Valid or Sahih Marriage: According to Muslim law, a valid marriage is one that is established in accordance with the essential conditions laid out previously. It confers dower, upkeep, and residence upon the wife, as well as the duty to be faithful and obedient to her husband, admit sexual intercourse with him, and observe Iddat.
Essentials of Valid Marriage
The parties to the marriage must all be Muslims, regardless of sect or sub-sect. When both parties are Muslims from different sects but the marriage is valid, it is referred to as an inter-sect marriage.
Offer & Acceptance
In the case of Abdul Kadir v. Salima and Anr., the court stated that a Muslim marriage is in the form of a civil contract, and thus the principle of offer and acceptance applies to a Muslim marriage in the same way that it does to a civil contract. In Muslim rule, an offer is called ijab, and an acceptance is called qubul.
The husband makes the offer. It can be created by the man himself or by someone who has been approved by him. Since a Muslim marriage is a contract, it is permissible to impose such pre-conditions on the marriage, which must be met before the marriage can be recognized by both parties.
It should also be stated that these terms and conditions must comply with legal standards and public policy.
It’s also important to note that these terms and conditions are in place to protect the interests of the woman in the marriage. Since in a Muslim marriage, the man has the right to divorce the wife through talaq, which is more powerful than a Muslim woman’s right to divorce, which is known as ‘khula.’
In the triple talaq case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court invalidated the instant talaq by uttering the phrase or the talaq-e-biddat.
The acceptance must be done in such a way that both the man or someone acting on his behalf and the woman or someone acting on her behalf offer their consent to the marriage. At least one male and two female witnesses must be present, both of whom must be adult, sane Mohammedan.
The Shia Muslim sect does not require the presence of witnesses by law, and it is optional. Furthermore, if there is no witness to the marriage, it is treated as an irregularity rather than an invalidity.
Acceptance may also be accomplished by accepting the dower. When a man proposes the dower to a woman and she accepts it, the marriage is considered accepted.
The offer and acceptance must both take place in the same meeting, which is a crucial requirement. Furthermore, the marriage offer must start the marriage immediately, i.e., an offer to marry anyone the following month is not a valid offer.
A legal marriage requires the parties’ free consent. If consent is obtained by coercion, deceit, or a mistake of fact, it is deemed invalid, and the marriage is declared null. The Court held in Mohiuddin v. Khatijabibi that a marriage is void if it is performed without the parties’ free consent.
By Palak Agarwal at LexCliq