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MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AQDUN-NIKAAH




By
Aboo Banaat

During the time of the prophet salallahu alayhi wassalam, the Aqdun-Nikaah (marriage contract) used to be done so easily within a few minutes, because it only involves the suitor, his witnesses, the guardian and the potential bride. If they all agree on mutual terms and the guardian gives the woman to the suitor in marriage, that’s all. It means ‘marriage’ has been established, the suitor is now her legal husband and the woman is now a wife officially. She can even move in to live with him that same day if she wishes and they can even consummate it if they want.
The Aqdun Nikaah does not involve any ceremony or any extravagance. Afterwards, the groom can now pay the mahr (dowry) and also the waleemah (wedding), this is the Sunnah. The Prophet used to do his weddings two or three days after marrying a woman. So it is not compulsory that the marriage and wedding must be done before the woman can move in to live with her husband. Many young spinsters are so ignorant that, several months after the Aqdun nikaah, she would still remain in her parent's house thinking that she is not yet permissible for her husband simply because he is not yet capable of hosting the wedding, this is sheer ignorance.
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The aqdun nikaah is the main marriage itself that legalizes both of you for eachother, the wedding is only a feast to celebrate a marriage that has already happened. So whenever your husband is capable of hosting the wedding, he must do it, even if it takes months or years, so it is not compulsory that the wedding must be done instantly, Islam does no impose a burden on people more than they can bear. Also, after the Aqdun Nikaah, some brides would still refuse to go and start living with her husband just because he has not paid her dowry. The dowry is a gift which a man is obliged to give to his wife but it is ‘not’ one of the conditions of marriage. The man must pay it but it doesn’t mean a marriage is invalid until the dowry is paid, because the dowry may be paid immediately or it may be postponed till a later date, it depends on the capability of the man. 
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Many bachelors of these days usually complicate things for themselves by using ambiguous words during the marriage contracts. Many guardians/fathers do not understand the Sunnah, they don’t even understand Arabic, and so they don’t know what you mean by ‘Aqdun nikaah’. Explain it to them in simple words they can fathom, tell them its conditions and implications, if you don’t do so, they may think you only came to visit them to 'introduce' yourself to them. The guardian may then say ‘ok’, whereas you took the ‘ok’ to mean he has given you his daughter in marriage, perhaps to him it meant, ‘he would think about it and get back to you.’

So do not use ambiguous words and do not accept unclear words, marriage contract has the same rulings with business rulings, the words and agreement has to be clear to all parties. So when you speak to a guardian, speak clearly, forget about proverbs or sign language, go straight to the point, so that you won’t go and start co-habiting with a woman who has not been give to you in marriage. Do not go ahead and impregnate someone’s daughter, thinking that she is already your wife, only for her father to say: ‘When did i give her to you in marriage?’

It is not also compulsory that the guardian must give her daughter to you on the very first sitting, her father may hesitate if he has some doubts about you or if he wants to make some enquires about you, so do not force words out of his mouth and do not change the meaning of his words, act based on certainty, not doubt.

Harun ibn Riab said,  when Abdullah ibn Amr was dying, he said:
‘A man from Quraysh proposed to marry my daughter and i almost gave him the permission, wallahi i don’t want to meet Allah with even 1/3rd of hypocrisy, so bear witness that i have married my daughter to him’. (Al kadhab wal Hasad p 398)

So, declare your intentions in clear, precise and unambiguous words and let her father know the implication of consenting to it by giving you her daughter in marriage. Do not make a mockery of the sunnah and do not commit zina in the guise of marriage, do not shame yourself.

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