Chapter 5 : Rules Relating To Marriage and Its Ceremonies

بسم الله الرّحمن الرّحيم وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ .

“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.”

al-Qur’an · Surah al-Rum · Ayah 21

Specific Rules of Marriage and Ceremonies

In this section, those rules those are necessary to be followed at the time of the proposal and marriage will be discussed. Thus, in the introduction of this section, the rules of investigating and inquiring about the spouse to be, and their families; followed by the laws of buying the necessary items for the wedding; invitations; preparations for the wedding; and finally the rules which are related to the gatherings of men and women (in relation to the wedding) will be covered.

225 – Rule: If as a result of not having a wife, one will fall into sin, then it is wajib to get married. GKLMST

If due to not having a wife, one will either commit a haram act or fears that he will commit a haram act; or if because of not having a wife, there will be some detrimental effect on his body, then it is wajib to get married. A

Therefore: If someone knows that in the event that he does not get married he will fall into sin, such as looking at non-Mahram in a haram way, looking at (prohibited) photographs or movies, or one may become forced to or has no other way out but to sexually please himself (masturbation) or may fall into having illicit sexual relations with non-Mahram, then it is wajib to get married.

The youth must pay extra special attention to the fact that the same Allah (SWT) who up until today has provided us with our spiritual and material needs, if we follow His commands in order to obtain His pleasure, then, He (SWT) will shower even more blessings than before on His servants, and certainly, He will remove other obstacles from a person’s path.

Make a deal with Allah (SWT) and by getting married, keep yourselves away from sins, and seek the pleasure and blessings of Allah (SWT). Rest assured that He will keep make you happy and make you successful.

226 – Rule: It is Mustahab to get married, even if one does not fear falling into sin by not being married. ABGKLMST

227 – Rule: It is Mustahab that a girl who is baligh (meaning she has reached to the age that she must fulfill her responsibilities to Allah (SWT)) should hurry to find a spouse. GKLMT

In the same way (it is mustahab) in giving (marrying) a girl to a boy who needs to get married. M

228 – Rule: It is Mustahab that the expenditures for the wedding, party and the dowry be a minimum amount. KGLM

Research and Investigation about the Spouse

Research about either one of the spouses-to-be takes place either in a direct or an indirect way. The meaning of direct is that both the man and woman ask things directly from one another; and indirect refers to the inquires one makes about the other person from someone else (such as a friend, a family member, a neighbor, a co-worker, etc…).

Rules of Indirect Investigation

229 – Rule: It is permitted to do research and investigation about either one of the spouses-to-be from any person, even if it necessitates finding out about his or her faults or those of the respective family. AGKLMST

230 – Rule: It is not a problem to investigate about the defects of either one of the spouses-to-be or their families, if it is related to the marriage, and it does not have the same rule as that type of investigating that is forbidden. AGK

Therefore: One is only allowed to investigate those defects which are related to the marriage and knowing the other party (in relation to marital life); and in all other instances, it is not allowed to research into someone’s life with the excuse of marriage.

Rules of Direct Investigation

231 – Rule: Each one of the spouses-to-be is allowed to directly question the other one about themselves, with the condition that this investigating does not involve any haram acts. ABGKLMST

Therefore: It is haram for the two to talk with lust, or for them to be alone in a secluded place, or for them to look at each other with the intention of lust, or to touch one another, and thus they must refrain from these things.

232 – Rule: Each of the spouses-to-be is allowed to look at the body of the other with the aim of investigating, provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The look is not with the intention of lust.

  2. The marriage will be determined by this look.

  3. There is no other obstacle between these two in getting married. BKLS

It is not permitted in any way to look at the body of a non-Mahram, even if it is for the purpose of marriage. A

Rather, such a look is actually Mustahab so as to prevent any problems after marriage, and it is not necessary to seek the permission of the woman. B

According to Ihtiyat Wajib, the man can only look at the woman’s face and hands, and that too in the amount that will determine her beauty or ugliness. G

A man is only permitted to look at the face, hands, hair, neck and a small amount around these areas, and he can also look at the shape of her body from on top of the clothing. M

According to the First Condition (mentioned above):

233 – Rule: It is not allowed for either of them to look at the other with the intention of lust. However, if they know that after looking, unintentionally, lust will come about, then it is not a problem. GKLMS

234 – Rule: It is better that this looking is done on top of thin or see-thru clothing. K According to the Second Condition (mentioned above):

235 – Rule: This looking must be the last step of the investigation that both of the spouses-to-be perform. BKLMS Note: Both of the spouses-to-be, prior to this, must have performed the other necessary investigations, and the marriage is only halted due to this looking such that if they truly like each other (looks wise), then the marriage will take place.

236 – Rule: If the marriage will not be determined by this looking, or it is such that it does not really make a difference for the person, or he is not ignorant of the matter (such that he may have found out from other means about her), then one is not allowed to look at the body of the other person. BGKLMS

According to the Third Condition (mentioned above):

237 – Rule: There must not be any other obstacle in the marriage. BKLMS

Therefore: For example, if the girl’s father does not give her permission for the marriage, or the man can not marry the woman at the present time, or the woman has a husband (even if she has the intention of getting divorced later on), or in other cases such as these, neither one of them is allowed to look at the body of the other.

238 – Question: Is it allowed for a man to look at the photograph of a woman that he intends to marry with the intention of wanting to see her beauty? What about in the event that the woman has not completely observed her hijab? Also, what if a man looks at many pictures (of various women) in order to choose a spouse from among them?

Answer: If it not with the intention of lust, then it is not a problem. BK

Answer: This has the same ruling of looking at the photographs of others. A

Note: The ruling of looking at photographs was previously stated in Chapter III, and one may refer to that.

Answer: If it not with the intention of enjoyment, then it is not a problem. However, to look at several photographs in order to choose a spouse, if they are without the proper hijab, then it is a problem. G

Rules on Istikhara

239 – Rule: If a person performs an istikhara for an act, for example, marriage, it is not wajib to act upon the results of that istikhara. K

It is not wajib to perform an istikhara, but in the same way acting in contrary to the result of the istikhara is not permitted. G

240 – Question: What I wanted to know is that: Is the practice of istikhara by the tasbih beads, or the Qur’an or the istikhara by Dhat al-Riqah [^8] from the view point of Islam, in matters of importance in one’s life such as marriage, or making an important decision, correct or not?

Answer: There is no problem consulting with Allah (SWT) and performing the istikhara according to the ways that have been mentioned, to dispel any confusion. K

241 – Question: Is it appropriate to perform the Istikhara? Also, one time an incident came up which was very ‘good’ - we performed the Istikhara, but it came out ‘bad’. Does the Istikhara have any basis or foundation that we should rely upon?

Answer: It (the Istikhara) is not one of the principal beliefs that one must believe in, and in the instance of wanting to remove doubt, it is not a problem if performed with the intention of it being accepted. K

Answer: It is not allowed to go against the result of the Istikhara. G

242 – Question: I had gone to propose to a girl, and after completing the preliminary stages and questioning each other and finding out about one another, they (the families) and others acknowledged that we are appropriate (for one another), but still her father went and had an Istikhara performed and it came out bad. Even though we say that good jobs and acts do not need to be performed with an Istikhara, he replied by saying that, ‘I will not turn my back on the outcome of the Istikhara.’ Please inform us, is this Istikhara appropriate or not?

An Istikhara does not oblige you. K

It is not allowed to go against the outcome of the Istikhara. G

Rules of the Engagement Period

243 – Rule: If the meaning of engagement is just that a man and woman have the intention of getting married to each other but no kind of marriage contract has taken place between them, then the man and woman are non-Mahram to one other, and there is no difference between them and other non-Mahram. ABGKLMST

Therefore: Looking at one another with the intention of lust; holding hands or any form of bodily contact; being secluded in a private place (with those conditions that were stated in the section of Rules of Socializing); not observing hijab and sufficient clothing in front of each other; socializing and intermingling in the way that a husband and wife normally do with each other; and in summary, any kind of relations that are haram between two non-Mahram (will apply here), and thus both of them must refrain from these things (if no Islamic marriage contract has taken place).

Temporary Marriage (Mut’a) before the Permanent Marriage

244 – Rule: It is not a problem to recite the temporary marriage between the spouses-to-be with the permission of the woman’s guardian. ABGKLMST 245 – Question: Before the permanent marriage, are a boy and girl permitted to read the temporary marriage contract for themselves, without the permission of the girl’s father (guardian)?

Answer: If the girl is a virgin then it is not correct to read the temporary marriage contract without her father’s permission. In any other instance, it is not necessary to have the father’s permission. ABGKLST

Answer: A girl who has reached the age of puberty and is mature - meaning she looks after her own life, in the event that she is a virgin, then according to Ihtiyat, she must get the permission of her father or grandfather. M

246 – Rule: In the event that a temporary marriage contract has been recited, then even if after the end of its period a permanent marriage is not read, the mother of the girl will remain the Mahram of the man for as long as she lives. BGKLMST

247 – Rule: If the couple wishes to have a permanent marriage contract recited before the time of the completion of the temporary marriage once, then the man must forgive the remainder of the period of time (of the temporary marriage) to the woman. AGKLMST

248 – Rule: In the event that the man does not forgive the remainder of the period (whether it be out of ignorance of the rule or due to forgetfulness), and the couple have the permanent marriage contract recited, then the permanent marriage will be void, and after the completion of the time (of the temporary marriage contract), they must have the permanent marriage recited again. AGK

249 – Question: Five years ago, before I got married to my wife, prior to having our permanent marriage contract recited, we became Mahram by having the temporary marriage contract recited for a period of two months. However, one month after the temporary marriage, we recited the permanent marriage and up until now, we are living with one another. Is our permanent marriage contract correct?

Answer: In the event that the remainder of the period of the temporary marriage was forgiven (or given back to the wife), the permanent marriage is correct; however in any other instance, you must have the permanent marriage contract recited again. AGK

Rules of Buying Things (Preparations for the Wedding)

250 – Rule: It is not allowed to purchase any kind of gold for the groom with the intention of having him use it, whether it is a ring, cufflinks, watch, etc… ABGKLMS

In the above examples, the actual transaction is correct (from the viewpoint of Islam), however, it is not permitted for the man to wear anything made of yellow gold. T

251 – Rule: White gold does not share the same ruling as yellow gold, and thus, buying that for the groom is not a problem. K

In the event that white gold is a metal other than yellow gold, it is not a problem. AGLM

As long as it (white gold) is not from the same metal as yellow gold or from the same mineral (as yellow gold), or the (gold) experts do not consider it as gold, then it is not a problem. B

252 – Rule: It is not allowed to purchase any kind of clothing for the groom that is 100% pure silk, with the intention of him wearing it. ABGKLMS In the above example, the actual transaction is correct (from the viewpoint of Islam), however, it is not permitted for the man to wear clothing made of pure silk. T

Therefore: It is not permitted to buy any kind of clothing, such as a shirt, underclothing, clothing that is worn around the house, socks, etc… that is 100% silk, for the man.

253 – Rule: It is not allowed to buy something with money on which Khums has become wajib on until the Khums has been taken out on it, except if one has received the permission of the Islamic Judge or his representative. AGKLM

If something is purchased with money that has not had Khums paid on it, and in the event that the seller was a Shi’a Ithna-Asheri Muslim, then apparently the transaction is correct, but Khums is applicable on that thing which has been purchased, and it is not necessary to get the permission and authorization of the Islamic Judge. ST

254 – Rule: If one (who does not pay attention to the previous rule) buys something with money on which Khums was obligatory on, then he must obtain the permission of the Islamic Judge or his representative (for the money that he has spent). In the event that he gives permission, the transaction is correct, and if he does not give permission, then 1/5 of the transaction is void. AGKLM

It is not necessary to get the permission of the Islamic Judge, but that which was purchased has Khums applicable on it. ST

255 – Rule: It is not allowed to purchase any kind of notorious clothing for the groom or bride. ABGKLMS

The transaction is correct, although it is not permitted to make use of the ‘notorious clothing’. T

256 – Rule: It is not allowed to purchase clothing for the groom that is specific to for women, or clothing that is specific to men for the bride and one must refrain from buying these things. ABGKLMS

The transaction is correct, although it is not permitted for men to wear the clothing of women, or women to wear the clothing of men. T

257 – Rule: It is haram to buy any kind of clothing for the bride that is arousing, with the aim of her wearing it in front of non-Mahram men. ABGKL

The transaction is correct, although it is not permitted to wear such clothing. T

Therefore: If the groom knows that in the wedding ceremony, non-Mahram men will look at the bride (for example if there is a mixed gathering), then buying a dress for the bride that is arousing or stimulating, or one in which a part of her body is not covered properly, is not allowed.

258 – Rule: It is not allowed to buy a shaver or shaving cream for the groom, with the intention that the groom will shave off his beard. ABGKLMST Note: It is not a problem if the shaver is purchased for a lawful purpose.

259 – Rule: The transaction that involves buying and selling leather that is imported (or brought in) from other than an Islamic country, or that is taken from the hands of a Kafir is void, unless the person knows that the items are from animals that have been slaughtered according to Islamic law, in which case, the buying and selling of them is not a problem. ABKT

Even if it is bought from a Kafir in an Islamic market, according to Ihtiyat Wajib, the transaction is void. G

If it is possible that the leather has either been imported from an Islamic country, or it has been taken from the hands of a Kafir but from an animal that was slaughtered in the Islamic manner, then it is permitted to buy and sell such a thing. LS

According to Ihtiyat, the buying and selling of leather that has come from non-Islamic countries or which has been taken from a Kafir, is a void transaction. M

Therefore: Buying anything that is made of leather such as: shoes, a belt, strap of a watch, a purse, a bag, etc… that comes from a non-Islamic country is void, unless the person knows that the country (where it was made) imports its leather from Islamic countries.