The 'Marriage in Islam' Series (1): The Integrals of the Marriage Contract

Posted on: 14 June 2015

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The first part in this series will be on the sections of Minhaj al-Talibin covering the marriage contract's integrals insha'Allah. 

The Integrals [Arkan] of the Marriage Contract

In Nihayah 6/209 and Mughni 4/226, it is stated that the marriage contract ['aqd al-nikah] is made up of five integrals. They are:

(1) The contractual wordings [sighah].

(2) The bride [zawjah, also called the mankuhah].

(3) The two witnesses [shahidayni].

(4) The husband [zawj, also called the nakih].

(5) The bride's guardian [wali].

In Fath al-Wahhab, Shaykh al-Islam enumerates them as five, similar to Ramli and Khatib.

In Rawdah and its asl, Shaykhayn enumerated four integrals, counting the wali and zawj as one (i.e. the contracting parties) and the zawjah as one. Shaykh al-Islam does likewise in Asna.

In Tuhfah 7/217, Ibn Hajar enumerates them as four by counting the zawj and the zawjah as one integral.

'Abd al-Hamid al-Sharwani negated there being any actual difference between Ibn Hajar and Ramli on this point.

The way in which Ramli and Khatib enumerate them has a basis. In Kitab al-Umm 5/180, Imam Shafi'i said,

فالنكاح يثبت بأربعة أشياء الولي ورضا المنكوحة ورضا الناكح وشاهدي عدل

Here Imam Shafi'i has clearly counted the bride and groom as separate. While also, in Kitab al-Umm 7/165, he said,

ولا يجوز النكاح إلا بولي وشاهدي عدل ورضا المنكوحة والناكح...

This second passage could be read to support Ibn Hajar's enumeration if 'the pleasure of the bride and groom' are counted as one thing. This second passage is found more in its mazinnah than the first.

In the following parts of this series, each of these integrals shall be discussed in more detail insha'Allah. There will be four integrals discussed, and this will be according to how Ibn Hajar enumerates them in Tuhfah. They are:

(1) The bride and groom [zawjayni].

(2) The bride's guardian [wali].

(3) The two witnesses [shahidayni].

(4) The contractual wordings [sighah].


And Allah the Most High knows best.