Marriage is a time that many look forward to. Often, couples will plan everything to the last detail: invitations, music playlists, seating arrangements, food menus, floral arrangements, and every other conceivable detail. However, sometimes despite the best of foresight and planning, one of the most important aspects of the union is overlooked: the marriage contract, or kitab.
The kitab is not just a formality, but an agreement that can help set boundaries and expectations in the marriage and protect you in your marriage legally should things go awry. Although no one wants to enter a marriage thinking of its possible demise, Muslim women are entitled to certain rights and privileges, and a marriage contract is an opportunity to ensure that she receives them.
For example, one such aspect of the nikah is the mahr, which is the bridal gift that a husband owes his wife. Mahr is to grant financial security to the wife. The amount of the mahr should be clearly stated in the contract, including if any is to be paid at a later date.
Unfortunately today many sisters do not know their rights, and some are even encouraged to sign their marriage contracts without reading them. Twitter user @Sikka_Q recently shared a Twitter thread on the importance of marriage contracts and why everyone should be an active participant in crafting their marriage contract.