Quranic requirements for marriage

 

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Quranic requirements for marriage

A number of requirements are mentioned in the Quran for marriage, they are:

1- The couple must both be at the age of marriage.
2- Believers may not marry disbelievers or mushrikeen.
3- The couple must make a genuine commitment to one another.
4- The marriage must be declared.
5- The marriage must be contracted.
6- The marriage must be intended as a permanent bond.
7- The man must pay a dowry to his bride.


FIRSTThe age of marriage

You shall test the orphans when they reach the age of marriage. Then if you find them mature enough, you shall pay them their money. Do not consume it wastefully or quickly before they grow up. Those who are rich shall not charge any wage, and whoever is poor can charge equitably.When you pay them their money, you shall have witnesses. God suffices as Reckoner. 4:6

This Quranic verse clearly speaks of an age of marriage and links it to being “mature enough“.
The key Arabic word “balaghu“, which means reaching puberty, is quite significant. Reaching puberty alone is not sufficient to be at an age of marriage. We must also incorporate the added significance of the words “when you find them mature enough“.

Naturally, not all minors will reach puberty and attain a certain degree of maturity at the same age, hence why God did not set a fixed age but left it to the parents and guardians.


SECONDBelievers may not marry disbelievers or mushrikeen.

Do not marry the women who commit shirk until they believe; a believing slave woman is better than a mushrikah even if you like her, and do not marry the men who commit shirk until they believe; a believing slave man is better than a mushrik even if you like him. 2:221

It goes without saying that the believers are not to marry atheists and disbelievers.



THIRD
Genuine commitment between the couple

How could you take it back when you have been so close to one another, and after they had taken from you a strict covenant? 4:21

The words “strict covenant” indicate that when a couple marry they should make a genuine commitment to one another.


FOURTHMarriage to be declared

And you commit no error if you announce your engagement to the women, or you keep it to yourself. God knows that you will think about them, but do not make secret arrangements with them, rather only speak with righteousness. Do not execute the marriage contract until the term is fulfilled. You shall know that God knows your innermost thoughts, so beware of Him, and know that God is Forgiver, Forbearing. 2:235

The words in 2:235 allow the engagement to be announced or kept secret, but that the marriage should not be kept secret “do not make secret arrangements with them” but should be declared.


FIFTHMarriage should be contracted

And you commit no error if you announce your engagement to the women, or you keep it to yourself. God knows that you will think about them, but do not make secret arrangements with them, rather only speak with righteousness. Do not execute the marriage contract until the term is fulfilled. You shall know that God knows your innermost thoughts, so beware of Him, and know that God is Forgiver, Forbearing. 2:235

The words “contract the marriage” confirm that a marriage contract must be drawn rather than for couples agreeing to marry by mere verbal arrangements.


SIXTHPermanent bond

For a marriage to be lawful in the sight of God it must have the intention of being a permanent bond between man and woman. Any temporary kind of marriage is not lawful in the sight of God. God placed a number of conditions which must be met before a divorce can be contracted. These conditions rule out the option of having temporary marriages, and confirms that God regards marriage as a long lasting relationship and not a temporary arrangement. These conditions are:

1- The couple must wait 4 months (cooling period) before committing to divorce (2:226).
2- The couple must seek a council from the 2 families and genuinely attempt to reconcile (4:35).
3- The wife should not be evicted from the marriage home unless she commits gross immorality (65:1).
4- The man must pay the divorced wife a divorce compensation (2:241).
5- If there are children, the man must pay children’s alimony (2:233).
6- In addition to children’s alimony, if the man divorces a wife who is nursing his child, he must pay for her food and clothes for two years (2:233).


SEVENTHPayment of the dowry

Also forbidden are the women who are already married, except what your right hand possesses. This is God’s decree that is binding over you. Beyond those, all others are permitted for you, so long as you employ your money for marriage purposes and not for illicit sex. Those among them who are pleasing to you, you shall pay them their decreed dowries. You commit no error by mutually agreeing to any adjustments to the dowry. God is Knowledgeable, Wise. 4:24

There is no fixed amount for the dowry in the Quran, but it is to be decided according to every man’s means. The dowry could be a cash payment or a gift.

The words “pay them” indicates that the dowry is to be paid to the bride and not to her father.

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