In Pakistan, Nikah Nama is the legal and social contract that governs marriage
The Nikah Nama contains the details and terms and conditions of the Nikah (marriage) contract and the social contract. The document includes information about the parties to the marriage, the amount of dower, the conditions of the Nikah established between them, as well as the names and addresses of witnesses. Marriage registrations are public documents and can be used as evidence in court if a divorce dispute arises.
The Nikah Nama represents exactly what the parties agreed to.
A Nikah Nama clearly outlines the facts and conditions agreed upon between the parties in its columns.
The Nikah Nama should be completed in a timely manner and with the utmost care. If facts are recorded in a dispute, they must be understood clearly and without ambiguities.
Columns of the Nikhnama
A Nikah Nama contains columns for storing specific information such as settlements between the parties regarding dower, maintenance, or dower documents, a delegation of talaq rights by the husband to his wife, or restrictions on those rights by the husband. Any special conditions agreed upon by the parties can be recorded in an additional column.
Marriages may not use all of the columns in the Nikah Nama
It may only be possible to incorporate some of the columns into the Nikah Nama depending on the circumstances surrounding the marriage. Every marriage will have some columns to fill out. The rest are as follows:
For the marriage in question, they should be completed. Use ‘if’ or ‘whether’ whenever information needs to be provided about a specific column.
In column seven, the bride is asked if she has appointed a representative (the word vakeel in Urdu means lawyer, but it is used here to mean representative). It is not mandatory for the bride to fill out the column, but she should if she has appointed one.
Nikah Nama conditions
A Nikah Nama can only be recorded if there is an agreement between the parties before or during the Nikah. It is generally possible to amend conditions mutually with the consent of the parties, but it is best to record them separately with the Registrar appointed under the Registration Act of 1908 as acknowledgments or agreements, depending on the nature of the condition or settlement.
A Nikah Nama column can be classified into three types
Columns of the First Category
Columns in the first category require factual information about both parties. The Nikah Khwan/Registrar is responsible for ensuring that the names and birth dates of the interested parties match those on their ID cards and/or B Forms. In the case of different addresses, it is permissible to mention both the current and permanent addresses.
In the event that a marriage is found to be underage without checking the documentation, the parties will be liable.
Vakeel or representatives usually represent brides
Usually, the bride’s vakeel or representative is chosen based on her marital status, but she is not required to do so. It must be clearly stated that no representative has been appointed if none has been appointed. Fill in the next two columns with the names and relationships of the two witnesses to the appointment of the bride’s representative. There should be a clear indication that these columns do not apply. There must be a relationship between the witnesses and the bride’s representative. Witnesses do not have to be related to the bride, but they should state how they are related to the representative. Witnesses cannot be the same in both cases.
Witnesses appointed as vakeel and witnesses for the marriage must not be the same.
Furthermore, if the groom is a widower or divorcee, or if he has a child/children, their names and ages must also be included. After obtaining permission from the relevant authorities, a groom may contract another marriage
When the groom has an earlier wife/wives and the certificate is issued by the Arbitration Council, the reference number and date of the letter must be recorded. Nikah Registrars cannot be held responsible if they discover later that the groom is contracting a second marriage without the Arbitration Council’s permission.
Nikah Namas include columns for the husband’s status (widow or divorcee) and whether a child is present.
The third column describes the conditions and settlements of the marriage.
The parties should not decide on conditions contrary to the spirit of Nikah before moving on to the actual columns and what the inquirers are asking. An agreement to such a condition could not be legally enforced, even if the parties agreed to it.
A marriage should not affect the legal rights of either party
Marriage should not affect either party’s legal rights. A right can be curtailed or subject to conditions, but it cannot be terminated. It can be found in the Nikah Nama that the wife cannot petition the court for a Khula, even if it has been agreed upon. Even if this is the case, it is illegal and cannot be enforced. In the event that the contract between the two parties stipulates that the mother is not responsible for her children’s maintenance because she is legally obligated to care for them, the contract would also be invalid.
Nikah Nama’s conditions should be carefully drafted
Nikah Nama’s conditions should be carefully drafted to avoid terminating a lawful right. To determine whether a lawful right is being surrendered, one must first determine whether the right is valid, and, second, whether the subject is aware of its consequences.
A valid Nikah is one that has been performed correctly. It is not invalid to use a Nikah Nama containing void conditions.