The Concept of Rukhsati in Islam

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by ShariahBoard.org

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah

What is the meaning of Rukhsati under Islamic law? If the marriage is not consummated because the husband and wife were living separately until Rukhsati is formally performed, will it affect their marriage status under Islamic law.

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الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

The meanings of the word Rukhsati is to depart or leave. After the Nikah, when a bride leaves her parents’ house, and goes to her husband’s home, this process is termed as Rukhsati. In the current circumstances, it is best to perform Rukhsati as soon as possible. Delaying this process without a legitimate reason, as it has become a trend these days in our society, is not favorable. However, if the Rukhsati does not take place and the marriage does not get consummated, that does not have any effect on the Nikah between them. Their Nikah remains valid and intact, regardless of how long they live apart. Nonetheless, if there is a valid reasonable basis in delaying the Rukhsati then there is no harm in it. For example, the Nikah between Rasulullah Sallallaho Alyhi Wasallam and Hazrat Ayesha RaziAllah Ta‘ala Anha took place when Hazrat Ayesha RaziAllah Ta‘ala Anha was 6 years old and the Rukhsati took place when she became 9 years of age.

عن عروۃ : ’’ تزوّج النبي ﷺ عائشۃ وہي ابنۃ ستّ ، وبنی بہا وہي ابنۃ تسعٍ ، ومکثت عندہ تسعاً ‘‘ ۔ (صحیح بخاری: کتاب النکاح ، باب من أحب البنا قبل الغزو ۵۱۵۸ )

عن عائشۃ رضي اللہ عنہا : أن النبي ﷺ تزوّجہا وہي بنتُ ستّ سنین ، وأدخلت علیہ وہي بنتُ تسعٍ ، ومکثت عندہ تسعاً ‘‘ ۔ (۲۰/۱۷۸ ، رقم الحدیث : ۵۱۳۳ ، کتاب النکاح ، باب إنکاح الرجل ولدہ الصغار ، مکتبہ رشیدیہ کوئٹہ)

واللہ اعلم بالصواب

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