Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa, the government’s principal Islamic legal institution for issuing fatwas (religious opinions), said in a statement that a “trial marriage” contract is invalid because it restricts the marriage to a specific period of time.
The ideal of “trial marriage” has recently sparked controversy on social media after photos of a temporary marriage contract drafted by Egyptian lawyer Ahmed Mahran circulated.
The statement asserted that “trial marriage” is a term that brings about negative meanings that are irrelevant to the values of Egyptian society, and the idea has been used to achieve false fame and cheap propaganda on the internet. The statement added that religious Egyptian society refuses to do anything that contradicts Sharia (Islamic religious law) or social values.
Dar al-Iftaa called on all segments of society not to be led by the calls for modern terminology marriage contracts that have become more prominent in recent times.
It added that these calls cause confusion in society, and negatively affect the meaning of stability and cohesion of the family that Islam has enshrined and guarded by government laws.
The statement read that if people give the marriage contract new names, it does not affect the validity or corrupt the contract, if its elements and conditions are met.
The statement stressed that a correct marriage contract includes in its pillars and conditions that the marriage is not temporary for a specific period. It noted that if a contract is devoid of time limitations, then it is valid.
The statement clarified that preventing a husband from his right to divorce his wife before a certain amount of time has elapsed is an invalid condition, as it revokes the husband’s inherent right to divorce.
The statement also said that the stipulations that are in the best interest of one person in a couple are valid and necessary, as long as the condition does not defy the requirements of marriage.
The statement concluded that avoiding marital disagreements is not done by setting special conditions within a marriage contract, or by creating another separate contract parallel to the official marriage document.
The statement added that Dar al-Iftaa is committed to spreading awareness and employing preventive measures to ensure the continuation of marital life, through offering specialized courses for engaged couples.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm