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To All - 'Urfi 'Marriage'

Reader comment on item: Advice to Non-Muslim Women against Marrying Muslim Men

Submitted by Fyldefolly (United States), Jun 30, 2009 at 09:35

Do you really want to know what your 'urfi marriage means, then read on and tell me if this is a genuine and respectful union?

"Again, we had many emails from women asking what they need to get married to their Egyptian lovers and how legal the marriage would be. Well, there are two ways to get married to an Egyptian (or any Muslim). You (the woman) can become a fully fledged member of Islam and have a proper Muslim wedding. With this you are bound by the laws of Islam, and before you enter into such a band, you should yourself be very clear what your rights, i.e. the rights of your husband and his family are.

The second way is the Urfi Marriage, or as it is in Hurghada lovingly called, 'The F**k Paper'. This does not require you becoming a muslim, and in return you have no rights or protection whatsoever.

Here are the main points of an Urfi Marriage;

1.) It must take place before a Muslim cleric.

2.) The couple must say "We got married" and pledge their commitment before God.

3.) They must have two witnesses.

4.) A document must be written that the two are married and must be signed by the witnesses. Having two copies of the contract/document is recommended -- one for the bride and one for the groom.

The main reasons for anybody entering into an Urfi Marriage are;

1.) Sex before marriage is forbidden in conservative Egyptian society.

2.) Couples view an Urfi Marriage as a way to legitmise their sexual relationship.

3.) A husband is not financially responsible for his wife or any children resulting from this marriage.

The main issues with an Urfi Marriage are that under Egyptian Law, since the year 2000, if a woman can produce proof of an urfi marriage in court, she can ask for a divorce without alimony or child support and if a husband hides or destroys the urfi marriage document, a woman can't prove she was married.

Therefore it is of great importance, that you keep one copy of the marriage document with you in a safe place. It is no secret that many marriages in Hurghada go on the rocks, as soon as there is no more money to be had from the 'lucky' bride.

If you do not have a copy of this document you are f**ked (once again). This prevents you from getting a divorce or remarrying and your once so loving husband has total control over you. Also remember that even your Egyptian husband ripping the document into pieces in front of you is not a legal divorce. You must do this in front of a court.

Also as a last point but still very important, If this marriage is conducted in secret without the consent of their families (this means both families), a couple's Urfi Marriage is not sanctioned by Islam.

...........And as always our advise to you girls is, stay away from egyptian men that ask you to marry them. Go to the Cafe del Mar in Sakalla on any Saturday night and talk to the swarms of european women that got cheated, dumped, robbed and left destitute with children, that no man cares about.

But of course, you can always join the ones that loudly proclaim 'But my man is different'... "

"If the husband leaves her without granting her a divorce, she had no legal right to seek a divorce since 'Urfi marriage is considered illegal. Her husband could remarry. The wife is in a more difficult position. If the wife remarries, she can be accused of polyandry, which is punishable by seven years in prison in Egypt, or she could remain single for the rest of her life......

There are also controversial, unofficial "'Urfi" marriages, where a couple signs documents declaring themselves married. The couple does not inform their families of the marriage. Many Egyptian clerics are against this type of 'Urfi marriage calling it a cover for pre-marital sex. An extreme form of 'Urfi marriage is known as zawag al-'urfi: to give prostitution an Islamic cover, some men/women enter into secret marriage contracts with their summer visitors. Known in Egypt as zawag al-'urfi, this contract is made without witnesses and typically ends in divorce by summer's end. Most of Egypt's Islamic scholars condemn this use of zawag al-'urfi."

So this is what an 'urfi 'marriage' really means - it is a licence for MEN to have free sex and money from you!

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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