By: Azizah al-Hibri, Esq.
The nature of the Islamic marriage contract (kitab) has been largely misunderstood by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. On the Muslim side, the problem has been one of over-secularization of the law of contract, a trend that led to a trivialization of the marriage contract, and hence of the commitment of some marriage partners to it. On the non-Muslim side, the problem has been one of trying to explain the Islamic marriage contract from world perspectives that are at times incongruent with it. This has led to unintended distortions in characterizing its nature.