Muslim Marriage: Beliefs, Rules & Customs (2022)

Islam is easily the second-largest religion in the world. Well over one billion people practice some form of the faith, and a majority of the faithful put religion at the heart of how they live their lives. Learning more about the diverse community of Muslims and the way they’re expected to conduct themselves throughout the marriage process is a good way to better understand this modern religion.

The Religion of Islam

All Muslims belong to a community of believers called the ummah. This community is—theoretically—united in certain beliefs and practices. For example, all Muslims believe there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad acted as Allah’s messenger, and that the Koran is Allah’s recitation. There are certain customs that all Muslims are expected to follow, but since Islam is interpreted in many ways across many cultures, it is difficult to make sweeping generalizations.

(Video) 10 Surprising Muslim Marriage Traditions

Cultural Variation among Matrimionial Muslim Marriage Rules

Muslim Marriage: Beliefs, Rules & Customs (1)The vast complexity of Islam is compounded by cultural variations among Muslims. Every race and ethnicity counts some Muslims among its number, and mosques have been built around the world where they absorb local marriage customs. Many Muslim scholars take pains to make it clear that local customs often influence the practice of the religion.

Who May Marry

It’s true that the Koran guides Muslims in seeking a marriage partner and that the relevant passages are often interpreted the same way across the world. A marriage in Islam must be between opposite-sex partners who are not too closely related to each other. Muslim men are permitted to choose wives from among fellow believers or from among other “people of the book”: Christians and Jews. Women are expected to marry only other Muslims.

(Video) How to get married in Islam including Proposal, Nikah & Mahr I Mufti Menk (2019)

Polygamy Among Muslims

In Islam, men are often permitted to marry multiple women. The warrant for this is to be found in both the Koran and in the personal life of the Prophet. In many areas where the Koran is open to interpretation, Muslims will look for guidance to the life of Muhammad. In this case, the traditional maximum number of wives is set at four, largely because this is the number of wives the Prophet is said to have had. However, men must show that they’re able to support this number of wives. Women are not permitted to marry more than one man, traditionally because of the difficulty of proving which man fathered which son.

Age of Consent Issues

Muslim Marriage: Beliefs, Rules & Customs (2)When in doubt, Muslims will often seek instruction from the life of Muhammad. Such is the case where it applies to the allowable age of consent for marriage. It was written that the Prophet’s favorite wife was Aisha, who was betrothed to him at the age of nine. It is further elaborated that he refrained from consummating this marriage until she had reached the age of twelve. Largely as a result of this account, many Muslim societies have set their age of consent somewhat lower than is common among Western societies. In Yemen, for example, the age of consent—that is, the age at which a girl’s guardian (wali) may consent to her marriage—is nine. In most other majority-Muslim countries, the age of consent is twelve. In some secular Muslim communities, however, local laws and customs determine the allowable age. Such is the case in the United States, where the law generally allows marriage between eighteen year olds or between sixteen year olds with parental consent.

(Video) UN-Islamic Wedding Customs | Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

The Differences between Muslim Women and Men

The Koran does not mandate inequality between men and women. Officially, men and women enjoy equal rights and duties in the practice of Islam and also equality in the marriage relationship. This theory, however, is often overridden by local customs and ingrained attitudes among communities. Such is the case in prohibiting polyandry while permitting polygamy, prohibiting interfaith marriage for women but allowing it for men, and allowing the practice of certain courtship rituals. It would be fair to say that in most Muslim schools, women are regarded as being under a kind of guardianship or custody, first of their fathers and then of their husbands. In practice, this affects nearly all aspects of how men and women relate to each other in Islam.

Courtship Among Believers

Muslim Marriage: Beliefs, Rules & Customs (3)Dating is rare in majority-Muslim countries. What often happens is that a young man of marriageable age will be offered to a girl’s guardian as a prospect. Most of the time, the girl’s consent is sought, and she generally has the right to refuse an unwanted suitor. It should be noted that sometimes her consent is not required to proceed with what her guardian (wali mujbir) feels is a good match. More secular Muslim countries have outlawed forced marriages, while others permit the practice on the grounds that the father or paternal grandfather has the final say in family affairs. This only applies to the prospective husband’s first marriage. Under Islam, the consent of the bride is required to become a second, third, or fourth wife. On reaching agreement, the two families will usually draft a marriage contract that governs the exchange of goods and other property and sometimes even the duration of the marriage itself.

(Video) 10 Surprising Islamic Traditions

The Marriage Contract

Muslim Marriage: Beliefs, Rules & Customs (4)The marriage contract (aqd-nikah) takes many forms, but its most basic purpose is to cement the bond between the bride and groom. Often, it will contain the details of the mahr, or dowry, the groom must pay the family of the bride. Ratifying this contract usually involves some kind of ceremony—the practice of which varies greatly across Islam.

The Ceremony

The ratification of the mahr can be as simple as a meeting between the groom and his bride’s guardian. The wali intones that he offers his daughter in marriage in the presence of witnesses at the agreed-upon dowry and in accordance with the law (shari’ah). The groom accepts the terms with similar language, and both parties invoke Allah as the “best witness” to the transaction. The ceremony must also be attended by at least two witnesses who are adults of sound mind and can testify to the observance of the law. Many, if not most, Muslim couples go further than this simple ceremony. Muslim marriage sites are often chosen for their proximity to a mosque, although it isn’t a strict requirement that the ceremony be performed there. The Prophet is quoted as calling for marriage to be announced in public and accompanied by the beating of drums, which has led many to believe that a large public ceremony is preferable to the private mahr. After the ceremony, the marriage should be consummated. The Koran even has advice for the marriage night: “One of you should not fall upon his wife like the way an animal does; let there be a messenger between them.”

(Video) How To Have An Islamic Wedding? - Mufti Menk

Property, Custody, and Other Material Considerations

Muslim Marriage: Beliefs, Rules & Customs (5)Once married, the couple will hold all of their worldly goods in common and share the custody of their children. The law on this subject can get extremely complex, and it varies wildly from one country to the next, but the general trend is toward a partnership in all material things. Even in thoroughly secular countries, the terms of the nikah are usually respected by civil courts. This is true even in countries that lack a strong Muslim influence, such as the United States.

Muslim Divorce

Divorce among Muslims is a much-discussed and argued topic. It’s clear from the Koran that Islam holds a generally positive view of marriage, but the relevant law has always allowed for the possibility of divorce. Islam permits the dissolution of marriage for a number of reasons, such as infidelity and incompatibility. The attitude is neatly summed up by the observation that: “of all the permissible things, divorce is the most disliked by Allah.”

(Video) Living with the in-laws once married - Single Muslim LIVE - Episode 92

Conclusion

The world’s billion or so Muslims practice a faith that is in many ways similar to the other great religions but that maintains its own unique, sometimes fiercely defended, traditions. In contrast to Christian and Jewish marriage practices, marriage in Islam tends to be less individualistic and come in a wider variety of forms and arrangements. The ceremonies celebrating the union range from something as simple as a meeting and brief conversation to a lavish public spectacle. Islam’s attitude toward divorce is at once realistic and regretful. Where it comes to matters matrimonial, Muslim marriage customs are broad enough to fit nicely into just about every society on Earth.

FAQs

What are the rules for Muslim marriage? ›

Islamic marriages require acceptance (قُبُوْل, qubūl), of the groom, the bride and the consent of the custodian (walī) of the bride. The wali of the bride is normally a male relative of the bride, preferably her father.

What is the purpose of a Muslim marriage? ›

The purpose of marriage in Islamic culture is to preserve the religion through the creation of a family. The family is meant to be “productive and constructive, helping and encouraging one another to be good and righteous, and competing with one another in good works”.

What is a Muslim marriage called? ›

The Nikah ceremony is the Muslim marriage ceremony. In the Islamic tradition, the marriage contract is signed during the Nikah and it's during this event that the bride and groom say, “I do.” Traditionally, the Nikah ceremony often takes place in a mosque and the leader or imam of the mosque officiates the Nikah.

What are Muslim beliefs and practices? ›

The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam, which include belief in God and his Prophet and obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The fundamental concept of Islam is the Sharīʿāh—its law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God.

What are the rules of marriage? ›

The basic elements of a marriage are: (1) the parties' legal ability to marry each other, (2) mutual consent of the parties, and (3) a marriage contract as required by law.

What is the important of marriage? ›

Marriage is the beginning—the beginning of the family—and is a life-long commitment. It also provides an opportunity to grow in selflessness as you serve your wife and children. Marriage is more than a physical union; it is also a spiritual and emotional union. This union mirrors the one between God and His Church.

What are the rights and duties of husband and wife in Islam? ›

A husband is commanded by the law of Allah to treat his wife with equity, to respect her feelings, and show her kindness and consideration, especially if he has any other wife. Nevertheless, the man may not be able to be fair and just in terms of love.

Do Muslims wear wedding rings? ›

Yes, Muslims wear wedding rings. Like other cultures, Muslim couples see wedding rings as a tangible representation of their relationship and commitment. However, there are several rules and considerations they need to keep in mind as they wear their rings.

How many types of marriage are in Islam? ›

Some purposes include; companionship, reproduction, stability, security, joint economic resources, physical assistance in labor and “love.” Marriages are of two types; monogamous and polygamous.

What are the 7 main beliefs of Islam? ›

These basic beliefs shape the Islamic way of life.
  • 1 Belief in the Oneness of God. ...
  • 2 Belief in the Angels of God. ...
  • 3 Belief in the Revelations (Books) of God. ...
  • 4 Belief in the Prophets of God. ...
  • 5 Belief in the Day of Judgment. ...
  • 6 Belief in Premeasurement (Qadar) ...
  • 7 Belief in Resurrection after Death.

What are the 6 main beliefs of Islam? ›

Muslims have six main beliefs.
  • Belief in Allah as the one and only God.
  • Belief in angels.
  • Belief in the holy books.
  • Belief in the Prophets... e.g. Adam, Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Isa (Jesus). ...
  • Belief in the Day of Judgement... ...
  • Belief in Predestination...
Jul 19, 2011

What can Muslims not eat? ›

Halal food requires that Allah's name is invoked at the time the animal is killed. Lamb, beef, goat and chicken, for example, are halal as long as a Muslim kills them and offers a prayer. Fish and eggs are also halal. All products from pork, carrion and blood are forbidden (haram), as are all types of alcohol.

Can Muslims date non Muslims? ›

Ali said the Koran is clear that Muslim men are allowed to marry non-Muslim women as long as their brides are “People of the Book” — Christians or Jews, both of whom recognize Abraham as their spiritual forefather, as Muslims do. A Muslim woman, however, cannot marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts.

Do Muslims wear wedding rings? ›

Yes, Muslims wear wedding rings. Like other cultures, Muslim couples see wedding rings as a tangible representation of their relationship and commitment. However, there are several rules and considerations they need to keep in mind as they wear their rings.

What is invalid marriage in Islam? ›

Generally, a void marriage is the one that is unlawful or invalid from its beginning. It is as though the marriage never existed and it requires no formality to terminate it. Those marriages that can be cancelled at the option of one of the parties, but otherwise remain valid are said to be voidable.

Videos

1. Living with the in-laws once married - Single Muslim LIVE - Episode 92
(British Muslim TV)
2. Obligations of a Wife in a Muslim Marriage || Ustadh Muhammad Tim Humble || AMAU
(Al Madrasatu Al Umariyyah)
3. Warning Against UN-Islamic Wedding Customs | Mufti Menk
(Muslim Speakers)
4. Traditional Muslim Marriage in Modern Times with @The Muslim Skeptic & Umm Khalid
(Na’ima B. Robert)
5. Pleasure marriages or temporary relationships in Shia Islam | Faith Love Desire (3/3)
(wocomoHUMANITY)
6. The Golden Rule before Marriage | Islamic Marriage Advice - Mufti Menk
(Muslim Central)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Arielle Torp

Last Updated: 12/11/2022

Views: 5747

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arielle Torp

Birthday: 1997-09-20

Address: 87313 Erdman Vista, North Dustinborough, WA 37563

Phone: +97216742823598

Job: Central Technology Officer

Hobby: Taekwondo, Macrame, Foreign language learning, Kite flying, Cooking, Skiing, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Arielle Torp, I am a comfortable, kind, zealous, lovely, jolly, colorful, adventurous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.