The Nikah Agreement

On our wedding day, we signed our contract with Nikah. The day before, we had signed our prenup. We had twice committed ourselves to a marriage of faith and citizenship. The third time is the signing of our marriage certificate. I was happy to write our contract, but I went one step further – and how about a marriage contract? The Nikah Nama is a written document that two Muslim partners who enter into a civil partnership must sign to legalize their marriage. According to the 1961 Decree on Muslim Family Laws, it is the legal proof of this union and defines the rights and obligations agreed upon by the bride and groom. Musa, my fiancé (now husband), grew up writing an Islamic marriage contract (known in Arabic as the Treaty of Nikah, which means conjunction or union). A treatise by Nikah was born more than 1,400 years ago with Islam. It is a mandatory contract between a Muslim couple that describes their rights and duties among themselves, which can be written or oral and which, if written, must be signed by the bride, the groom, up to three witnesses and the official. During this time, we worked on Nikah`s treaty and built on her sister`s to design our own. We used Google Docs to track suggestions and changes and accept or reject comments. I enjoyed writing our contract and loved how deliberately we pursued our projects. The husband`s first duty is to pay his wife an agreed dowry (Mahr or Sadaq); This property, which can range from a symbolic sum to a considerable amount of assets, belongs to him legally and he can save, spend or invest it as he wishes.

In return for the payment of the dowry, the husband obtains what is called al-nikah milk, al-aqd milk or al-bud` milk, “ownership (or control) of the marriage (or sexual intercourse) / marriage contract / [the woman`s vulva]”; this milk is a prerequisite for legitimate sexual intercourse. Because he has this control, he and he alone can at any time unilaterally end the marriage by a declaration of refusal (talaq). If the wife wishes to end the marriage, she must either pay for it to obtain her consent (in the case of divorce for compensation, khul`) or, if she has reasons (which vary according to the different schools of legal thought), she can apply for a judicial divorce. In Islamic law, marriage – or more accurately the marriage contract – is called Nikah, an Arabic word already used in the Qur`an exclusively to refer to the marriage contract. [9] [10] [11] In the Wehr-Cowan Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Nikah becomes “marriage; marriage contract; Marriage, marriage”. [12] (At least in some marriages in some Muslim cultures like Pakistan, there may be a delay between Nikkah and Rukhsati – if the husband, after getting a good job and a good home, lets the wife settle with him.) [13] When our contract with Nikah was ready to be signed, I mentioned prenup. This time he said yes. I asked what prompted him to change his mind. “It`s something you need to feel safe,” he said. I liked him to understand my need, the reason I wanted the deal, my desire, the deal itself. In Islam, marriage is considered both a social agreement and a legal treaty.

Nowadays, the marriage contract is signed in the presence of an Islamic judge, an imam or an elder of the trusted community familiar with Islamic law. The process of signing the contract is usually a private matter in which only the immediate families of the bride and groom participate.. . . .

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