Muslim Marriage Act

                The Muslim marriage is governed not by the Indian Majority Act, 1875 but by Muslim law itself. According to Muslim Law, Marriage / Nikah is a contract underlying a permanent relationship based on mutual consent.

Proposal and Acceptance
Competent Parties
No legal Disability
Absolute Prohibition

                There is absolute prohibition of marriage in case or relationship of consanguinity which means the relationship of the person through his/her father or mother on the ascending side, or through his or her own on the descending side. Marriage among the persons related by affinity, i.e., through the wife is not permitted. Marriage with foster mother and other related through such foster mother is also void.

                Unlawful conjunction Marrying a fifth wife Marrying a woman undergoing iddat Marrying non-Muslim Absence of proper witnesses Woman contracting a second marriage during the subsistence of the first marriage. The following marriages are also prohibited: Marrying pregnant women Marrying own divorced wife Marrying during pilgrimage.

Procedure for Muslim Nikah:

                According to Muslim Law it is absolutely necessary that a man or someone on his behalf and the woman or someone on her behalf should agree to the marriage at one meeting and the agreement should be witnessed by two adult witnesses. The words conveying proposal and. acceptance must be uttered in each others presence or in the presence of their agents, who are called Vakils or Qazi. The other condition for a valid marriage is that the transaction must be completed at one meeting. A proposal made at one meeting and an acceptance at another meeting does not constitute a valid marriage. There must be reciprocity between offer and acceptance. The acceptance must not be conditional. Under the Sunni Law, the proposal and acceptance must be made in presence of two males or one male and two female witnesses who are sane, adult and Muslim. Under Shia Law, witnesses are not necessary at the time of marriage. They are required at the time of dissolution of marriage. The parties contracting marriage must be acting under their free will and consent. Polygamy The law permits a Muslim man four wives if he treats all of them equally. Since it is one of the religious practices it is claimed to be immune from any legislative enactment.

Dower or Mahr:

                 Dower or mahr is an obligation imposed upon the husband at the time of the marriage as a mark of respect to the wife. It can be received by the wife by instituting an action as if it was a debt due to her. Dower can be in cash or in kind. It is divided into two parts one called prompt payable at the time of marriage before the wife can be called upon to enter into conjugal domicile and the other deferred to be discharged when the specified event occurs and on demand made by the wife. Till the dower is paid the widow has the right to retain possession of her husbands property.


                 Marriage under Islam is only a civil contract and not a sacrament. A husband can leave his wife without any reasons merely by pronouncing the word Talak thrice. However, for a Muslim woman to obtain divorce certain conditions are necessary. The husband and the wife with mutual agreement can also put an end to the marriage.

No marriage can be registered unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

                 A ceremony of marriage has been performed between the parties and they have been living together as husband and wife. Neither party has at the time of registration more than one spouse living. Neither party is an idiot or lunatic at the time of registration. The parties have completed the age of twenty one years at the time of registration The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship The parties have been residing within the district of the Marriage Officer for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which the application is made to him for registration. On receiving the application signed by both the parties the Marriage Officer shall give public notice and after allowing 30 days for objections and on being satisfied that all the conditions are fulfilled he shall enter a certificate in the marriage certificate book, which shall be signed by the parties and three witnesses. Voidable MarriagesVoidable marriages are those which are void at the option of the aggrieved party. Such marriages can be annulled by a decree of nullity on any of the following grounds: That the marriage has not been consummated owing to the impotence of the Respondent. That the marriage is been performed with a person of unsound mind or having a mental disorder or suffering from recurrent attacks of epilepsy That the consent of the Petitioner or its Guardian was obtained by force or by fraud as to the nature of the ceremony or as to any material fact or circumstances concerning the Respondent. To succeed on this ground, it is necessary that the Petition must be presented in the Court within one year after the force has ceased to operate or the fraud has been discovered. It is also necessary that after the force has ceased or fraud discovered, the Petitioner has not, with consent, lived with the other side.

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