Fiqh class- Marriage

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Weekly Fiqh classes on various important subjects are conducted by Mufti Kaleem. These are beneficial and practical summaries of the classes.


Legal Status of Marriage in Islam

The ruling varies from person to person based on his condition and situation.

Wajib (necessary): A person who has strong sexual desires and fears that he may commit fornication or other sinful acts, then it is Wajib upon that person to get married if he has the means to support and maintain a wife. This is because it is obligatory for him to protect himself from committing haram acts and to keep himself chaste.If however, he does not have the means to support, then he should try his best and refrain from sins and curb his desires.  Allah ﷻ mentions in the Quran:

وَلْيَسْتَعْفِفِ الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ نِكَاحًا حَتَّى يُغْنِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ

And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His Bounty.

The Prophet ﷺ mentions:

يا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ

O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. Whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will diminish his desire.

Sunnah: If a man has the financial means, however, he does not have sexual desires it is commendable and rewarding to get married.

Reprehensible: If it is feared that person would be oppressive and violent to his spouse then it is not permissible for him to get married.

NB: If a situation arises that a person fears committing fornication if he does not marry and at the same time he is violent, abusive and oppressive then it is not necessary (Wajib) for him to get married, rather it is reprehensible for such a person to get married.

Components of a Valid Marriage (Nikah)

(1) Offer & Acceptance       (2) Witnesses    (3) Consent        (4) Dowry                (5) Guardian                        (6) Spouse

(1) Offer & Acceptance

The wording used must be either in the past or present tense and not the future. The offer and acceptance must be clear without any ambiguity. E.g.

Offer: I married you/ I marry you/I have married you

Acceptance: I accepted/ I accept/I have accepted

NB: The offer can also be in the imperative tense (command) e.g. Marry me your Daughter

Offer and Acceptance Via Agency (Wakalah)

It is permissible for any of the spouses to authorise an agent/representative on his or her behalf to conduct and contract their Nikah (Marriage) e.g.

(a) Offer: I marry you to Zaid son of Zubair or Maryam daughter of Umar

Acceptance: Yes I have accepted

(b) Offer: I propose to marry Zainab, daughter of Zaid, do you accept?

Acceptance: I accepted/have accepted.

Ruling on wordings used in Traditional Offer & Acceptance

Offer:Do you, Zaid take Zainab to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love, to honour and to cherish……..

Acceptance: I do

If a marriage was done like this in the past it will be valid as the above gives the following meaning;

Offer: I offer to you Zaid, Zainab in marriage, do you accept?

Acceptance: I do accept

Ruling on Offer and Acceptance given in Future Tense

If however, the future tense was used then the marriage will not be contracted[1] example;

(a) I will marry you to my daughter Zainab.

(b) Would you marry Zainab, the daughter of Zaid

(c) I want to marry you to my daughter Zainab

The offer and acceptance must be in the one physical location

NB: An Imaam and the Khutbah are not conditions for Nikah.

(2) Witnesses

Witnesses are a condition for the validity of the Nikah contract. The minimum amount of witnesses required is:

(a) Two mature, sane Muslim men or

(b) One mature, sane Muslim man and two mature Muslim women.

Witnesses must be present for both the offer and acceptance.

Ruling of Marriage via phone or internet

The marriage will not be valid as it is a condition that the offer, acceptance and witnessing occur is the same physical location. These conditions cannot be met if conducted via the phone.

(3) Consent

Consent must be expressed verbally. If a parent/guardian/agent marries off someone without his/her consent then the marriage will not be contracted.

Nikah Fudhuli

This occurs where a person, without the permission of a man or woman conducts their Nikah with someone (with all its conditions). Thereafter the information reaches that man of woman and he/she permits the Nikah (i.e. give consent), then the Nikah will be considered valid.

(4) Dowry

A dowry should be specified. It is however, not a condition that the amount be disclosed at the time of marriage. If for some reason a dowry was not specified or mentioned prior to, or at the time of marriage contract, this will not affect the validity of the marriage. However, it will still be obligatory upon the husband to give to his wife a dowry (mahr mithl).

Types of Dowry

The minimum dowry is ten Dirhams approximately $115.00

Dowry given to the wives of the Prophet ﷺ was 500 dirhams approximately $5,725

Dowry given to Fatimah daughter of the Prophet ﷺ 480dirhams approximately $5496

(5) Guardian (Wali)

A woman should seek consent from her father/guardian when choosing a spouse for marriage. If however, consent was not sought then two scenarios can exist and their rulings are as follows: (a) If the girl marries someone who is not suitable/compatible (a non-equal in Shariah/Islam) then the marriage will not be contracted i.e. the marriage will not be valid.[2]

(b) If she marries an equal in Shariah/Islam the marriage will be valid.

NB: In the first scenario, the marriage will only be invalid if she has a wali (parent/guardian), in the absence of a Wali the Nikah/marriage will be contracted.

(6) Spouse

The spouse must legit, in that it must be a person whom the Shariah permits.

Rules regarding the Wife

(1) She must be a Muslim or from the People of the Book.

(2) She must not be from among the Mahram (both temporary and permanent),

(3) She must not be married nor in her waiting period (iddah)

Marrying People of the Book

People of the Book refers to Jews and Christians. It is permissible for a man to marry a Jewish or Christian woman provided that they are real Christians or Jews and not by mere name. However, in our times because of the destructive implications which would arise therefrom it is highly discouraged.


A Mahram are those individuals whom Marriage is prohibited due to certain relations.

Types of Mahram

(1) Relation through blood

  1. a) Mother, grandmother, however high in the hierarchy;
  2. b) Daughters, granddaughters, however low in the hierarchy;
  3. c) All type of sisters (whether full or half),
  4. e) Maternal and paternal aunts,
  5. f) Nieces (brother’s or sister’s daughters),

(2) Relations through fosterage (suckling)

Whosoever is a Mahram through the relationship of blood, will also be considered a Mahram by fosterage.

NB: The rules of fosterage will only apply within the first two and a half years of the child’s age. [3]

(3) Relationship through marriage (Musahara)

(a) One’s wife’s mother (mother in-law), grandmother and on up: Marriage with her becomes unlawful by merely contracting marriage with the daughter, regardless of whether the marriage was consummated or otherwise.

(b) One’s wife’s daughter (from a previous marriage), grand-daughter and on down: Marriage with her becomes unlawful (permanently) if the marriage with her mother was consummated.

(c) The wife of one’s son, grandson, and on down: This is regardless whether the son consummated the marriage or otherwise.

(d) One’s stepmother, step grandmother and on up: Meaning those women who have been in the marriage of one’s father or paternal or maternal grandfather.

Temporary Mahram: Aunt, niece and sister of one’s wife

Rules regarding the Husband

He must be a Muslim

Formare rulings on marriage see :


[1] درر الحكام شرح غرر الأحكام (1/ 327)

نعقد أيضا (بما وضعا) أي لفظين وضع أحدهما (له) أي للمضي.

(و) الآخر (للاستقبال) يعني الأمر فإنه موضوع للاستقبال (كزوجني وزوجت)


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ 10)

(وضع أحدهما له) للمضي (والآخر للاستقبال) أو للحال، فالأول الأمر

قال الشامي: (قوله: فالأول) أي الموضع للاستقبال


البناية شرح الهداية (8/ 5)

(ولا ينعقد بلفظين أحدهما لفظ المستقبل والآخر بلفظ الماضي) ش: أي أحد اللفظين لفظ المستقبل، مثل أبيع منك…..

(بخلاف النكاح) ش: يعني أنه ينعقد بذلك فإن أحدهما إذا قال: زوجني فقال الآخر: زوجتك فقد انعقد م


مجمع الأنهر في شرح ملتقى الأبحر (1/ 317)

(أو أحدهما) يكون بلفظ الماضي (كزوجني فقال زوجت) قال صاحب الدرر وينعقد بإيجاب وقبول وضعا للماضي كزوجت وتزوجت وينعقد أيضا بما وضعا أي بلفظين وضع أحدهما للماضي والآخر للاستقبال يعني الأمر فإنه موضوع للاستقبال كزوجني وزوجت

[2] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ 56)

(ويفتى) في غير الكفء (بعدم جوازه أصلا) وهو المختار للفتوى (لفساد الزمان)

قال الشامي

(قوله بعدم جوازه أصلا) هذه رواية الحسن عن أبي حنيفة، وهذا إذا كان لها ولي لم يرض به قبل العقد، فلا يفيد الرضا بعده بحر. وأما إذا لم يكن لها ولي فهو صحيح نافذ مطلقا اتفاقا كما يأتي لأن وجه عدم الصحة على هذه الرواية دفع الضرر عن الأولياء، أما هي فقد رضيت بإسقاط حقها فتح، وقول البحر: لم يرض به يشمل ما إذا لم يعلم أصلا فلا يلزم التصريح بعدم الرضا بل السكوت منه لا يكون رضا كما ذكرناه فلا بد حينئذ لصحة العقد من رضاه صريحا، وعليه فلو سكت قبله ثم رضي بعده لا يفيد فليتأمل

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ 57)

قال الشامي

وهو المختار للفتوى) وقال شمس الأئمة وهذا أقرب إلى الاحتياط كذا في تصحيح العلامة قاسم لأنه ليس كل ولي يحسن المرافعة والخصومة ولا كل قاض يعدل، ولو أحسن الولي وعدل القاضي فقد يترك أنفة للتردد على أبواب الحكام، واستثقالا لنفس الخصومات فيتقرر الضرر فكان منعه دفعا له فتح

الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (3/ 57)

[3] بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (4/ 7)

ثم الرضاع يحرم في المدة على اختلافهم فيها سواء فطم في المدة أو لم يفطم، هذا جواب ظاهر الرواية عن أصحابنا حتى لو فصل الرضيع في مدة الرضاع ثم سقي بعد ذلك في المدة؛ كان ذلك رضاعا محرما ولا يعتبر الفطام وإنما يعتبر الوقت فيحرم عند أبي حنيفة ما كان في السنتين ونصف وعندهما ما كان في السنتين؛ لأن الرضاع في وقته عرف محرما في الشرع لما ذكرنا من الدلائل من غير فصل بين ما إذا فطم أو لم يفطم.