarding the questions they ask. In these negotiations, it is best to exercise the utmost honesty. They should tell the true age of the couple, the real job of the man, his actual wealth, behavior and morality; his true spirit; relationships; degree of education; and any defects or shortcomings. The defects may be negligible. The woman's family too should be honest in responding to the questions asked by the man's family. They should not be afraid to tell the truth, since this will prevent any future problems or a probable deadlock. It will prevent any future harm, bad feelings, separation, inter-family arguments or the ruining of the relationships between the two families.

Honesty and truthfulness can protect both families against any harm, bad feelings and sorrow. It eases decision-making for both sides and causes prosperity. Concealing the defects of men and women, deception and trickery are immoral and religiously prohibited. They are considered to be great sins. The bad effects of this will not only harm the couple, but will also damage both families.
Concealing defects of men and women, deception and trickery sometimes result in the break up of a wedding, the cancellation of the nuptial gift, and the breaking up of the marriage without a divorce. This is the leeway Islam has granted to either side who may have been deceived by concealing defects. The Glorious Quran has prohibited any deception, trickery or concealing of defects and considers those who deceive, deserve divine punishment in this world and the Hereafter.

The Prophet (Pbuh) said: One who deceives a Muslim does not belong to our nation. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.75, p.285]

The Commander of the Faithful (Pbuh) said: Deceiving one who has trusted in you is equal to atheism. [Mizan al-Hikmat, pp.166-167]

He has also said: One who deceives people will be harmed by his/her deception. [Mizan al-Hikmat, pp.166-167]

Regarding the characteristics of the pious, Imam Ali (Pbuh) has said the following in Sermon 193 of Nahj ul-Balaghah: The pious ones do not get close to people by deception. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: `Deception, trickery and treason will result in the Hell Fire. He also said: One who is a Muslim does not engage in deception or trickery. I heard from Gabriel that deception and trickery will result in the Hell Fire.

The issues related to concealing defects of men and women; deception and trickery; continued marriage; separation or divorce; the duty of man to pay the nuptial gift or not having to pay it are extensively discussed in volume 100 of Bihar al-Anwar, Vafa Press, Beirut starting from page 361 and also in the practical treatise of great Shiite scholars.

Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"

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