People asked me what the default marriage vows would be for a Muslim marriage. I decided to draw it up here. You can use this when you get married so that you can understand what the rights and obligations are towards your spouse.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful.
I, , pledge the following terms with regards to my marriage to :
1) That I will do my best to uphold the commands of Allah founded in the Quran, and follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah (s) according to the best of my ability and knowledge.
Any pledge as a Muslim must include obedience to Allah and His Messenger (s) because Allah has said:
O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. Then, if you quarrel about something, revert it back to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is good, and the best at the end. (4:59)
2) That I will, in accordance with the ordinances of Allah, take care of her to the best of my ability by protecting her from harm, and providing her with food, clothes and shelter.
Prohibited to you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives’ mothers, and your step-daughters under your guardianship [born] of your wives unto whom you have gone in. But if you have not gone in unto them, there is no sin upon you. And [also prohibited are] the wives of your sons who are from your [own] loins, and that you take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred.1 Indeed, Allāh is ever Forgiving and Merciful. (4:23)
And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess.1 [This is] the decree of Allāh upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them with your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy from them, give them their due compensation2 as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allāh is ever Knowing and Wise.(4:24)
3) That I will lower my gaze, and guard my chastity, upholding the modesty etiquette founded in the Book of Allah.
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision1 and guard their private parts.2 That is purer for them. Indeed, Allāh is [fully] Aware of what they do.(24:30)
O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allāh that perhaps they will remember.(7:26)
4) That I will live with her on equitable terms and with fair treatment.
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.(30:21)
5) That I will, remain with her for as long as we both are able to hold to the limits of Allah.
And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him.1 And if he [i.e., the latter husband] divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon them [i.e., the woman and her former husband] for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allāh. These are the limits of Allāh, which He makes clear to a people who know [i.e.,understand]. (2:230)
6) That if we part ways it will be without animosity or hatred.
And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allāh. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allāh and the Last Day. And whoever fears Allāh – He will make for him a way out1
7) That I will be patient through times of adversity and grateful through times of ease.
O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality [i.e., adultery]. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allāh makes therein much good. (4:19)
8) That I will always speak well of her, guard her secrets and cover up her short comings.
It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your women [for sexual relations]. They are a clothing for you and you are a clothing1 for them. Allāh knows that you used to deceive yourselves,2 so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allāh has decreed for you [i.e., offspring]. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread [of night]. Then complete the fast until the night [i.e., sunset]. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits [set by] Allāh, so do not approach them. Thus does Allāh make clear His verses [i.e., ordinances] to the people that they may become righteous.
Being garments for each other also implies covering each other’s faults.
9) That I will honour her share of inheritance, and maintain the familial relationships that marriage begets, whether married or divorced.
And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt. And for them [i.e., the wives] is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you [may have] made or debt. And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third,1 after any bequest which was made or debt, as long as there is no detriment [caused].2 [This is] an ordinance from Allāh, and Allāh is Knowing and Forbearing. (4:12)
I, , pledge the following terms with regards to my marriage:
1) That I will adhere to the commands of Allah and strive to uphold the example of the Messenger of Allah (s) to the best of my ability and knowledge.
2) That I will be devoutly obedient and guard my chastity in accordance with the ordinances of Allah.
Men are in charge of women1 by [right of] what Allāh has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allāh would have them guard.2 But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance3 – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them [lightly].4 But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allāh is ever Exalted and Grand.(4:34)
3) That I will adhere to the basic etiquette of modesty founded in the Book of Allah according to the best of my ability. Namely, that I will lower my gaze, guard my chastity, not draw unnecessary attention to myself and dress in a way that achieves those objectives.
And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision1 and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment2 except that which [necessarily] appears thereof3 and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment [i.e., beauty] except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess [i.e., slaves], or those male attendants having no physical desire,4 or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allāh in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. (24:31)
4) That I will not require or request of him to divorce his other wives.
5) That I will reserve the right to leave the marriage should he marry again after me.
O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors. (5:87)
And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hands possess [i.e., slaves]. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. (4:3)
It is prohibited to contractually agree to something as against the laws of Allah; for that amounts to prohibiting the permissible. Hence, the most a contract can state is that the woman is allowed to leave the marriage should the man take another wife. It cannot state that the man is not allowed to take another wife.
6) That I will not publicize his private affairs nor share his secrets, whether married or divorced.
Already cited above.
7) That in the event of divorce I will honour the waiting period and I will not prevent him from attempting to reconcile with me..
Divorced women remain in waiting [i.e., do not remarry] for three periods,1 and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allāh has created in their wombs if they believe in Allāh and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation.2 And due to them [i.e., the wives] is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable.3 But the men [i.e., husbands] have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allāh is Exalted in Might and Wise.(2:228)
8) That I will defer matters to him where appropriate; such as relates to my dealings with strange men wherever necessary.
9) That I will not admit strange men into my presence in private according to the ordinances of Allah, and that I will avoid such behaviour as might disrupt my marriage.
Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as saying:
Behold, no person should spend the night with a married woman, but only in case he is married to her or he is her Mahram. (Sahih Muslim 2171)
10) That I will remain with him for as long as I am able to hold to the limits of Allah
And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him.1 And if he [i.e., the latter husband] divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon them [i.e., the woman and her former husband] for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allāh. These are the limits of Allāh, which He makes clear to a people who know [i.e.,understand].
11) That I will honour the familial relationships that marriage begets, whether in marriage or after divorce.
Marriage begets familial relationships such that the relatives of the groom becomes the relatives of the bride and vice versa. Such relations are permanent. For example, it is impermissible to marry the daughter of a woman you married and slept with as already cited in (4:23).
12) That I will honour the waiting period in the event of his death.
And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – they, [the wives, shall] wait four months and ten [days]. And when they have fulfilled their term, then there is no blame upon you for what they do with themselves in an acceptable manner.1 And Allāh is [fully] Aware of what you do.(2:234)
13) That I will give him a share of my inheritance.
Already cited in 4:12
This here we promise, and call Allah to witness.