Marriage Requirements in the Classic Doctrine of the Islamic Sunni Schools1
AbstractThe plurality of legal schools within Islam, does not allow a univocal classification of the marriage requirements. Considering the fact that the two major groups that divide the Muslims are Sunnis, to which belong the majority of Muslims today (about 90%) and the Sciites, the analysis will focus on the interpretation given on the point by the major Sunni schools: the Maliki, Hanbali and Shafii school (being the others disappeared with time). In particular, the aim of this paper is to analyze the juridical debate: a) on the nature of the marriage act, whether it is to be considered a religious act or a legal one (contract); b) on the nature of the wedding gift brought by the groom to the bride on the occasion of marriage (mahr), being the later considered by part of the doctrine similar to a purchase agreement; c) on the temporary marriage (mut’à), which represents the most important point of disagreement between Sunnis and Sciites; d) on the different relevance given to specific marriage requirements, such as the presence of witnesses at a wedding, the parties' ability to conclude the marriage and the participation of the matrimonial guardian to the marriage (walì).
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