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Reciting Al-Fatihah doesn`t Mean Conclusion of Marriage Contract

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I would like to propose to my aunt`s daughter, but my family and I want to recite Al-Fatihah for now to secure the approval of her family. However, she keeps telling me that I don`t have the right to meddle in her private affairs or her outfit. Is it my right to meddle in her affairs and forbid her from committing iniquities? What is the ruling of Sharia in this regard?

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds, and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions. Reciting Al-Fatihah without concluding the marriage contract doesn`t entail any legal rulings: the engaged woman remains unmarried to the suitor, and he has no authority over her; consequently, he isn`t permitted to meddle in her affairs, nor to sit with her until after the conclusion of their marriage contract. The purpose behind reciting Al-Fatiha, besides the blessing, is a promise of marriage, and reflects both parties consent to that end; however, it isn`t considered a conclusion of the marriage contract because it has its own pillars: offer and consent by uttering specific words, presence of the woman's guardian and two witnesses, as stipulated in the Jordanian Civil Status Law, article (3): " Marriage isn`t concluded by engagement, promise of marriage, recital of Al-Fatihah, receiving any sum as part of the bridal gift(Mahr), or the girl`s acceptance of gifts from suitor." We advise you(asker) to look for a pious and modest wife, and take your time in doing so, and if you realize that the above girl is likely to be obstinate and disobedient, then think twice before you marry her. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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