What are the requirements of an Isl...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

What are the requirements of an Islamic marriage without regard to cultural practices?


What are the requirements of an Islamic marriage without regard to cultural practices?


Islamic marriage is simple and straightforward. It consists of a spoken offer made by the bride, or whoever is acting as her guardian, and its acceptance by the groom. The spoken offer is made when the bride’s father or guardian who has authorized me to act for her in marriage according to the Islamic way, tells the prospective husband, “I give you my daughter.” He may specify the dowry to be paid by the groom. The latter replies, “I accept to marry your daughter” etc… When this is done in the presence of at least two witnesses, the marriage contract is complete.

The groom pays the dowry which becomes due the moment the contract is made, unless the two parties agree to defer part or all of it. In this case, it is considered a deferred debt, payable whenever the wife asks for it. In any case, it is paid when the marriage is terminated by divorce or the death of either spouse. It belongs to the wife and she may do with it whatever she likes. It does not go toward furnishing the house where the couple will live. It should not be used for any purpose other than what the owner, i.e. the wife, decides.

In some countries, like India, a marriage involves another dowry, paid by the bride to the groom. This is un-Islamic, and some Muslim communities have borrowed this practice from Hindu culture.
It is strongly recommended to host dinner when the marriage takes effect. Neighbors, friends and relatives are invited to give them a chance to share in the happy occasion. Apart from this, nothing else is required in an Islamic marriage, except perhaps to say that no girl or woman may marry against her will. She must be happy to authorize her marriage to the groom of her choosing.

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