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Muslim Website Notes

Muslim Website Notes

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Published by Leah Walker

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Published by: Leah Walker on Feb 03, 2012
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Conditions of MarriageCareful consideration of the Quranic injunctions and the traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) clearly show that marriage is compulsory (wajib) for a man who has the means to easily pay the Mahr (dowry) and to supporta wife and children, and is healthy, and fears that if does not marry, he may betempted to commit fornication (Zina). It is also compulsory for a woman who hasno other means of maintaining herself and who fears that her sexual urge may push her into fornication. But even for a person who has a strong will to controlhis sexual desire, who has no wish to have children, and who feels that marriagewill keep him away from his devotion to Allah, it is commendable (Mandub).However, according to the Maliki school, under certain conditions it is obligatory (fard) for a Muslim to marry even if he is not in a position to earn his living:If he fears that by not marrying he will commit fornication (Zina).If he is unable to fast to control his passions or his fasting does not help himto refrain from Zina.Even if he is unable to find a slave girl or a destitute girl to marry.However some jurists suggest that if a man cannot procure a lawful livelihood, he must not marry because if he marries without any hope of getting lawful bread,he may commit theft, and in order to avoid one evil (his passions) he may become the victim of another (theft).The Hanafi school considers marriage as obligatory (fard) for a man:If he is sure that he will commit Zina if he does not marry.If he cannot fast to control his passions or even if he can fast, his fast doesnot help him to control his passion.If he cannot get a slave-girl to marry.If he is able to pay the dowry (Mahr) and to earn a lawful livelihood.Marriage is forbidden (Haram) to a man, according to the Hanafi school, if he does not possess the means to maintain his wife and children or if he suffers froman illness, serious enough to affect his wife and progeny.It is not desirable (makruh) for a man who possesses no sexual desire at all orwho has no love for children or who is sure to be slackened in his religious obligations as a result of marriage.In order that problems should not arise after marriage the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended that, in the selection of his bride, a man should see her before betrothal lest blindness of choice or an error of judgment should defeat the very purpose of marriage. But this "seeing" is not to be taken asa substitute for the "courtship" of the West. The man should not gaze passionately at his bride-to-be, but only have a critical look at her face and hands to acquaint himself with her personality and beauty. However, if a man so desires, he may appoint a woman to go and interview the proposed bride, so that she may fully describe the type of girl she is.Since believing men and women are referred to in the Quran, a woman also has theright to look at her potential husband.The special permission for men and women to see each other with a view to matrimony does not contravene the code of conduct for believing men and women to lowertheir gaze and be modest which is laid down in the Noble Quran:Prohibited Marriage PartnersUnder the Shari'ah, marriages between men and women standing in a certain relationship to one another are prohibited. These prohibited degrees are either of a permanent nature or a temporary. The permanently prohibited degrees of marriage are laid down in the Noble Quran:"And marry not those women whom your fathers married, except what has already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! It was ever lewdness and abomination, and an evil way. Forbidden unto you are your mothers and your daughters, and yoursisters and your father's sisters and your mother's sisters, and your brother'sdaughters and your sister's daughters, and your foster-mothers and your foster-sisters, and your mothers-in-law and your step-daughters who are under your mother-in-law and your step-daughters who are under your protection (born) of your women unto whom you have gone into -- but if you have not gone into them, then it
is no sin for you (to marry their daughters) -- and the wives of your sons fromyour own loins, and that you should have two sisters together, except what hasalready happened (of that nature) in the past. Allah is ever-Forgiving, Merciful." [Noble Quran 4:22-24]From the above verses, it is clear that a Muslim must never marry the following:His motherHis step-mother (this practice continues in Yoruba land in Nigeria, where in some cases the eldest son inherits the youngest wife of his father)His grandmother (including father's and mother's mothers and all preceding mothers' e.g. great grandmothers)His daughter (including granddaughters and beyond)His sister (whether full, consanguine or uterine)His father's sisters (including paternal grandfather's sisters)His mother's sisters (including maternal grandmother's sisters)His brother's daughtersHis foster motherHis foster mother's sisterHis sister's daughterHis foster sisterHis wife's motherHis step-daughter (i.e. a daughter by a former husband of a woman he has marriedif the marriage has been consummated. However, if such a marriage was not consummated, there is no prohibition)His real son's wifeA great wisdom lies behind these prohibitions on the grounds of consanguinity, affinity, and fosterage. No social cohesion can exist if people do not keep theseprohibitions in their minds while contracting marriages.Temporary prohibitions are those which arise only on account of certain specialcircumstances in which the parties are placed. If the circumstances change, theprohibition also disappears. They are as follows:A man must not have two sisters as wives at the same time nor can he marry a girl and her aunt at the same time.A man must not marry a woman who is already married. However this impediment isremoved immediately if the marriage is dissolved either by the death of her former husband, or by divorce followed by completion of the period of 'iddah (retreat).A man must not have more than four wives at one time. This impediment is, of course, removed as soon as one of the wives dies or is divorced.A man must not marry a woman during her 'iddah."Mothers nurse their babies two whole years for those who wish to complete theirnursing. Upon the one for whom the baby was born is her food and her clothing in equitable and proper terms. No soul will be emburdened beyond its ability. Nomother may be harmed on account of her child nor any father by his child and theheir is chargeable in the same way. If the two [parents] decide on weaning by mutual agreement and consultation, there is no blame on them. And if you decide on a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you provided you pay whatyou offered equitably and properly. And fear Allah and know that Allah sees wellall that you do." [Noble Quran 2:233] <left out the verse about having to ask hubby permission>A Muslim woman also has obligations. All the laws and regulations pertaining toprayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage, doing good deeds, etc., apply to women, albeit with minor differences having mainly to do with female physiology.Before marriage, a woman has the right to choose her husband. Islamic law is very strict regarding the necessity of having the woman's consent for marriage. Thegroom gives a marriage dowry to the bride for her own personal use. She keeps her own family name, rather than taking her husband's. As a wife, a woman has theright to be supported by her husband even if she is already rich. She also hasthe right to seek divorce and custody of young children. She does not return thedowry, except in a few unusual situations.Despite the fact that in many places and times some Muslims have not always adhe
red to all or even many of the foregoing in practice, the ideal has been there for 1,400 years, while virtually all other major civilizations did not begin to address these issues or change their negative attitudes until the 19th and 20th centuries, and there are still many contemporary civilizations which have yet todo so.Without doubt, marriage is part of the social agenda of Islam and the objectiveit to maximize marriage and to combat "single-hood" as much as possible. This means that if marriage begins decreasing for whatever reason such as exorbitant dowries, economic injustice, etc. then these evils must be combated in defense ofmarriage. If polygamy is neglected and not done sufficiently, this will create anumber of single women and a situation which requires social effort to correct.Likewise, if polygamy is done to excess by some individuals, it will produce anexcess of single men another situation which must be corrected. The raising ofchildren must be done in such a way which promotes marriage and raises both menand women knowledgeable of their roles and duties within the family. All of thiscan be found in Allah's command to the Muslims as a whole to maximize marriageamong us:"And marry off the single among you and the righteous ones among your male and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah will enrichen them from His bounties and Allah is expansive, knowing." [Noble Quran 24:32]"Marry the loving and the fertile for I will outdo the nations with you [r numbers]. (In another version: "...for I will outdo the prophets with you [r numbers]on Qiyama.")http://www.islamswomen.com/marriage/marriage_in_islam.phpAfflictions of MarriageMarriage can also represent a test or be afflicted with some harmful situations. The worst of them is failing to seek sustenance from the lawful. If that becomesdifficult, the husband may become tempted to reach his hand into the haram.Falling short with regard to the rights of women and being patient with their character and their annoyances. In that there is a great danger because the man isthe "shepherd" in the household and is to be questioned about those under his care. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:"Verily, woman was created from a rib and she will never stay for you on a straight way. If you get enjoyment from her, you get enjoyment while she still has her crookedness but if you insist on straightening her you will break her. And "breaking" of her is divorce."Considerations in Choosing a WifeBeauty. This is something desirable, even if it ranks after religion in importance, because it is one of the things which makes the marriage strong and protectsthe man from wrongdoing. For this reason, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered men seeking marriage to get a look at the woman before marryingher. Some people used to refuse to consider this nor intend it. It is reportedthat Imam Ahmad chose a cross-eyed woman over her sister. But this is rare and human nature is at odds with it.From Al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba that he sought to marry a woman and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to him: "Look at her for it is more assuring that it should last between you."Virginity. Because the Law-giver encouraged that and human nature favors it. This is because she will love her husband more and feel closer to him than a previously married woman. Human nature is inclined toward closeness to the first object of love or familiarity. It is also more favorable to his love for her becausethere is something which repels one from she who has been touched by others.Fertility. That she be capable of bearing children. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:"Marry the friendly and fertile, for I will compete with the other nations withyour large numbers."To be friendly with one's spouse including playing around with them and joking with them. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) had a foot-race wi

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