Muslim marriage law in India (part 1) by isha jain @lexcliq

Muslim marriage laws differ vastly from the marriage laws of other religions.


In this article we are going to talk about what does Muslim marriage mean? formalities for a valid marriage and legal effect of valid marriage. Other topics relates to the Muslim marriage law in India are in article 2.Click HERE. for part 2.


Marriage in Islam, or Nikah, is not a sacrament (as in Hinduism), but a civil contract between a man and woman to live as husband and wife.Marriage also partakes the nature of muamlat or worldly affairs and transactions among human beings. Marriage in Islam is a Sunnat, i.e., part of the practices, teachings, specific words, habits, customs and way of life, in dealing with family, friends and government, preached and practised by the Prophet himself. Singlehood, monasticism and celibacy are forbidden under Islam.


  • The pillars of the marriage are Ejab-o-Kubool, i.e., offer or proposal on the part of one party to the marriage and acceptance by the other party.
  • This free and mutual consent must be expressed in one and the same meeting in clear unambiguous words.
  • Presence of witnesses is required if the parties are Hanafis(SUNNI SCHOOL); no witnesses are needed if the parties are Shias.
  •  Both the bride and groom must have attained puberty.
  • Both the parties, i.e., the bride and groom or, when minor, their guardians, must be of sound mind.
  •  The marriage should not be one forbidden by the Muslim marriage rules of blood relationship, affinity or fosterage, differences in rank/social status or religion of the parties, prescription of iddat (PERIOD OF TIME AFTER DIVORCE IN WHICH WOMEN CANNOT MARRY OTHER PERSON,MOSTLY 60 DAYS PERIOD) in case of remarriage of a woman, etc., depending upon the sect to which the parties belong.


As a result of a valid marriage, sexual intercourse between the couple becomes legal. The children born of the union are legitimate. As per the Muslim Marriage Law, the husband is bound to provide for the maintenance of the wife by way of food, clothing, lodging, and all such things as may be needed to support life so long as the wife is not a minor incapable of consummation is faithful, lives with him and obeys his reasonable orders, even if the wife has the means to support herself and the husband does not. The husband also has a duty to provide for the children begotten of such marriage. Any terms and conditions stipulated in the marriage contract must be observed.

The wife is entitled to Dower or Mahr, a sum of money or other property from the husband as a mark of respect for the wife, the amount of which may be settled before or after marriage, and payable either on-demand or on the dissolution of marriage by death or divorce (although different schools and sects have different rules regarding conditions of payment for the same and how or when the wife forfeits her right to the same). They can inherit property from each other. However, neither the husband nor the wife acquires any right over each other’s property simply by reason of the marriage.


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