According to old Germanic views – visible in the Swedish landscape laws – a two-member marriage agreement (“aqd”) and marriage-giving bedding (dukhūl) were concluded. The agreement was a contract (katb al-kitāb) to enter into intimate marriage (nikāh) and it was concluded between the woman’s guardian (walī) and the suitor (khatīb). The result meant that the contractors after a wedding party (walīma) were brought into their home where they were expected to complete the entered relationship. The next day the man was expected to hand over a morning gift (mahr) to the wife. Already in 644, Germanic culture tried to legally restrict and reduce the morning gifts to a reasonable level after the competitive culture raised the gifts to high levels (as Umar bin al-Khattab also intended to do). The same happened in Sweden in 1350. No special sacred wedding ceremony was needed, and the marriage could be resolved very easily by the man renouncing his wife (talaq) and both parties could then re-marry. It may be a surprise to know that church wedding was not prescribed until the law of 1734. It took six centuries for Christian influence to come over there. Not even then the sacred wedding became mandatory. There continued to be a contractual form of co-operation governed by the law. The woman then had married property in the husband’s property and the children were considered to be born in marriage. It is the same custom as in today’s Sweden to some extent is prevailing. One could say that the non-Muslim Swedes have partially returned to their original practice, which means that man and woman live together in a co-relationship, witnessed and visible to people and usually approved by the woman’s father. Marriage (zawāj) means diligence, voluntarily and openly declared (footnote 1).

It is therefore worth reminding Muslims in Sweden not to look down on non-Muslims or incorrectly attributing to them shameless behavior when the cohabitation is now among the non-Muslims general customs (‘arāf’). Despising your neighbours helps little when they want to give them a gift, Islam. Disdain is an inner sense of supremacy that often tends to take physical or verbal form and as such is a repulsive factor in Da’wa. A Muslim should never let his glance fall on a believer or non-believing fellow in high spirits, especially not a fellow in need of guidance. In order to call people to Islam, the inviter must know his surroundings and its people. Knowing a people is to have knowledge of their customs and beliefs, which requires that you take of your own shoes to wander in someone else’s shoes. However, judging is not to condemn and judging is also not condemnation. Dīn al-fitra is all of Sweden’s original religion just because it is the whole world’s original religion. Humanity means simplifying marriages, and no one should put the sticks in the wheel for the completion of religion. One should also advise against divorces, yet see them as permissible just because human existence requires it and because one of the purposes of religion is to prevent individuals from being physically or mentally injured.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *