Culture Termination of Marriage
Termination of Marriage
From a legal point of view Islam views marriage as an 'aqd or contract. Like any other contract the marriage contract requires full and free consent of the parties concerned. The parents or guardian of any of the parties may give advice, choose a marriage partner or use persuasion, but the final decision to enter into a marriage must be the result of a free choice on the part of each partner, even though this freely made choice may consist of nothing but accepting the choice of one's parents or guardian. This right of free choice is fairly well recognized in the case of men but (unfortunately) not in the case of women. In the Holy Quran we read:"Do not inherit women against their will"
And in Hadith we find traditions like the following:
"Khansa bint Khidhan who had a previous marriage related that when her father married her and she disapproved of that, she went to the Messenger of God and he revoked her marriage." (Bukhari, Ibn Majah)
"A [girl who was not married] came to the Messenger of God and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet allowed her to exercise her choice." (Abu Da'ud, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas)
Just as any adult can enter into any legal contract, so also any adult man or woman can arrange his or her own marriage, provided that during the process of arranging the marriage there is no sexual contact, in other words, there is no dating in the North American style. It is well known that Khadijah, the Prophet's first wife arranged her own marriage with the Prophet. It is true that this happened before he received prophet hood. But if an arrangement by a woman of her own marriage were so shameful in the eyes of Allah as it is in the eyes of some Muslims, then He would have somehow prevented His Messenger from such a marriage. Moreover, there are some hadith which show that even after receiving prophet hood sayyadna Muhammad did not disapprove of women arranging their own marriage. We quote here one such hadith:
"A woman came to the Messenger of God and offered herself to him (in marriage). When she had stood for a long time (without receiving an answer) a man got up and said: Messenger of God! Marry her to me if you have no need of her. He asked the man if he had anything to give her as dower (marriage gift), and when he replied that he had nothing but the lower garment he was wearing, the Prophet said: Look for something, even though it be an iron ring. Then when the man had searched and found nothing, God's Messenger asked him whether he new anything of the Qur`an. When the man replied that he knew Surah so and so and Surah so and so, God's Messenger said: Go away; I give her to you in marriage. Teach her some of the Qur`an."
(Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Sahl bin Sa'd)
In this hadith a woman is arranging her own marriage but the Prophet does not rebuke her or admonish her in any other way. Thus while it may not be the best thing for a woman to do, she can if she wishes, make a marriage proposal for herself without being blameworthy in the eyes of God.
What are the terms involved in the marriage contract? This contract involves two things: First, a gift from the husband to the wife, which may be a sum of money, an object of some value such as a ring or such non-material things as acceptance of Islam or teaching a part of the Qur`an. Second, a commitment from both parties to try to make life physically comfortable for each other and to provide emotional, psychological and spiritual happiness to each other, with the responsibility for taking care of economic needs generally falling on the shoulders of the man.
Source: Dr. Ahmad Shafaat
At the time of the marriage both partners should have the fullest possible intention of keeping the marriage commitment for life, although under some extreme circumstances it may perhaps be possible to enter into a marriage contract on a temporary basis.