The Nature of the Islamic Marriage: Sacramental, Covenantal, or Contractual?

Azizah Y. al-Hibri, University of Richmond


In this chapter, I shall remove some of the confusion and misunderstanding about the Islamic marriage contract by taking the reader with me on a brief tour of the fundamentals of Islamic law as they pertain to our subject. I shall start with an introductory discussion of the Islamic worldview in general, and the Islamic view of gender relations in particular. It will be followed by a discussion of the nature of contract in Islam. I shall then turn to the Islamic marriage contract and its special status in Islamic law and religion, and, finally, examine the nature of marriage among Muslims in the United States.