Islam by topic: Marriage

by Matt Slick

Marriage and Islam is held in high regard. It is similar to the doctrine of marriage in Christianity.  However, Islam permits marriage up to four women where Christianity requires one man and one woman. Furthermore, in Islam a man is permitted to beat his wife for disloyalty and ill conduct (Surah 4:34). There is no such option for the woman. Muslims are not supposed to marry non-Muslims and they are not to force women into marriage. However, lying is permitted in Islamic marriage in order to harmonize the relationship between spouses.

  1. Adultery forbidden
    1. Surah 17:32, "Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils)."
  2. Can marry up to four women
    1. Surah 4:3, "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, 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, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."
  3. Can beat your wives
    1. Surah 4:34, "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all)."
  4. Can marry adopted son's ex-wife
    1. Surah 33:37, "Behold! Thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favour: “Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife, and fear Allah.” But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people, but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. And Allah’s command must be fulfilled."
  5. Created by Allah
    1. Surah 25:54, "It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for thy Lord has power (over all things)."
  6. Don't marry non-muslims
    1. Surah 2:221, "Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise."
  7. Don't marry women against their will
    1. Surah 4:19, "O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them—except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good."
  8. Don't marry women already married, except if they are captured by a Muslim
    1. Surah 4:24, "Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property—desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise."
  9. Dowry
    1. Surah 4:4, "And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift;; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, Take it and enjoy it with right good cheer."
  10. Dwell in harmony with spouse
    1. Surah 30:21, "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect."
  11. Fornication is forbidden
    1. Surah 24:2-3, "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication—flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment. 3 Let no man guilty of adultery or fornication marry and but a woman similarly guilty, or an Unbeliever: nor let any but such a man or an Unbeliever marry such a woman: to the Believers such a thing is forbidden."
    2. Surah 25:68, 'Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication;;—and any that does this (not only) meets punishment."
  12. Lying okay in marriage
    1. "Humaid b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Auf reported that his mother Umm Kulthum daughter of 'Uqba b. Abu Mu'ait, and she was one amongst the first emigrants who pledged allegiance to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), as saying that she heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he conveys good. Ibn Shihab said he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them)."  (Sahih Muslim, Book #032, Hadith #6303)
  13. Marriages not according to Islam are not valid
    1. "Narrated 'Umar bin Dinar: I was sitting with Jabir bin Zaid and 'Amr bin Aus, and Bjalla was narrating to them in 70 A.H. the year when Musab bin Az-Zubair was the leader of the pilgrims of Basra. We were sitting at the steps of Zam-zam well and Bajala said, "I was the clerk of Juz bin Muawiya, Al-Ahnaf's paternal uncle. A letter came from 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one year before his death; and it was read:-- "Cancel every marriage contracted among the Magians between relatives of close kinship (marriages that are regarded illegal in Islam: a relative of this sort being called Dhu-Mahram.)" 'Umar did not take the Jizya from the Magian infidels till 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf testified that Allah's Apostle had taken the Jizya from the Magians of Hajar."  (Sahih Bukhari, Book #53, Hadith #384)
  14. Marry only single women
    1. Surah 24:32, "Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all, and he knoweth all things."
  15. Muhammad consumated marriage with Khadija when she was nine
    1. "Narrated Hisham's father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married 'Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #58, Hadith #236)
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.