Validity of prenuptial conditions
Fatwa No: 224677

  • Fatwa Date:29-10-2013 - Thul-Hijjah 25, 1434
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Question

Conversation started today 10:30am Benjamin Appel Conversation started today 11:57pm Benjamin Appel As-salaam Alaikum, I have some questions if you have time to answer it or point me toward sources it would be appreciated. 1. Is an agreement prior to marriage contract legally binding if: it is a generally accepted verbal agreement between parties ie groom and bride/brides family. But it was never said (or understood by groom) that it is legally binding commitment. ie it was said she will not do this, he says ok. and the agreements were made over many informal meetings ie such and such was said with brides uncle another day such was said with bride etc to the extent that exactly what was said at what stage to whom is unknown. 2. Is the stipulation of niqaab will not be worn by bride in marriage valid? 3. Is the stipulation of wife will work after marriage valid? can the husband after nikah then restrict wife to not leave the home ie only gain income through home based work? does the husband lose the right to stop wife from leaving house based on this stipulation? Basically I have married and now feel that the general agreements which were not written nor made in a formal setting are unfairly being demanded, many different things over many months were addressed with many different people, whilst the emotional side of my wifes expectation is understandable the argument being pushed upon me is that I supposedly promised and all the things talked about with different family members even before the proposal are legally binding.... Thankyou any assistance is greatly

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

First of all, according to the preponderant statements of the jurists, if before the marriage contract the husband and the wife or her guardian agreed on something that does not contradict the general goal of the marriage contract, then it is an obligation to fulfill it. We have already clarified this issue in Fatwa 131714. It is not necessary that this should be done in a special gathering or that it be documented; and no one other than the wife or her guardian has the right to stipulate conditions on the husband.

Secondly, covering the face for a woman is a controversial issue among the scholars. The preponderant opinion that we hold here in Islamweb is that covering the face is an obligation. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 92091. However, if a woman believes that the preponderant opinion is that covering the face is not an obligation, or if she follows the view of a scholar who holds the opinion that covering the face is not an obligation, then it is acceptable for her to stipulate on her husband not to cover her face, and if he agrees to that, he is obliged to fulfill it.

Thirdly, it is permissible for a woman to stipulate on her husband before marriage that she can work. In case he accepts this condition, he is obliged to fulfill it, and he is not entitled to prevent her from work except for a legitimate reason. In case she renounces this right and agrees to work from home, then she can do so.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 180745.

Allaah Knows best.

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