A Muslim marriage is a sacred knot, a blessing as well as a duty. It’s this connection between two human souls to share their moments of peace, sorrow and to strengthen each other.
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect”(Quran Ar-Rum: 30:21).
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿٢١﴾سورة الروم 21
“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.”(Quran An-Nisa 4:1).
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )1 : سورة النساء
1. Basis of a Muslim marriage
The above Ayahs demonstrate the fact that Islam considers both genders equal in humanity as they are created from the same soul. In the ultimate wisdom of Allah and as a framework for marriage in Islam, the Quran explains that both genders who are created from the same soul are partners. Hence, none of them is superior or above the law. They both have rights, yet they carry different responsibilities.
2. Objective of a Muslim marriage
According to these verses of the Quran, the purpose of marriage is to reside in peace and tranquillity. This peace is attainable through applying justice, fairness, equity and fulfilment of mutual rights.
Therefore, any form of injustice, whether it is oppression or persecution is not tolerated in marriage in Islam.
Though no families live in complete bliss all the time and no marriage is immune to trials and tests, a state of tranquillity allows couples to pass these phases with wisdom and patience. Knowing at the end that there will be rewards for life tests helps them navigate their tragedies as obedient servants of Allah.
3. Love in Islam
While love and mercy are two major cornerstones in a Muslim marriage, they are deeper than just the romantic euphoric love that is common nowadays. Love in Islam is sacred. It is guarded by shariah (Islamic law) through a legal marriage where rights and respect are preserved. Thus, cultivating a nourishing environment for a healthy relationship.
4. Meaning of Nikah
Nikah is marriage in Islam. It is a social contract and a mutual agreement between the bride and the groom where both parties have the liberty to defy various terms in the contract.
According to the Prophet, “The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed.” -“Mishkat al Masabih” compiled by Imam Al Tibrizi
5. Salat Al Istikhara
After the prospected bride and groom have their initial meeting, praying istikhara is recommended to ask God for guidance in making their decision. The answer doesn’t have to be in a dream as some assume. However, it could be in the form of comfort and chemistry between the bride and the groom or general ease in the following steps of marriage.
Duaa Al Istikhara
6. Primary requirements of a Muslim marriage
– A mutual agreement by the bride and the groom
– Two adults and sane witnesses
-Mahr (marriage gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride, either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar) or a combination of both
7. Secondary requirements
-Legal guardian that represents the bride (Wakeel)
-Written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnessed by two adults and sane witnesses
-State-appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) or Ma’zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
-Marriage speech (Khutbat Al Nikah)
8. Duaa of marriage
Abu Huraira reported that when someone was united in marriage, the prophet (pbuh) would say
Barak Allahu lakum wa barak ‘aleikum wa jama’ bainakuma fi khair.
عن أبي هريرة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان إذا رفأ قال بارك الله لكم وبارك عليكم وجمع بينكما في خير
After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walimah where friends, family and people from the community are invited to join for the marriage announcement.
As a matter of fact, lavish spending is not encouraged at weddings when the money could be spent more wisely to benefit the couple and the community.
Upon invitation, Muslims are recommended to attend marriage ceremonies and share happiness with the bride and the groom’s family and friends.
10. Duaa for a peaceful home
Finally, marriage requires work from both partners for the relationship to thrive and grow every day. In addition, asking God for sakinah at home is equally valuable.
The Prophet (pbuh) taught the companions this duaa:
اللهم ألف بين قلوبنا وأصلح ذات بيننا واهدنا سبل السلاممن كتاب سنن أبي داوود
Sunan Abi Dawood
O Allah, join our hearts, mend our social relationship, guide us to the path of peace