Mutual Agreement of Bride and Groom
Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a powerful covenant (mithaqun ghalithun) as expressed in Quran chapter 4 verse 21. The nikah marks the beginning of a Happy Muslim Family. The marriage contract in Islam is a mutually agreed contract and is similarly revocable by both parties.
Both parties mutually agree and enter into this arrangement. Both bride and groom have the freedom to define a variety of terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of the contract.
Here are some Islamic features of a nikah:
The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride from the groom is a vital part of the contract.
Mahr is a token commitment of the husband’s duty and could be paid in money, property or movable items to the bride herself. The amount of mahr isn’t legally specified, however, moderation based on the present social norm is advised. The mahr could be paid immediately to the bride at the time of union, or deferred to a later date, or a mixture of both. The deferred mahr however, falls due in the event of divorce or death.
One party expresses ‘ijab” prepared consent to Enter into union and the other party expresses ‘qubul” approval of this responsibility in the meeting of marriage ceremony. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and both respective witnesses. This written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah) is then declared publicly.
The meeting of nikah is addressed using a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) from the Muslim officiating the marriage. In union societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the nikah ceremony and retains the record of the union contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can run the nikah ceremony, as Islam doesn’t advocate priesthood. The records of marriage contract/certificate are registered together with the mosque (masjid) and local authorities for record.
Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) made it his tradition (sunnah) to possess Union sermon delivered in the meeting to solemnize the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, in addition to the engaging guests at the meeting into a life of piety, mutual love, kindness, and social responsibility.
The Muslim conducting the marriage ceremony finishes the ceremony with prayer (Dua) for bride, groom, their respective families, the local Muslim community, and the Muslim community at large.
Marriage (nikah) is considered as an act of worship (ibadah). It’s virtuous to run it at a Mosque keeping the service simple. The marriage ceremony is a social and a religious activity. Islam advocates simplicity in ceremonies and parties.