In Islam Marriage/Nikah is a relatively simple process. However, here in the USA, this is a two stage process: first, you obtain a document called 'marriage license', then this document is filled out by someone authorized to issue marriage 'certificate' during a marriage ceremony. Once you have the 'certificate', you are officially married. At the Islamic Center of Scranton we perform marriage ceremonies and provide with a marriage certificates. Just like you need to obtain learner's permit before you can get a drivers license, likewise no marriage ceremony can be performed without the 'marriage license'. Here is a very short outline of the process of Nikah in Islam and our center:
1. Get a marriage license from a local court.
2. Agreement between the bride and groom on the Mahr (i.e. dowry, upfront and postponed). Mahr is a symbol of sharing the groom's wealth and depending on the means and agreement, the bride could use it as she wishes in preparation for the upcoming life in marriage. Wikipedia description of Mahr.
3. Two adult male Muslims as witnesses (if not available ICS can help secure them from the community).
4. The bride needs a wali (guardian) who is typically the father, or grandfather, or uncle or brother. If none is available, then the imam can serve in that capacity upon the bride’s request.
5. Consent of the bride to marry the groom without pressure from family or others.
6. The Islamic Center will provide the marriage certificate.
7. It is important to publicize the marriage via a reception. The idea is to share the happy moment with others and does not have to be excessive or costly beyond the means of the newly wed.
8. The official should be one known in the community and familiar with the whole process. ICS has a person who is certified to perform marriages in Lackawanna County.
If you have any questions, please, contact us.