Prohibited Marriage Relations in Islam
These prohibitions are detailed in verses 22, 23 and 24, Chapter 4, of the Qu’ran, which are interpreted as follows: “And marry not those women whom your fathers married, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! it was ever lewdness and abomination, and an evil way.” [4:22]
“Forbidden unto you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your father's sisters, and your mother's sisters, and your brother's daughters and your sister's daughters, and your foster-mothers, and your foster-sisters, and your mothers-in-law, and your step-daughters who are under your protection (born) of your women unto whom ye have gone in - but if ye have not gone in unto them, then it is no sin for you (to marry their daughters) - and the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins. And (it is forbidden unto you) that ye should have two sisters together, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! Allâh is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” [4:23]
“And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allâh for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allâh is ever Knower, Wise.” [4:24]
Religious Ceremony on the Occasion of Marriage
The Islamic Law appoints no specific religious ceremony, nor any religious rites necessary for the contraction of a valid marriage.
Legally a marriage contracted between two persons passing the capacity to enter into the contract is valid and binding, if entered into by mutual consent in the presence of witnesses. In all cases, the religious ceremony is left entirely to the discretion of the qualified registrar known as the ma’zûn, that is the representative of the court parties. Below is given, in detail, the nuptial sermon, universally preached on the occasion of marriage, in imitation of the Prophet: “O ye believers, fear God as He deserved to be feared, and die not without having become true Muslims. O men, fear your Lord Who hath created you of one progenitor, and of the same species He created his wife and from these twain hath spread abroad so many men and women. And fear ye God, in whose name ye ask mutual favour, and reverence the wombs that bore you. Verily God is watching over you. O believers, fear God and speak with well-guided speech, that God may bless your doings for you and forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys God and His Apostle with great bliss he surely shall be blessed.”
The sermon is a collection of Qu’ranic verses and their repetition at each and every wedding is meant to remind the Muslim men and women of their duties and obligations. It opens with a commandment to fear God, and the selfsame commandment is repeated quite a number of times in the course of the ceremony, showing that the whole of the ceremony is to be carried through with fear of God, so that from beginning to end it may be a pure, moral binding and that no selfish equivocation or hypocritical prevarication may mar the sanctity of the sacred rite.
The registrar – having recited the above verses with certain sayings of the Prophet bearing on the benefits of marriage, and the bridegroom and the bride’s agent [usually the father, uncle or elder brother] and the witnesses having assembled in some convenient place [commonly the bride’s home] and arrangements having previously been made as to the amount of dower payable to the bride–begins to request the bridegroom to ask God forgiveness for his sins and to declare his belief in the unity of God and the Prophethood of His Messenger Muhammad . The registrar then asks the bridegroom whether he accepts to be wedded to …[mentioning the name of the bride] against such and such a dower payable to her and on the law principles stated in the Qu’ran and in the Sunnah of the Prophet. The bridegroom answering in the affirmative, the registrar announces the consummation of the marriage contract. The ceremony being over, the bridegroom shakes hands with the friends and those of the relatives who happen to be present and receives their congratulations.
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