ADIL is an acronym for Adult Islamic Learning. It is an Islamic learning programme by Muis specially tailored for adult Muslim learners in Singapore.
This article is an introduction to the topic of marriage and family, based on the ADIL module “Fiqh of Family”, which addresses various marital issues. Here are some selected topics from the overall content in hopes that it will interest readers to register for the full class.
As most content is already made available in the ADIL module, do visit learnislam.sg if you would like to inquire more details about ADIL or join the available classes.
Family life is one of the most significant aspects of human life. In Islam, families are deemed very important due to their role in the progress and success of society at large. At a fundamental level, a family is a unit made up of a husband, wife, and their children, who then take on a communal identity of their own and attain certain legal and spiritual rights over one another.
Both husband and wife, who form the very basis of a family, are in a sacred union, for which the Quran says,
وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦٓ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًۭا لِّتَسْكُنُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةًۭ وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.”
(Surah Ar-Rum, 30:verse 21)
A family is meant to be a source of tranquillity for its members, as it facilitates their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. In addition, it allows them to collectively work together to prepare themselves for their responsibilities and communal life, where they can deal with the challenges of their day and age.
On the whole, the objective of the institution of family and marriage is to build a prosperous and loving family based on Islamic values, which will, in turn, create a good and virtuous society.
Read Khutbah: Guiding Our Families Towards Success
It is established in Islam that the objective of marriage is for individual and communal goodness. In fact, Islam also guides Muslims on how to forge a blessed union through marriage. This includes discussions on what determines a marriage to be permissible in Islam, and what kind of unions are not permissible.
For a Muslim marriage to be valid, it must fulfil the conditions and pillars (rukun) set by Islamic law. Without them, a marriage is annulled. Briefly, the basic requirements are:
1. A groom
2. A bride
3. The bride’s legal guardian (wali)
4. Two male witnesses
5. Pronouncement of consent for solemnisation (ijab) and the utterance of acceptance (qabul)
If these conditions and pillars of marriage are not met, then an attempt to get married is invalid. There are several examples of invalid marriages in Islam:
Nikah Tahlil: A man who has divorced his wife through a triple pronouncement of the talak (talak tiga) and intends to get back with and remarry her.
Nikah while in 'iddah: A wife who has just been divorced or who has just lost her husband is forbidden to marry or be married off while she is still in the period of iddah. The period of iddah for women who have been divorced is three months, while for women who have lost their husbands is four months and ten days.
One of the wisdom behind this is to ensure that there is no existing pregnancy that could cause any possible mix-ups with the new husband. This shows that Islam places great emphasis on the preservation of legitimate offspring.
Economic sustenance is essential in marriage and family. It is a husband's responsibility to provide subsistence (nafkah) to his wife and children. This includes basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and education for children.
Providing nafkah depends on the husband's ability. For example, if he is able to buy his own house, then the responsibility is upon him to provide one. However, if he can only provide shelter in his parents’ house while actively saving up, that is the threshold of his ability.
No specific rule requires the husband to buy his own house to prove that he has provided accommodation. Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran,
لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍۢ مِّن سَعَتِهِۦ ۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُۥ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَىٰهُ ٱللَّهُ ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَآ ءَاتَىٰهَا ۚ سَيَجْعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍۢ يُسْرًا
“Let the man of wealth provide according to his means. As for the one with limited resources, let him provide according to whatever Allah has given him. Allah does not require of any soul beyond what He has given it. After hardship, Allah will bring about ease.”
(Surah At-Talaq, 65:7)
On that matter, it is important to note that the wife is not obliged to provide for her family. If she works, her salary is her absolute right. But if she wants to contribute, that is a courtesy from her, and not her responsibility. These are matters that can be discussed together to reach an agreement on what is best for the family.
The topic of Family and Marriage is ever-relevant and profoundly multifaceted. In fact, it includes preparing for old age and knowing the instruments for property division for an inheritance - Nuzriah, Hibah and Faraid.
Nuzriah linguistically means to make a nazar, which is a sworn confession or vow that a person will do a virtue at a stipulated time or when a specific event happens. Nuzriah, in this context, is a nazar made by a person to hand over a part or all his wealth before his or her death to another party.
Essentially, Islam allows its adherents to make vows. However, it can become obligatory (wajib) if it could save someone's life. At the same time become prohibited (haram) if it could be oppressive or life-threatening to another person.
Similarly, for nuzriah, if it could oppress the heirs who are entitled to the inheritance by reducing the portion they receive, then it is prohibited (haram). But if the nuzriah is made to protect the welfare of the living so that they are not oppressed, then it is allowed.
Hibah, by definition, means giving, either in the material form or by its benefits. In Islamic law, it is a contract of giving wealth voluntarily by one person to another during his lifetime without any compensation (‘iwad). Hibah is a sunnah practice and is encouraged in Islam. The Prophet s.a.w. said in a Hadith,
“Give each other gifts, for you will surely love each other.”
Faraid is the division of wealth of a Muslim who has died and did not leave a will before his death. In such a case, the estate will be divided among the heirs (such as children, spouse, parents, etc.) as stipulated in Islamic law.
The Quran has set the shares of inheritance for each eligible family member, and each member is entitled to receive a designated share. In addition, it is also permissible for the inheritance to be divided equally if that is mutually agreed to by all the heirs capable of inheritance.
Much more will be covered in the Fiqh For Family class by ADIL for the above mentioned topics. Other topics, such as the importance of religious education for children, family planning, abortion, wealth/asset management and available funding schemes for persons with special needs, are also included in the module.
If you would like to know more about ADIL and register for the classes, you may visit this link: https://learnislam.sg/category_class/adult/.
If you are interested in a comprehensive 2-year Islamic education programme, you may visit this link: https://learnislam.sg/downloadables-others/. Classes are typically held weekly and will cover both baseline and intermediate ADIL modules.
Join us this 11.11 for the upcoming ADIL Knowledge Retreat on Repentance.
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