Marriage, in Islam, is viewed as a contract for life instead of as a
sacrament. It is meant to be entered into as a permanent relationship and
both partners are accorded rights within the marital boundaries.
The marriage contract is called a Nikkah and in this contract the agreements
of the parties are set down. The main one being the amount of the Mahr
The Mahr can paid at the time of marriage or differed at the woman's
discretion. The mahr is solely the right of the woman and therefore it is
hers to do with as she pleases. The Prophet did state that it should be
reasonable. In her book The Muslim Woman's Hand Book, by Huda Khattab she
covers the terms of marriage. Also in his book, Islam in Focus, by
Hammudah Abdulati, gives details on marriage.
"(Both husband and wife) should
have the same religion (and the Statement of Allah (SWT): "And it is
He Who has created man from water; and has appointed for him kindred by blood
and kindred by marriage.") (V.25:54) from the Summarized Al-Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan page 888.
It is sufficient to say that the majority of Muslims view marriage as a
permanent bond and from this bond it is hoped that children will come.
Within the bonds of marriage it is not looked favorably on if the couple uses
birth control as a means of preventing having children but if there is a medical
reason that the children should be spaced apart or the woman's health makes it
dangerous for her to have more children, then the use of birth control is
accepted. Such was the case with me.
Potential Marriage Partners
© Copyright 1999 Kamilat
Undoubtedly the pre-marital
process of Muslims in the US who typically seek lifelong marriage partners is
at best an uphill challenge. Gone are the simple ways of communities of old,
with social support structures that matched brides and grooms "until
death they did part". Allah never intended for couples to enter
such a serious commitment without doing their homework. It is not enough to
simply say "bismillah" and expect a storybook ending. With divorce
rates soaring in the Muslim community, new strategies are sorely needed for
identifying Mr. and Mrs. Right.
About the Authors
The following list was
compiled by two women--biological sisters--as an interview tool to expose
problem areas likely to render a marriage unsuccessful. They also sought to
open areas of discussion that are all too often ignored until couples have
tied the knot and invested years in the marriage. While the authors wish to
remain anonymous, they do stand by The
that it facilitated an open level of communication in their own respective
pre-marital negotiations that would have not occurred otherwise. Each are
happily married and have two children.
Why Use The List?
Kamilat presents this
interview--jokingly known as
an effort to help Muslims, particularly Muslim women, better negotiate
pre-marital discussion and the laying of "ground rules". This
process is fully supported in Islamic tradition, so don't be shy to use it.
It's better to find out NOW if your suitor is unwilling to answer your
questions, or if his answers are 180 degress opposed to your own views on
life, marriage and parenting.
Please feel free to download
and print The
it with your friends, of course with proper attribution to Kamilat. Men can
alter the questions slightly to suit their intent (as shown here, the
questions are posed by a woman). And don't forget to share your
comments, reactions, narrow escapes and success stories with us! Happy
Issues (Sensitive Situations)
perform the sunnah prayers of fajr?
|What Islamic organizations are you involved
|How much dawa work do you do?
|How much Qur`an have you memorized?
|How much can you teach me?|
|My friend, of whom
you don’t approve, knocks on our door and says she has left her husband.
Do you call her mother or do you let her stay for as long as she needs?
|You see a good-looking woman hitchhiking on the
side of a deserted road, and you pick her up and drop her off at a gas
station, as she has requested. Would you tell me about it or choose to
"forget?" Would you pick her up in the first place?
|How do you react when someone makes you really,
really angry? Does that reaction change if it were me that made you angry?
|How would you react if my ex-fiancé called to
invite me to his wedding?|
|How do you
prefer to spend a long weekend?
|What do you do with your spare time?
|Where do you see yourself in 5/10/20 years?
|What are your goals for this life?
|What would you like to have accomplished before
happen if I were unable to conceive children? How do you feel about
children? Would you be willing to change a diaper at 3 a.m.?
|What is your view on disciplining children? Do
you spank? Who do you believe should have the upper hand on discipline,
the mother or father?|
|Who would be your
choice of arbitrators in the event we experience serious marital
|If I really
wanted to do it, would you be supportive of my return school…for my Ph.D.?
|How would we support ourselves if we both had
to be in school?|
you do with our surplus income?
|How do you feel about relocating to a different
state, or even out of the country, for work?
|What would you do if we became bankrupt?
|If we were on an uncomfortably tight budget,
and your brother asked you for a generous loan for a third (unsuccessful)
attempt at a start-up business, would you give it to him? Would you
consult me first?
|Would you buy me the car of my dreams, even if
we could not afford it?|
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