Discuss the various kinds of Muslim marriages and its characteristics.
What are the different kinds of Muslim marriages and explain its consequences?
It is rightly said that Muslim marriage is contractual in procedure and socio- religious in substance. If a Muslim male and Muslim female wants to perform a marriage then they have to fulfil certain conditions which are also required to be fulfilled at the time of making a valid contract. If two persons solemnize a marriage then mutual rights and liabilities arise among them and it is their responsibility to perform their matrimonial obligations.
These rights and liabilities arise only in case of a valid marriage and they do not arise in case of void marriage. To solemnize a valid marriage, it is essential for the parties to fulfil all the requisite conditions which have been prescribed by Muslim personal law and there must not be any legal prohibition at the time of performing the marriage.
So, on the basis of fulfilment of these conditions and presence of legal prohibitions, Muslim marriages can be classified into three classes:-
• Valid Marriage
• Void Marriage
• Irregular Marriage
- Valid Marriage:- In Muslim religion, it is also known as Sahih marriage. According to Muslim law, when parties perform all the requirements prescribed by the Muslim law and there is not any legal prohibition, then such marriage is considered a valid marriage. So, basically, if marriage is neither void marriage nor an irregular marriage, that is considered a valid marriage.
All the matrimonial rights and liabilities arise in a valid marriage and it allows them to live together under the same roof and to procreate a legitimate child. If marriage is a valid marriage, then wife is entitled to get maintenance from her husband and she is also entitled to get the dower and where the decided dower is a prompt dower then she can refuse to live with him unless it is paid to her.
In case of valid marriage, both the parties are entitled to inherit from the property of another in the capacity of husband or wife. Basically, a valid marriage is just like a valid contract and a lawful union and if any of the party refuses to perform his matrimonial obligations then another party has the right to claim the matrimonial relief and in case of valid marriage court is bound to grant matrimonial relief to the aggrieved party. Moreover in case of valid marriage, if the marriage is dissolved either by divorce or by the death of husband then wife is bound to observe the iddat period to a certain whether she is pregnant or not.
- Void Marriage:- In Muslim law, it is also known as Batil marriage. If according to Muslim religion, any Muslim male and female cannot solemnize a valid marriage because of the presence of absolute disability and irrespective of that disability they perform a marriage, that marriage is not considered a valid marriage and that is considered a void marriage. So, if marriage is not a valid marriage that is considered a void marriage. Such marriage is called a marriage because two persons have undergone the necessary formalities of marriage but it does not confer any legal rights and liabilities upon the parties.
In case of a void marriage, wife is not entitled to maintenance or dower. But, if the marriage between them has been consummated then only she is entitled to get the customary dower but the child out of that wedlock is considered an illegitimate.
Moreover, parties cannot inherit from the property of another in the capacity of husband or wife because such marriage is an unlawful in the eyes of law and it does not confer any rights upon the parties.
- Irregular Marriage:- In Muslim law, it is also known as the Fasid marriage. According to Muslim law, if any Muslim male and female wants to solemnize a valid marriage, so at the time of solemnization of marriage there should not be any relative disability. If such disability is present at the time of performance of marriage then such marriage is considered an irregular marriage in Sunni sect and void marriage in Shia sect.
According to Muslim law, such marriage is not an unlawful in itself but something else renders such marriage unlawful and if such disability is removed by the parties then such marriage can be converted into a valid marriage.
But unless and until such a disability is not removed, such marriage is considered an irregular marriage and like a void marriage, it has no legal effect and it does not confer any legal rights and liabilities upon the parties.
According to Muslim law, if such marriage has not been consummated, the wife is a not entitled to dower and she is not bound to observe iddat period but if marriage has been consummated, then wife is bound to observe iddat period and she is entitled to get the dower. Moreover according to this law, she is not entitled to maintenance during the iddat period.
In such a marriage, if child is born out of such wedlock, such child is considered legitimate child and he can inherit the property from his parents but such marriage does not confer the right upon both the spouses to inherit property of another in the capacity of husband or wife.