Lecture to 3rd year medical students on 21st October 2000
Conditions to be fulfilled in a prospective husband: Three conditions must be fulfilled in a prospective
spouse: adulthood, desire for marriage, and financial ability. According to the Law an adult is one who is post-puberty or
is 15 years and more is eligible to marry. Although marriage is encouraged, al targhiib fi al nikaah (MB 1828 and MB
1829, BG 825), the prospective spouse must emotionally be prepared for marriage and must have a desire for it. Marrying without
such a motivation may lead to marital failure. It is an offense for a person with no desire for marriage to go ahead and contract
a marriage. The prospective husband must possess sufficient financial resources to support a wife. If a man has desire for
marriage but is financially incapable he can borrow or can be advised to
fast instead (BG 824).
Conditions to be fulfilled by the prospective wife: The pre-conditions for the bride are less stringent
than the male. The minimum age at marriage is 9 years. She must have a desire to marry. There are no financial conditions.
Basis for forbidden marriages: Marriage is prohibited on the basis of blood relationship, fosterage, social
considerations, difference of religion, and certain violations of the laws of marriage. Marriage of close relatives, maharim,
was forbidden (p. 1092 4:22-23) for both biological and social reasons. The prophet taught that offspring of close relatives
are less healthy. Medical science has also found a higher rate of genetically-determined diseases in marriages of close relatives.
On the social level, family dynamics would be disturbed if close relatives can marry since this will require that they maintain
the rules of hijab in the home. Such a situation will make normal family life and interaction difficult. Fostering creates
a relation akin to a biological one and thus also becomes a reason for prohibition of certain marriages. Some marriages are
forbidden because of the likelihood of conflicts such as marrying two sisters at the same time or marrying the ex-spouse of
a parent. These conflicts will destroy the fabric of the family. Difference of religion is a basis for prohibiting certain
marriages because of the likelihood of conflicts and failure of the marital relation.
Unmarriageable women on basis of consanguinity:
Category 1: Mother, grandmother, sister of mother, sister of father, wife of father, ex-wife of father (p. 545
Category 2: Daughter, grand daughter, wife of son,
Category 3: Sister, daughter of brother, daughter of sister
Category 4: Mother of wife, grandmother of wife. Daughter of wife
Unmarriageable men on the basis of consanguinity
Category 1: Father, brother of father, brother of mother, husband of daughter, ex-wife of father
Category 2: Son, husband of daughter,
Category 3: Brother, son of brother
Category 4: Father of husband, grandfather of husband, son of husband
Forbidden marriage on the basis of suckling
It is forbidden to marry a foster sister or a foster brother (MB 1838, MB 1840, BG 969). It is also forbidden to
marry a foster father and a foster mother. Suckling makes a woman like a biological mother and her husband like a biological
father and this applies to their descendants (BG 967). Only 5 sucks from the breast are considered as establishing a relationship
that can prohibit marriage (BG 964, BG 968). The sucking must be in the period before weaning (BG 970, 971, 972). A marriage
contracted in ignorance between a foster brother and a foster sister is annulled as soon as the truth is known (BG 973).
Women who can not be married jointly
A woman and her sister
A woman and her father's sister (BG 844)
A woman and her mother's sister (BG 844)
Forbidden marriage on the basis of religion: A Muslim can not marry a polytheist (p. 545 2:221). There are disagreements among jurists about marriage of people of
Shighaar: Shighaar is a situation when 2 males agree to exchange
their female kin in marriage without paying the mahr. Shighaar is strictly forbidden (MB 1843, BG 840). It is a form of financial
fraud in which women are deprived of their right to mahr.
Mut'at: Mut'at is a marriage contracted with the knowledge that
it is for a limited period. Temporary marriages are forbidden (MB 1844, BG 848, BG 849, BG 850, BG 851). Temporary arrangements
can not be a basis for forming a successful family that rears children.
Tahliil/halala: This is marrying a thrice-divorced woman without
the intention of a permanent marriage but just in order to divorce her and thus make her eligible to remarry her former husband
SUITABLE MATCH, kafaat
Desirable characteristics in a spouse (BG 827): (a) Religion, diin, is
the most important consideration in the selection of a spouse. It is forbidden to marry a polytheists, mushrik, or an unbeliever,
kafir (p 547 60:10-11). Women but not men from people of the book can be married
(p 548 5:5). Marriage to the people of the book is forbidden if there are eligible Muslim women. It is haram for a Muslim
woman to marry a non-Muslim man. A person convicted of adultery can only marry one who was similarly convicted (p. 546 24:3).
Beauty, jamaal, is not a permanent
value or characteristic. Marriage only on the basis of beauty could lead to frustrations later. Being physically attractive
helps strengthen the marital bond; but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Wealth,
maal, is not a permanent value. A rich spouse today may become poor tomorrow
and vice versa. Pedigree, nasab, does
not always predict the behavior of an individual perfectly. It is however an additional criterion in the selection. It is
wrong to use it solely in making the marital decision. Lineage, nasal, is not innately important. The prophet married Fatima bint Qais, a Qurashite, to
Usamah son of a freed slave (BG 856). Barira, a freed slave woman, married a free man (BG 858). Social compatibility,
kafaa, helps in strengthening the marital bond.Purpose of assuring social compatibility is to match the 2 prospective spouses on background cultural and life-style
characteristics to produce a stable and happy marital relationship. This is because it narrows the field of potential differences
and disputes. Religiousness, kafaat fi
al ddiin (MB 1833, MB 1835) is very important. A religious and practicing person marrying a non-practicing one will have
a lot of problems that will eventually destroy the marriage. Religiosity is the best criterion because it is a permanent value.
It is better to marry a religious woman who has deficiencies in other aspects than to marry an irreligious one who is perfect
in all other aspects. Professional status is not innately important. The prophet
asked the family of Bayoda to intermarry with Abu Hind, a cupper and a former slave (BG 857). It however helps to use this
as an additional criterion to decrease the differences among spouses. Physical disabilities
in a prospective spouse are not a reason for not marrying provided there is full disclosure and consent so that none of the
spouses feels cheated or deceived. If a person feels that he or she can not live with certain physical disabilities, it is
better not to proceed with the marriage.
MARRIAGE PROPOSAL, khitbat al nikaah
Knowing the prospective spouse: Looking at the prospective spouse is
allowed (MB 1846, BG 830, BG 831). It is allowed to look at the face and hands of the prospective spouse even without consent.
The looking may be repeated as many times as is needed. The permission of looking at the prospective bride includes pre-marital
screening for disease and genetic traits.
Manner of marriage proposal: The Qur'an has described the etiquettes
of proposing (p 1096 2;235). The marriage proposal is usually made by men. It is allowed for the woman to initiate the proposal
(MB 1843, BG 833). It is forbidden to propose when a previous proposal is still being considered or has been accepted (MB
1851, BG 832). It is forbidden to make any marriage proposals, direct or allusive, during the period of waiting after a reversible
divorce, iddat talaaq al ruj'at. Allusive proposals can be made in the following
three situations: iddat talaaq al bain; ‘iddat al khuluu, and ‘iddat al mawt. It is forbidden
for the prospective spouses to be secluded in private, khalwat (MB 1868) without a mahram.
There is no consensus on the definition of economic independence. The requirement of economic independence applies
to the prospective husband and not the wife. Delay of marriage until economic independence has its pros and cons. Delay of
child-bearing until economic independence also has advantages and disadvantages.
B. MARRIAGE CONTRACT and MAHR
THE PILLARS OF THE CONTRACT
There are 4 pillars of marriage: pronouncement and acceptance, the waly, the bride, and the groom. The Law has
prescribed an exact formula by which the pronouncement and acceptance of marriage are made. No marriage is valid unless
witnessed (BG 836). The conditions of witnesses are that they be Muslims, 2 men or I man and 2 women; of upright up-right
character; in full possession of the faculties of sight and hearing; and knowledgeable in the language in which the marriage
contract is being transacted. No marriage is valid without a guardian, waly
(MB 1847, BG 835). A woman can not give herself away in marriage nor can another woman give her away (BG 839). The waly must
be a male Muslim of sound judgment. Priority is given to the father. The order of the guardian after the father being: the
grandfather, the brother, the son of brother, and the brother of father. In the absence of a guardian the Muslim judge (BG
836) or any other male authorized by the bride can act as guardian. The legal guardian may delegate his responsibilities to
another relative. The groom must be a Muslim. It is strictly forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a man who is not
a Muslim. The bride can be a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian. Marriage to a polytheists, mushrik, or apostate, murtadd, is forbidden. Remarriage is forbidden
for persons whose marriage was dissolved by liaan.
No person is to be married without their free consent irrespective of gender, age, or previous marital status.
For both virgins and non-virgins, consent is necessary (MB 1848, MB 1849, BG 837, BG 838). It is illegal to force a woman
into marriage (p 1094 ). If a marriage is concluded without the woman's consent,
it is considered invalid (MB 1850, BG 841)
DOWER, mahr/ sadaaq
Mahr is obligatory for validity of a marriage (BG 847). Payment of mahr makes sexual intercourse lawful (BG 886). There is no fixed amount for mahr; the bride is free to ask for whatever she wants. The mahr should
be simple (BG 890). Anything can be used as mahr such as money (BG 882), food crops
(BG 886), sandals (BG 887), or an iron ring (888). Teaching Qur'an can also be mahr
(BG 833). The mahr is fixed before marriage. Whether paid before or after marriage,
the mahr remains the property of the wife. The wife can of her own free will give
some or all of her mahr to her husband (p 547 4:4). Gifts given to her relatives after marriage are considered theirs and
not her property (BG 884). If a man marries a woman without mention of a specific amount for mahr and he dies before sexual intercourse, she is given the normal mahr
of women like her and she has the right of inheritance (BG 885). If divorce occurs after sexual intercourse, the wife is entitled
to keep all the mahr. Mahr is not returned after divorce (p 545 -22). If divorce occurs before sexual intercourse, the wife keeps only half of the mahr (p 545 2:237). By mutual agreement between the spouses, the payment of mahr can be delayed either in part
or in full. The unpaid mahr is a debt that is due to be paid.
MARRIAGE FEAST, walimah
Marriage must be made publicly known (BG 834). Holding a marriage feast, waliimat,
is a highly recommended sunna (MB 1855). The waliimat
can be small and modest (MB 1856, BG 892). It should not be ostentatious for purposes of showing off (BG 896). The prophet's
wedding parties were modest (BG 897, BG 898). Responding to the invitation to a marriage party of obligatory (MB 1857, BG
893, BG 894, BG 895). When two wedding invitations are issued, respond to that of the nearest neighbor (BG 899) or the first
to be made (BG 899). The poor should also be invited to the wedding (BG 894).
CONDITIONS IN THE CONTRACT
Conditions in the marriage contract have to be respected (MB 1189). Examples are stipulations about monogamy and
stipulations about country of residence. The conditions however can not be repugnant to the Law (MB 1190). For example a marriage
contract can not stipulate divorce of the previous wife (MB 1852). A marriage contract is invalid if contracted during hajj.
A muhrim can not propose marriage, contract marriage, or give away a bride (BG
845). Marriages contracted before conversion to Islam are valid in Islam and there is no need for a new marriage contract
(BG 859, BG 860, BG 861, BG 863)
C. RIGHTS and OBLIGATIONS
CONJUGAL RIGHTS & OBLIGATIONS
Balance between rights and obligations, tawaazun bayna al huquuq wa al
waajibaat: The Law specifies the rights and obligations of each spouse.
It is wrong for a spouse to demand rights and fail to fulfilobligations. A balance
must exist between rights and obligations (p 1092 2:228). In a normally-functioning marital relation, the good-will between
the two spouses makes discussions about rights and obligations unnecessary. Such discussions start when problems exist in
Sexual rights of the husband: If at home and there is no physical harm, the wife must accede to the husband's
request for sex (BG 875). She can however be given a waiting period of 3 days. The husband has a right to enjoy the whole
of the wife's body except what is prohibited by law such as anal intercourse (BG 867, BG 868). The law does not specify any
particular sexual positions it is left to the wishes of the couple (p 1094 2:223, BG 873). A dua is said before sexual intercourse
(BG 874). The husband has the right to take his wife with him on journeys. The wife can not fast nafilat without the husband's
permission (MB 1860).As part of sexual enjoyment the wife should beautify herself
for her husband however use of false hair and tattoes is forbidden (BG 876).
Sexual rights of the wife: The wife has a right to intercourse at a frequency that keeps her chaste. In
a polygamous marriage, strict equality must be practiced among the wives. Coitus interruptus can only be practised with the
consent of the wife (BG 879).
FINANCIAL RIGHTS & OBLIGATIONS
Mahr: The marriage contract is valid even if the mahr is not mentioned. In that case the customary amount, mahr al mithl,
is assumed. If marriage is annulled due to her before intercourse, she has to refund the mahr. If the marriage is annulled
due to the husband before intercourse, she refunds only half of the mahr. If the marriage is annulled after intercourse for
whatever reason she is entitled to keep the whole mahr. If the husband is unable to pay the mahr, the marriage is annulled
if sexual intercourse has not yet taken place. If sexual intercourse has already taken place, the marriage is not annulled
but the mahr remains as a debt. In disputes about payment of mahr, the woman’s word is taken. In disputes about the
occurrence of intercourse the man’s word is taken. Mahr has to be paid even if the marriage contract is invalid if there
was sexual intercourse. Mahr is also paid in cases of rape.
Qawaamat al rajul: Rights
and obligations in marriage are mutual. The husband however has a degree of responsibility, darajat,higher than that of the woman (2:227). He also has a degree
of authority, qawamat,higher than
that of the wife because of his legal responsibility to provide nafaqat.
Nafaqat: Nafaqat is obligatory during marriage and the period
of iddat. Nafaqat has the dual function of being a legal obligation and also being sadaqat for which there is reward (MB 1884).
Nafaqat is assessed as what is reasonable (BG 979). It is an offense to withhold nafaqat (BG 980). In case of poverty, the
order of priority of nafaqat is as follows: the self, children, spouse, and servants (BG 985). Nafaqat consists of food, articles
of personal hygiene, adawaat al tandhiif, medicine, clothing, housing, and servants. The wife should be fed the same food as the husband takes (BG
872, BG 978). Food Security can be assured by setting aside provisions for 1 year (MB 1886). The wife should be clothed with
clothes of the same standard as the husband (BG 872, BG 978). The husband was obliged to provide servants to help the wife
with household work. In modern days household appliances can do the work of servants.
Failure of the financial obligations: The Law allows a woman to take from the property of a miserly husband,
without his consent, what suffices for her maintenance (BG 975). Failure to provide nafaqat
is grounds for nullification of marriage. If the husband can not pay nafaqat he
is required to divorce the woman (BG 984). In case of failure of paying nafaqat,
the marriage is dissolved if the wife makes a request (BG 983, BG 983). It is not dissolved if she chooses to be patient.
Unpaid nafaqat is treated as a debt.
Suspension of financial obligations: Financial obligations are suspended in cases of the wife's rebellion,
nushuuz. The obligations resume as soon as the rebellion ends. Nafaqat is also
suspended if the wife travels without permission, fasts a naflat fast without the husband’s permission, or assumes ihram
for hajj and umrah without permission of the husband.
Nafaqat after divorce: Nafaqat is obligatory in the period of ‘iddat except in the case of khulu’u.
It continues for a divorced pregnant woman until delivery. By mutual agreement the divorced mother is entitled to wages for
looking after the infant.
GOOD TREATMENT OF THE SPOUSE
General: Spouses are a source of confort, sakiinat, for each
other (p 1097 7:189, 30:21). They are also a garment for each other (p 1094 2:187). Mutual kind and tolerant treatment between
the spouses is needed in marriage (). The spouses have to be careful in their
hate of each other because one may mistakenly hate a good spouse (p 1094 ).
Ill-treatment of the spouse is forbidden (). Secrets of intimate relations
between the spouses are not to be divulged outside (BG 871). Mutual good treatment, husn al mu’asharat, is ordained
Good treatment of wives, 'ishirat al nisaa: Prophet called for
good treatment of wives, wasaayat bi al nisaai khairan (MB 1858, BG 869) &
husn al mu'asharat (MB 1859). Part of good treatment is to tolerate any defects
because trying to correct all of them will lead to strains and divorce. The husband should not surprise the wife when returning
home from a journey. He should give her notice and time to prepare to receive him properly (BG 870). A polygamous marriage
is more difficult because justice and equality must be maintained. Permission is given to marry 2, 3, or 4 wives on condition
the husband can maintain justice, an admittedly difficult task that borders on the impossible (p 547 4:3, p 547 4:129). The
husband should be sensitive to and appreciate the feelings of the co-wives to one another. Ghiirat al nisaa (MB 1867) is a normal psychological and emotional reaction that should be understood and should
be dealth with carefully. Two co-wives should not be housed in he same dwelling. They should be treated equally. The husband
is required to spend equal times with the wives (BG 905) except the bride who is entitled to 7 days of she is virgin and 3
days if she is a non-virgin (BG 907). A wife can voluntarily give her turn to another (BG 910). Daily social visits are encouraged
to all wives even if it is not their turn (BG 910). When going on a journey lots can be cast to select the wife who will accompany
the husband (BG 912). Showing favoritism for one wife openly is forbidden (p. 547 4:129, BG 906).
Good treatment of husbands: The wife should respect the husband's honor. She can not allow anyone into the
house whether a relative or not without the husband's permission. Ghiirat al rajl
(MB 1866) could turn violent because of the aggressive male instinct. The wife should not behave in ways that provoke the
husband and the husband should control his emotions.
Spousal abuse and domestic violence: Domestic problems, unless resolved early, can become complicated and
could eventually lead to divorce. Husbands are more likely to react violently in domestic disputes. The violence may be physical
or emotional. Islam condemns violence to women in any form. It is forbidden to beat (BG 913) or disfigure (BG 872) the wife
in any way. It is also forbidden to abandon the wife in the house (BG 872). Husbands sometimes put emotional pressure on their
wives by dhihaar and iilaau. In dhihaar,
the husband rejects sexual relations with the wife by saying that the wife is like his mother (p 547 33:4). He will have to
pay an expiation before resuming relations (p 1094 58:2-3). In iilaau the husband
swears not to get near his wife for a given period (p 547 66:1-5). This oath can be expiated so that normal marital relations
GOING OUT OF THE HOME
The wife can go out of the house for good reasons and with her husband’s permission. She can not go on long
journeys without a mahram. The husband is entitled to leave the home during the day to work.
RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Children have rights protected by the Law. They have to be breast-fed; breast-feeding in pregnancy is not forbidden
(BG 877). They have to be given a good name that will not embarrass them in adulthood. They can not be deprived of inheritance.
All children are entitled to equal treatment; however handicapped children can be singled out for preferential treatment.
Parents have rights from their children that include: kindness, obedience, and honor. The rights of the mother are emphasized
more than those of the father (46:15). Disobedience of parents is a major sin second only to polytheism, shirk (-24). Parents must be respected even if they are non-Muslim (31:14-15). Insulting parents
is haram. Parents must consent before their children can join jihad.
DEFECTS IN THE SPOUSE
Defects in the husband: Impotence and withholding nafaqat are two
reasons for annulment of a marriage. An impotent husband is given a grace
period of 1 year during which he has to attempt to have sexual intercourse with his wife to consummate the marriage. If the
grace period expires before he is able to consummate the marriage, the wife can apply to the court to have the marriage annulled
(BG 866). In cases of withholding nafaqat, The wife can apply to the court for
annulment of a marriage if the husband fails to maintain her.
Defects in the wife: A marriage can be annulled on the basis of sexual
dysfunction. Anatomical defects or functional anomalies that prevent successful sexual intercourse are grounds for
annulment of the marriage. The wife gets her mahr if there was initial sexual intercourse (BG 865).
Defects in both husband and wife: A marriage can be annulled due to disease, change of religion, or cruelty.
Severe disease such as insanity or leprosy discovered after marriage are a reason for annulment but the mahr is due to the wife (BG 865). The marriage is annulled if either spouse apostates and leaves Islam. Cruelty,physical or emotional can be
grounds for annulment.
DEATH OF THE SPOUSE
The marital relation is automatically annulled on the death of the spouse. The wife's mourning period for a deceased
husband is 4 months and 10 days (p 454 2:234-235, BG 948). During the mourning period she should avoid any ornamentation or
beautification. She has to stay in her house during the period (BG 952). If the husband is lost, the wife remains legally
married until definite information on the death of the husband is received (BG 959). In another ruling the maximum waiting
period is set at 4 years after which the woman observes iddat for 4 months and 10 days and can then remarry (BG 958). Some
other rulings base the maximum waiting period on the expected maximum life-span.
Permissibility of divorce: Divorce is permitted, halaal, but
is hated by Allah (BG 915). It is offensive for the husband to divorce for no reason. It is also offensive for the wife to
ask for divorce for no reason. Divorce is a not a solution to marital problems but an escape. It creates more problems than
it seeks to evade. It is resorted to when all avenues to marital reconciliation have failed and it is feared that continuation
of the marital relation will lead to acts of disobedience, ma'asiyat, by either
Prevention of divorce: Mutual good treatment, kindness, and tolerance prevent divorce. The Qur'an has prescribed
the following measures for preventing divorce and a final break-up. Rebellion by the wife, nushuuz, occurs when the wife becomes
cold and impolite, unkind, or refuses sexual intercourse. In case of rebellion by the wife, nushuuz, the husband must try to rectify the situation by kind words of advice and admonition. If this does not
work he can migrate from her bed. If this does not work he can 'beat' her using a tooth brush. If this does not work, arbitration
is attempted (-35). It is always best to seek reconciliation (p 547 4:128).
If all fails then divorce becomes necessary.
Etiquette of divorce: Divorce is in the hands of the husband. The husband can commission someone else, man
or women, to effect the divorce. The husband can also give the right of divorce to the wife, tamliik. The divorce can not be valid unless the husband is adult, sane, and does so voluntarily.Divorce by a minor or an insane person is not effective (BG 927). A woman can ask for divorce (MB 1879).
Divorce is not allowed during the menstrual period (MB 1872, BG 916). It can not be effected before the conclusion of the
marriage contract (BG 926). Seriousness, al jidd, is a requirement in all marital
matters including divorce: Divorce is a serious matter that allows no joking. Joking is not allowed in a marriage proposal,
in divorce, and in taking back a divorced woman. A joke in the three situations is taken as a fact and is legally binding
(BG 920). Thinking about and contemplating divorce is not legally binding (BG 921). Divorce by coercion, by a honest mistake,
or by forgetfulness has no binding legal consequences (BG 922). An oath to divorce can be broken with atonement (BG 923, BG
Reversible divorce, ruj'at: Reversible divorce is limited to a maximum of 2 divorces (p 749 2:228).. Return,
ruj'at, is allowed during the waiting period, iddat,
for 1 or 2 divorces. Both divorce and ruju'at should be witnessed (p. 750 65:1-2,
BG 928). The ruju'at must be sincere and not done just for the sake of causing harm to the woman (p 749 2:227-232). No hindrances
or barriers should be placed in front of a woman who wants to marry a man of her choice on expiry of her waiting period (p
Irreversible (terminal) divorce: Divorce is terminal in two ways: (a) expiry of the waiting period for a
one or two divorces (p. 454 2:232) (b) three divorce pronouncements. Remarriage after terminal divorce is not allowed (MB
1879) until the wife has married another man in a consummated marriage and is terminally divorced (p 545 2:230; p. 749 2:227-232).
Divorce becomes terminal if pronounced three times; therefore it is offensive to pronounce all three divorces at one time
(BG 917, BG 918). It is also offensive to pronounce all three in one menstrual cycle even if done on separate days. If the
three divorces are pronounced at one time, they are considered like one divorce (BG 919).
Conditional divorce: The Law allows conditional divorce. It is prohibited to take an oath that if some condition
occurs divorce will be effected.
Divorce and menstrual status: Lawful divorce, talaq al sunna, is divorce effected in the inter-menstrual period. Unlawful divorce, is divorce during the menstrual
period or in the inter-menstrual period after having had sexual relations with the possibility of pregnancy. The following
are special situations in divorce: wife who is pre-menarche, post menopausal wife, pregnant wife, and a wife with whom no
sexual relations have ever been had.
Inheritance rights and divorce: A husband can divorce his wife in his terminal illness (death-bed) but her
rights of inheritance from him are not affected. During the waiting period, each spouse can inherit from the other.
The waiting period, iddat:
The primary objective of the waiting period after divorce to make sure that the woman is not pregnant. It provides an
opportunity for reconciliation that may save the marriage. It serves the psychological and emotional purpose of providing
a gradual transition from a married life to divorce. No waiting period is prescribed in cases of divorce before sexual intercourse
(p 546 33:49). A once or twice divorced woman can continue her marriage by returning to her husband (p. 749 2:227)before completion of the period of iddat and without a new marriage contract. If the period expires she
can remarry her former husband with a new contract only after having consummated a marriage with another man. Iddat is three
inter-menstrual periods (p. 749 2:227, BG 946). The word of the wife is accepted in any disputes about the end of iddat. It is prohibited for a woman to refuse to disclose pregnancy during her waiting period (p 749 2:227). Iddat
for a divorced pregnant woman ends with delivery of the baby (BG 946); marriage can be contracted even during post-natal bleeding
but sexual relations are not allowed (BG 945). If the woman committed adultery with or had artificial insemination from another
man, her iddat is the equivalent of three menstrual cycles. The iddat for a post-menopausal
woman is 3 lunar months. The iddat for a lactating woman (no menstrual periods)
is three lunar months. The iddat for a pregnant woman whose husband dies is the delivery of the baby. The iddat of non-pregnant
woman whose husband dies is 3 tahuurs plus 10 days. There are obligations on the
wife during iddat. The wife is obliged to stay in her house. Neither she nor her husband have the right to decide on
her leaving the house. (p. 750 65:1) If divorced once or twice she can not leave the house temporarily without the husband's
permission. If the iddat is for a three-times divorce she is allowed to go out during the day to fulfill her obligations.
A thrice-divorced wife can move out of the house (BG 953). During iddat the husband is not allowed to be in seclusion with
the wife. There are also obligations of the husband during iddat. The husband
is obliged to maintain the obligations of financial support, nafaqat al talaaq,
as in marriage (p 1095 2:229, 2:236-237, 65:6-7). These obligations are a right for the woman and not good-will. A woman divorced
before sexual intercourse does not have to observe iddat but can be given a gift, mut'at
al talaaq. The prophet gave a gift to a woman divorced before sexual intercourse (BG 891)
Khuluu is dissolution of the marriage in return for a wife paying a
sum of money to her husband (MB 1878). It has the same effect as a 3-time divorce except that remarriage is possible without
having to consummate a marriage with another man. Khuluu is considered offensive and is permitted only if both spouses fear
that they can not observe the limits of Allah, huduud al llaah, if the marital relation continues. The prophet allowed khulu
of the wife of Thabit bin Qaids because she did not love him and she feared disobeying Allah if she continued under him (BG
If the husband accuses his wife of adultery, he is punished unless he can bring forth 4 reliable witnesses. He
can avoid punishment by the process of lia'an (p 547 24:6). The wife can also avoid
punishment by the same process. The spouses are cautioned before taking the oaths (MB 1882, BG 936, BG 937, BG 939). After
lia’an the wife does not return any property (BG 937). The separation and reprieve from punishment are upheld even if
the appearance of the child from the alleged adultery reveals otherwise (BG 937).
D. CUSTODY and CHILD CARE, khadhanat & ri'ayat
AWARD OF CUSTODY
Conditions of the custodian:
Legal and physical custody: A distinction must be made between legal and physical custody. The father always
has legal custody. Physical custody can be awarded to the mother or the father.
Award of physical custody: Mothers who fulfill the conditions of custody automatically have the right of
physical custody for all children aged below 7 years of age (BG 987).At the
age of 7, the child is given a choice between the parents (BG 988, BG 989). When the child chooses both or is unsure lots
are drawn. When the child chooses neither parent, physical custody is awarded to the mother. Children can subsequently change
theirmind and their wishes are respected. If the mother is chosen as custodian,
the father must have access to the child during the day. The following is the order of priority in choosing the physical custodian:
Mother of Mother
Mother of father
Father of Father
Half Brother or half sister from father
Half Brother or half sister from mother
Sister of mother
Daughter of full brother
Son of full brother
Daughter of half brother from father
Son of half brother from father
Daughter of half brother from mother
Son of half brother from mother
Son of half brother from mother
Sister of father
Brother of father
Daughter of the Sister of the mother
Daughter of the brother of the father
Sister of the Brother of the father
Loss of physical custody: Either parent can lose physical custody if any of the conditions of the custodian
is violated. The mother loses physical custody on remarriage (BG 987). Custody is not lost if the husband she marries is one
of the persons on the list of custodians. The father does not lose physical custody on remarriage.
CHILD CARE: PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL
Physical/financial support: The father, whether he is the custodial or no-custodial parent, is obliged to
provide child support. The obligation is what is judged to be the minimum necessary. He can however give more than the minimum
if he so wishes. If the father, on account of poverty, provides less than the minimum necessary, the remainder does not become
a debt. It is a debt of he is financially able to pay. If the mother borrows to support the child, the father is liable to
settle the debt. The father is obliged to provide financial support to the divorced pregnant wife until delivery (p. 1094
65:6). This support continues during the period of breast feeding (p 750 65:6; p. 1322 2:233). The minimum legal period of
breast-feeding is 2 years (p 1322 2:233). The husband could alternatively decide to employ a wet nurse (p 1093 2:233).
Tarbiyat, education, and training: Boys who are in the mother's physical custody must stay with the father
during the day for training.
Paternity: If a wife gives birth to a baby while legallymarried
to a man, the child belongs to the man. This position holds even if the marriage was not valid, ie did not fulfill all the
criteria. A child born through adultery belongs to the legal husband (BG 963). The aim of the Law is to protect the interests
of the child. The father can deny paternity by the process of li’aan if he has valid proof. Paternity can not be denied
on the basis of suspicions. The denial must be immediate and will not be accepted if it is done after a delay (BG 943). It
is prohibited to deny paternity of a child who resembles the father (BG 942). A child can not be disowned for not resembling
the father (BG 944). Legal adoption that suppressed information and links to natural parents is forbidden (33:4-5, 33:37-38,
33:40). Children can be adopted for purposes of upbringing provided they are told who their biological parents are and care
is taken to avoid consanguineous marriage. It is prohibited for a child to attribute to himself or herself a lineage other
than that of the father
CHILD ABUSE, 'uquuq: Killing of children is forbidden (, 81:8-9, 60:12)
DISCUSSION ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Minimum legal age at marriage
Consanguinity: medical hazards vs social advantages
Biological, immunological, and psychological aspects of marriage prohibition due to suckling
Genetic counseling before marriage
Conjugal rights and marital problems
Definition of nafaqat and what it includes in marriage and the waiting period, iddat
Spouse abuse: physical and emotional
Domestic violence: causes and solutions
Breast feeding: biological, psychological, and social aspects
Sexual dysfunction and marital dissolution: impotence, frigidity, dyspareunia, loss of libido
The insane spouse and marital dissolution
Chronic infectious disease and marital dissolution
Physical disability or handicap as a reason for marital dissolution
Medical and emotional significance of iddat
Methods of determining the length of iddat
Can a negative pregnancy test lead to shortening the iddat period?