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Islam And Muslim Marriages


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This presentation outlines the system of Islamic Marriages.
Presented at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad to a Counseling class of students.

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Islam And Muslim Marriages

  1. 1. The Islamic Marriage System UWI SCS Therapeutic Counseling Class March 2008 Presenter – Mirza Ali-Mohammed, Amir of the Islamic Da’wah Movement of Trinidad & Tobago
  2. 2. Mirza Ali-Mohammed <ul><li>Divisional Manager – Human Resources and Student Affairs at NESC. </li></ul><ul><li>Director – Caribbean Training & Development (CTD). </li></ul><ul><li>Amir (President) of Islamic Dawah Movement of Trinidad & Tobago. </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim Marriage Officer in T&T. </li></ul>
  3. 3. OUTLINE <ul><li>Islam – basic beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Islamic world statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Islam in T&T – History / Current </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim Marriage Act of T&T </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentals of a Muslim Marriage </li></ul><ul><li>On being Muslims and Trinidadians </li></ul><ul><li>Issues in Muslim marriages </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  4. 4. Islam - Basic Statistics <ul><li>1.2 billion, Muslims represent between 19.2% and 22% of the world's population. </li></ul><ul><li>One of every five humans in the world is a Muslim </li></ul><ul><li>Second largest religion in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Fastest growing including Europe and America </li></ul>
  5. 5. Muslims in Trinidad - History <ul><li>Aboard Columbus’ ships – cartographers </li></ul><ul><li>African slaves – tribes of Mandingo, Fulani and Hausa </li></ul><ul><li>Indian Indentured labourers – started with the Fath Ar-Razaak (Fatel Rozak) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Islam in Trinidad <ul><li>Approximately 100,000 in number </li></ul><ul><li>More than 100 mosques </li></ul><ul><li>Islamic Educational Institutions – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. </li></ul><ul><li>Specialised Institutions – MCU, CIB, IFST </li></ul>
  7. 7. Islam – Basic Beliefs ‘One out of every six (6) persons in the world is a Muslim.’
  8. 8. Basic beliefs <ul><li>Belief in One God – Allah (in Arabic) </li></ul><ul><li>Prophets who taught Allah’s Message. </li></ul><ul><li>Muhammad (pbuh) as the last of the messengers. </li></ul><ul><li>Believe in Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>The Qur’an as God’s words revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Basic beliefs <ul><li>Belief in a Day of Judgement and accountability for one’s actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in Heaven and Hell. </li></ul><ul><li>That family is the foundation of a society – promotes marriage. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Muslim Marriage Fundamentals
  11. 11. T&T Law <ul><li>The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Ordinance 1961 </li></ul><ul><li>No need to place ‘bans’. Marriage can be done by a Marriage Officer anywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim Marriage Officers are appointed by the State. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Essentials of a Muslim Marriage Contract <ul><li>Offer and acceptance (exchange of vows). </li></ul><ul><li>The two parties to the contract: the prospective husband and the guardian of the woman. </li></ul><ul><li>The presence of witnesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Mahr (loosely translated as Dowry). </li></ul>
  13. 13. Other Elements seen <ul><li>Signing of Marriage Register </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange of rings </li></ul><ul><li>Sharbat (sharing a drink together) </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage by proxy </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional practices (Asian, Mid-eastern, African etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Feast – relatives and friends </li></ul>
  14. 14. Points to note <ul><li>A Muslim Marriage should never be kept secret. </li></ul><ul><li>The permission of the bride is necessary - contrary to some writers. </li></ul><ul><li>An Islamic marriage is between a male and female only. </li></ul><ul><li>It is permissible for woman to make a marriage proposal to a man. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Marital discord <ul><li>The Qur’an is the basis for which Muslims derive laws. </li></ul><ul><li>The Qur’an asks that an arbiter be appointed from among a relative. </li></ul><ul><li>Islam recommends the seeking of counseling from those qualified to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>Muslims are also humans and subjected to same marital issues like others. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Facing Reality in Muslim Marriages <ul><li>Abuse – verbal, mental and emotional </li></ul><ul><li>Extra marital affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Husband not being around – too busy. </li></ul><ul><li>Betrayal of trust </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>False expectations of marriage – media images of ‘bliss’ </li></ul>
  17. 17. Divorce <ul><li>Permitted but disliked. Must be last resort. </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim Divorce Councils set up in Trinidad. </li></ul><ul><li>The case is examined for validity and justification. </li></ul><ul><li>The Qur’an asks for parting in good terms. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Fundamentals of a Happy Marriage <ul><li>Faith </li></ul><ul><li>Forbearance / Patience </li></ul><ul><li>Friendship With Your Spouse </li></ul><ul><li>Friendship With In-Laws </li></ul><ul><li>Couple Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul>
  19. 19. Fundamentals of a Happy Marriage <ul><li>Financial Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Respect For Family </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Plan For The Future </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfillment </li></ul>
  20. 20. Plurality of wives Polygamy in Islam
  21. 21. Definition of Polygamy <ul><li>Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is Polygamy where a man marries more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries more than one man. In Islam, limited Polygamy is permitted; whereas polyandry is completely prohibited </li></ul>
  22. 22. What does the Qur’an say <ul><li>&quot;Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one.&quot; [Al-Qur'an 4:3] </li></ul><ul><li>Before the Qur'an was revealed, there was no upper limit for Polygamy and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Polygamy – Not a rule <ul><li>Polygamy is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than one wife. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout the Islamic world , polygamous marriages constitute only 1–3% of all marriages. ( Wikipedia Encyclopaedia) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Polygamy and other religions <ul><li>In Exodus (Chapter 21, Verse 10) it is stated: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;If he takes him 'another wife', her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage shall be not diminish.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>It is evident to even a casual reader of Old Testament that not only is polygamy permitted but also practiced, and that regulations for that have been stipulated in the scriptures. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Polygamy and other religions <ul><li>Prophet &quot;David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem.&quot; (11 Sam. 5:13). </li></ul><ul><li>Prophet Solomon &quot;had seven hundred wives, princess, and three hundred concubines.&quot; (I Kings 11:3 ) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Even the clergy had wives <ul><li>The Emperor Valentinian II, by an Edict, allowed all the subjects of the Empire, if they pleased, to marry several wives; nor does it appear from the ecclesiastical history of these times that the Bishops and the heads of the Christian made any objection to this law. Far from it, all the succeeding Emperors practiced polygamy, and the people generally were not remiss in following their example. Even the clergy often had wives. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Legal status of Polygamy in Islam <ul><li>That polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted. </li></ul><ul><li>That the permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of. Rather, it is associated with compassion towards widows and orphans, a matter that is confirmed by the atmosphere in which the Qur’anic injunction was revealed. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Legal status of Polygamy in Islam <ul><li>That dealing justly with one’s wives is an obligation. This applies to housing, food, clothing, kind treatment…etc., for which the husband is fully responsible. If one is not sure of being able to deal justly with them, the Qur’an says: &quot;then (marry) only one.&quot; (Qur’an 4:3) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Legal status of Polygamy in Islam <ul><li>The requirement of justice rules out the fantasy that man can &quot;own as many as he pleases.&quot; It also rules out the concept of a &quot;secondary wife&quot;, for all wives have exactly the same status and are entitled to identical rights and claims over their husband. It also implies, according to the Islamic Law, that should the husband fail to provide enough support for any of his wives, she can go to court and ask for a divorce. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Legal status of Polygamy in Islam <ul><li>The verse says &quot;marry,&quot; not kidnap, buy or seduce. </li></ul><ul><li>What is &quot;marriage&quot; as understood in Islam? Marriage in Islam is a civil contract which is not valid unless both contracting parties consent to it. Thus, no wife can be forced or &quot;given&quot; to a husband who is already married. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Responsibility of husband <ul><li>The husband must have sufficient economic means to provide adequate food, clothing and other necessities of life to each of them </li></ul><ul><li>Each of the wives must be provided with a separate house of her own </li></ul><ul><li>The husband must spend equal time in the house of every wife </li></ul><ul><li>He must divide his nights among them </li></ul>
  32. 32. Responsibility of husband <ul><li>The fact is that the imposition of the previous mentioned conditions has made polygamy very much restricted among the Muslims; and one comes across very rare cases of polygamy in the Muslim societies. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Mrs. Annie Besant wrote on this subject: <ul><li>&quot;There is pretended monogamy in the West, but there is real polygamy without responsibility. The mistress is cast off when the man is weary of her and she sinks gradually to be the woman of the street: for the first lover has no responsibility for her future: and she is hundred times worse off than a sheltered wife and the mother in the polygamous home. When we see thousands of miserable women, who crowd the streets of Western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does not lie in Western mouths to reproach Islam for its polygamy </li></ul>
  34. 34. Mrs. Annie Besant wrote on this subject: <ul><li>It is better for a woman, happier for a woman, more respectable for a woman to live in Islamic polygamy united to one man only with the legitimate child in her arms and surrounded with respect, than to be seduced, cast out in the streets perhaps with an illegitimate child, outside the pale of law, un-sheltered and uncared for, to become a victim of any passer by, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood, despised by all.&quot; </li></ul>
  35. 35. Thank You Questions