Unfit and incompetent Imams are spreading a new type of deviance. They are encouraging Muslim women to force men to sign contracts before marriage vowing not to marry additional wives and to grant divorce upon the woman’s request.
No Muslim man should agree to such stipulations. The fact that she would propose such things is a red flag indicating that this is a person who doesn’t care to follow the rulings of Islam.
The fact is, marriage in Islam does not grant equal power and authority to husband and wife (nor does it require equal responsibility).
But feminists want to nullify this Allah-ordained imbalance in power by creating these kinds of pre-nikah stipulations in the marriage contract.
This is because they are not satisfied with the ruling of Allah and they desire to change this sacred institution of marriage in the image of feminism.
These imams will defend themselves by saying, “But this type of stipulation is allowed in some schools of fiqh.” Ok, if such stipulations can be made, then maybe Muslim women should also sign binding contracts pre-nikah that they will forego secularized court systems if there is any problems in the marriage. And they will accept the minimum mahr. And they will not fight for custody of children in case of divorce. And… and…
Would any of these feminists agree to that?
The problem is, even if she does agree, no secular court will uphold such a contract. This is because the secular court systems severely disadvantage men as far as family law, divorce, and custody are concerned. This is the oppressive reality, and many Muslim women take advantage of this while disregarding the Sharia and basic Islamic ethics.
Unfit imams are so ignorant about this oppressive reality that they want to go even further and make sure to destroy even the last-remaining vestiges of privileges that Islamic marriage gives to men. They think that they know better than Allah and His Messenger ﷺ.
These are the kinds of things that are destroying marriage for the Muslim community today. Let’s not forget the role of Unfit Imams.
RELATED: How To Be a Good Muslim Wife
In response to the above, some might argue that making a stipulation on the husband that he cannot marry a second wife is valid according to some schools of thought (Hanbali).
Yes, I know. I acknowledged that in the above.
But we need to recognize that the context in which scholars of the past allowed these stipulations is very different from our context, where Unfit Imams are encouraging them, or even requiring them. Not to mention, secular governments in the Muslim world that are mandating them.
No where in Muslim history have we seen a sweeping attempt to fundamentally reform the Islamic marriage contract by adding in these stipulations as the default. Rather, historically there were isolated cases of high status women who were in a position to make such stipulations in their individual circumstances. A minority of scholars said this was valid. Most said it was not valid.
But of course the faux-traditionalists (who work hand in hand with feminists to reform Islam) will cherry pick these examples that align with their feminist ideology. BUT that is NOT what I am criticizing here. Cherry picking minority opinions to follow your desires is bad, but that is a separate issue.
What I am criticizing is taking this opinion of validity and encouraging Muslim women at large to insert it into their marriage contracts by default. Where is the precedence for this in the Islamic scholarly tradition or in the history of Muslim societies prior to colonialism?
This is an attack on traditional Islamic marriage and gender roles. And if it were just a few Unfit Imams pushing it, that would be bad enough. But many Muslim governments have made this a part of the standard marriage contract. This is how these Muslim governments have effectively banned polygyny and destroyed this Sunnah for Muslims in their countries.
They have replaced the Sunnah with feminist equality marriage. This is a disaster. Polygyny used to be very common in the Ummah. We all know family members in our grandparents generation who proudly practiced it. Now, it is hardly found. These are the reasons.