In this guide, we will take a look at the Muslim Marriage Act in India.
The Muslim Marriage Act was conscripted into the Indian legal system in the year 1954. The Act controls the solemnization of marriages among the Indian Muslim community. As per the Act, both the bride and the groom should have consent in the marriage as per their free will. A formal and binding contract – verbal or on paper is considered essential in a religiously valid Muslim marriage as it summaries the responsibility of the bride and groom. This Act applies to all Indian citizens, regardless they are living in India or abroad.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is excluded under the ambit of this Muslim Marriage Act, although residents residing in other states but residing in Jammu and Kashmir would be suitable for these provisions.
Requisites of Marriage
Before the Muslim wedding rituals, here are the requirements of a valid Muslim Nikah as per the Muslim Marriage Act.
Both the groom and bride should belong to and must profess the Muslim faith or religion.
Each of the parties must be capable age-wise, mental capacity and otherwise.
The bride and groom will not because of anything as per the Islamic law relating to marriage be prohibited from marrying one another.
As per this Act, the Muslim bride and groom are free in consent to marry one another.
The Islamic marriage will be conducted before a person appointed as a marriage officer as per the provisions of the Muslim Marriage Act.
The marriage will be registered in compliance with the provisions laid by the Muslim Marriage Act.
Non-Applicability of Act
The Muslim Marriage Act is not applicable to the following types of marriages. In any case, the marriages conducted or registered will be deemed null or void.
The Act is not applicable if either of the parties has had a wife or husband alive while contracting and registering the marriage.
Muslim Marriage Act is not applicable if either party is directly descended from the other.
If the bride is a sister or the groom either by full or half-blood, the marriage will not be solemnized as per the Muslim Marriage Act.
If the groom is a brother of the bride either by the full or half-blood, the marriage will not be solemnized as per the Muslim Marriage Act.
NOTE: If a person intermarries other than under the provisions of Muslim Marriage Act, the marriage of such a person will not be registered under this Act.
Age limit and consent
The age of a person, being a member of the Muslim community is capable of contracting marriage if he/she is sixteen years. If the male is less than twenty-one years of age or if the female is under eighteen years of age, the consent to such a marriage will be registered in the presence of the following persons:
Father (if alive)
If the father is no more, the guardians who are lawfully appointed
If there is no guardian, then of the mother
If the mother is no more, then, any other member appointed by the Minister
The above-mentioned persons will be certified in writing by the Kazi OR before whom the marriage is solemnized upon which the marriage certificate will be issued as per compliance of the Muslim Marriage Act.
Muslim Marriage Certificate
After the marriage is conducted, the Kazi (marriage officer) will make an entry in a book provided by the Registrar-General. A Muslim Marriage Certificate in the prescribed format of the marriage is to be signed by the bride and groom along with two witnesses.
The Kazi must submit the Nikah-nama (application) along with required documents within seven days after conducting the wedding for filing Marriage Certificate. Upon receipt, the Registrar General will verify if all the documents and application are as per the Muslim Marriage Act. Only after his approval will the marriage be allowed to be registered.
Printed forms of standard Nikah-nama in Urdu and Hindi are stocked by all Kazis who fill in the details of the marriages they conduct, issue copies to both the parties and always preserve a copy of the records. As per the law, the Nikah-Nama issued by the Kazis is admissible as evidence.
Any forgery of documents is a punishable offence as per the Muslim Marriage Act.
If any correction is to be made in the Marriage certificate, it has to be done in the Registrar’s Office. The officer will authenticate any correction in the Certificate with his signature and date when the correction was made. The procedure for registering Muslim Marriage online varies as per different state.
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