What is Marriage? • Various Definitions - a social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. - the state, condition, or relationship of being married - a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction (ex: trial marriage, homosexual marriage) • any close or intimate association or union
Overview • Views of Marriage • Wedding Ceremony • Role of Husband • Role of Wife • Divorce/Remarriage • Mixed/interfaith Marriages
Judaism: Marriage (Nisu'in) • A conjugal union between man and woman that is willed by God. (Genesis 2:21-24) • homosexuality in not allowed (Leviticus 18:22) • An indissoluble covenant of dutiful love and mutual obligations (Hosea 2:21-25) • God likens His covenant with His people to marriage • Brings man happiness (Proverbs18:22) • They emphasize that love grows from marriage
Christianity: Marriage • According to Christianity: marriage is a union between a man and woman that portrays the divine romance between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:23-32) • Main purpose of marriage is to portray the divine relationship between Christ and the Church • Divorce not allowed (Matthew 19:6- “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”) • Homosexuality not allowed (union between a man and woman) • Married should not seek a divorce, but the unmarried should remain that way if possible (1Corinthians 7:8-9)
Islam: Marriage (nikah) • In Arabic, marriage / wedding is nikah, meaning “contract” • Two main purposes to marriage in Islam are: • To ensure the preservation and continuation of the human race (Surah 4:1) • To provide a spiritual and legal foundation for the family (Surah 30:21) • In Islam, marriage is a spiritual requirement (Surah 13:38) • Divorce is allowed up to three times (Surah 2:227-253) • Homosexuality is not allowed (Surah 7:81, 26:165-166)
Judaism: Wedding Ceremony (kinyan) • Kiddushin (betrothal) • A man would give a bride price to the father of the bride to be allowed to marry his daughter (Genesis 29:15-20) • Marriage contract would be drawn up between the couple’s parents, concerning financial conditions • Takes place under a chupah (wedding canopy) (Jewish Life Cycles: Marriage) • symbolizes the home the couple will make together • Bride is veiled when brought to bridegroom (Genesis 24:65) • The bridal week: wedding lasted for 7 days of festivities (Genesis 29:27) • A man shall be exempt for a year from military expedition to spend time with his new bride (Deutoronomy 24:1-5)
Christianity: Wedding Ceremony • Pre-wedding Ceremony: Wedding pictures, wedding party gets dressed and ready for ceremony, short musical pieces, solos, etc. • Wedding Ceremony: Seating of “Guests of Honor”, Entrance of minister, groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girl, ring bearer, etc.), Entrance of bride, Opening Prayer, Call to Worship, Pledge, Wedding Vows, Exchanging of Rings, Pronouncement, Holy Communion, Closing Prayer • Post-wedding Ceremony: Reception
Islam: Wedding Ceremony • The Qu’an does not explicitly give instructions on weddings, these facts are from the ISNA handbook of marriage • The wedding ceremony includes: • The Wali: “Guardian” of the bride to represent her in concluding the contract; most likely the father of the bride • Offer and Acceptance: Both bride and groom must have explicit mentioning of the word marriage during their proposals • Bride’s Agreement: The wali and bride must come to an agreement on marrying the specific individual with the conditions presented to her • The Witnesses: At least 2 male, or 1 male and 2 female Muslim witnesses that have reached the age of puberty must be present to witness the marriage. • The Sadaq: Often called a “mahr” is the dowry required from the groom to present to the bride during the ceremony
Judaism: Role of Husband • Master to wife, he is responsible for her well-being (Genesis 3:16) • Ex. Ketubah (marriage contract)- husband's property will be given to his wife-to-be in the case of his death or their divorce (Jewish Life Cycles: Marriage) • A man could have many wives, but he must be able to provide them security and protection (Exodus 21:10) • Provides food, clothing and her conjugal rights • Love wife and show her mercy (Hosea 2:21)
Christianity: Role of Husband • Head of the household (Ephesians 5:23) • Love their wives as their own body (Ephesians 5:28) • Love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25) • Must not divorce his wife (1Corinthians 7:11) • Body belongs not only to him, but to the wife also (1Corinthians 7:4)
Islam: Role of Husband • Husbands are to be “God conscious” and treat their wives with the respect and dignity they deserve because God is watching over them (Surah 4:1) • They should be God fearing (Surah 3:102, 33:70) • During the wedding ceremony the husband presents the wife with a mahr or “marriage gift” • It is a token of the groom’s commitment of responsibility • This can be anything from money to property, but it is an essential part of the marital contract. • The groom also expresses qubul or “the acceptance of responsibility” when entering the contract
Judaism: Role of Wife • She is considered his property (Exodus 20:17) • Husbands have a responsibility to take care of her • A suitable partner to her husband, his help and support (Tobit 8:5-7) • To be obedient, tending to the care of husband (Genesis 3:16) • To share his concerns and troubles. (Proverbs 5:18-20) • A good/ideal wife is a gift from God to man • She brings joy and peace, happiness and contentment to her husband (Sirach 26:1-4) • her true charm is her religious spirit, for she fears the lord (Proverbs 30:10-31)
Christianity: Role of Wife • Submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) • Respect and love her husband (Ephesians 5:33) • Body does not belong only to her but also to her husband (1Corinthians 7:4) • Must not separate from her husband (1Corinthians 7:10)
Islam: Role of Wife • The wife is to be obedient, pleasant to be around, and when the husband is not around, she is to safeguard herself as well as his belongings (Surah 25:74) • Marriage is to be a source of comfort for both husband and wife, so both should make the home environment pleasant (Surah 30:21) • During the wedding, the bride expresses ijab or “the willing consent” to enter into marriage under the terms stated.
Question # 1 What is each of the religions’ idea of why a man and woman should get married?
Judaism: Divorce and Remarriage • Men would divorce out of displeasure with their wives with bill of divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-2) • Men could not divorce women who they have defamed or dishonored • Usually on grounds of wife’s adultery, disobedience, immodesty • Divorce of foreign/pagan wives was approved (Nehemiah 13:23-30) • Wives cannot divorce their husbands • It violates the covenant that God had willed (Malachi 2:13-16) • A divorced woman was allowed to remarry • A divorced couple could not remarry each other (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) • Husband may take pity and take back the wife he had abandoned (Isaiah 54:5) One of the Hebrew and Arabic fragments of a bill of divorce discovered among some manuscripts donated to Cambridge University Library
Christianity: Divorce and Remarriage • Not allowed in the Bible and is considered a sin (Mark 10:7-9) • Results in the sin of adultery (Mark 10:11-12) • Remarriage allowed only when : • the husband or wife dies (Romans 7:2-3) • unbelieving husband or wife leaves a believing husband or wife (1Corinthians 7:13-15) • Husband or wife engages in marital unfaithfulness • Husband and wife who are separate must be reconciled or remain unmarried (1Corinthians 7:1-12)
Islam: Divorce and Remarriage • A man may not divorce a woman during menstruation (Surah 65:1) • A man may not bring about ill treatment to force a divorce for her to return the mahr, unless she has committed adultery (Surah 4:19) • A husband cannot take anything back from the wife because he wants to marry a different woman (Surah 4:20-21) • During the divorce, the woman must remain in the same house as the man during the waiting period – not permissible for her to move out or for the man to evict her (Surah 65:1, 2:229, 241) • After the waiting period, the man can either return to the woman honorably or separate kindly w/o harsh words or feelings towards each other (Surah 2:231) • A woman, if she cannot bear to live with the man, has the right to free herself, but she must return the mahr (Surah 4:19) • A man is only allowed to divorce 3 times, but can only do so if the woman is still pure during the marriage
Mixed/interfaith Marriages • Not allowed • A violation of the covenant • unbelievers may influence God’s people to take on their own pagan/sinful customs and religion, turning them away from God. (Nehemiah 13:23-27)
Question # 2 Based on the primary readings, how is divorce viewed in each religion?
Mixed/interfaith Marriages • Not justified in the New Testament • “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” -2Corinthians 6:14 • Compared to the relationship between light and darkness • If an inter-religious marriage already exists: • Husband may not leave the wife if she is willing to remain married and vice versa • Children of a believer and unbeliever considered holy as long parents remain married (1Corinthians 7:14)
Mixed/interfaith Marriages • Women are not allowed to marry an non-Muslim man (Surah 2:221) • Men are the leader of the household, therefore women would be under the authority of an non-Muslim man • Men are allowed to marry certain non-Muslim women • They are only allowed to marry Jewish and Christian women • They must be practicing their own religion at the time of marriage, if not, it is considered a sin to marry that woman • Children of the couple are considered Muslim
Summary • Judaism • Marriage is a permanent union willed by God, a portrayal of God’s covenant with His people • Betrothal; then Wedding Ceremony that lasted 7 days • Husband must love his wife, provide for her well-being; wife must be obedient and faithful • Adultery is a sin against God; Divorce is a violation of the covenant; Remarriage is allowed • Mixed/Interfaith Marriage: not allowed, considered sinful • Christianity • Marriage is a portrayal of the relationship between Christ and the Church • Wedding ceremony not explained in the Bible; based on traditions • Husband is the head of the household; Wife must be respectful and submit to husband • Divorce not allowed; Remarriage allowed under certain conditions, otherwise results in adultery • Mixed/Interfaith marriages not allowed • Islam • Marriage is spiritual requirement and is a contract between husband and wife • Wedding ceremony based on traditions, no instructions given in the Qur’an • Husband is the leader of the family and is to be God-conscious by respecting the wife; Wife must guard herself and the possessions of the family, must show dignity • Divorce is allowed up to 3 times, Remarriage allowed only if husband and wife are still pure • Mixed/Interfaith are allowed with Christians and Jews, otherwise considered sinful
Open For Discussion After reading the scriptures from the primary readings, which religion's view of marriage best supports your own views and why?