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Myths and Realities of Muslim Marriage Contract

2. Muslim Marriage Contracts Spoil the Romance and Assume that the Marriage Will Fail

Having a good marriage contract can actually make both spouses feel more comfortable and secure in their relationship, which allows them to better enjoy the marriage. Looking at these agreements as a possible way of strengthening the relationship rather than a way of undermining the romance goes a long way.

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There are lots of documents that couples need to review: Wills, powers of attorney, agreements of purchase and sale and, in some cases, marriage contracts. There’s a time for business and a time for romance.

3. Muslim Marriage Contracts are Only For People Who Are About to Get Married

The term “prenup” or “prenuptial agreement” is often used in place of “marriage contract”. Every prenuptial agreement is a marriage contract, but not every marriage contract is a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial just means that it was signed before the marriage. After the marriage takes place, it is still possible for the couple to sign a marriage contract. Granted, there might be a little less leverage in the negotiations, but many contracts are still signed after marriage.

4. You Don’t Need a Lawyer to Execute a Muslim Marriage Contract

While it is true that there’s no legal requirement under the Shari’ah that a couple must hire a lawyer to draft a marriage contract, a lawyer’s professional advice can make the contract bulletproof. A lawyer is need for ensuring that the execution of an agreement is binding, especially here when it counts most.

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Independent legal advice on marriage contracts are extremely important in order to avoid problems down the road. Perhaps one party will claim: “I didn’t know what I was signing”. Or “I never had a chance to talk with a lawyer.” Maybe even insisting, “If I’d known I was giving up my rights, I would have never signed it.” 

It’s natural to want to keep the legal fees at an absolute minimum. However, each party must independently seek the advice of a lawyer who’s knowledgeable in Islamic family law. This is very important because there’s usually an inherent conflict of interest in advising them about their rights.

One of the lawyers can take the lead in drafting an agreement that captures the consensus of the couple. Once the agreement is drafted, the other spouse can then take it to his/her own lawyer for independent legal advice to see if it achieves the goals he/she had in mind. So while the myth is that lawyers should be avoided, the reality is that their advice can be what makes this contract enforceable.

Please do not listen to opinions and baseless advice when it comes to arranging such an important union. Follow the sunnah. We pray for the best for you.

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