What is Forbidden in Islamic Marriage? Laws and Traditions

The marriage is considered to be amongst the most important and socially dynamic institutions in any civilized society. However, in an Islamic wedding, things are required to be conducted in a manner that conforms to the laid out rules and traditions in the sharia law. To find out more about the rule and tradition of marriage in Islam, I decided to do my research.

So, what is forbidden in Islamic marriage? In Islamic marriage it is forbidden for a man to marry close relatives like his mother, daughter, sister or marry any women who was previously married to his biological sons. Breaking up of existing marriages is also forbidden especially for example, where a man is trying to marry two sisters and one is already married.

The rules and traditions for ensuring a legal marriage in Islam is legal also includes the fact that sexual intercourse is not possible before marriage and that any children born are legitimate, the wife is entitled to mahr as well as maintenance.

After marriage the husband is entitled to reasonably restrain his wife’s movements. The mutual rights of inheritance are established and the prohibition regarding marriage due to the rules of affinity comes into operation.

Laws laid out by Islam strictly forbid celibacy. The Prophet himself pointed out that there is no place for celibacy in Islam. Therefore, marriage is considered to be a social necessity that has its own stipulated rules.

Family and marriage institution occupies a pivotal role in the legal system of Islam. It can be concluded from the fact that Muslim jurist regard the protection of marriage among the five fundamental objectives of the sharia. The Quran describes marriage as mithaq anghaliza, meaning that it is a sacred and sanctified contract, which is regarded to be higher in status than other civil contracts.

The objectives of a marriage contract cannot be met by forcing a believer to enter into a marriage contract. Such traditions and practices are not encouraging Islam. The right to marry with free and full consent is clearly given and is normally incorporated in national laws of any country. It is as well established in international human rights law.

The dower given by the husband is a Quranic duty towards the wife as well as a right of the wife. The dower amount is not fixed and according to hidaya, the wife’s age, intellect and beauty as well as virtue are normally considered. The rights of getting the amounts of mahr for a Muslim woman is governed by several conditions including the fact that is a marriage is consummated is dissolved by death.

In Islam a void marriage is not a marriage at all. This marriage does not create the obligations or civil rights between the parties. The children that are born in such a marriage are considered illegitimate and there exists no real process by which the marriage can be made legal. The woman gets no rights to the dower and that man gets no rights of inheritance.

The essential conditions for a valid marriage is the ijab, qubul, the participants being balig and should be of sound mind. If in any case one of the above conditions are not made, the marriage is prohibited. It is therefore important to note that Muslim discourages early child marriages, forced marriages and marriage without consent. Any marriage that falls in the prohibited degrees of marriage will be considered invalid and void.

Islam also prohibits any marriage in which the wali opts to marry the girl for the sake of mahr. In some poor Muslim communities, the father or the wali may see the opportunity of marrying his daughter to a wealthy husband without consent as an opportunity to earn money. It is therefore prohibited for any guardian to marry off their daughters for the sake of financial gain.

An irregular marriage can always be terminated by either party, either prior or after consultation. This can be done by words by showing an intention to separate. In Islam an irregular marriage has no legal effect prior to consummation and if the consummation applies, the wife is always entitled to mahr, she is always expected to observe the iddat. Even after consummation, an irregular marriage does not create mutual rights of inheritance between the husband and wife.

Having a temporary agreement for a fixed period of time is considered to be a muta marriage. This type of union in some other regions is considered legal. Entering into a contract of marriage for a limited amount of time is allowed in such parts. The marriage gets dissolved on the expiration of the predefined time.

If there is no limit expressed therefore it means that the marriage is regarded to be permanent. In such a situation, the amount of mahr must be in the contract of the muta marriage otherwise the agreement is rendered void.

There is no witness required for a muta marriage. Just like any other contract the wife can lay down the conditions for the sexual union within the stipulated time limit. This contract normally specifies her daily maintenance. The husband is required to respect and meet these conditions. The contract can be renewed if both parties feel necessary.

In such a union, the husband is usually granted a unilateral right to revoke the marriage mark because of his superior position in the relationship. The wife has the ability to refuse to be intimate with the husband or can leave him in such a case and is required to reimburse the mahr she received from him.

When it comes to the Talaaq-i-sunnat or the dissolution of marriage there are two categories: Talaaq-i-ahsan and the talaq-i-Biddat.  The talaaq-i-ahsan is characterized by a single pronouncement of divorce which is made during the period of tuhr and then followed by the abstinence from sexual intercourse during the period of iddat.

In this case, the divorce can be revoked any time before the completion of iddat therefore preventing unreasonable and hasty divorces. In such a divorce the husband is required to pronounce the formula for talaaq three times during the successive tuhrs.

The talaaq-i-biddat, is instant in nature. It enables any Muslim husband to divorce his wife by saying the word talaaq three times orally, in written form or most recently in electronic form. This form of talaaq treats women like chattel is normally not in conformity with the stipulations of modern society. Women are subjected to such practices which violate their fundamental rights.

According to the Quran, the correct rules for talaq must include a reasonable cause for divorce as well as the fact that the declaration of the divorce be preceded by attempts of the reconciliation between the parties involved by two arbitrators. If all these attempts fail, then only the divorce will come into effect.

Who is forbidden to Marry in Islam?

Islam prohibits you from marrying people with blood relationship and bars any man from marrying his mother or grandmother, his daughter or granddaughter, his sister or consanguine, his niece or great niece among other blood relationships. Consanguineous marriage is a marriage whereby it is between close biological relatives. First degree marriage (incest) is forbidden in Islam.

The Quran explicitly states that mothers, daughters, father’s sisters, sisters, mother’s sisters, sister’s daughters, brother’s sisters among other close relatives. This is in conformity with the avoidance of high risk genetic diseases in offspring born in such a marriage.

Regarding third degree relatives, there is nothing in the Quran that encourages marriage between cousins. According to a hadith by the prophet, he stated explicitly that believers are not supposed to marry cousins as it may lead to disabled offspring being born. The above hadith has been mentioned in other religious books like Alhadaeq Alnaderah among other religious publications.

According to Shia school of thought marriages between close blood relatives is discouraged. Cultural and social reasons are behind this prohibition. Apart from the Islamic religious beliefs, the effects of marrying close blood relatives can affect the offspring of such a marriage. This is due to the inheritance of diseases as well as unwanted traits from the parents. This can affect the ability of the offspring of being productive in society.

Islam prohibits any believer to marry on the ground of affinity. Marrying your mother in law, your wife’s daughter, wife of his son, or wife of father among other close relations. All the ascendants or descendants of the wife or the wife of any ascendant or descendant is not encouraged.

Islam also prohibits you to marry on the ground of fosterage. Fosterage means that when a woman other than her own mother has suckled a child under the age of two years, the woman is regarded as a foster-mother of the child.

A man is forbidden from marrying his foster mother or her daughter or in some cases his foster sister. It is also forbidden for men to marry two wives who are related to each other based on affinity, consanguinity or fosterage. Such a marriage is considered illegal in Hukum Syara.

A man who has gone to perform Hajj and has entered the sacred commune of kaba after wearing the ahram is forbidden to sing a contract of marriage. In any case a believer or one of the parties to a marriage becomes a fire-worshiper or an idolater or when the husband becomes a Christian, then the union is rendered invalid by what is identified as supervening prohibition.

Under hanafi law, a man can marry a Muslim lady or a kitabiya. But under any circumstance a Muslim female cannot marry anybody else except a Muslim male. It is also prohibited for a man who has divorced to marry a free bride whom he has renounced three times until another man has married her legally and the union has been effectively consummate with the wife and the husband has repudiated her or when the husband dies and thereafter her iddat expires.

A woman who gets pregnant through illicit intercourse, a divorced woman or a widow is prohibited from remarrying or getting married during the time of iddat. It is also directed that a Muslim man is allowed to marry a maximum of four wives. On the other hand a Muslim woman can only marry one husband at the same time.

It is important to note that Islam puts forward a condition that a marriage should be attested and announced publicly. A secret marriage that is witnessed by a few people secretly is makruh and is considered haram. It is considered dangerous for those that are affected by it.

It almost always includes deception or usually considered a great omission, especially when the husband marries an additional wife in secret without her consent. As outlined by Surat al Nisa 4:25, the scholars have pointed out that the verse discourages secret marriages that have no witnesses by using an analogy between a secret marriage and secret mistress.

Every Muslim is obligated to announce their marriage publicly. In many cases, a secret marriage is considered prostitution. It is a tradition to announce weddings publicly as directed by the Prophet himself.

It is also prohibited to be in an unregistered marriage. It is not right for any Muslim who believes to be married and has made the same commitment to not have their marriage unprotected by the law. For the union to be a valid one, it should be registered under the Islamic law.

An unregistered marriage has negative effects in terms of the legal process for any related issues. For instance, if a Muslim wife in such a union is mistreated by her husband, she could not sue the counterpart as there exists no written proof

Also unregistered or unrecognized marriage does not guarantee the wife and the children financial support and heritage when the husband is deceased. The Muslim wife will not be able to socialize in the society because she will be labelled as a mistress or deemed reckless because she is living with a male counterpart without any legal bond.

It is essential for any Muslim believer to perform a legally recognized marriage that is in line with the dictates of the Quran and the sharia law. To make sure that you conform, it is advisable to speak to an Imam.

As mentioned above it is not permissible for a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man while the vice versa is allowed. This may seem inconsiderate but the justification behind it turns out to be clear if a real reason is understood.

All the regulations and statutes in Islam are grounded on certain definite interest and wisdom to all the parties in marriage. Therefore, interfaith marriage is characterized with numerous challenges, therefore it is not advised for any believer to engage themselves in it.

Marriage in Islam is based on mercy, love and peace of mind; a union built upon a firm basis can guarantee continuity in the marital relationship. The reason behind such a prohibition is the fact that a non-Muslim man will or may not respect his Muslim’s wife faith. The above is justified because the beliefs of the non-Muslim husband in previous religions is strong and the acknowledgement of Prophet of Allah has not been solidified.

Even though the non-Muslim husband does not express this, a Muslim wife in such a relationship will feel that her partner does not respect her faith. Islam therefore prohibits such a union because of such logic.

Islam also prohibit same sex marriages, irrespective of the trends, social and cultural practices, Islamic principles and prohibitions especially to the aspects that are mentioned in the Quran. Whether it comes to homosexual marriage, intoxicants, gambling or adultery, the degree of prohibition is the same. All these are considered haram. Even if his whole world would argue and disagree with the prohibition, Islam considers this prohibition for the betterment of the society.

Because Islam is committed to protecting chastity as well as moral excellence, the Quran forbids marriage between a man and already married women except those slaves who believe in Islam. Such a marriage is encouraged so long as you seek them in marriage with mahr. Islam also prohibits pre-marital sex.

Therefore every Muslim should ensure to refrain from premarital sex as it is deemed sinful. The objective of engaging in a marriage union is to not only give sexual pleasure, but to make sure that the parties are able to sustain love, affection, and peace. This can be attained by mutual understanding and cooperation.

Many a scholar has as well illustrated numerous repercussions of homosexual acts to reinforce this prohibition, including reasons of breaking up the family unit, spread of sexual diseases and going against the natural laws that Allah had ordained in His creation of man and woman.

 Nevertheless, if the whole world goes against this prohibition and argue that such an act is for the betterment of the society, that is meant to ensure equality; Muslims  are required to remain steadfast on this matter as the reliance and obedience must remain in Allah alone.

In conclusion, it is a sacred duty for every Muslim to understand the prohibitions in Islam that surrounds marriage. As discussed above we have discussed some of the essential prohibitions to make sure that every Muslim conforms to sharia law and what the holly book teaches. This will ensure that every Muslim holds the dignity of Islam.

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