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Marriage formula

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Marriage formula or Sīgha (Arabic: صیغة النکاح) refers to phrases, by saying which a man and a woman enter the marriage contract. According to many Shi'a jurists, the marriage formula should be recited in correct Arabic.

The formula for temporary marriage is the same as the formula for permanent marriage except that in the formula for temporary marriage, in addition to mahr, the duration of marriage should also be mentioned.

Sometimes, the Marriage formula is recited only for establishing mahram relationship without sexual gratification which is called the Mahramiyya Formula. There is a disagreement among jurists about the validity of such a formula.

Marriage Formula

Marriage formula refers to phrases by which a man and a woman enter the marriage contract. Marriage formula can only be established by verbal proposition and acceptance and mere consent by the heart is not sufficient. By proposition, a proposal for the marriage contract offered to another is meant; and acceptance is expressing consent about the proposal given for that contract.

Words of proposition to be recited by the woman are: "zawwajtuk-a"[1] or "ankahtuk-a"[2]. Some fiqh scholars have also considered "matta'tuka"[3] acceptable. Words of acceptance to be recited by the man are: "qabilt-u al-tazwij" [4], "qabilt-u al-nikah"[5], "qabilt-u al-tazwij-a wa l-nikah"[6] or "tazawwajt-u"[7].

Types

Formula for marriage contract has two types: permanent and temporary. In the formula for permanent marriage, only the mahr should be mentioned, but in the formula for temporary marriage, the duration of the marriage should be mentioned in addition to the mahr.

Permanent Marriage

Main article: Permanent marriage

In the permanent marriage, if the man and woman are to recite the formula, first the woman should say, "Zawwajtuk-a nafsi ala l-sidaq al-ma'lum"[8], meaning "I married myself to you upon the known (specified) mahr". Then, the man should say, "qabilt-u al-tazwij ala l-sidaq al-ma'lum"[9], meaning "I accepted the marriage upon the known (specified) mahr." He might also only say, "qabilt-u al-tazwij" with the intention of marriage with the known (specified) mahr.

If the man and the woman choose two others as their advocates to recite the Marriage formula, and for example the name of the man is "Ahmad" and the name of the woman is "Fatima", the woman's advocate should say, "Zawwajt-u muwakkilat-i Fatima muwakkiluk-a Ahmad ala l-sidaq al-ma'lum"[10], meaning, "I made my client Fatima married to your client Ahmad upon the known (specified) mahr". Then, the man's advocate should say, "Qabilt-u al-tazwij li muwakkil-i Ahmad ala l-sidaq al-ma'lum"[11] meaning, "I accepted the marriage for my client Ahmad upon the known (specified) mahr."

Temporary Marriage

Main article: Temporary marriage

About the formula for temporary marriage, if the man and the woman recite it themselves, after they specify the duration of marriage and mahr, the woman should say, "Zawwajtuk-a nafsi fi l-muddat-i l-ma'luma ala l-mahr-i l-ma'lum"[12], meaning, "I married myself to you for a specified duration upon the known (specified) mahr"; then, the man should say, "qabilt-u"[13], meaning "I accepted".

If the man and the woman choose two others as their advocates to recite the Marriage formula, first, the woman's advocate should tell the man's advocate, "zawwajt-u muwakkilat-i muwakkiluk-a fi l-muddat-i l-ma'luma ala l-mahr-i l-ma'lum"[14], meaning "I made my client married to your client for a specified duration upon the known (specified) mahr". Then, the man's advocate should say, "Qabilt-u al-tazwij li muwakkil-i ha kadha",[15], meaning "I accepted the marriage for my client as such."

Sermon for Marriage

Reciting a sermon before reciting the Marriage formula is among the practices recommended before reciting the Marriage formula. In this sermon, the praises of God, the Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a) are mentioned. Sermons of the marriages between the Prophet (s) and Lady Khadija (a), Imam Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a) and other Shi'a Imams (a) are narrated in the books of jurisprudence and hadiths. The Prophet (s) recited the sermon below before the marriage of Ali (a) and Fatima (a),

Conditions

Marriage formula has some conditions:

1- It has to be recited in Arabic. However, some jurists have considered non-Arabic formula valid as well, provided that such words are used which convey the meanings of "zawwajt-u" and "qabilt-u".

2- The person reciting the formula should have originative intention; meaning that upon reciting the Marriage formula, his intention should be to originate and establish the marital relationship between the man and the woman.

3- The person reciting the formula should be mature and sane.

4- The person reciting the formula should specify the man and the woman; for example, he should say their names or mention them.

5- The man and the woman should be consent about the recitation of the Marriage formula.

6- There should be no delay between the proposition and the acceptance.

7- The Marriage formula should be recited in correct manner. If even one letter is changed in the formula which changes the meaning, the contract will be void.

8- It is not necessary that the words the man says match with those the woman says; for example, it is not necessary that if the woman says "zawwajt-u", then the man says, "qabbalt-u al-tazwij".

Mahramiyya Formula

Main article: Mahramiyya Formula

It refers to the Marriage formula, the intention of reciting which is to establish Mahramiyya (without sexual gratification). For example, when a man wants to become Mahram with a woman, he recites the formula for temporary marriage with the woman's daughter – that in such cases, usually her little daughter would be chosen – with the permission of her guardian, for a short time, such as one hour, so that the mother of that girl becomes the man's mother-in-law and becomes mahram to him forever.

There is a disagreement among jurists about the validity of such a contract. Some of them consider it absolutely valid. On the opposite, some others consider it absolutely invalid or valid under certain conditions.

See Also

Notes

  1. زَوّجتُک
  2. أنکَحتُکَ
  3. مَتَّعتُکَ
  4. قَبِلتُ التَزویج
  5. قَبِلتُ النِّکاح
  6. قَبِلتُ التَّزویجَ وَ النَّکاح
  7. تَزَوَّجتُ
  8. زَوَّجتُکَ نَفسی علی الصِداق المَعلوم
  9. قَبِلتُ التَزویج علی الصِداق المَعلوم
  10. زَوَّجتُ مُوَکِّلَتی فاطمة مُوَکِّلُکَ أحمَد
  11. قَبِلتُ التَّزویج لمُوَکِّلی أحمد علی الصِّداق المَعلوم
  12. زَوَّجتُک نَفسی فی المُدَة المَعلومة علی المَهر المَعلوم
  13. قَبِلتُ
  14. زَوَّجتُکَ مُوَکِّلَتی مُوَکِّلُکَ فی المُدَة المَعلومة علی المَهرِ المَعلوم
  15. "Ha kadha" means "in accordance with the terms and conditions asserted orally by the two parties.
  16. الحمدلله الذی رفع السمآء فبناها، وبسط الارض فدحاها، وأثبتها بالجبال فأرسیها، أخرج منها ماءها و مرعیها، الذی تعاظم عن صفات الواصفین...أیها الناس إنما الانبیاء حجج الله فی أرضه، الناطقون بکتابه، العاملون بوحیه، إن الله عزوجل أمرنی أن ازوج کریمتی فاطمة بأخی وابن عمی و أولی الناس بی‌ علی بن أبی‌طالب، و [أن] قد زوجه فی السماء بشهادة الملائکة، وأمرنی أن ازوجه واشهدکم علی ذلک

References