Muslim marriage tradition and laws are based on Islamic laws. Marriage is a civil union in Western culture, based loosely on religious tenets, but Islamic law is intimately entwined in the religious rules and laws from The Prophet. The social norms in marriage are quite different from Western culture as well.
Marriage in Islam is allowed after puberty and permitted between a man and a woman, so long as both are consenting to the marriage. The purpose of marriage is to support moral living and procreation. Though romantic love does not necessarily play a part in a union, it is encouraged that the man and woman care and provide for one another’s emotional and physical needs.
Halal: A couple is recommended or suggested to one another and the two are agreeable to the union.
Haram: The parents agree that their children will marry a chosen partner and the children have no choice in the matter and can be forced to wed.
The purpose of arranged marriage is to protect the permanency of the bond from frivolous romantic or sexual love that may not last. Divorce is avoided as much as possible. So, to assure a relationship is likely to last, the partners are selected based on a man’s ability to provide for her and the woman’s ability to be pleasing to the man.
Is marriage allowed among non-believers?
Women are not allowed to marry a non-Muslim male, but a man may marry outside of the faith. The idea behind this is that a non-Muslim male is not likely to keep his wife in the faith, whereas the Muslim male is charged with the duty to lead his wife in the faith.
Is Divorce allowed?
Divorce is allowed though it is severely frowned upon and the rules are designed to prevent divorce. The process for divorce is very involved. If a man must say “I divorce you.” This statement must be witnessed by at least two men. Remedial measures are designed to prevent divorce:
Step 1: Admonish the wife to bring her back to right thinking.
Step 2: if that fails, then isolate her on her bed so that she can be aware of what she is losing.
Step 3: Hit her (lightly) for reform or discipline, but not in anger or to do harm.
Step 4: If all of the above fail and if both parties are consent, arbitration can be brought in to settle the dispute.
If divorce does occur even after all measures and Shari’ah method is followed, there is a period called Iddat in which the wife lives with her spouse for 3 months ( either three menstrual s cycles or three lunar months) and the husband must provide for her. If during the period of Iddat the man decides to stay in the marriage and this wife is agreeable, the divorce can be revoked.
Islamic laws and social norms are designed to support a strong foundation for a couple to stay together and live happy, prosperous lives. Peace be upon them.