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The Preliminaries Of Marriage

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Chapter Summary

Muslim marriage contract is unique in that the rights and obligations relating to it are dictated by legislation, and as such, are not subject to any contrary agreement by the parties. Firstly, therefore, the betrothal which leads up to the completion of the contract has also to be valid if it is to lead to a valid marriage contract. The couple must possess legal capacity, there must be equality between them, and the circumstances surrounding the completion of the contract, such as offer and acceptance and the witnesses, also have to comply with legislation if the marriage is to be valid. If all the above criteria are satisfied, there is one last essential to ensure at the actual time of the marriage that it is valid. Sunni jurists throughout the ages have been unanimous in their provision that the presence of witnesses is essential to ensure "publicity" of the marriage.

Keywords: betrothal; equality of the Partners (Kafaʾa); legal capacity; muslim marriage; witnesses

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