Nikah is a unification and a legal agreement amongst a man and a woman (that is a husband and a wife. It is also labeled as spouses for each other). Marriage is publically accepted in nearly all beliefs, philosophies and cultures. For other faiths, marriage is a union of two people which allows them to spend their life together and gives legitimacy to the children born to the couple. It also helps form some community rights & duties for them. In Islam marriage is something more than that mentioned before. Marriage is regarded and esteemed high in Islam than in any other religion. This is an article which has been prepared to facilitate the readers comprehend the true meaning of a marriage; what to do and what to avoid in an Islamic wedding.
First of all, it is to make clear that marriage is a heartfelt agreement between a man and a woman in Islam for which the Sharia lays down rules and regulations to assurance its prosperity, strength and stability.
A marriage has to meet the following requirements to be effective and valid which are;
- Ishhar (public declaration)
- The payment of the mahr (money that is paid to bride by groom at the time of marriage that becomes her property)
- The permission of both parties
- The approval of the wali (woman’s guardian)
- The presence of witnesses.
In Islam, nikah or marriage must obey the above mentioned requirements and certain minimum values to be valid and acceptable; without these values nikah is not considered acceptable or valid. It is then barely different from fornication or prohibited and illegitimate relationships. Threfore, secret marriage is invalid in Islam.
When the aforementioned conditions have been achieved, the marriage will be considered as lawful; but if these conditions are not satisfied, then it will be thought-out as being annulled.
Guardian’s consent can only be negated if the guardian is merely declining from giving permission for other than Islamic contemplations, in that case the judge can approve the marriage after it has followed the due process. If no attempt as made to make the consent of the guardian certain, then such a marriage would be thought as invalid and objectionable in Islam. Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,
“There is no (valid) marriage without a guardian and two reliable witnesses.”
Islam insists that a marriage should be different from other unlawful and corrupt lifestyles such as fornication and immoral relationships. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) insisted on public announcement of marriages.
Society should know that two people are married so that they do not be suspicious about them of maintaining an illegal relationship, for that reason it has a share in marriage. It is our responsibility as a Muslim to do according to the teachings of Islam in order to protect our religion, faith, righteousness, and integrity; and we should also abstain not only from that which is considered as severely haram or prohibited but also from all those things for which we are unsure and dubious. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Whosoever shuns what is doubtful he has protected his religion and honor; but whosoever commits what is doubtful, he may inadvertently fall into haram!”
Aishah (R.A) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“Any woman whose marriage is not arranged by her guardian, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid. If (the man) has had intercourse with her, then the Mahr belongs to her in return for his intimacy with her. And if there is any dispute then the ruler is the guardian of the one who does not have a guardian.”
Sunan Ibn Majah Chapter No: 11, The Chapters on Marriage Hadith no: 1879
The wedding feast which is termed as walimah is considered as an important requirement of an Islamic marriage. The husband has to sponsor this feast after the marriage agreement i.e nikah. Sunnah is it is after three days of marriage that is after husband and wife are together for three days. There are many hadiths about this significant exercise, amongst them are:
It was said to Ali (RA) when he married Fatimah (RA), daughter of our holy prophet (peace be upon him)
“A wedding must have a feast.”
Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Auf (RA):
“Give a walimah, even if it is just with one sheep.”
Anas (RA) witnessed:
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) entered upon his wife and sent me to invite some men for food.”
After the wedding ceremony celebrated according to the teachings of Islam, guests should make du’a for the newly married couple and ask Allah (SWT) to shower his countless blessings upon them and entire ummah. Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say to the groom:
“May Allah bless you, bestow blessings upon you and join you two together in all that is good.” [Abu-Daud & others – Sahih]