•What is ni·kāh?
n. a Muslim wedding contract, signed by the couple in front of a group of witnesses.
Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between the bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant “mithaqun Ghalithun” as expressed in Quran 4:21). The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable, ie you can divorce!
Nikah is not only an agreement between two people. It has social and familial results. The traditions and rules of society play a role in marriage. Therefore, no nikah can be performed secretly.
Islamic and civil marriages are not two distinct concepts. Civil marriage is performed under the supervision of civil authorities. Islamic marriage similarly requires supervision, and the primary supervisor is sought to be the bride’s father. If the father and other male relatives renounce the duty of supervision or object to the marriage without an Islamic basis, the supervisor becomes the civil or other lawful authority.
Islamic marriage has the additional condition of “Mehr” which must be supervised while being determined and written down.
An Islamic marriage (nikah) can be performed under the following conditions:
1- Both sides must be free of obstacles to marry and have legal capacity.
2- Both sides or their guardians or representatives must be present at the same time during the proposal and acceptance.
3- The prohibitions of marriage in verses An-Nisa 23,24 and An-Noor 3, which include the prohibitions about blood and milk kinship must be observed.
4- There must be no other conditions demanded by any of the sides which may prevent the nikah.
5- The bride and the groom must have reached the age of maturity (this may come true at the same age or after the puberty. See: http://www.islamandquran.org/?p=3043)
6- In compliance with the verses An-Noor 24:3,5 ; Al-Maidah 5:5 and An-Nisa 4:24 both the bride and the groom must be chaste. See also: http://www.islamandquran.org/?p=2711
A nikah is valid from an Islamic point of view under the following conditions:
1- Supervision and testimony: See the explanation below
2- Consensual agreement to marry: No girl/boy or woman/man can be wed against her/his will. If one party is against the agreement then the marriage is NOT VALID. So parents are prohibited from forcing their children to marry someone they do not wish to because that relation, even if the actions for it are done, is haram.
3- Announcement: Marriages, especially the ceremony of nikah is performed in order to announce the marriage. Therefore, nikah must be announced to everybody.
4- Mehr: Legal Share of Bride is given to the bride by the groom. It is not a condition for the nikah to be valid, but the right of Mehr arises as a natural result of the nikah for the bride.
The Messenger of Allah says:
“There is no marriage without a supervisor (Wali) and two reliable witnesses. A marriage performed without these is void. If they couldn’t agree, the authorized officials are the supervisor.” (Abu Dawood, Nikah/Marriage, 20; Tirmidhi, Nikah/Marriage, 14; Ibn Majah, Nikah/Marriage, 15; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 6/66)
A supervisor should be the woman’s father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, etc. respectively. If they are not found or refuse to perform their duty, the authorized official becomes the supervisor. The duty of the supervisor is to investigate the groom-to-be whether he fulfills the conditions mentioned above. For example, the unchastity of a boy or man can be witnessed more easily by another man than by a woman, because men have wider access to men-exclusive environments. Another example could be that the maturity of a boy and whether he could maintain a family can be witnessed more easily by an elder man. The supervisor can object to the marriage only if the conditions mentioned in the Qur’an are not fulfilled by the groom-to-be. Any other objection is considered groundless regarding the marriage. If the supervisor insists on a groundless objection, he loses his right to supervise. Thus, the authorities in charge become the supervisor.
Today, no country in the world permits marriages without supervision. Officials of the municipalities, churches, synagogues are examples of authorized supervisors for marriage. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not require walee for men and sufficed the approval of walee for women, which eases marriage, protects women’s rights and lets happy families be established.
•Set the Date of Nikah
First of all, after agreeing to get married, the couple need to consult each other’s families and set a date! Both parties should discuss their wishes and expectations before setting to work, deciding upon a budget, and organizing all that is required. Do you wish to hold the nikah at home or at the masjid? Will you require a separate civil ceremony? Who will you invite? Where will you hold the Walima? All this, and more requires careful consideration.
•Al-Nikah: the Islamic Marriage Ceremony
Let’s look at the basics. The nikah is a simple ceremony in which a man and woman declare their commitment to each other as husband and wife. It is a “contract” to which both must agree and it is considered an act of worship (ibadah).
In the very simplest form of the ceremony:
There is the Al-Ijab wal-Qubul (offer and acceptance) only, where the Wali (woman’s guardian in marriage) offers the bride to the groom, who then accepts.
One matrimonial party expresses ‘ijab” willing consent to enter into marriage and the other party expresses ‘qubul” acceptance of the responsibility in the assembly of the marriage ceremony.
(The Wali may say: “I give you my daughter/the girl in my guardianship in marriage in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah in the presence of the witnesses here with the dowry agreed upon. And Allah is our best witness.”)
The husband-to-be replies with: “I accept marrying your daughter/in your guard giving her name to myself in accordance to the Islamic Shari’ah and in the presence of the witnesses here with the dowry agreed upon. And Allah is our best witness.”
The ceremony is then complete! Yes, over in just a few minutes!
•The requirements of Nikah
1) Mutual (consent)agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
2) Two adult and sane witnesses, (Ash-Shuhud ), 2 males or 1 male and 2 females
3) Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both
1) Legal guardian Wali or his representative, wakeel, ” representing “the bride
2) Written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah”) signed by the bride and the groom and witnessed by the two adult and sane witnesses
3) Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma’zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony) usually the Imam. (However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood.)
4) Khutba-tun-Nikah (sermon)to solemnise or bless the marriage
The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah) is then announced publicly.
The marriage contract documents are recorded with the masjid and registered with local government, thus fulfilling the civil obligations of the marriage. Without this, the marriage would not be recognized under the law of the country you reside and the legal rights of the spouse, such as inheritance, would not be valid.
Your nikah text is what you make of it.
It can be a barebones text with only the most pertinent information, or it can be more.
It can just consist of the dates, the agreed-upon mahr (dowry), and the full names of witnesses and the wali (if the bride has one).
But some couples also choose to include more clauses in their nikah text, sort of like a pre-nuptial agreement. Some of the most common additions couples include have to do with:
- The man’s right to a polygamous marriage
- Deciding on where to live (Is it a joint decision? Is it important to move for a job, or to live close to family?)
- Splitting household duties
- How the couple wants to raise their children
- Financial responsibilities
- Whether or not both parties responsible for the debt in one person’s name
- The couple’s relationship with in-laws
- Wife’s right to her own residence
- Restricted hobbies
- The wife’s right to divorce
- Whether degrees obtained during the marriage are marital assets
It’s important to note that just like a pre-nuptial agreement, without any legal counsel or notarization, the text may not be legally valid. Instead, a couple can assume this text as marital vows.
(You will note that it is not essential to have the couple present in the same room during Nikah, just so long as the Wali and the Witnesses are there and have witnessed everything and the bride has given her consent and permission.
Traditionally, nikah papers were beautifully embellished, a treasured heirloom item.
But most modern ones are just eyesore-inducing black and white pieces of legalese.
One of my FAVORITE places is Nikah Nama and here’s an example of what one of their Nikah contracts looks like:
•Announcement of the Nikah
However, Islam encourages its followers to announce a marriage and to celebrate this wonderful relationship between a man and a woman. The nikah is also a social activity. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Declare this marriage, have it in the masjid and beat the drums.”
However, despite being a religious ceremony, the nikah does not need to take place in a masjid. That is a matter of personal choice. However, you will be required to hold a separate civil ceremony. Sometimes, men and women sit separately at the nikah. They may be in a separate room or there may be a partition between them. Again, this is a matter of preference.
The marriage sermon (Khutbah-tun-Nikah) is a way of blessing the marriage and begins by praising Allah سبحانه و تعالى. “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger”, the Muslim confession of faith, is then declared.
The main body of the sermon comprises three verses from the Holy Qur’an and one Hadith:
‘Yaa ayyuha’n-naas uttaqu rabbakum alladhi khalaqakum min nafsin waahidatin wa khalaqa minhaa zawjahaa wa baththa minhumaa rijaalan katheeran wa nisaa’an wa’ttaqu-Llaah alladhi tasaa’aloona bihi wa’l-arhaama inna Allaaha kaana ‘alaykum raqeeban
(O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allaah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).’ [al-Nisaa’ 4:1],
‘Yaa ayyuha’lladheena aamanu-ttaqu’Llaaha haqqa tuqaatihi wa laa tamootunna illaa wa antum muslimoon
(O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allaah.)’
[Al ‘Imraan 3:102],
‘Yaa ayyahu’lladheena aamanu-ttaqu’Llaaha wa qooloo qawlan sadeedan (O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth).’
Al-Nisaa’i reported that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet ﷺ taught us Khutbat al-Haajah: Al-hamdu Lillaahi nasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu, wa na’oodhu billaahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa sayi’aati a’maalinaa. Man yahdih Illaahu falaa mudilla lahu wa man yudlil falaa haadiya lahu. Wa ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu
(Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger).
(Sunan al-Nisaa’i: Kitaab al-Jumu’ah, Baab kayfiyyah al-khutbah.
The ceremony draws to a close with Du’aa for the bride and groom, their families, the local Muslim community and the Muslim community as a whole (ummah).
It is written in the Qur’an that mahr must form part of the marriage contract. The groom gives mahr to his bride as a demonstration of his commitment to her and to provide for her. It can take the form of money, property or possessions. There is no set amount, although moderation is recommended, and the gift is agreed between the bride and the groom.
“And give the women their dowries as a free gift, but if they are pleased to offer you any of it accept it with happiness and with wholesome pleasure.” [Qur’an 4:4]
The groom may pay the mahr before he marries, at the time of marriage, or at a later date, as agreed with his bride. The mahr can even be postponed indefinitely. However, it will become payable immediately in the case of divorce or death. The amount and method of payment is written into a contract, which is signed by the bride, groom and witnesses. Following this, the Aqd-Nikah is announced to all who attend the nikah.
Traditionally, mahr would reflect the social status of the bride’s family. However, these days, the giving of mahr is seen mainly as a symbol. No one wants to begin married life burdened with debt and, equally, Islam does not wish to prevent men from getting married simply because they cannot afford an expensive dowry.
•Walima: the marriage banquet
The wedding banquet (Walima) is traditionally held by the groom after the nikah has taken place. It may take place immediately following the nikah, on the following day, the following week or at a future date, but the purpose of the banquet is for family and friends to share in the groom’s happiness on the occasion of his marriage and to give thanks to Allah سبحانه و تعالى.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ encouraged Muslims to accept invitations to attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts: “…and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet”. [Ahmad & Abu Dawood]
The Walima should not be wildly expensive. Islam emphasizes moderation and it is sensible to keep this in mind. No one should start their married life with a huge debt, or to burden the families with debt, owing to an extravagant Walima. It is an occasion to celebrate the happiness of the newlyweds and competing with what you may have experienced at a friend or relative’s Walima will most likely lead to escalating costs and distract you from the occasion.
Save your money for important things like a down payment on a house, hajj, your honeymoon etc. No matter what you do or don’t you’ll never be able to please everyone, so keep things affordable and simple.
Prophet (saw) said:
(al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih)
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed.” [Mishkat]
The Walima gives family members and friends the opportunity to congratulate the happy couple: the bride is congratulated by the women around her and by her family and friends;
The groom receives the congratulations of the men. The newlyweds are also presented with gifts. It is believed that gifts given willingly will strengthen the relationships between people. Therefore, it is important to keep gifts affordable. Nowadays most people will say “No boxed gifts” and people will instead bring cash or giftcards etc. It’s easier on everyone and you also will not waste or have to deal with gifts you do not like.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Exchange gifts, strengthen your love of one another.” [At-Tirmizi]
Remember these are traditions and a cultural necessity in certain countries. It is not a requirement in Islam. A mangni (engagement ceremony) may take place once the couple has accepted each other for marriage. It provides an opportunity for the two families to come together and for the couple to exchange rings if they so wish. The outfit of the bride-to-be is traditionally provided by the groom’s family.
It is traditional for the bride to hold a mendhi ceremony, usually at home, shortly before the wedding. The groom’s family provides the henna, which is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. Following the application of mendhi, the bride does not leave the house until the nikah. Her wedding clothes are also provided by the groom’s family.
It is not a religious requirement for the bride and groom to exchange rings in marriage; however, it has become a tradition. Gold jewelry is acceptable for women only, although silver rings may be worn by both men or women.
•The Wedding night
The anticipation of the wedding night can be a cause of wedding day nerves for most newlyweds but do try not to let any apprehension spoil your special day. If you know what is expected on this special night, you can reduce the feelings of uncertainty.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has described for us ways in which the wedding night can be fulfilling and enjoyable. The Sunnah encourages the groom to place his hands upon his wife’s head and to pray for her.
In the words of the Prophetﷺ : “O Allah, I ask You her goodness and the goodness of the inborn dispositions which You have given her, and I solicit Your protection from her evil, and the evil of the inborn dispositions which You have given her.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]
It is preferable that the groom leads his wife in two raka’at (units of prayer) before asking of Allah what they wish for themselves. The Prophet ﷺ also suggested to say : “O Allah, bless my wife for me, and bless me for her. O Allah, unite between us in good, and if You separate us, separate us in good.” [Abu Shaybah]
The groom should treat his bride with kindness and it is the Sunnah to offer her something to eat or drink. Foreplay is essential: take time to kiss and touch. The Prophet ﷺ said: “One of you should not fall upon his wife like the way an animal does, let there be a messenger between them.” [Daylami]
Nakedness is allowed but, to preserve modesty, it is preferred if the couple is covered by a sheet, as described by the Prophet ﷺ : “Verily Allah is modest and discreet and He likes modesty and discretion.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmithi and Abu Dawud]
Take things slowly and gently. Listen to each other and discover what feels good. Like most things in life, sex gets better with practice, so take comfort in the fact that you will soon discover what your partner likes and dislikes. Some women are naturally very anxious on the first night! Most will tell you, do this or do that but the main thing is to relax and go with the flow. When a woman loses her virginity it may be a bit painful and there may be some blood, but this is not always the case. If you ensure that there has been sufficient foreplay before intercourse, this should make penetration more comfortable.
It is a Sunnah to pray before intercourse: “In the name of Allah. O Allah, keep Satan away from us, and keep Shaytan away from (the offspring) that which You grant us.” [Bukhari]
You are free to have intercourse in any position you choose (see below) and as often as you choose. After sex, couples are advised to bath or shower (ghusl) or, at the very least, wash themselves (wudhu).
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “If one of you had intercourse with his wife and then wants to come to her again, it is better for him to perform wudhu, for it gives him vigor to come again.” [Muslim]
In Islam, there are varying views in regards to what is allowed and what is not but by majority, it is that anal and anything to do with the anus and having intercourse whilst the wife is on her period or has prenatal bleeding is haram as well as swallowing semen during oral sex. The basic rule for every non-worship act is that of permissibility unless proven otherwise. This rule is held by almost all the fuqaha based on the verse of the Qur’an 2:29.
Semen is pure according to the more accurate scholarly view, and deeming it impure and filthy is unnecessary exaggeration without any evidence.
Now, what is pure can technically be eaten, but Allah has not made every pure thing to be eaten. For example, the soil with which we perform tayammum is pure too, but does it mean that just because it is pure we should eat soil?
So everything that is pure can be eaten or consumed, but Allah has created some things pure not for the purpose of eating but for other purposes as well.
About oral sex there is a lot of controversies. But I say it’s conditional. If it fulfills the following conditions then it is halal otherwise not. The conditions are:
(a) it should not involve any impurity or filth like urine, menstrual blood or postpartum blood. Sperm (semen) is not impure according to the correct view.
(b) it should be done on the front genitals alone (i.e. the penis and the vagina), not on the anus, because I think all anal activities (like anal sex, anal fingering, anal licking) are haram because anus is a place of persistent filth.
Both the wife and the husband should urinate and wash their genitals thoroughly before engaging into the act. But this is more of a recommendation rather than a condition.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 222: They ask thee concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution; so keep away from women in their courses and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah. For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.
There is no man who walked on this planet earth who understood the commands of the Quran better than the person of the Last and Final Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws); and he (saws) specifically forbade the believers from entering their wives from their anus:
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2157 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah The Prophet (saws) said: He who has intercourse with his wife through her anus is accursed.
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3895 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah The Prophet (saws) said: If anyone resorts to a diviner and believes in what he says. or has intercourse with his wife when she is menstruating, or has intercourse with his wife through her anus, he has nothing to do with what has been sent down to Muhammad (saws)!
These are basically the most important and fundamental elements of the occasion of Nikah (marriage). Many communities have their own traditions and perhaps different ways of doing things, which you will learn as you go about your planning. So be flexible to include a few traditions as well as long as they are not extravagant or against the shariah. Do not forget that relatives will prove to be a mine of information and of great help to you at this exciting, yet busy, time so always engage with them over the planning stages.
Some additional resources you can look into:
- Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples by Salma Abugideiri and Imam Mohamed Magid
Before the Wedding: Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Marriedby Munira Ezzeldine
5 Things a Muslim Should Consider Before a Marriage – Nikkah
One of life’s milestones that many people look forward to is their Marriage or Nikkah.
That time that you are finally able to live with the one you love, and every act that was impermissible before becomes permissible for you both following nikkah.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There is nothing like marriage, for two who love one another.” (Ibn Majah)
But there seems to be a problem these days. Many of us look forward so much to the nikkah and the permissible actions, that we do not pay as much attention to the whole institution of marriage.
Before planning your nikkah, ask yourself how much you know about these things:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “A woman is married for four (reasons): her wealth, noble ancestry, beauty and religion. Choose the religious woman lest your hand is stuck to dust (because of destitution).” [Al-Bukhari]
This is a hadith that shows the importance of religion in our choice of a spouse. Many people fall in love with someone from a different religion or someone who does not practise the religion of Islam, but as Muslims, we know that whenever we seek love interests from the opposite gender, our religion is important and should be the main criteria when choosing someone to spend your lifetime with.
Before you think of nikkah, look and find out about that person’s religion and how it syncs with yours.
(2) Personal Iman
Beyond religious compatibility, personal iman (faith) is also very important for two people intending a nikkah.
Your spouse should be a person who has the same love or enthusiasm for the Deen as you do. Both of you should be practising Muslims.
When we are checking off our choices of a partner, many of us have ideals that we want the person to meet.
It could be a certain level of education, job, race, hobbies, etc. The same way we seek compatibility in these things with a person we wish to marry, so should we strive for the same in our Deen.
No one is a perfect Muslim, and many times, we find ourselves with people who have a different level of iman than ours. What is most important is that their current level of iman is what we would consider as a good (and positive) match for our own.
We should never though assume we can change someone or we can put up with someone’s lack of Iman! Rarely will you be able to do so! That’s when conflict happens and marriage becomes either a challenge or just a formality!
It’s a popular belief that you can’t really know a person till you’re married to them. Not true! But for Muslims, the character of the person that you are marrying is really important.
“Bad women are for bad men and bad men are for bad women. And good women are for good men and good men are for good women.” [Noble Quran 24:26]
A person who didn’t select their spouse carefully and was only focused on only her or his looks or their wealth may be doing themselves more harm than good.
Because few things ruin a marriage faster than getting married to someone with a negative character.
Fine, many marriages have problems that stem from a spouse’s bad character, even after their spouse may have carefully selected them. But in many instances, problems occur when people do not focus on the character of the person they are getting married to.
For example, there are people who treat their betrothed lovingly, but would treat other people around them poorly. For such a person, you begin to wonder if they are actually a good person, or if they are just pretending to the person they want to marry.
The best way to judge Character is to spend a few moments every time you meet in your family homes with the parents’ consent, chatting face to face with a potential spouse, ask questions and listen to the answers. Observe facial expressions and body language and look out for any signs that you feel uncomfortable with! This simple act will save you from marrying the wrong kind of person! Do not waste time chatting or sending messages via social media! This gives zero inside information about one’s character!
Many people have dubbed the Istikhara prayer as the prayer of marriage. And for good reason. Istikhara is the prayer for guidance from Allah (ta’ala), and who else can ‘guide’ a person apart from Him?
The Istikhara prayer is not just for marriage. It is a prayer for ‘guidance’, even for the smallest choice that you need to make in your life. You will have already made up your mind on the best option, but are still unsure, that’s when the Istikhara comes into play! If you are still unsure – then you should continue to research and get more information on that person or people.. try other sources and maybe meet again to chat some more or even to ask those difficult questions that have been bugging you and that will solve the confusion!
So if we can make Istikhara for little decisions, it goes without saying that before we think of spending the rest of our life with someone, we should seek the guidance of Allah (ta’ala).
Never be so excited about the thought of a nikkah, that you forget to pray about it.
Remember Istikhara is NOT something we do to find out which is the best decision – it is something we do once we have a good idea of what decision we have made and we then go with that decision with the blessings of the Istikhara!
The Istikhara Du’aa
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي
“Allâhumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka biqudratika wa as’aluka min fadlikal-azimi, fa innaka taqdiru walâ aqdiru wa ta’lamu walâ a’lamu wa anta allamul ghuyubi. Allâhumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra khayrun li fi dini wa ma-ashi wa aqibati amri faqdir-hu li wa yassir-hu li thumma barik li fihi wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra sharrun li fi dini wa maâshi wa aqibati amri fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir liyal-khayra haythu kâna thumma ardini.”
“O Allah, verily I seek the better [of either choice] from You, by Your knowledge, and I seek ability from You, by Your power, and I ask You from Your immense bounty. For indeed You have power, and I am powerless; You have knowledge and I know not; You are the Knower of the unseen realms. O Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then decree it for me, facilitate it for me, and grant me blessing in it. And if You know that this matter is not good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then turn it away from me and me from it; and decree for me better than it, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.”
(5) Marriage in Islam
Many intending couples take care of every detail of the nikkah but forget this important bit – the knowledge of how marriage should be in Islam.
For some, the day of the nikkah is when they get to hear about the rights and responsibilities that each spouse has over, and should fulfill for the other.
Islam is a beautiful religion. It gives us guidance on every aspect of life, such that anyone who abides by these guides will live a good blessed life.
So for anyone intending a nikkah, it’s important to learn about what marriage means in Islam, what your responsibilities are as well as the rights you have over your spouse.
Equally important, every intending couple should learn about the Islamic way of getting married, the importance of daily prayer, how to treat a spouse, and raising righteous children.
The knowledge (and proper application) of all these things is what makes a marriage beautiful.
A nikkah is a beautiful beginning for any couple and it should be one that has been planned with care, thoughtfulness, and faith in Allah (ta’ala).
Marriage Wisdom spoken in the Holy Quran
“And among His Signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Indeed in that are Signs for those who reflect” (30:21).
The ideal marriage should have feelings of peace, mercy, and love. If one’s marriage is lacking in these, one should try to improve it by working towards infusing your marriage with these feelings. Peace, Mercy, and Love is the ingredient of a Happy married life.
Marriage is a sign of Allah, but it’s NOT our life goal. Signs are meant to direct us to our true goal: Allah. We should not put all of our focus on marriage. We should see marriage as a sign to our true destination: nearness to Allah. If you feel you are not able to get married because you have had a bad experience, then focus on Allah and do not focus on looking for someone perfect!
“O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness that you may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] you have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and fairness. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good” (4:19).
Sometimes we may not like our spouses for some reason, but we should always treat them with kindness and fairness.
Our feelings towards our spouses may not be accurate. The spouse you may dislike could actually be a source of goodness.
“..If they (husband and wife) desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, there is no blame on them…” (2:233).
A husband and wife should strive for mutual agreement in a relationship. One should never be dictating or overbearing over the other.
A husband and wife should consult with each other about family matters. yes, that means the husband should also ask the wife’s opinion or ask for her advice and guidance..but to ignore her or to dismiss her guidance would be against the mutual love you have for her.
“If you fear a breach between them (ie. the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; If they wish for peace (desire reconciliation), then Allah will cause their reconciliation (make them of one mind): for Allah has full knowledge and is acquainted With all things” (4:35).
If a marriage is at risk of ending, the husband and wife should find family members from their families to help them resolve their differences.
Disagreements are normal in marriage. Every marriage suffers from occasional disagreements or misunderstandings that result in arguments and heated discussions!
Divorce should not be the first step when disagreements occur.
Allah will help couples to reconcile if they really want to.
Couples should go to family members first before going to outside parties to discuss marital problems. A wife should go to her father for advice. The husband should go to his Father and seek advice.
“And those who pray “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous” (25:74).
We should pray to Allah to give us happy marriages and families.
Having a peaceful family life is connected to being able to lead others to righteousness.
“Enter the Garden, you and your wives, in happiness” (43:70).
We should envision ourselves with our spouses in paradise. This will strengthen the marital bond.
We should remember that our final home, everlasting for all eternity is in paradise In Shaa Allah. A couple should share the same goal of achieving Allah’s forgiveness and approval.
“…They (your spouses) are your garments and you are their garments…” (2:187).
Spouses are like clothing for each other. Clothing protects us from harsh weather, just as spouses protect each other from the hardships of life. Clothing beautifies us, just as spouses beautify us and our lives.
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard…” (4:34).
Allah (Subhanahu Wa Taala) clarifies the roles of men and women in marriage. A husband protects and maintains his wife, and a wife respects her husband’s leadership by supporting him and cooperating with him in good works.
Both the husband and wife have responsibilities towards each other.
“The believing men and believing women are protecting friends of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give the prescribed charity and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise” (9:71).
Spouses should remember that they are protecting friends of one another. They are both on the same journey to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala ).
Obeying Allah and His Messenger should be the main focus of marriage.
A great youtube video that reflects on this second point is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfBQ2gGj7NU&t=1606s
Just want to clarify that I am not a scholar and I credit my findings to these sites: Islam.com , Islamandquran.org, Rememberence of Allah (swt) and Nikah Nama. I pray Allah (swt) forgives me for all of my shortcomings and at the end of the day he knows best. Hope this helped and made sense! If I missed anything, please do let me know below.