Repeating the marriage formula

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Repeating the marriage formula


What is the ruling for conducting the marriage contract in one's house and later repeating the marriage formula in the mosque for the purpose of announcing it and making it public?


Grammatically, the marriage formula indicates a propositional statement rather than a performative or declarative one. However, it was necessary to shift the meaning to convey declaration for the purpose of effecting the marriage contract and so the meaning of the words would reflect the external reality of the performance of the marriage contract, and not a simple declaration to which the possibility of falsehood may be attached. Formulating contracts is an important and valid objective that requires replacing the propositional nature of the formula (the default) with the declarative/performative one.

If after conducting the marriage contract, the marriage formula is repeated once more (in its default propositional sense) to indicate that the event has indeed occurred, this is linguistically correct and permissible in Islamic law. Such an instance may include the bride's guardian telling the groom, "I have given my charge to you in marriage," and the groom answers, "I have accepted" whereby both intend to inform of a past event and not to formulate a new contract. In light of this interpretation, the meaning would be, "I have given to you my charge in marriage since …" and the groom would say, "I have accepted [your offer] from that time." There is no legal objection to this.

It is impermissible to object to the repetition of the marriage formula with the pretext that it was not performed by the Prophet since the non-existence of evidence that the Prophet did not perform a certain act does not mean that he did not actually practice it.

Even if we were to assume that the Prophet refrained from performing this act, this does not necessitate its impermissibility. In the principles of Islamic law, it is invalid to maintain the impermissibility of the acts which the Prophet did not perform.

The ruling

Based on the above, it is permissible and there is no legal objection to conducting the marriage with all of its integrals before a few and then repeat the marriage formula once more before a larger audience.

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