There are basically three types of marriage recognized in Islamic marital jurisprudence. These are:
This literally means to collect and bond together. It is the first and most common form of marriage for Muslims. It is described in the Qur’an in 4:4. This type of marriage is purely contracted in nature embodying terms and conditions. The conditions are clearly written down and specified and both the bridegroom and the bride are expected to sign the marriage certificate.
– It is aimed to be permanent, except the husband decides to engage in talaq or the wife seeking khula
– The couple inherits from each other.
– A legal contract is signed when entering the marriage. It may be written or oral especially among illiterates
NIKAH MUT’AH (TEMPORARY MARRIAGE):
Often referred to as fixed-time marriage. Many of these marriages have a time-limit and are the second form of marriage, and are referred to in Al-Qur’an in Surah 24, 4:24. The Islamic jurisprudence on this type of marriage is controversial especially between Sunni’s and Shi’a. The Sunni’s who strict followers of the prophet of Islam are, and believers of the Sunnah of the prophet of Islam, hold the view that Mut’ah is illegal and also immoral because it was abrogated by the prophet. Whilst Shai’i traced its validity to the Qur’an and the ruling of Imam Ali. Al-Nikah Mut’ah has a fixed-time period to the marriage which is stated during the initiation of the contract. Both couples does not inherit from each other and the man is not responsible for the economic welfare of the woman and may decide to live apart from each other. However, the woman is still entitled to her mahr (Qur’an ch. 4:21) and must observe the Iddah, a period of time ranging from between 2 to 5 years where the woman cannot remarry.
Nikah Misyar is a Nikah in Sunni’s carried out via the normal contractual procedure, with the understanding by the couple that the husband and wife give up several rights by their own free will, such as living together, equal diversion of nights by wives, home keeping, access to the wives, etc.