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ID number:664036
Published: 13.07.2004.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

There are many differences between marriage in Latvia and marriage in Islamic countries, but today I am going to tell you just some of them. But first of all I want to give the definition of marriage. Most states, including Islamic countries, define marriage as a civil contract between a man and woman to become husband and wife. The moment a man and woman marry, their relationship acquires a legal status.
To start with I want to name the legal requirements for getting married in Latvia:
- you have to be at least 18 years old. If you are younger, you have to get parents’ or guardians’ consent.
- You cannot be too closely- related to your intended spouse – marriage is prohibited between kin in a direct line, brothers and sisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters.
- You cannot be married to anyone else
- You have to have the mental capacity, you must understand what you are doing and what consequences your actions may have
Marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited.
A marriage shall be solemnized in the personal presence of the bride and the bridegroom, and two witnesses of legal age. It is forbidden to enter into marriage fictitiously, it means, without the intent to create a family.
A marriage shall be declared annulled in which, at the time it is entered into, one of the spouses is in another marriage. The second marriage shall not be declared annulled if the marriage has been terminated by death, divorce or annulment prior to the court judgment being rendered.
You just heard some things about marriage in Latvia, but now I am going to tell you the most interesting facts about marriage in Islamic countries so u can see the main differences.
You must need certain requirements in order to marry in Islamic countries and in the following situations it will not be necessary for woman to seek the permission of her father, before getting married:
- if she is not a virgin
- if she is at least 14 years old
- if the father is not in any way willing to participate in the marriage
- if he is not in capacity to give his consent, like in the case of mental illness etc
- if it is not possible to obtain his permission because of his absence, or such other reasons, and woman is eager to get married urgently.
The most interesting thing I found out is that the formula of the marriage contract can be pronounced by the man and the woman themselves or can be pronounced by persons who are appointed by them as their representatives. As long as the woman and the man are not certain that their representatives has pronounced the formula, they cannot look at each other as husband and wife. One person can act as the representative of both sides. It is also permissible that a man may himself become the representative of a woman and contract marriage with her.
And if a woman and a man appoint another person to act as their representatives for pronouncing the formula of marriage, and if, for example, the name of the man is Ahmad and that of the woman is Fatimah, the representative of the woman should say: “ I have given to your client Ahmad in marriage my client Fatimah” . and thereafter the representative of the man should respond thus: “ I accepted this matrimonial alliance for my client Ahmad”. If the formula of marriage contract is pronounced by the representatives, they should identify the man and the woman by uttering their names or making intelligible signs toward them. The representatives should be sane. If while pronouncing the formula of marriage contract even one word is pronounced incorrectly, as a result of which its meaning is changed, the marriage contract would be void.

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