Many Muslim couples wonder if they should get a secular marriage license in addition to their Islamic marriage contract. To answer this question we need to realize that it’s a case by case issue. I have seen many scenarios and only Allah can help you after you make your decision and things don’t pan out along the way.
1.You got the nikah marriage with no secular marriage license
If you separate from your spouse, he can become vindictive and not officially release you. Can you imagine if you were married in a secular institution? The official secular divorce would have dragged forever! The psychological effects of that plus the lawyers fees and alimony and child support (if you have children) than can be brought against you regardless of your gender are tremendous. This happened to a former Muslim coworker I had. Her husband took no pity on her. As a south Asian woman victim of domestic abuse from him, she stood up to him and hustled hard to make end meet and pay him child support. It was money he didn’t even need because he had a well paid job in the tech industry.
2.You got the nikah marriage along with a secular marriage license
This is good when you live in a land where your rights as a wife might be at risks if your husband passes away. Life insurance can set you for life if you guys planned your life that far. That also applies when when your spouse doesn’t disregard Islamic heritage rules but believes that you’re his responsibility in front of Allah and he will be asked about his duties to you. It comes down to taqwa.
But if divorce enters the picture, the divorce can be quick with the Islamic part of it. It can also drag because it is not unusual to see some Muslim men deny divorce requests from their soon-to-be former wives out of spite or honor protection. This actually happened to my mom. I won’t go deeper. Anyway, dissolving the secular marriage license can drag on here too. Pray to Allah to do what’s best for you and not let you in charge of your affairs even for a blink of an eye. Ameen.
3.You have no nikah marriage contract but you have a secular marriage license
In the eyes of Allah or before Allah, you aren’t married. This usually happens when you’re Secular Muslims. Strive to get a recognized and approved Islamic marriage even if the rule of the land is laic. It’s in your best interest in this life and the next.
Above all, just know that only Allah knows and sees the future and that we need to pray that He removes any difficulty ahead. May Allah, Al-Latif, bless our unions. Ameen.
Thank you for reading,
Originally published at Hayati Magazine here.