Title: Getting Married – The Islamic Way
Author: Compiled by Saheeh International, KSA
Publisher: Center for Social Awareness and Advocacy
Availability: Dawah Books, Karachi
As the basic building block of society, marriage merits a serious discussion. Unfortunately, in today’s Ummah, marriage is generally viewed as a financial burden for the family, while the young people see it as a fairy-tale adventure. This booklet provides a much needed corrective lens perspective for coming back to the basic teachings of Islam on the institution of marriage.
A thin booklet complete with references from the Quran and the Sunnah, it is easy to read and understand. Divided into eleven sections, it delineates the significance of marriage and specifies the acceptable and unacceptable types of marriage, some of which are prevalent in Muslim societies. It also seeks to rectify the extreme attitudes in our societies toward proposals and courtships. For instance, it is a Sunnah to meet and see a prospective suitor in the presence of chaperones, before finalizing a proposal, while the concept of dating your fiancé is unacceptable in Islam, because a fiancé is not a Mahram. Likewise, the importance of a Wali and Mahr as well as the stipulations that may be included in a Nikah contract are explained clearly.
What I particularly liked about this booklet was that since it contains references from the Quran and Sunnah in both the Arabic text and English translation, there is no need to consult either the Mushaf or any Dua compilation. For instance, in the section on Khutbah, the Dua of Istikhara is included. Likewise, the problems associated with fixing the Mahr are explained. The basis for the marriage contract’s validity is clearly explained with simple bulleted list, as are the basic rights of each spouse following the Nikah.
This booklet does not categorically denounce traditions, cultural practices and parties that are included in the wedding celebrations. Instead, it clearly defines the Halal limits of celebrations (for instance, parties must be segregated) and stresses simplicity and inclusiveness. Of course, given the cultural diversity of Muslims, it would have been impossible to list and analyse the permissibility of each ritual.
It would have been useful to see included in the booklet a general Nikah contract format. For those in Pakistan, an analysis of the official Nikah Nama’s clauses about the rights of divorce and remarriage in the light of Shariah would be pertinent.
Nevertheless, this is a useful booklet that should be available in libraries and is definitely recommended for young adults of marriageable age and inclination.