Rafed English

Marriage - Settles Life and Relations

Likewise, this contract of marriage, and this is my sixth point, settles life and relations should the marriage for any reason come to an end, whether this is by death or separation by divorce. The consequences are all or should all be spelled out in the contract of marriage and in this way the life of the spouses after marriage are also regulated. I remember a case which I read about in the American press not too long ago, a case in California. California is the state which is most liberal in man- woman relations and now they recognise that a man and a woman coming together and living together without marriage, without the sacrament, still entitles the woman to some kind of settlement, some kind of compensation.

I remember one very famous American woman sued the man who was her paramour, with whom she had been living for many years without marriage, without bond, neither civil nor religious nor anything. She pleaded her case to the judge that "after all, I have given this man the flower of my youth, I have given this man all the service and all the company and so on and so forth, now he is telling me to get out of here, and no settlement, nothing, and he is a man of means. Am I not entitled to something, despite the fact that I have no marriage and we have been living in sin?" So the judge pronounced his verdict that because there had been no contract, no marriage agreement, and at least the sacrament is a kind of agreement that is recognised by society, you the woman are not entitled to anything. So this famous woman went out and met the press and she began cursing the judicial system of America for this atrocious piece of injustice and she was saying: "all fellow women of America, do not ever enter into marriage, do not allow your men even to kiss you unless you agree with them on the consequences of termination of that relationship, and put it down in writing for only then will the judicial system operate."

And when I read that, I said that here, finally, these American women, after running away from the Islamic value of pinning down and spelling out the relationship and the consequences of the relationship in a contract which has been available to everyone for fourteen centuries, finally they are coming to realise its value. How much education and how much safeguarding of the future for our Western neighbours, our non-Muslim neighbours it would provide if we were to invite them to our homes and show them our contracts of marriage and tell them that life within marriage, or should the marriage be terminated outside the marriage, are all here, written down and spelled out, agreed upon not only by the two individuals concerned, but also by the two families. What a tremendous source of relief this could give them if they were capable of practising it and, of course, this would be an introduction to them to enter the fold of Islam because only Islam gives them that assurance and that guarantee.

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