بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
“And among His signs is that He created mates for you from among yourselves so that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and compassion. In these are signs for people who reflect.” (The Qur’an 30:21)
This agreement made on the ______ day of ___________ in the year _____ CE; corresponding to the
_______ day of ______________ in the year _______ AH; Between_______________________ (the
‘Bride’, later ‘Wife’) and _______________________ (the ‘Bridegroom’, later ‘Husband’), all as specified outlined below.
I. BRIDE, LATER WIFE
Date and Place of Birth:
Marital Status: never married / divorced / widowed
II. BRIDEGROOM, LATER HUSBAND
Date and Place of Birth:
Marital Status: never married / divorced / widowed / married
Bride’s wakil (aaqid – representative) whom she hereby authorizes to perform the aqd:
Groom’s wakil (aaqid – representative) whom he hereby authorizes to perform the aqd: ___________________________________________________________________ __
The Bride and the Bridegroom enter into this agreement to provide for circumstances relating to their marriage contract; and both have read and agreed to the following stipulations by executing the relevant section(s).
The Bridegroom agrees to give the following marital gift (mahr) to the Bride:
Signature of the Bride:
Signature of the Bridegroom:
IV. CERTIFICATION OF NIKAH
This is to certify that the marriage of the Bride and the Bridegroom named above was solemnized in accordance with the Shariya laws of Islam
on the ________ day of the month of _________________ in the year ____________ CE;
the ________ day of the month of _________________ in the year ____________ AH;
Signature of the Wakil (aaqid – representative) of the Bride:
Signature of the Wakil (aaqid – representative) of the Bridegroom:
V. REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE
City and country where marriage is being performed:
Number of Marriage License issued by the city:
Date Licence issued:
Name and Position of the person solemnizing the marriage:
Signature of the Bride:
Witness of the Bride’s Signature
Signature of the Bridegroom:
Witness of the Bridegroom’s Signature
The Marriage Contract is an agreement between the husband and the wife for the formalization and for the termination of Marriage. The agreement is an attempt to reinforce the underlying significance of the sanctity of marriage by highlighting the roles and duties of both parties, through the couple assuring themselves that the document can be relied upon in times of misunderstanding and through reducing external interferences.
The contract is designed not to complicate an already deteriorating situation in life but to facilitate efficient and swift operation of provision made by sharia. Hence the two most important conditions which normally tend to conflict with the sharia are:-
• The right of a wife to the Islamic (Sharya) divorce
• The equitable and Islamic (Sharya) disbursement of assets
CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is a provision by Divinity to unite a man and a woman for purposes of procreation and satisfaction of our innate desires. It makes permissible what would be prohibited in other circumstances and maintains the nobility of descendants. It is an institution in which two personalities, attitudes, mindsets and souls decide to live together and face all challenges of life in a manner that is pleasant to the Almighty, giving continuity to the species of Believing Human Beings – a fact the Holy Prophet (SAW) will be proud of on the day of Judgement. His followers created a chain of believers who worshipped Allah Almighty.
CONCEPT OF DIVORCE
Ideally, a man and a woman, willing to adapt to each other’s likes and dislikes, preferences, attitudes, etc. should be capable of living together until death do them part. However, in the real world it is not so. Cognizant of the diversity in peoples’ nature, Divinity has provided a break clause for such a partnership and labelled it DIVORCE. This break clause, however, cannot be exercised easily and it remains the single permissible thing that the Almighty detests most. There are many conditions within a divorce, but separation and a break up of marriage frequently ends up in acrimony and hatred.
MUTUALLY AGREED STIPULATIONS WITHIN THE ISLAMIC SHARYA
Please initial the stipulations which you are in agreement with:
|1. The husband gives an irrevocable authorization to the wife to appoint someone as his representative (Wakil) for divorcing her after seeking approval of the resident alim, or her father, or her brother in the following cases:
|a) If the husband ill-treats and or physically abuses his wife to such an extent that it becomes extremely difficult for the wife to continue the marital relationship
|b) If the husband abandons the wife such as she becomes a suspended woman neither married nor free to marry for more than six months continuously.
|c) If the husband divorces his wife in the civil court but refuses to give her the religious divorce.
|d) If the husband is addicted to drugs and other intoxicants.
|e) If the husband obstructs the wife in the fulfilment of her religious obligations (wajibats).
|2. Distribution of assets||Bride||Bridegroom|
|a) Everything possessed by either spouses before marriage (Nikah) shall remain their personal properties.
|b) All gifts endowed by the Bridegroom and his family shall be returned to the husband and all gifts endowed by the bride and her family shall be returned to the bride. 
c) All the gifts and presents exchanged in between them and their respective members at the time of their engagement, at the time of their marriage and thereafter shall be the absolute properties of the recipients and shall not be subject to any claim or recall by either of the parties in the event of the termination of the marriage
|d) An amicable solution will have to be mutually agreed upon for all gifts endowed by non-family.
|e) Only assets acquired / used jointly during the tenure of marriage shall be divided equally|
|3. Both parties agree upon that in the event of the termination of marriage, the pronouncement of Talaq shall be made in accordance with the Shariya laws of Islam.
|4. In case of dispute, the two parties shall appoint one or more arbitrators whose decision will be respected.
|5. The Bride and the Bridegroom also agree to the following stipulations:|
This contract has been drafted in the hope that it will facilitate an honorable and amicable divorce in the spirit intended by Divinity. His pleasure is the ultimate call. (Surah Baqara, Verse 237) ‘………..and forgiving is closer to piety and do not forget the good times between you’.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties hereof known as the Bride and the Bridegroom have on their own will and accord, without any duress whatsoever, agreed without any reservation whatsoever, to the terms and conditions contained in this ‘marriage contract’ and have attested their initials and signatures in the presence of witnesses prior to the solemnization of their marriage.
Signature of Bride, later Wife:
Witness of Bride’s, later Wife’s Signature:
Signature of Bridegroom, later Husband:
Witness of Bridegroom’s, later Husband’s Signature:
Distribution of Assets (note 1, Clause 2b above)
Gifts endowed by the Bridegroom and his family which shall be returned to the husband:
Gifts endowed by the bride and her family which shall be returned to the bride:
PROPOSAL AND ENGAGEMENT
Engagement is the time between acceptance of the marriage proposal (khitba) and the marriage ceremony (‘aqd). Once the proposal is accepted, the man and the woman are known as “engaged to be married” or simply “engaged”. Engagement has no recognition in Islamic laws. It is simply an agreement to marry but it is not a binding agreement, it can be broken off with or without a reason.
Traditionally in all cultures, it is the man who proposes to the woman; and it is done either directly by the man himself or on his behalf by his family. Even the Qur’an asks the men to seek women for marriage. (See 4:3) And so, in the proposal, it is the man who initiates and the woman who accepts. In the actual marriage ceremony, however, it is the woman who initiates the marriage and the man who accepts it.
When & To Whom?
Other than the mahram ladies whom he cannot marry, a man may propose marriage to any single woman. (For list of the mahram ladies, see the Qur’an 4:23-24.) However, in the following four cases, proposal is not appropriate. (Remember that the contemporary mujtahids have not expressed their opinions on three of the four cases; but scholars of the early centuries of the ghaybat have expressed their opinions.)
1. A divorcee who is in her three months’ waiting the revocable divorce (talaq, a divorce initiated by the husband.) It is forbidden (harãm) to propose to her directly or indirectly before the expiry of her ‘iddah. The divorced couple, in this case, may decide to revoke their divorce during the grace period.
2. A divorcee who is in her three months’ waiting period (‘iddah) of the irrevocable divorce (khula‘, a divorce initiated by the wife.) It is forbidden (haram) to propose to her directly but one is allowed to propose to her indirectly.
3. A widow who is in her four months’ waiting period (‘iddah) after her husband’s death. It is forbidden (harãm) to propose to her directly but he is allowed to propose to her indirectly. (See the Qur’an 2:235)
4. An engaged woman: Is it permissible for man to propose a lady who is already engaged? Among the past scholars, there are two views on this issue: from makruh (irreprehensible) to haram (forbidden). However, if a woman who has just received a proposal but has not yet responded to it positively, it is permissible to propose her. In this case, if a man proposes to an engaged woman and eventually marries her, then according to those who consider that proposal to be haram, although the act of proposing is sinful but the actual marriage between the two would still be valid.
There is no such thing as an engagement ceremony in Islam. “Engagement” is just a nonbinding agreement to marry. However, Muslims have adopted certain traditions from other cultures or made their own customs. Technically, if traditions don’t violate the Sharia laws, then there is no problem.
These days, many Muslim cultures have adopted the Western tradition of giving or exchanging engagement rings. Apparently, this was first done by Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1477 when he gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. However, there is a problem in this tradition: since the engagement does not make the man and the woman mahram to one another, they cannot touch one another even for giving the engagement ring, they still have to observe the rules of hijab. The only solution is to recite the temporary nikah for the purpose of becoming mahram only.
Problems & Conflicts
These days the so-called “engagement ceremony” is becoming more like a mini marriage ceremony! I am not saying that don’t do your engagement ceremony – if you do it within the bounds of Sharia, then there is no problem, BUT don’t overdo it! Don’t rob the actual marriage of its mystique! Even the tradition of giving gifts –the man’s family gives to the engaged woman– is overdone in some cultures. I am told that at every occasion on our religious calendar, the boy’s family is expected to send clothes and jewelry to the girl. This is okay; but it becomes a big problem when the engagement is broken off.
1. If the engagement is broken off by one party, then the other cannot claim for damages for breaking the agreement since it was of a nonbinding nature. One cannot claim for damages for ‘loss of reputation’ or ‘depression’ or ‘air fare for our trips to visit you,’ or ‘the deposit paid for the hall rental’ and etc. Remember you cannot unwind your life; unpleasant things happen and you have to move on and carry on with your life.
2. Of course, both parties have the right to ask back for the gifts given to one another:
(a) If the gifts were of perishable nature (e.g., sweets), then there is no basis for asking it back or its value.
(b) If the gifts were non-perishable (e.g., cash or jewelry), then there is two possibilities:
i. If it still exists, then it should be given back.
ii. If it perished or doesn’t exist anymore, then:
1. if it perished out of negligence, then pay its value.
2. if it perished without anyone’s fault, then there is nothing.
So keeping the engagement relationship simple helps in dealing with potential problems later on. But if you still want to indulge in extravagance during the engagement period, then those who give should be prepared to forget everything in case the engagement is broken off and those who receive should be prepared to consider the gifts as ‘trust’ and be prepared to give them back.
3. However, according to Islamic laws, the gifts given to a person related to you by blood cannot be asked back. (Blood relationship means biological relationship as opposed to relationship through marriage.) So, for example, if the engagement is between cousins and then it is broken off, the parties cannot ask back for the gifts that they had given to one another.
OPTIONAL CONDITIONS IN AN ISLAMIC MARRIAGE CONTRACT
Marriage: A Legal Contract
Since marriage is a binding contract (‘aqd) in the Islamic laws (the Sharia), it depends on three essential conditions:
1. the proposal from the bride;
2. and the acceptance from the groom;
3. and the mahr.
Mahr means the consideration that the groom agrees to give to the bride. (See 4:4) It is the right of the bride and it is for her to specify or fix the mahr. The groom may either accept it or negotiate with her until they reach to an agreement. Mahr is not a price being paid for the lady; it does not mean buying a wife. It is a symbolic gesture of man’s true love for the woman whom he intends to marry. It doesn’t have to be monetary or material; it can even be a service (e.g., teaching the Qur’an or provided for higher education or paying for the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, etc). Moreover, the mahr can be immediate or deferred or partly immediate and partly deferred as agreed by both parties. Besides the three conditions mentioned above, there are no more essential conditions attached to the Islamic marriage contract.
However, like any other contract (‘aqd), there is room for optional conditions in the marriage contract as well. The concept of optional conditions is not an innovation or “a revolutionary concept;” it has existed in the Sharia laws from the earliest days. Of course, its application in marriage contract has gained popularity in modern times.
Why Optional Conditions?
The imams of the Islamic centres, the Muslim counselors and social workers have observed that some men abuse the rights given to them in marriage relationship. In order to prevent such situations and equip women with mechanism within the parameters of Sharia laws, we have started recommending to potential brides and grooms to add a few conditions to their marriage contract. Both parties can put whatever conditions they agree upon except a condition which goes against the Sharia laws. The conditions that we recommend are mostly related to the right of divorce and division of property at the time of divorce.
The Right of Divorce although marriage is sacred in Islam, it is also dissolvable. Divorce is allowed but as the last solution. However, the right of divorce has been given to the husband. If a situation arises where the wife does not want to continue with the abusive relationship and the husband does not agree to give divorce, then the woman is stuck in that marriage. The Quran is very clear that “either retain your wife in goodness or release them with kindness.” There is no third option where a woman is just left “suspended, neither married nor divorced.” However, there are certain men who do exactly the opposite— they leave their wives suspended. How does the Muslim community deal with such situations? There are a variety of pressures which could be brought to bear upon the husband to divorce his wife:
(2) extended family;
(3) community elders.
As a last resort, the woman could approach (4) the mujtahid (Islamic jurist) or his representative to intervene; and if he is convinced that the husband is being unjust, then he has the power to serve a notice to the husband and ask for his consent to divorce the wife. If the husband refuses, then the mujtahid can dissolve the marriage and pronounce the divorce even without the husband’s consent. In order to make things easy and fast in solving such marital problems where an abusive husband is refusing to give divorce, we encourage the couples, at the time of marriage, to add certain optional conditions to the marriage contract as seen below:
The husband gives an irrevocable authorization to the wife to appoint someone as his representative ( w a k i l ) for divorcing her, after seeking approval of the resident ‘ãlim* or her father* or her brother,* in the following cases:
1. if the husband marries another woman without permission of the wife and this option is excluded in the marriage contract;
2. if the husband ill-treats and or physically abuses the wife to such an extent that it becomes extremely difficult for the wife to continue the marital relationship;
3. if the husband abandons the wife and does not provide for her for more than six months continuously;
4. if the husband divorces his wife in the civil court but refuses to give her the religious divorce.
The first condition might seem to be against the Sharia law which allows polygamy; but it is not so. The condition does not prevent the husband from marrying a second wife; it gives a right of divorce to the first wife if she wants to disengage herself from this triangle relationship. By putting these conditions as part of the religious marriage contract, it becomes easier for women to get divorce when they are faced with such situations.
2nd Example: Property Distribution:
From the Sharia point of view, at the time of divorce, the wife is entitled to:
1. Mahr, if not already paid.
2. Her own property or belongings which she brought with herself at the time of marriage or whatever she acquired by way of earning or gifts or inheritance, etc. In case of divorce, this leaves many women, especially the housewives, without any financial support. Unfortunately, the secular society as well as the Muslim community does not recognize the contributions of the “housewife.” Women’s liberation movement has degraded the status of the mother and the housewife as opposed to a “career woman.” Her hard work in managing the household, and rearing of healthy and good children who grow up to be productive citizens is not adequately recognized or appreciated even by her peers in the women’s liberation movement. From the Islamic point of view, a wife is not legally required to do the household chores and take care of her own children; it is the husband’s duty to provide for his wife and children. However, on a moral level, the wife is expected to help the husband in managing the household and taking care of the children. This difference on the legal and moral levels is so that a husband shouldn’t think of his wife as a slave or a servant; he should appreciate the contribution of his wife in his life. That is the true partnership in marriage. It is in this background that we propose the following condition in the marriage contract which provides for some financial compensation for the wife if the husband initiates the divorce. If the husband initiates the divorce, then the husband will give to his wife ___% of all the possessions that he acquired during the marriage period. Wife can demand this ___% share only if she was doing her duty properly during the period of marriage and didn’t harm the respect of her husband and the family and didn’t use the family budget for her own purposes and desires. In case of dispute about the cause for divorce, the Islamic Shariya religious authority (the resident ‘alim or the marriage committee or the arbitration board) will determine whether the divorce was initiated by the husband or the wife, and whether the wife deserves compensation or not.
Such a condition will hopefully discourage some brides from asking for exorbitant amount in the deferred mahr as a financial security. Let the mahr be a true consideration from the groom to the bride, and not a financial security certificate for after divorce. Muslims, women and men alike, must realize that getting anything from one’s spouse in form of spousal support or alimony through civil courts will not make it legitimate from the religious point of view. It will be considered ghasbi, usurpation. Such spousal support or alimony can become religiously legitimate only if the issue of division of property was included in the Islamic marriage contract. It must be clarified that the issue of child support is different from the spousal support issue: a father is still responsible for providing for the child even when the mother has the custody.
If option (b) is selected, a list of all gifts included under this provision must be appended to this contact.
Marriage Contract Sample of European Fatwa Council (531.1 KiB, 921 hits)