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The Marriage Ceremony

Some relevant points to be noted are:

1. Engagement

or Mangni does not qualify the future spouses to go out together, even if the parents consent. Man and woman become permissible for each other only after the performance of Nikah.

2. Dowry

The unislamic system of demanding and accepting dowry must be avoided at all costs. Shariah does not make any expense incumbent on the bride/bride's parents. Even the marriage expenses, it is recommended are to be borne by the bridegroom.

However, the bride can bring whatever she wants of her free will, and it will always belong to her.

3. Other Unislamic Customs

Many other unislamic customs have crept into the marriage ceremony of some Muslims. These customs are either borrowed from non-Muslim cultures or continue because they are established in past generations. One must avoid them if they are against the Shariah, even if some people are displeased. Other customs like the breaking of coconut etc. also do not feature among the Islamic rituals. All actions, customs etc. which show disrespect to Islam or weaken the importance of Islam have to be avoided.

4. Haraam Acts

Some of the rituals in marriage ceremonies are absolutely haraam like the playing of music. It is also haram for ladies to go for mixed gatherings without proper hijab. Such things invite divine wrath and take away the blessings of this auspicious occasion.

In the Islamic Law, marriage is an 'aqd, a contract. The components of this contract are as follows:


In Islam the process of proposal by a man to a woman for her hand in marriage, or for that matter, to her family, is encouraged. Islam considers this natural, and recommends it as an act of respectability and dignity for women.


And the intending husband is asked to offer a Mahr to the bride.

The Quran says, And give women their Mahr as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result. 28

The following points are worthy of consideration:

· Mahr must be agreed upon by the marrying partners themselves, not by parents.

· Mahr is her right, to which her husband remains indebted.

· It is a free gift and not her price.

The Mahr may be cash, kind or non-material (like training or teaching something). It can be paid up front or can be in form of promise to pay upon demands decided prior to the solemnization of marriage.3 Moajjal (immediate), Muwajjal and Indat-talab (on demand).

However, it is much recommended to pay it before or at the time of Nikah itself.

Adapted from the book: "Islamic Marriage" by: "Sayyid Akhtar Husain S.H. Rizvi"

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