Life and Times Blog

Marriage contract of Bilal Randeree & Amina Ebrahim

As a preamble Bilal asked me to include this:
Sahih Bukhari – Volume 7, Book 62, Number 157:
Narrated Al-Miswar bin Makhrama:
I heard Allah’s Apostle who was on the pulpit, saying, “Banu Hisham bin Al-Mughira have requested me to allow them to marry their daughter to Ali bin Abu Talib, but I don’t give permission, and will not give permission unless ‘Ali bin Abi Talib divorces my daughter in order to marry their daughter, because Fatima is a part of my body, and I hate what she hates to see, and what hurts her, hurts me.”

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful

This is a marriage contract between Bilal Randeree and Amina Ebrahim

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Qur’an, Surah Al Rum Verse 21)

We, BILAL RANDEREE and AMINA EBRAHIM, agree to take each other as marriage partners on the understanding that this contract shall regulate our relationship.

While Islam is quite clear that marriage is a contract or agreement between two people, it is distinguished in that it is a contract whose necessary component is love. We pray that our marriage will be blessed by the “love and mercy” of God, and we commit ourselves to constantly striving to ensure that love and caring are strong pillars of our relationship.

Having both descended from the first single human created by Allah, we acknowledge the basic equality of all people, and especially of each other insofar as our respective rights and responsibilities in our marriage are concerned.

Marriage involves the joining of two individuals with the purpose of forming a partnership that will combine our individual strengths, abilities, talents and skills. It will be a partnership based on interdependence, a mutually beneficial relationship where we each retain our individuality and personality but where the relationship is also accorded its significant place.

Together with love and caring, we commit ourselves to striving for a marriage characterised by mutual respect, appreciation, support, co-operation and loyalty between the spouses. These, we believe, will be essential for the success of our marriage and we commit ourselves to upholding these values as determining factors in our dealings with each other, as advised by the Qur’ān and the example of the Prophet Muhammad (s).

Furthermore, we commit ourselves to a spirit of openness, trust, strong communication and mutual consultation in our relationship. We will discuss key decisions fully, taking into consideration, among others, the personal, social and economic consequences thereof.

We commit ourselves to marriage and to relationship-building and strengthening, with the assistance of an outside party, if necessary.

Marriage needs to be a relationship free from abuse: physical, emotional or verbal. And we commit ourselves to building a relationship free of such abuse and one that allows us both to feel safe.

We agree to identify mutually agreed-upon spiritual, career and psychological goals and priorities and strive towards achieving these.

Our daily interactions with each other will be guided by the spirit of fairness, dignity and justice promoted by the Qur’ān and shown to us by the example of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (on whom be peace).

We will strive to ensure that our interactions with each other are in a spirit of
• Love, compassion and generosity
• Mutual respect and courtesy
• Openness and honesty
• Communicating freely and fully at all times
• With a willingness to learn from each other and from others
• Generously acknowledging each other’s love, support and achievements
• Having the humility and the courage to admit our mistakes and learn from them.

We understand marriage as being a relationship that should be free from abuse, of an emotional, physical, or verbal nature. We therefore undertake to refrain totally from abusive behaviour and speech toward each other, and to create an environment within which all members of our family will feel safe.

We agree that decisions will be made following a process of mutual consultation (shura) and agreement by both of us. All key decisions will be discussed fully, taking into consideration, amongst others, the social, economic, and academic consequences thereof.

We agree to identify and strive proactively and fully towards achieving mutually-agreed-upon spiritual, financial, career, and psychological goals and priorities, both in our individual and our joint capacities.

We commit ourselves to relationship building and developing a strong and faithful marriage.

We commit ourselves to healthy lifestyles regarding diet, exercise, and stress reduction, and are willing to obtain medical advice and feedback from time to time as a means of ensuring and sustaining our health.

Religious foundation of marriage

We commit ourselves to a life of ongoing learning and growing in understanding – of ourselves, each other, all those we interact with, all of creation, our Creator, and our religion, Islam.

We commit ourselves to creating a home environment which respects and fosters the spirit and message of Islam as upheld in the Qur’an and as demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace) in his living.


We will both endeavour to educate ourselves as much as is possible – both in terms of education related to our careers and in terms of Islamic education. Neither spouse will have the right to prevent the other from furthering her / his education; nor will either spouse place impediments in the path of the other if the latter seeks to further her / his education.

Marriage rights and responsibilities
Financial rights and obligations
Both of us have the right to seek and secure employment, to derive income from business or other investments, to save and invest our savings, and to develop our respective careers.

We commit ourselves to discussing from time to time, as required by our circumstances, a joint budget and financial plan that will be beneficial to our marriage, in the short and long terms.

We may retain individual bank accounts and have the right to manage and dispose of our individual finances and assets as we deem fit. Nevertheless, we agree that we will consult with each other before incurring any personal expenses that do not benefit the marriage.

Financial responsibilities will be determined and shared in a way that is mutually agreeable and equitable depending on our respective circumstances.

Domestic Responsibilities
We agree to share domestic responsibilities. While Amina will have overall responsibility of the household, it will not be the sole duty of either spouse to maintain an attractive domestic environment or to provide meals and, in general, to maintain the household.

Social relations
We shall strive to the best of our ability, at all times, to lead a full life – one that takes cognisance of the rights of others – interacting with and contributing to the wellbeing of the various communities we are part of and to society at large.

Respect is an essential ingredient of any marriage. We will at all times endeavour to respect each other’s humanity, intelligence and our respective families. We will thus give due and serious consideration to the words and actions of each other and other members of our family. Neither of us will have any right to physically, mentally or psychologically abuse the other, no matter what justification or rationalisation could be given for such action.

We both commit ourselves to providing a home environment where each of us is able to maintain her / his privacy.

We commit ourselves to building a respectful family environment where no disrespect is shown by any family member to another.

Sexual relations
Sexual relations will be consensual at all times and will, like all other relations in the marriage, be based on mutual trust and respect. We both agree to have an HIV/AIDS test before the wedding.

We both agree to have a monogamous marriage. Bilal agrees that he will not enter into additional polygamous marriages during the validity of this marriage. If he, however, decides to marry another woman, that decision will serve as grounds for Amina to immediately divorce Bilal.

Family obligations
We understand that, as a result of our marriage, we will both have new family structures to relate to. We commit ourselves to interacting with our respective spouse’s family with respect and kindness at all times.

Any decision regarding our living with any member or members of either family or their living with us will require the explicit consent of both of us. In making such decisions, due regard shall be given to the joint and separate responsibilities that we have, and the financial implications of such decisions.

Amina accepts the responsibility for child-bearing and breastfeeding of our children. And, during this period, Bilal will solely be responsible for the material maintenance of the family and household.

We acknowledge that one spouse may take primary responsibility for acting as a child caregiver during the marriage, while the other spouse may assume the burden of support. Any such division of roles will be mutually-agreed to and neither partner will be treated as contributing any less to the family because of that spouse’s particular role. Both parents will play an active role in our children’s upbringing. We undertake to raise our children in an Islamic family environment, with Islam being the family religion and education of the children in Islam being a joint responsibility of both of us.

At the same time, we commit ourselves to the principle of religious understanding and undertake personally that we will respect, and teach our children to respect, other religious views and philosophies, both within Islam and without.

Divorce and related matters

Dispute resolution procedures and the initiation of divorce proceedings
A dispute will be deemed to have resulted during the marriage if either of us declares it to be so. In the event of such a dispute arising we will first use our ability to listen, communicate and learn to find an internal solution.

Both of us agree to allow the other to express any criticism or concern freely (provided it is done respectfully). We undertake not to be dismissive of the other’s concerns without first being self-critical and assessing the criticism or concern from the other’s point of view.

If we realize we are at fault in any way (and we may both be partially at fault), we undertake to acknowledge our faults honestly and fully and if either of us has learnt something beneficial from the other’s concerns we undertake to express our gratitude to the other for helping us see something about ourselves we might not otherwise have done.

If we are unable to resolve a dispute after reflecting, deeply engaging with each other, praying and asking our Creator for assistance, we will appoint a mutually acceptable facilitator or facilitators to mediate and possibly arbitrate (if mediation fails) in the dispute. Relationship-building and counselling may form part of this process.

If the dispute is of a nature that could lead to the termination of the marriage and counselling has not helped to resolve the dispute, before either of us decides to initiate divorce proceedings, we will make a final effort to save our marriage by undergoing a trial separation for a period of three months.

We will follow this procedure in respect of each such dispute. If, however, after this time (in respect of any such dispute) the marriage relationship still cannot be healed, then either of us may initiate divorce proceedings through a legal forum – which is the only forum that may validly terminate the marriage.

We pray that our marriage will not reach a stage where either of us will consider divorce as an option. Notwithstanding any contrary understanding of any law, we agree that both of us will have an equal right to initiate divorce proceedings and that these will be governed in accordance with the terms stipulated in this contract.

Bilal agrees to use the Islamic jurisprudential mechanism of talaq al-tafwid to delegate the right of talaq to Amina so that both of us will possess that right. Whichever of us initiates such proceedings, a procedure of three repudiations will require to be followed as described in the Qur’an in Surah Baqarah verses 228-232.

228. Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah Hath created in their wombs, if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.

229. A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold Together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (Men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. If ye (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah. so do not transgress them if any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such persons wrong (Themselves as well as others).

230. So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), He cannot, after that, re-marry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her. In that case there is no blame on either of them if they re-unite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. Such are the limits ordained by Allah, which He makes plain to those who understand.

231. When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘Iddat), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; but do not take them back to injure them, (or) to take undue advantage; if any one does that; He wrongs his own soul. Do not treat Allah.s Signs as a jest, but solemnly rehearse Allah.s favours on you, and the fact that He sent down to you the Book and Wisdom, for your instruction. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is well acquainted with all things.

232. When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is (the course Making for) most virtue and purity amongst you and Allah knows, and ye know not.

In addition, Amina will be able to exercise her right to khula’ by which she will be able to initiate a divorce subject to and by the return of the mahr to Bilal.

Amina will also be able to exercise her right to apply for a faskh to a judicial authority. Among other circumstances, a faskh could be used in cases which involve:
• any physical (threatened or actual) abuse,
• any infidelity, or
• severe or ongoing verbal or emotional abuse.
Such a divorce could be granted unopposed and no trial separation will be necessary.

In all of the three processes above (talaq, khula’ and faskh), a divorce will only be deemed to have been effected once presided over and allowed by a judicial authority that is agreed upon by us both.


Spousal maintenance and the maintenance of children will be determined in a fair and equitable manner at the time of divorce. If necessary, an arbitrator may be used to determine what a ‘fair and equitable’ resolution would be. The agreement will be in writing and binding.

Custody of minor children
The custody of minor children that might result from this marriage shall be determined according to the children’s best interests. Should the custody of children be contested, the matter shall be referred for dispute resolution as set out in this contract. If agreement is reached, this will be incorporated into an agreement which will be attached to the application for divorce.

Irrespective of who gets custody, there shall be no denial of reasonable visitation rights to the parent that is not granted custody.

If the marriage ends in divorce and a child or children have resulted from the marriage, both parents will be responsible for the financial maintenance of the child or children in proportion to their respective incomes at the time, taking into account the effect of the dissolution of marriage on the working lives of both parents.


We undertake to inspire each other to achieve the best that we are capable of.

May Allah grant us the wisdom, honesty, commitment and strength to make this marriage a successful one. And May He bless us with His Love and Mercy.

Signed on this, the 10 day of April 2009 in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.

Bilal Randeree Amina Ebrahim

This marriage was solemnised on the 10th day of April 2009 at Gatesville Masjid, Gatesville, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.


April 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. sweet

    Comment by MJ Khan | April 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hard data on male:female ratio globally.

    In SA:
    total Asian males 614 700, total asian females 628 800 , ie males are 2% less than females, and the biggest spikes occur after the age of 55 ito of ratio diffs.
    on the entire popn it shifts a little to males being about 7% less than females

    Comment by zubairhabib | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. *blinks*


    Comment by Shak | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  4. Zubair – just to make clear, this is an abridged version of the official contract.

    There are paragraphs that were very specific to us and we have removed those, leaving those that we felt will be beneficial to others interested in having a contract for their wedding.

    Apart from being very educational and informative, perhaps the most beneficial use of having a contract, is that it gives the couple the opportunity to discuss issues that they may otherwise not necessarily be keen on discussing.

    Comment by Bilal | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. Although I applaud you both on your level headedness, I think that wedding contracts in general have a limited lifespan as an effective measure to reinforce a nikkah. Put simply:

    1) The good people who’d genuinely put work into one are the ones who won’t need it when the tough times happen. Will a reasonable spouse really point to a contract during a dispute?

    2) The bad people who would otherwise be bounded by a contract would probably sign it flippantly and disregard it anyway. Will an unreasonable spouse really point to a contract during a dispute?

    Making it a legal document punishable by law *might* change some of the above, but even then I reckon politics would disallow any important things to be added.

    All people need to discuss and debate (to some level, although personally I’ve been accused of “talking” too much) their potential marriage, and writing it all down will undoubtedly help in this. I’m just not sure whether formally contracting the discussion helps or hinders. In the worst case it could provide a false sense of security to one or both parties.

    I give them five years before they lose all meaning and become generic lip service.

    Oh and congrats on your nuptials, mate 🙂

    Comment by Shak | April 29, 2009 | Reply

    • Shak While I agree with point one and two. it does give the couple a direction and it does show that thought has gone in to the whole entering marriage thing unlike most people who just get married because that is the next step in life.

      Comment by Anonymous | May 9, 2011 | Reply

  6. Ha, I was looking through a copy of this just last night. It’s great, glad you shared it.

    Comment by Mash | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  7. is this legally binding? if not, how are you going to enforce it?

    Comment by me | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  8. Wow!

    Bils, how long did this take to draw up? And who else, if anyone, was involved ?

    Comment by Sofi | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  9. @ shaik – i find that our marriage contract still holds, alhamdulillah, and we do point to it in a dispute, I think that committed individuals will make it a central part of the marriage… and by both parties including clauses that are important to them, would ensure that each would uphold it …
    On another note, since SA might soon pass a Muslim marriage bill, which will be to benefit of both spouses, more so the wife, some of the clauses in this marriage contract, and my own, will be enforced by law – e.g, the one abt polygamy, custody of kids, inheritance, maintainence, etc.
    ill be covering the bill for next week…

    the imam who helped my husband and I draw up our contract, stressed the importance of the contract, because marriage is one of the most important agreements we enter into, we should do everything to ensure its success!! and even the quran stipulates that we write things down

    Great work bilal and amina…!

    Comment by Safiyyah | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  10. Sjoe.. I need to save this for reference. thanks for putting it up.

    Comment by Dew_drops | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  11. eye opener for the unmarried. thanks bilal and amina for sharing this.

    Comment by The Blogger | April 29, 2009 | Reply

  12. 🙂 YOur contract made me so happy. It’s awesome to see so much thought and effort going into preparing for your marriage. May Allah always guide you both and keep you happy and may your marriage me a success. Thank you for allowing us this glimpse into your contract. I wish more people embarking on marriage would be so wise.

    Comment by Shamz | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  13. Oh Shak-you are too cynical. As Bilal said, more than anything it allows couples to discuss matters which may otherwise be ignored/glossed over.
    When so much thought goes into something, it displays a greater sense of commitment. The contract is practical yet is clearly drawn out of love.
    Bilal, thank you for sharing this.
    May Allah keep you and Amina happy together always.
    I still laugh at the random, coincidental way I found out.


    Comment by Anonymous | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  14. Admittedly mine is a cynical stance. But then the same could be for a wife who thinks it’s so likely their future husband will want to marry again that she needs to include it as a concern in writing (no offence to either party involved here).

    I just don’t see how a contract would increase the chances of a marriage working out. Discussion and debate will help you finding a good match *before* marriage, sure, but actually contracting it is futile imo, and possibly even harmful once interpretation comes into play.

    Would you seriously compromise something you feel is right for yourself, your husband and your marriage just because it was/wasn’t written into a contact at a time when you couldn’t even imagine what you’d be going through?

    Comment by Shak | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  15. >>Apart from being very educational and informative, perhaps the most beneficial use of having a contract, is that it gives the couple the opportunity to discuss issues that they may otherwise not necessarily be keen on discussing.

    yes, i think its very wise to discuss the issues – well, whatever matters/occurs to you now- but out of interest, Bils, why not discuss and agree verbally ? why did you personally opt for a written contract?

    Comment by Sofi | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  16. good signal dudes! bit mushy in places but Allah make it easy on you both.

    now move to london.

    Comment by fugstar | April 30, 2009 | Reply

  17. Everybody starts with good intentions, I don’t think anybody goes into it expecting to divorce nor should we assume that it will be a bed of roses.

    I don’t see this as a contingency, I see it as recognition of the fact that the future has no gurantees and also doing it according to the correct Islamic way.

    I think individual points don’t matter as such, but reading the contract as a whole we are able to see the spirit in which Bilal and Amina entered their marriage. They simply decided to put into words their intentions for their marriage.

    In the future I am sure it will serve as a reference point to what was and what is. Maybe they’ll laugh at it, maybe she’ll tell him he needs to do the dishes more often.

    They’re just being pragmatic.

    And on top of all this, I’m sure plenty people will snatch this and use bits of it themselves if ever they manage to find a wife. :-s

    Comment by Mash | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  18. Masha-Allah, I think it’s exceptional that a couple can sit down and discuss the specifics of marriage in today’s age, they say most marriages break down because of a difference in expectation, writing and signing a contract in this manner might seem a bit business-like, but a nikaah is a contract.

    Althought, I don’t wanna rain on your parade, but as far as I know you cannot make haraam anything that is halaal for someone by a written contract i.e. enforcing the no polygamy idea ( It can’t be grounds for divorce by a shariah court: )

    Comment by Contract | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  19. Mash,

    >I don’t see this as a contingency, I see it as recognition of the fact that the future has no gurantees and also doing it according to the correct Islamic way.

    These are effectively pre-nuptial contracts which have been around in other cultures and societies for ages and are as much a contingency as those are. Just out of interest, what do you expect to happen if a marriage contract is breached?

    I’m not sure why you think it’s a correct Islamic way – although it’s permitted as far as I’m aware it’s not specifically recommended above any other guidance on forming contracts in dealings. Where are the friendship contracts? The family contracts?

    >I think individual points don’t matter as such, but reading the contract as a whole we are able to see the spirit in which Bilal and Amina entered their marriage. They simply decided to put into words their intentions for their marriage.

    Personally I’d prefer some kind of vow or statement to demonstrate this rather than a contract. They seem more… I dunno, romantic. Interestingly though not many Muslims can do the public mushy thing without a formalisation like this. Maybe we need to express ourselves better in general?

    >Maybe they’ll laugh at it, maybe she’ll tell him he needs to do the dishes more often.

    But if we take this point seriously, this is then becomes the crux of the matter. A bad spouse won’t respect a contract just like a fraudster won’t stick to using genuine IDs. Now I’m not certain Bilal and Amina will not be bad spouses (since I don’t know them that well), but I’m sure *they* both know each other well enough to know they won’t be, so it’s arguable what value a contract would add in their case. In that sense I think a contract would be handy in a union which was made quickly or in convenience for a higher purpose.

    Anyway I don’t want to end up being the grumpy one in all this so I’ll just leave you with the following plugs if you’re bothered to read my further thoughts:

    and then


    >Althought, I don’t wanna rain on your parade, but as far as I know you cannot make haraam anything that is halaal for someone by a written contract i.e. enforcing the no polygamy idea

    As far as I can tell they’ve not made it haram – ie they haven’t subscribed Godly punishment on Bilal if he does the dirty. Amina has just stated what she would do (which is equally not haram) if the former happens. That’s what a contract essentially is, a series of what-ifs. In the same way you can use a contract to stop your partner eating meat or listening to music, or request that they move country or stipulate how many times you’re each allowed to visit your respective in-laws.

    What you can’t ask a partner to do is an act of haram, like stopping an Islamic obligation like regular prayer. In other words since it’s not haram to have one wife it’s a reasonable enough stipulation to make here. Technically you can’t put anything in a contract which contravenes previously made ones; in this case you’ve already made one with God to fulfil your obligations and stay away from haram. The above doesn’t contradict that.

    >It can’t be grounds for divorce by a shariah court

    No on it’s own, no. But a broken contract can totally be.

    Comment by Shak | May 1, 2009 | Reply

  20. >> They seem more… I dunno, romantic

    I was waiting for someone to bring that up. Romance has no place at a wedding.

    Comment by Mash | May 2, 2009 | Reply

  21. Nice.

    We have contracts for most things in our house. Especially when it lending/borrowing money etc. It’ helps regulate certain agreements between siblings and parents and sets respectful boundaries that everyone can adhere to.

    Comment by Azra | May 2, 2009 | Reply

  22. Fascinating. Amazing. Frightening.
    Why the HIV tests??

    Comment by marryhalal | May 7, 2009 | Reply

  23. @all- I see people had questions for us. Been very busy so if you still want to ask anything, please drop me a note…

    Comment by Bilal | September 7, 2009 | Reply

    • whoS wearing the trouser here!!!

      what a damn waste on time …what you giving up your god given rights for mate ???????????????????/

      Comment by Mo Yusuf | September 12, 2009 | Reply

  24. very interesting, all the best to bilal and his wife. may they keep up the effort they have put in their marriage contract. and may it translate to pious and upstanding children.

    Comment by imraan | October 9, 2009 | Reply

  25. […] to their longer average life spans. I’ve pulled some stats for Bilal Randerees post a while back This shows that its only beyond a certain age that this age gap happens, so if a man is doing this […]

    Pingback by Polygamy #1 « Life and Times Blog | March 10, 2010 | Reply

  26. […] establish systems of support for women. Tangible support. Where the standard marriage contract is one similar to this one. We can no longer have contracts which DO NOT GIVE WOMEN THEIR […]

    Pingback by Why I want to become a “Shaykha” | AntiDogmaSpray | November 4, 2011 | Reply

  27. You’re so interesting! I do not believe I’ve read through
    a single thing like this before. So nice to find another person with a few original thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with some originality!

    Comment by Dorie | April 21, 2013 | Reply

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