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  • What is meant by stipulation in a Muslim Marriage?
    Muslim marriage is considered as a contract whereas parties can insert stipulation according to sharia, in order to run the marriage successfully. It is called marriage stipulation.
  • What is the purpose of inserting stipulations in a Marriage Deed?
    The purpose of insertion of stipulation in marriage is to bring a balance in marriage through determining the rights, duties and responsibilities of the spouses.
  • Where can the stipulation be inserted in the Marriage Deed?
    Clause 17 of the Kabinnama (Marriage Deed) states, "If there are special conditions" under this clause 17, conditions can be inserted.
  • Can both parties add stipulations in marriage?
    Yes, both parties of marriage have the right to add any stipulation in the marriage contract through negotiation.
  • Can anything be inserted as stipulation in marriage contract?
    Yes, anything can be inserted as stipulation, unless that condition is contrary to either Shari'ah and relevant laws.
  • What is the common stipulation accepted by all madhabs?
    A stipulation delegating the power of talaq to wife is the generally accepted stipulation of marriage by all madhabs.
  • How many types of marriage stipulations are there, depending on the content terms?
    As per the content, they may be of two types of stipulations/terms. Such as (i) Stipulations that reinforce the normal incidents of marriage and (ii) Stipulations that vary the normal incidents of marriage.
  • What are the types of marriage stipulations that are based on legal validity?
    Based on the legal validity of a marriage, they are three types of stipulations. They are valid, void and invalidating stipulation.
  • What is the meaning of valid stipulation?
    Valid stipulations are those which reinforce sharia obligations or not violating the sharia and laws.
  • What will be considered as void stipulation?
    Terms of marriage which are contrary to Shariah are considered as void conditions. For example, the condition of non-payment of mohrana will be considered as void condition.
  • What effect does an invalid stipulation have on a marriage?
    An invalid stipulation/term/condition has a negative effect on the marriage because it is itself an invalid condition that has the power to end the marriage. For example, the terms relating to the duration of the marriage will be considered void, and the marriage contract will be annulled as a result.
  • How can a wife insert stipulation regarding dower?
    A wife can insert stipulation regarding dower in Kabinnama by including the mode of payment of dower and the time for payment of deferred dower.
  • Can parties of marriage put stipulations regarding the matrimonial property regime?
    Parties of marriage can put stipulations regarding property regime by mentioning the controlling power and distribution of such matrimonial property regime.
  • What is meant by marital property regime?
    Married couples can choose the way they will own their assets together. This applies to assets owned at the time of marriage and those acquired at a later date. This is known as a matrimonial property regime and will impact the way the property will be dealt with upon the death of one of the spouses or following divorce.
  • Can a wife insert stipulation regarding polygamy of the husband?
    Yes, the wife may insert a stipulation which may restrict the power of polygamy of the husband.
  • What are some of the common examples of stipulations or terms that can be inserted in a marriage contract?
    Stipulation regarding rights and obligation of parties of marriage; Stipulation regarding work and opportunities; Stipulation regarding study and opportunities; Stipulation regarding divorce; Stipulation regarding compensation on divorce; Stipulation regarding non-abusive treatment, etc.
  • What is meant by maintenance in a Muslim marriage?
    Under Muslim family law, it is the husband's responsibility to provide maintenance to his wife after marriage and the wife's right to receive it; it is the duty of a husband towards his wife.
  • What does basic maintenance include?
    1. Food 2. Clothing 3. Accommodation/shelter 4. Medical / Health care And all other basic needs and necessities that are essential for a person to live a reasonable standard of living.
  • What is the husband's obligation regarding the provision of maintenance to the wife under Muslim Family Law?
    Under Muslim family law, a husband is legally obliged to provide for his wife. This obligation (of husband) / right (of wife) has nothing to do with the financial well-being of the husband. Even if the husband is poor, the wife's right to maintenance cannot be denied.
  • Does the husband have any obligation to provide for a separate residence for the wife?
    Yes. However, if the husband is unable to provide a separate residence for the wife, and she has to reside in a portion of the house instead of a separate house, then that portion of the house must have independent/separate entrance and exit.
  • When can a wife be deprived of maintenance?
    In order to enjoy the right to maintenance, the wife has to obey her husband. According to the law, in some cases the wives will not be entitled to maintenance by the husband. For instance: 1. If the wife refuses to live with the husband; 2. If the wife is not loyal to the husband; 3. If the wife is an adulteress; 4. If the first wife opts to live separately because the husband chooses to take a 2nd, 3rd or 4th wife; or 5. If the husband dies, then the ‘iddah’ period following his death.
  • Is the husband obliged to provide for the wife who lives apart from him?
    Wives who live apart from their husbands without a valid reason are not usually entitled to maintenance.
  • In what cases can a wife get maintenance from her husband even if she lives separately?
    In the following cases, even if the wife lives separately from the husband, she can get maintenance If the wife is forced to leave the house and live elsewhere due to the cruelty or oppression of the husband; The husband neglects the wife and refuses to take her home; If the husband unethically keeps the illegitimate lover / mistress at home; If the husband stays away from the wife for a long time; If the husband does not pay the prompt dower; If the wife is due to exercise her legal rights; If there is an agreement between the husband and wife that they disagree, they will live separately; or If the husband is married more than once, then at the time of the second marriage, if he entered into an agreement with the 1st wife to the effect that if the 1st wife did not get along with the 2nd wife, the 1st wife will live separately; in which case the husband is obliged to provide maintenance to the 1st wife. (Even in the case of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th marriages, if the above term is agreed upon, the husband shall be obliged to pay maintenance even if each wife lives separately).
  • How does one determine the amount of maintenance?
    The amount of maintenance can be determined based on husband's economic condition and wife’s social condition, while also maintaining an ‘equitable standard’.
  • Does the financial independence of wives impacts upon husband's obligation to provide maintenance?
    No matter how rich or financially well-off a wife may be; even if the wife has the ability to meet her own needs, the husband is obliged to provide for her.
  • When is the husband obliged to pay maintenance to his wife?
    During the continuation of the marriage, a husband is obliged to provide for his wife.
  • Can a wife ask for a divorce because she has not paid maintenance?
    Wife can seek divorce: • If husband fails to pay maintenance for 2 years, or • neglects to pay maintenance for 2 years, according to Muslim Family Law in Bangladesh.
  • Is the wife entitled to any kind of maintenance after divorce, and if so for how long?
    The husband is bound to pay maintenance during the "iddah" period (3 menstrual cycles) following divorce.
  • If a pregnant woman is divorced, for how long is she entitled to maintenance beyond the iddah period?
    The duration of Iddah on divorce in case of pregnant women is till the delivery of the child. The former husband’s liability extends only up to the period of iddah, not beyond that.
  • Can a wife claim maintenance for the past?
    Yes. The wife can recover any unpaid maintenance from the husband as 'past maintenance'. According to the case, Jamila Khatun vs Rustom Ali, the High Court held that they have the jurisdiction to grant such (past) maintenance subject to considerations of time of limitation and the relevant circumstances of each case.
  • How is the wife's legal right to maintenance recognised in Bangladesh?
    If a husband has not paid maintenance to his wife without a valid reason, the wife has the right to file a suit under the Family Court Ordinance 1985, which is a civil remedy. The wife can apply to the local Chairman for her maintenance under Rule-9 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961. The Chairman will then form an arbitral tribunal for this purpose and issue a certificate determining the amount of money to be paid by the husband. The spouse may apply for revision of the issued certificate in the prescribed manner, by depositing the prescribed fee within the prescribed time and in this case the decision of the concerned Assistant Judge will be considered to be final and its validity cannot be questioned in any Court.
  • What are the father's obligations to provide maintenance for the children?
    The father is legally obliged to provide for the children until the sons become adults and the girls are married off. And if the son of major age is sick or incapacitated, then the father is obliged to provide for him still.
  • What is the nature of Dower/Mahr?
    Dower is the personal right of the wife. She herself is the sole owner of the property/money given as dower, over which No one else has any legal right over it. “And give to the women (whom you marry) their mahr as a gift with a good heart…” [al-Nisaa, Verse 4]
  • When is the wife's right to claim dower established?
    The wife's right to claim dower is fully established immediately after the completion of marriage.
  • Is dower payable even if no mention of dower is made in the deed of marriage?
    Yes, even if the deed of marriage does not mention dower, it is payable. The dower is a Shariah obligation upon husband and such obligation in a regular (valid) marriage is implicit regardless of the agreement between the husband and wife.
  • Is dower payable even if the parties to the marriage did not orally agree at the time of marriage?
    Yes. If there is no verbal mention of the amount of dower to be paid at the time of marriage, then the amount to be paid shall be considered as proper dower. [When the amount of the dower is not fixed, then the amount that is to be paid is termed as proper dower]
  • Can wife’s right to have dower be barred by lapse of time?
    Dower is an imprescriptible right of the wife which cannot be barred by mere lapse of time alone.
  • When must the dower money be paid?
    According to the Holy Qur’an, the entire amount of dower has to be paid prior to the consummation of marriage. [Surah: An-Nisa, Verse: 4].
  • How many types of dower are there based on the nature of dower?
    There are two types of dower: Fixed – amount of dower is fixed by the parties of marriage. Proper – amount of dower is not fixed by the parties of marriage. Regarding Proper dower, the amount is settled by taking into consideration the following factors: (1) Wife’s personal qualifications; such as her age, beauty, virtue, fortune, etc.; (2) Social position of the wife’s father’s family; (3) Dower given to the wife’s female paternal relations; (4) Economic conditions of the husband.
  • How many parts of dower are there, depending on the time of payment?
    Depending on the time of payment of the Dower, it may have two parts: Prompt dower: payable at once after the solemnisation of marriage on the demand of the wife; Deferred dower: payable on the dissolution of marriage, either by death of husband or divorce between the spouses. It is not mandatory to have these parts of dower, however, it is generally assumed that there are these two parts. The full dower amount can also be considered as proper dower by mutual consent of the parties to the marriage.
  • When is the wife entitled to full dower?
    On the consummation of marriage; When the married couple truly secludes themselves in a private place; On the death of either spouse after a valid marriage, whether consummated or not; Staying one year in the house of the husband; When divorce is pronounced on one’s deathbed, before consummation of the marriage in order to keep the wife away from inheriting.
  • When is the wife entitled to only half dower?
    When the dower was fixed, and then divorce takes place before consummation/true seclusion, the wife is entitled to half her dower.
  • When is the wife entitled to no dower?
    When the marriage is dissolved by Khul’ divorce (where the wife deliberately waives her dower as the compensation to her husband).
  • Can dower be waived?
    If the wife want, dower can be waived. However, it must be ensured that the decision to waive the dower was taken voluntarily and spontaneously with her full consent.
  • What happens if the wife, after waiving the dower money, later demands it back?
    Umar (RA), the second caliph of Islam decreed that if a wife remits the whole or part of her dower, and later on demands it, the husband shall be compelled to pay it because the very fact that she demands it is clear proof that she did not remit it of her free will.
  • What are the consequence of non-payment of dower, as rights of the wife?
    The wife may refuse to reside with her husband The wife may refuse consummation and the husband cannot compel her. The wife is entitled to receive maintenance if she resides separately on the ground of non-payment of dower. The wife can recover the dower by instituting a suit against the husband. Dower is considered as a debt. In the case the husband dies keeping dower unpaid, The widow can enforce her claim for the dower debt by filing a lawsuit against the husband’s heirs; she is entitled to have the debt settled, along with other creditors, out of his estate, The widow has a right to retain possession of her husband’s property in lieu of unpaid dower, until the amount of her dower is settled.
  • What are the basic elements of a Muslim marriage?
    1. Offer; 2. Acceptance; & 3. Presence of witnesses.
  • How an offer and acceptance can be made in a Muslim marriage?
    The proposal and acceptance of a Muslim marriage should be made in a clear manner and in this case the independent consent of both the parties is essential. It should be remembered that without independent consent, a Muslim marriage is not valid.
  • Why is it necessary to have witnessed in a Muslim marriage?
    It is an essential condition for the validity of a marriage. Secret marriages without witnesses are unconditionally forbidden in Islam because they are like adultery. Narrated from Abu'z-Zubayr al-Makki that a case was brought to Umar about a marriage which had only been witnessed by one man and one woman. He said, "This is a secret marriage and I do not permit it." [Muwatta Malik, Book no 28, Hadith 1120]
  • What are the statutory requirements for marriage in Bangladesh?
    1. Consent: Both parties must have clear consent; 2. Competence: Both parties must be of "Sound" mind and must be "capable" to marry according to Muslim family law; 3. Age of marriage: 21 years for men and 18 years for women. [Section, 2(3), Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017] 4. Marriage registration: Marriage solemnized under Muslim law shall be registered. [Section 3, Muslim Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act 1974]
  • Does non-registration invalid a Muslim marriage?
    No! The Muslim marriage registration is a statutory obligation, violation of which is a punishable offence.
  • Can parents compel their children to marry?
    NO! Parents cannot force their son/daughter to marry someone whom they do not want to marry, as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “A woman who has been married before should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 5136]
  • Who is responsible for registering a Muslim marriage?
    The marriage registrar will register the marriage at once, where he performs the marriage formalities himself. In other cases, the bridegroom shall report it to the concerned Nikah Registrar within thirty days from the date of the Marriage, and the Nikah Registrar shall register the marriage at once.
  • What is the punishment for not registering a Muslim marriage?
    Non-registration of a Muslim marriage is a punishable offence. In this case, the person responsible will be sentenced to two years general imprisonment or fine up to three thousand taka or both. [The Muslim Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act, 1974, section 5]
  • What are the legal effects of mutual rights and obligations of husband and wife?
    Sexual rights; Legitimacy of children; Marital fidelity and trustworthiness; Right to inheritance; No merge of personality; Other matrimonial conditions.
  • What are the legal rights of the husband and the duties of the wife that arise in consequence of a Muslim marriage?
    The legal rights of the husband are: To control wife's movement; To seek the restitution of conjugal rights; The duties of the wife are: To be obedient towards husband; To live and stay with husband; To accompany the husband on travel {However, the wife may refuse to accompany him on legal and reasonable grounds}.
  • What are the legal rights of the wife and the duties of the husband that arise in consequence of a Muslim marriage?
    The legal rights of the wife are: To visit her own parents; To receive dower and maintenance; To seek the restitution of conjugal rights; The duties of the husband are: To provide adequate housing within affordable means; To fulfil the financial obligations {This includes food, water, clothing and other basic needs}
  • What are the mutual Rights and Obligations of husband and wife?
    Sexual Rights: Sexual right is not a unilateral right of the husband; rather a mutual right. Legitimacy of Children: Any child born during a valid marriage is a legitimate child. This is an important issue in Muslim Family Law. Marital fidelity and trustworthiness: It is the duty of both husband and wife to maintain marital fidelity, and they both should not do anything that goes against marital trustworthiness. Right to inheritance: During the continuance of marriage, if either of the husband or wife dies, then the other acquires the right to get property by inheritance. No merge of personality: In Muslim law, both husband and wife maintain an individual full legal personality even after the marriage. Other matrimonial conditions: The terms inserted in the marriage deed by the party at the time of marriage will be binding on them. (e.g., If it is inserted in the contract of marriage that the husband would allow the wife to pursue her higher studies after the marriage, then the husband cannot bind the wife to do the contrary.)
  • Rights of the Husband and the Duties of the Wife
    Obedience of the wife: The wife must be obedient to the husband. On the point of the degree of obedience, classical and modern jurists have different opinion. Living with the husband: It is a legal obligation of a wife to live with her husband. The wife may only deny residing with her husband if he has not paid a prompt dower on her demand. Power to control wife’s movement: The husband has the right to control his wife's movements. Therefore, the wife has to get permission from her husband to go outside. Wife's responsibilities regarding household chores: A wife does not have any legal obligation to do household activities. However, the work distribution in a family is in fact a matter of mutual understanding between husband and wife.
  • Rights of the Wife and the Duties of the Husband
    Financial obligation: The husband is obliged to bear all the financial responsibilities of the marriage unilaterally. The husband is responsible for providing his wife with dowry, maintenance, food, shelter and other relevant assistance. Visiting wife’s parents: The husband is bound to allow his wife to visit her parents at reasonable intervals. A wife can go to her parents, even if it's disregard the husband’s restriction to go there.

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