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Muslim Marriage contract, settlement, prenuptial agreement (10 mistakes to avoid)

A Muslim marriage contract, Prenuptial and Postnuptial Property agreement, and Divorce Settlement are powerful instruments related to marriage and divorce settlement. However, it needs extra attention to make it efficient and practical.


People, including professionals, are often unclear about these agreements and make many mistakes that we will share. Wassiyyah's team has researched many Muslim contracts and found the following malpractices by Muslim and non-Muslim individuals, professionals, and attorneys.


1. UNDERSTAND DIFFERENCE

First and foremost is to understand the difference between each agreement. The Islamic Marriage contract (called "Nikah" or "Nikah Nama") is created to declare the marital tie between bride and groom. The Prenuptial and Postnuptial Property agreement relates to Property before and after marriage and how to deal with them regarding ownership. The Marriage settlement agreement, also called a Divorce contract, is created after the couple decides to go apart (i.e., dissolution of marriage). So, all these three are different instruments to deal with marital and divorce issues.



Muslim marital and divorce agreements


2. MIXING AND MATCHING

One of the biggest mistakes is mixing one or more of these agreements for no reason. Since every document has a different purpose, you can not mix in the following or any other combinations. This approach will defeat the purpose and create issues during marital life, especially in marriage settlements.

  1. Muslim marriage contracts, Nuptial agreements, and Divorce agreements.

  2. Muslim marriage contracts and Nuptial agreements.

  3. Muslim marriage contracts and Divorce agreements.

  4. Nuptial agreements and Divorce agreements.

  5. Last Will mix with one or more of these agreements.


3. BLEND WITH ESTATE PLANNING

Blending the estates, inheritance, and testamentary bequest with these agreements can create confusion and misunderstanding and drag into non-compliance from both Shariah and legal perspectives. For example, you cannot distribute the estates within these contracts. In another example, you can not mix the guardianship for minors in the divorce agreements. The guardianship in a divorce agreement is meant for temporary purposes for only a lifetime but not after the death of the parent.


4. INCLUDING WEBSITE LINKS

The agreements have texts with URLs or HYPERLINKS that refer to an article, webpage, or organization website within the contract. For example, to distribute the property, refer to this Link, or to get more information, refer to this webpage.


5. TOO MUCH FOCUS ON OUTSIDE SCOPE

Some marital contracts include lots of information about divorce and what to do after the dissolution of marriage. It is also true that in the divorce agreement, the information about marital life in the context of moral, Islamic, or social context is included unnecessarily. Keeping it within scope is essential.


6. DESCRIPTIVE MORE THAN REQUIRED

Many contracts include unnecessary paragraphs and pages for a simple clause. It narrates in greater detail about Islamic requirements that should not be contained, for example, regarding the Islamic ruling on the Importance of preserving marital ties. This is a general topic that should not be included in the contract. You can incorporate some of the verses or references if needed but cannot create overwhelming details that can lead to confusion and mislead the people (and court) who are reading and have to decide for your contract.


7. RESPECT DEPENDENCY

All these contracts are dependent on each other. So, respecting that dependency should not undermine the legal and shariah consequences if drafted poorly.


8. ONE DIRECTIONAL

Many contracts are created with a directional approach rather than a multi-dimensional. We mean that the contract solely focuses on Islamic ruling or only legal laws. However, it does not provide a balanced approach to implementing the contract meaningfully in life.


9. BIASED

It has been observed that the contract is totally biased on either bride or groom without applying an approach holistic view. For example, the contract is written to give all trouble to a female by excluding spousal support. In another example, the agreement solely focuses on preserving rights for spousal support by disregarding the other situations of males.


10. NOT FOLLOWING THE LAWS OF COUNTRY

There are specific requirements that differ from one country to another. If you get the template online and try to make changes as you wish, you miss essential clauses that can bite later on when the contract is implemented.



Islamic Marriage nuptial agreement




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