Rules of Marriage in Islam – Things You Should Know Before Marriage

Marriage in Islam
Marriage in Islam – Things You Should Know Before Marriage

Islam has several rules and regulations regarding marriage that Muslims are expected to follow. Some key rules include:

Consent Between Partners

  • Both the bride and groom must freely consent to the marriage without coercion. Forced marriages are prohibited in Islam.

Mahr for Marriage

  • The groom must pay the bride a mahr (dower) which becomes her property. This is paid as a gift to the bride.

Wedding Expenses

  • The groom is solely responsible for all wedding expenses during the marriage ceremony. The bride bears no financial responsibility.

Chastity Before Marriage

  • Islam prohibits intimacy before marriage. Both partners must be chaste before entering into wedlock.


  • The marriage ceremony must be conducted in the presence of at least two witnesses. This legitimizes and registers the marriage.

What Islam Says About Marriage

Marriage holds great importance in Islam. The Quran and teachings of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W provide detailed guidance about marriage:

Marriage is Encouraged

  • Islam encourages marriage as it protects a person from sin, provides companionship, and propagates the human race.

It is considered an Act of Worship

  • If done according to the commands of Allah, marriage is considered an act of ibadah (worship) that brings rewards from Allah.

Choosing a Righteous Partner

  • Muslims are encouraged to choose partners of good faith and character to have a peaceful household. Compatibility in religious dedication is emphasized.

Fulfilling a Partner’s Rights

  • The Quran specifies rights that couples owe to each other, such as justice, equity, respect, intimacy, proper upbringing of children, etc. Fulfilling these rights is integral to a healthy marriage.

Seeking Consent Before Marriage

  • The willing consent of both partners must be obtained before finalizing the marriage as forced marriages are not allowed.

Islamic Way of Getting Married

An Islamic marriage, also known as nikah, has several components:

Selection of Partner

The process begins with each partner evaluating prospective candidates for compatibility based on religiousness, character, ethics, and ability to fulfill rights.

Consent Between Partners

Both partners must willingly agree to the union before it is finalized.

Proposal and Acceptance

The groom or an intermediary formally asks for the lady’s hand in marriage from her Wali (guardian). If accepted, an appropriate mahr is decided.

Signing of Nikahnama

A marriage contract called Nikahnama is signed by the couple and witnesses, detailing rights and responsibilities.

Khutba-e-Nikah Ceremony

A sermon narrating the Islamic teachings on marriage is delivered, followed by a supplication for a blessed marriage.

Registration and Celebration

The marriage is registered per local laws. A wedding feast called Walima is hosted by the groom.


The marriage must be consummated within a socially acceptable period to complete the Islamic process.

Note: To know about marriage with the help of Quranic verses Read this Article: Quran Verses about Marriage

What Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Said About Marriage

Prophet Muhammed S.A.W encouraged marriage in multiple sayings. Some examples:

On Seeking Married Life

“Marriage is my Sunnah. He who shuns my Sunnah is not of me.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

On Virtue of Marriage

“Marriage is half of faith. Have fear of God in treating your wives justly.” (Abu Dawood)

On the Importance of Consent

“A previously married woman must not be married off unless she gives her consent and a virgin must not be married off until her consent is sought.” (Bukhari)

On Compatibility Between Spouses

“Choose carefully for your seed. Marry those who are equivalent and have them marry equivalently.” (Ibn Majah)

On Kind Treatment of Wives

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you toward my wives.” (Ibn Majah)

Can Muslims Kiss Before Marriage?

  • Kissing before marriage is strictly prohibited in Islam as pre-marital intimacy could lead to other sins.
  • Both partners must uphold their chastity until the marriage is consummated.
  • If a couple is engaged, kissing before the nikah ceremony should be avoided. Hugging and holding hands should also be avoided.
  • Guarding one’s modesty and avoiding privacy in seclusion is important before marriage.
  • After marriage, kissing privately is permissible between spouses. Public displays of intimacy must still be avoided.

Cousin Marriage in Islam

  • Marrying cousins is permissible in Islam. The Quran does not prohibit marrying cousins.
  • Cousin marriage was very common within Arab cultures during the early days of Islam.
  • Some scholars actively encourage cousin marriages as it strengthen family ties.
  • Issues like compatibility and consent remain vital in cousin marriages. Forced cousin marriages are forbidden.
  • In the case of repeated generational cousin marriages, there may be concerns about genetic disorders. Planning appropriately is vital.

Wedding Night in Islam

  • On the wedding night, the bride and groom retire to privacy after the wedding.
  • The groom gently initiates intimacy, comforting his bride if she is nervous or apprehensive.
  • A simple ceremony called “seeing the face” may take place when the husband sees his wife’s face for the first time.
  • Sexual relations should commence on this night as consummation completes the nikah contract.
  • The couple should engage in foreplay, seeking to satisfy one another selflessly, keeping intimacy private.
  • Special meals and gifts to the bride are traditional in some Muslim cultures.

Forced Marriages in Islam

  • Forced and unwilling marriages imposed upon either the bride or groom are strictly prohibited in Islam.
  • All schools of Islamic law and scholarship forbid forced marriages as they breach fundamental Quranic principles and Prophetic guidance.
  • However, social customs in some communities result in forced marriage practices despite clear religious prohibitions.
  • Victims of forced marriages can utilize legal and social avenues to escape the situation. Seeking divorce is religiously endorsed.
  • Elders planning forced marriages are committing grave sins punishable by Allah in both this world and the next.

Marriage Age in Islam

  • Islam does not stipulate a marriage age explicitly, but mental maturity, puberty, and legal adulthood are required.
  • Historically, young marriages were common in the Middle East. Muhammad’s  S.A.W wife Aisha R.A was betrothed at age six, and the marriage was consummated at nine years old.
  • Modern Islamic marital jurisprudence states that brides should be past puberty, mentally mature enough for marital responsibilities, able to consent freely, and be legally adult per local laws.
  • Local laws often set 16 years old as the minimum legal marriage age for girls. With court permission, there are exceptions in some cases allowing earlier marriages.

Types of Marriages in Islam

  • Permanent/Regular Marriage – The standard marriage format with no fixed time frame. Spouses can continue the union until death or divorce.
  • Mutah/Temporary Marriage – A fixed-term marriage specifically for widows, divorcees, and travelers, to fulfill their physical needs while avoiding sin. The term can be hours, days months, or years. At the end of the specified period, separation occurs automatically without divorce.
  • Potential/Contingent Marriage – A marriage contract signed specifying that conjugal relations will commence at a future date once specified conditions are met. This was practiced historically to settle political treaties or land disputes between tribes.

Maximum Age Limit for Marriage in Islam

  • There are no explicitly defined age limits for marriage in Islam for either men or women. Puberty and mental maturity are emphasized more.
  • However, given declining reproductive health and energy levels, both men and women are encouraged to marry early, as Prophet Muhammad did.
  • Men who marry very late struggle to keep up with the demands of marital life. Women undergoing menopause can no longer bear children due to declining fertility.
  • Thus, reasonable customary expectations on the latest age for marriage exist in Muslim communities, varying between 40 to 50 years for both men and women.

Intercourse Before Marriage in Islam

Islam strictly prohibits intercourse before marriage. Sex before marriage, referred to as Zina (fornication), is considered a major sin. Therefore, you should be aware of:

1- The Quran forbids zina in several verses and describes it as indecency, wickedness, and pure evil. It is seen as a grievous sin that endangers a person’s faith.

2- Abstaining from zina requires controlling one’s sexual desires and not engaging in intimate acts that may lead down that path. Islam prohibits all that excites passion, including kissing, being alone in private, pornographic material, etc.

3- Guarding one’s modesty (haya) and chastity before marriage is described as praiseworthy. Those who engage in zina face punishment in the hereafter, unless they repent. Zina also carries severe legal penalties under Sharia law that can include flogging.

4- After marriage, sex between spouses is encouraged to foster love and intimacy. But intimacy should remain private between husband and wife. Public display of affection, even after marriage, is disliked.

So in essence, Islam aims to channel sexual desires towards marriage and prevents indulging those desires outside this sacred bond through clear prohibitions. This protects lineage, chastity, and the institution of family.


Marriage holds tremendous significance in Islam for believers’ faith and spiritual growth. Detailed guidance drives every aspect of marital life, from selection of partners to their rights over one another. While cultural interpretations sometimes divert from original principles, the actual rules regarding consent, treatment of spouses, and avoiding sin remain well-preserved in Islamic discourses on marriage.


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