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Marriage and Divorce: Legal Foundations

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Marriage and Divorce: Legal Foundations

    In classical jurisprudence, the major schools (Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, Shafii, and Jafari) agreed that a contract is required for a juridically sound marriage, as is a dowry (mahr) for the bride, and that a Muslim woman needs a guardian (wali) to enter into marriage; they differ significantly as to the extent, nature, and duration of the wali's authority and on the nature and scope of the contract. Jurists generally agreed that the man held the right to divorce; they differed on whether the contract could stipulate that right to the woman. Shii jurisprudence allows for a temporary marriage (mutah), in which the parties stipulate to a predetermined end date.

    See also Kafaah; Khul; Lian; Mutah; Polygyny

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