CSSMuslim Law

Q. No. 8. Write notes on any TWO of the following topics: (a) Nushūz (b) Mahr al-Mith’l (Proper dower) (c) Iḍtirār (necessity) in Islamic law. 2020

(a) Nushuz: Nushuz refers to the disobedience or rebellion of a wife towards her husband. It is considered a ground for the husband to take corrective measures, which can range from admonition to divorce. Nushuz can be of various types, such as refusing to fulfill conjugal duties, leaving the husband’s house without permission, or disobedience to lawful commands. The Quran in Chapter 4, Verse 34 provides the husband with the authority to admonish, forsake sleeping with, or even beating the disobedient wife, in case all other measures fail.

(b) Mahr al-Mith’l: Mahr al-Mith’l, also known as proper dower, refers to the amount of money or property that is agreed upon as a part of the marriage contract to be given to the bride by the groom. It is considered an essential element of the marriage contract in Islamic law. The Quran in Chapter 4, Verse 4, states that the groom must give the bride her dowry as a free gift. The amount of Mahr is negotiated and agreed upon by the parties involved, and it can be paid in full or in installments. The Mahr can be in the form of cash, property, or any other valuable item. It serves as a symbol of the groom’s commitment to the marriage, and it is considered the property of the bride, which she can use as she pleases.

(c) Iḍtirār (necessity) in Islamic law: Iḍtirār refers to the doctrine of necessity in Islamic law, which allows for the commission of otherwise prohibited acts in case of extreme necessity. The Quranic principle of “there is no harm, nor any reciprocating harm” (la darar wa la dirar) forms the basis of this doctrine. Iḍtirār is considered a necessary evil, and it is applied in situations where the prohibited act is the only way to avoid a greater harm. Examples of Iḍtirār include eating forbidden food to avoid starvation, breaking into a building to save someone’s life, or drinking alcohol to save oneself from dehydration in a desert. However, Iḍtirār is subject to strict conditions, such as the necessity of the act, the absence of any other alternative, and the proportionality of the harm and benefit involved.

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