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Got Orfy? Urfy? Orfi? Urfi?

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Filed: Country: Egypt
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I'm often disturbed to hear blanket denouncements of Unregistered Marriages. Orfy or Urfi (I prefer Orfy) Marriages in Egypt (and other MENA countries) have negative stigmas and connotations attached to them that don't make them "Un-Islamic" in ALL cases.

The WORD ORFY simply means "Unregistered". Meaning that a marriage is not registered with the Government, or done "legally", referring to a countries civil laws regarding marriage, and has NOTHING to do with a marriage being HARAM, or HALAL from an Islamic point of view.

Islam has given certain conditions that MUST BE FOLLOWED to make a marriage "Islamically correct" , and none of those conditions require the registering of a marriage with a Governmental Body, because such a "body" did not exist in that time and there were no "Records" Departments, or licenses, etc.

The article below does a pretty good job of explaining it.. and it also gives the proper warning that if a couple living in Egypt marry Orfy the woman does not have CIVIL protection for herself and any children that are born from the marriage. She has no inheritance rights, and cannot get a legal divorce, because she didn't have a legal marriage. (Which believe it or not can really cause problems...)

The conditions for an Islamically sound marriage are:

1) Mahr (gift given to the bride by the husband)

2) Contract of Marriage between husband and wife (preferably written)

3) 2 Male Muslim Witnesses (They sign the contract and witness the bride's acceptance, or acknowledgement of the mahr and her acknowledgement that she accepts marriage to the man..she wasn't forced into the marriage..)

4) Public Announcement of Marriage (typically Waleema) CANNOT BE SECRET!

5)* Highly recommended (not required in all cases, or in all Madthabs) that the woman have a Wali or Guardian representing her.

Istaghfirallah if I have forgotten any detail. I think the article below is a good one on the topic. Not totally from a religious standpoint, and not totally from a legal or social standpoint.. Info from all 3.

Islamically: I don't think you'll find any scholar who will say that if the marriage meets the above conditions that it is not valid in Islam. (Many Imam's in the USA will not perform a marriage in a masjid without the couple producing a valid marriage license, because they fear to do so would be committing a crime and bring problems to them and their congregation...)

Legally: In Egypt it is not illegal to marry without registering it, but it leaves the wife in particular without her full legal rights as a wife. In the USA I imagine at some point (depending on the state you live in) the marriage could become "common law". Some states allow couples to file "Domestic Partnership" papers without having a registered marriage.

Socially: In Egypt it is frowned on because it is equated with secret, temporary, or straight up "phony baloney" marriage (see the last paragraph of the article I will post next) and borders on fornication. (Zina with Paper is what I've heard it called.)

As many people on this site know, there was a period of time in Egypt when a USC could not marry legally in Egypt because the US Embassy was not giving out the paperwork required from foreigners by the Egyptian Government in order to marry in Egypt. This scenario would create the perfect reason why Muslims are not bound by MAN'S LAWS (Arbitrary Governmental Bureauracracy) in order to join in marriage, something that is almost required for Muslims (half the deen, according to ahadith).

Do not misconstrue my defense of Orfy marriage as an endorsement of it, carte blanche. It has been misused, and will likely continue to be. But we don't need to "throw the baby out with the bath water.." so to speak...

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Filed: Country: Egypt
Timeline

Egypt: Customary marriage (Zawaj Urfi; Zawj Orfy; Zawha Orfi; Gawaz Urfi; various other spellings) particularly with respect to interfaith marriages

According to the Glossary of The Marriage Contract in Islamic Law in the Shari'ah and Personal Status Laws of Egypt and Morocco, "zawaj urfi" is a customary marriage (1992, 165). In The Laws of Marriage in Islam the meaning of customary marriage is further explained:

Customary marriage means a marriage which is not officially registered. People often ask about the judgement concerning it and whether it is permitted and sound in the Shari'a or not. ... When a valid contract is made by the woman's guardian in the presence of two witnesses, the contract is sound according to the Shari'a. The recording of the contract by the hand of the official entrusted with recording marriage contracts is not one of the preconditions for the validity of the contract [under Shari'a] (Uthman 1995, 54-5).

According to Jamal J. Nasir's The Islamic Law of Personal Status, while the above statement is true with respect to the legitimacy of the marriage according to Shari'a, additional considerations obtain in Egypt:

The legislator has laid certain rules both to prove marriage and to hear matrimonial disputes before the courts. Under the Decree No. 78/1931 in respect of the regulation of the Sharia Courts, Article 99, paragraphs 4 and 5, lays two conditions for hearing a matrimonial case before the court: (i) that matrimony be proven by a formal marriage certificate; (ii) that the ages of the wife and the husband shall not be below 16 and 18 years of hijra respectively (1990, 70-71).

Nasir also emphasizes that the failure to formally register the marriage prevents courts from hearing cases involving matrimonial disputes arising from such marriages:

Some formalities must be complied with in the case of marriage of an Egyptian Muslim man and a non-Muslim or a foreign woman. Under Article 27 of the Mazun regulations of 1915, the Mazun (that is the public officer authorized to solemnize marriages) shall not conclude either the marriage of an orphan who has no guardian, nor contracts in which one party is a foreign citizen or is not a Muslim, as this will be left to the courts. Moreover, the Egyptian Ministry of Justice has prepared a special document in Arabic, English and French containing the most important terms, rights and duties of marriage under the Islamic Sharia; namely, that the husband may marry more than one wife, that he may divorce his wife, that his children by a Kitabi wife shall be Muslim like the father, and that there shall be no inheritance between the spouses if they differ in religion (ibid., 71).

According to the report Legal Rights of Egyptian Women in Theory and Practice by the Communication Group for the Enhancement of the Status of Women in Egypt, "orfy" marriages have the effective of limiting the rights of women in marriage and divorce:

For example, a "orfy" wife is not entitled to alimony in case of divorce or to her husband's pension on his death, and the marriage relationship does not enjoy judicial protection unless it is officially acknowledged by the husband. Moreover, the wife in an "orfy" marriage must institute legal proceedings to establish her children's parentage (1992, 21).

This assessment is corroborated in a Middle East Times article of 6 April 1997, which cites several lawyers and academics, emphasizing the effective loss of women's rights in "gawaz urfi" or "unofficial" marriages. In February 1999, leading Egyptian Imam Shaikh Mohammad Sayed Tantawi declared his opposition to "urfi" marriages because of their secrecy and failure to protect the rights of wives (Sun-Sentinel 11 Feb. 1999; Al-Ahram Weekly 18-24 Feb. 1999).

There is also evidence that the term "customary marriage" is used equivocally, referring in some cases to a Shari'a compliant, but non-registered marriage, and in others to a secret non-registered marriage that does not comply with Shari'a requirements (Al-Ahram Weekly 18-24 Feb. 1999).

In February 1999 it was reported that an amendment to the Personal Status Law of Egypt was proposed which would better protect the rights of women in "urfi" marriages (ibid.). However, in the same report, several jurists suggest that "urfi" marriages that do not comply with the Shari'a ought to be subject to the same penalties as adultery (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Al-Ahram Weekly [Cairo]. 18-24 February 1999. Issue No. 417. Gihan Shahine. "Illegitimate or Just Ill-Advised?" [internet] <http://163.121.116.16/weekly/1999/li1.htm> [Accessed 25 May 1999]

El Alami, Dawoud Sudqi. 1992. The Marriage Contract in Islamic Law in the Shari'ah and Personal Status Laws of Egypt and Morocco. London: Graham & Trotman.

Communication Group for the Enhancement of the Status of Women in Egypt, Cairo. 1992. Legal Rights of Egyptian Women in Theory and Practice.

Middle East Times. 6 April 1997. Roxanne Youssef. "Birds, Bees and Fifis Do It." [internet] <http://www.metimes.com/issue14/eg/8orfi.htm> [Accessed 25 May 1999]

Nasir, Jamal J. 1990. The Islamic Law of Personal Status. London: Graham & Trotman.

Sun-Sentinel. 11 February 1999. "World Digest." (NEXIS)

Uthman, Sheikh Muhammad Rif'at. 1995. The Laws of Marriage in Islam. London: Dar Al Taqwa Ltd.

Additional Sources Consulted

Ahmed, Leila. 1992. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate.

Chemais, Amina. 1996. "Obstacles to Divorce for Muslim Women in Egypt." Women Living Under Muslim Laws. Shifting Boundaries in Marriage and Divorce in Muslim Communities.

Esposito, John L. 1982. Women in Muslim Family Law.

al-Hibri, Azizah Y. 1992. Marriage Laws in Muslim Countries: A Comparative Study of Certain Egyptian, Syrian, Moroccan, and Tunisian Marriage Laws.

Nasir, Jamal J. 1990. Status of Women Under Islamic Law and Under Modern Islamic Legislation.

Rafiq Khan, Muniza. 1993. Socio-Legal Status of Muslim Women.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws. Dossier. (1990-1999).

Edited by Karamella

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you could also just run a forum search on this topic and find out in half a second that this subject has been beaten into the ground over and over already.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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:pop: gets my seat early to beat the crowd.

* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: Country: Egypt
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you could also just run a forum search on this topic and find out in half a second that this subject has been beaten into the ground over and over already.

Obviously discussion on this subject hasn't resulted in much..that's too bad...

I've been here for months and 1) never seen a discussion about it, or 2) daleel for these negative opinions... just read all the disparaging remarks about orfy marriage and heard from people who are afraid to mention that they are married orfy because of all negative comments...

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Syria
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I had some of those orfys that lasted almost the entire weekend until I could get rid of her.

my girlfriends ex husband had a "secret marriege" a while ago. she finally left him and so did the "other" woman.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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Oh man, charles you beat me to it..got room next to ya there big guy?

yes ma'am, i got plenty of popcorn too :pop:


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Kuwait
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Let me sit with Jackie and Charles, I have some chocolate chip cookies for you all now pass me some popcorn please.

chocolate-chippers-recipe.jpg

A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

thquitsmoking3.jpg

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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Let me sit with Jackie and Charles, I have some chocolate chip cookies for you all now pass me some popcorn please.

chocolate-chippers-recipe.jpg

until you sit by me, then it will be you HAD chocolate chip cookies. :devil:


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Jordan
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:huh:

What is the big deal? Are we saying some women here have these types of marriages?

You couldnt petition if you were "unregistered" correct?

So, is this directed towards the K-1 applicants? or is this just a read and discuss kinda thing?

Why am i even asking, im lost and it doesnt apply to me so im moving on :lol: (feeling selfish today)


"you fondle my trigger then you blame my gun"

Timeline: 13 month long journey from filing to visa in hand

If you were lucky and got an approval and reunion with your loved one rather quickly; Please refrain from telling people who waited 6+ months just to get out of a service center to "chill out" or to "stop whining" It's insensitive,and unecessary. Once you walk a mile in their shoes you will understand and be heard.

Thanks!

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you could also just run a forum search on this topic and find out in half a second that this subject has been beaten into the ground over and over already.

Obviously discussion on this subject hasn't resulted in much..that's too bad...

I've been here for months and 1) never seen a discussion about it, or 2) daleel for these negative opinions... just read all the disparaging remarks about orfy marriage and heard from people who are afraid to mention that they are married orfy because of all negative comments...

if people are "afraid" to mention they have an orfy marriage because of all the negative comments, and can't put up a decent argument on their own about why it's ok, that's their problem.


I-love-Muslims-SH.gif

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