FOR A MARRIAGE TO BE VALID CERTAIN CONDITIONS MUST BE MET:
1- AGE LIMIT (SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL AND MENTAL MATURITY) [For freedom to choose a life partner and For legal purposes]
The Right Age of Marriage is after reaching Puberty (Adulthood) when one has vitality, vigor, sensibility and sense of responsibility.
In 4:6, the word NIKAAH (i.e. marriage) has been tied with the word BALAGHOO (i.e. the age of puberty, adulthood, adolescence).
In 6:152 and 17:34, the BLOOGHAT is tied with ASHADDA, which means an age of full manly vigor and maturity.
The context of 4:6, 6:152 and 17:34 indicates that this not only means physical maturity but also the mental maturity when one has sensibility and sense of responsibility.
The age of BLOOGHAT-E-ASHADDA has also been clarified in 22:5, 28:14 and 40:67.
All this suggests that the right age of marriage is when one is mentally and physically mature and has vitality, vigor, sensibility and sense of responsibility.
2- MUTUAL CONSENT OF BOTH PARTIES (SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL AND MENTAL MATURITY TO GRANT CONSENT) [For freedom to choose a life partner and For legal purposes]
In 4:3, men are commanded to marry women of their liking. In 4:19 men are forbidden to take women against their will. This makes clear that a liking and consent between a man and a woman is essential before marriage.
3- MUSLIM MARRIAGE (NIKAH) CONTRACT CERTIFICATE [For legal purposes]
The marriage has been termed as “UQDATUN” in 2:235 and 2:237, which came from the root word Ayn-Qaf-Dal.
“AQDUN” MEANS: to tie in a knot, a contract, a compact, a covenant, an agreement, a treaty, an engagement
In 4:21, marriage has been termed as “MEETHAQAN”, which came from the root word Waw-Tha-Qaf.
Mauthiqan: (v. acc.): compact bond, solemn pledge, undertaking of solemn oath.
Mithaaq (n. ints.): bond, treaty, covenant.
4- TWO WITNESSES (For legal purposes)
Marriage is a contract so for a contract you need two witnesses.
It is not the marriage ceremony itself that needs witnesses but the marriage contract does. But since both marriage ceremony and the contract are contingent to one another, by default it seems both processes need witnesses.
The concept of two witnesses is mentioned in verse 2:282 for legal purposes. Of course God is sufficient as a witness. But in order to prove the marriage in a court one need the witnesses. Therefore two witnesses are required.
5- THE MARRIAGE SHOULD BE PUBLICIZED. (It should never be kept secret as this can lead to suspicion and troubles within the community.) [For moral purpose]
According to the Quran believers are prohibited to take their spouses as secret lovers as mentioned in verse in verse 5:5 […wala muttakhidhi akhdanin…]
4:25 wala muttakhidhati akhdanin
Means “nor those who take [secret] lovers”.
Therefore it is not allowed to have friends, companions or associates [male or female] to commit fornication with them in secret.
So to marry one secretly without informing ones loved and dear ones is to make a complete mockery of the sacred institution of marriage. Also it will create doubts and suspicion in the society.
But if the parents or relatives want to kill the married couple as seen in the honor killing cases in certain countries then there is no harm in keeping their marriage secret in order to protect their lives.
6- DOWRY – A GIFT FROM THE GROOM TO THE BRIDE [For safety of woman]
Dowry is a pre-requisite for marriage throughout the Quran. The following verses from the Quran will enable us to understand the word ‘Dowry’ as per God’s laws.
4:4 “And give the women their bridal gift (Sadaqati+hinna) willingly (Nihlatan), and if they remit any of it to you of their own will, then you may take it with good feelings.”
4:20-21 And if you wish to replace one wife with another, and you have given one of them a large amount, then do not take anything from it. Will you take it by falsehood while it is clearly a sin? And how can you take it when you have become intimate with each other, and they have taken from you a solemn covenant.
The above verses make it abundantly clear that it is not righteous to take back the dowry unless one is completely overcome by certain circumstances.
65:7 The rich shall provide support in accordance with his means, and the poor shall provide according to the means that God bestowed upon him. God does not burden any soul more than He has given it. God will provide ease after difficulty.
What is an equitable dowry is what one has to assess for oneself. It depends on case to case. The rich as he can afford and the poor as he can. This should not be abused for God will hold us responsible for our innermost intention. When we are committing our deeds with an intention to please Him, He will guide us to do the right thing.
Although one cannot find in the Quran any direct support for payment of dowry in cash only, dowry cannot be something that does not have a monetary value. It cannot be love, honesty, being faithful, etc., which are anyway traits of righteous people. If it could be something that does not have monetary value, many these verses 2:237, 60:10, 65:6-7, (including making adjustments to the dowry) would be rendered inapplicable.
An example of dowry from the Quran could be that of mosses
28:27-28 He said: “I wish you to marry one of my two daughters, ON CONDITION THAT YOU WORK FOR ME THROUGH EIGHT PILGRIMAGE (HAJJ) PERIODS; if you complete them to ten, it will be voluntary on your part. I do not wish to make this matter too difficult for you. You will find me, God willing, of the righteous.” He said: “It is then an agreement between me and you. Whichever period I fulfill, you will not be averse to either one. And God is entrusted over what we said.”
There is no specific method of getting married. A Muslim man or woman can marry in any way according to his/her culture & tradition.
Marriage is neither a clandestine relationship nor mere satisfaction of lust but it is for leading a conjugal life with honor (4:25, 5:5)
According to 5:5 […wala muttakhidhi akhdanin…] and 4:25 wala muttakhidhati akhdanin Means “nor those who take [secret] lovers”.
It is not allowed to have friends, companions or associates [male or female] to commit fornication with them in secret
SELECTING A SPOUSE
The primary consideration in selecting a spouse is the commonness of ideologies rather than beauty and status.
In 2:221, the marriage of the believing men with mushrik women and of the believing women with mushrik men is forbidden. This is an example of extreme difference of ideologies. A marriage between a man and a woman of alien ideologies will make family life a veritable hell. On the other hand, a marriage between a man and a woman of similar ideologies would be paradisiacal. In the same verse, it has been stated that a believing slave is better than a (free) mushrik, even though the mushrik looks enchanting. A slave with a low status is better if he has similar ideology as you have. Even though he is not very good looking, the similarity of ideologies and thoughts is more likely to result in a happy conjugal life than beauty or status.
THE PROVISION OF SUSTENANCE OF THE WIFE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HUSBAND
4:34 “The men are to support the women with what God has bestowed upon them over one another and for what they spend of their money…”
Marriage is a legal contract between two parties (Male and female) to create an institution of family as required by the society, culture and religion.
By virtue of this solemn covenant a man and a woman make pledge to accept the rights and obligations laid down by the Quran in respect of their being husband and wife in order to lead a life of companionship.