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Chapter twenty-seven » Situations in which a man and a woman can annul the marriage contract → ← Chapter twenty-seven » Method of saying the marriage contract formula (ṣīghah)

Chapter twenty-seven » Conditions of a marriage contract

Ruling 2389. A marriage contract must fulfil the following conditions [in order for it to be valid]:

1.
based on obligatory precaution, the formula must be said in Arabic. If the man or the woman are unable to say the formula in Arabic, they can say it in a language other than Arabic, and it is not necessary that they appoint an agent; however, they must use words that convey the meaning of زَوَّجْتُ [zawwajtu] and قَبِلـْتُ [qabiltu];
2. the man and the woman, or their agents, who say the formula must have an intention to establish (qaṣd al-inshāʾ) [a marriage contract], meaning that if the man and the woman say the formula themselves, then when the woman says زَوَّجْتُكَ نَـفْسِي [zawwajtuka nafsī] she must intend to make herself his wife. Similarly, when the man says قَبِلـْتُ التَّـزْوِیجَ [qabiltut tazwīj] he must intend to accept her as his wife. And if their agents say the formula, then when they say زَوَّجْتُ [zawwajtu] and قَبِلْتُ [qabiltu] they must intend for the man and woman who have appointed them as their agents to become husband and wife;
3. the person saying the formula must be sane (ʿāqil), and if the person is saying it for himself or herself, he/she must also be of the age of legal responsibility (bāligh). In fact, based on obligatory precaution, if a non-bāligh child who is able to discern between right and wrong (mumayyiz) says the formula for someone else, it is not sufficient and the couple must get a divorce or say the formula again;
4. if the agent of the man and woman, or their guardians (walīs), say the formula, then at the time of the contract they must specify the husband and wife. For example, they must mention their names or indicate to them. Therefore, if someone who has a number of daughters says to a man, زَوَّجْتُكَ إِحْدىٰ بَـنَاتِي [zawwajtuka iḥdā banātī] meaning ‘I wed one of my daughters to you’ and the man responds by saying, قَبِلـْتُ [qabiltu], meaning ‘I accept’, the marriage contract is invalid as they did not specify a particular daughter at the time of the contract;
5. the man and the woman must consent to the marriage. However, if they appear to disapprove but it is known that in their hearts they consent, the marriage contract is valid.

Ruling 2390. If one or more letters is wrongly said in the marriage contract but the meaning does not change, the contract is valid.

Ruling 2391. If a person who says the formula knows its meaning, albeit in a general way, and he intends to bring its meaning into effect, the contract is valid and it is not necessary for him to know the meaning of the formula in detail. For example, [it is not necessary for him to know] which word is a verb and which word is the subject of a verb according to the rules of Arabic grammar.

Ruling 2392. If a woman is wedded to a man without their consent and afterwards the man and the woman consent to the marriage, the marriage contract is valid. Furthermore, for their consent [to be understood], it is sufficient that they say something or do something that conveys their consent.

Ruling 2393. If a man and a woman, or one of them, is compelled to marry, and after the marriage contract has been concluded they consent to it in the manner that was mentioned in the previous ruling, the contract is valid. It is better, however, that the contract be concluded again.

Ruling 2394. A father or paternal grandfather can wed to someone his non-bāligh child/grandchild or his insane child/grandchild who has become bāligh while in the state of insanity. After the child becomes bāligh or the insane individual becomes sane, if the marriage is detrimental for them, he/she can either approve or reject it. But if such a marriage is not detrimental and he/she annuls the marriage after they become bāligh [or after the insane individual becomes sane], the obligatory precaution is that they must either get a divorce or conclude another marriage contract.(1)

Ruling 2395. If a girl wishes to get married and she has reached the age of legal responsibility (bulūgh) and is mature (rashīdah) – meaning that she is able to determine what is in her interest – and she is a virgin, and she is not in charge of her life’s affairs, such a girl must obtain the consent of her father or grandfather. In fact, based on obligatory precaution, even if she in charge of her life’s affairs, she must still obtain their consent. The consent of her mother or brother is not necessary.

Ruling 2396. If a girl is not a virgin, or if she is a virgin but her father or paternal grandfather totally prevent her from marrying every individual who is legally (sharʿan) and commonly considered to be appropriate for her, then it is not necessary for her to obtain their consent. Furthermore, if they are not at all prepared to participate in the matter of her getting married, or if they are not competent to give their consent because of insanity or suchlike, then in these cases, their consent is not necessary. Similarly, if it is not possible to get their consent because they are absent or because of some other reason, and if the girl has a great need to get married at that time, the consent of her father or paternal grandfather is not necessary.

Ruling 2397. If a father or a paternal grandfather marries his non-bāligh son/grandson to a girl, then once he becomes bāligh he will have to pay for his wife’s living expenses. In fact, even before he reaches bulūgh, if he is of an age when he is able to derive sexual pleasure and his wife is not so young that her husband cannot derive sexual pleasure from her, then in such a case, her maintenance (nafaqah) is his responsibility. Otherwise, maintenance is not obligatory (wājib) on him.

Ruling 2398. If a father or paternal grandfather marries his non-bāligh son/grandson to a girl, in the event that the son/grandson does not own any property at the time of the marriage contract, the father or paternal grandfather must provide his wife’s dowry. The same applies if he does own some property but his father or grandfather acts as guarantor (ḍāmin) for the dowry. Apart from these two cases, if the dowry is not more than the standard amount given for a dowry (mahr al-mithl), or, if a matter of primary importance necessitates that the dowry be more than the standard amount, then his father or grandfather can pay the dowry from the property of the son/grandson. Otherwise, they cannot pay more than the standard amount from his property and it would only be valid if he accepts this after he reaches bulūgh.

(1) The interpretation of this ruling is based on Ruling 980 of al-Masāʾil al-Muntakhabah (p. 362).
Chapter twenty-seven » Situations in which a man and a woman can annul the marriage contract → ← Chapter twenty-seven » Method of saying the marriage contract formula (ṣīghah)
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