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More young Saudis are opting for ‘Misyar’ unable to afford marriage expenses

Saudi couple1

Riyadh: It might come as a surprise but due to unaffordable living expenses, more and more Saudis are opting for the “Misyar” marriage, Makkah daily reported.

A ‘Misyar Marriage’ also is known as traveler’s marriage, a unique Sunni Muslim innovation carried out normally according to Islamic customs.

The ‘Misyar’ is defined as an official marital “relationship”, type of marriage contract conducted in absence of any witnesses considering only Allah and the Holy Quran as witnesses.

In this, the couples give up certain rights of a normal marriage, such as living together, the husband’s right to housekeeping and the wife’s right to housing and living expenses, according to a report published in Saudi Gazette.

Misyar marriage has been practiced in Egypt and Saudi Arabia for many years. After a fatwa issued by Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Baz, it was legalized in Saudi Arabia.

According to family consultant Nasser Al-Thubaiti, most young men do not have the means to get married whereas a good number of young women have high expectations of their marriage.

“The rate of divorce is increasing and the rate of polygamy is decreasing. More and more marriage officiators are willing to sign misyar marriage contracts now. It is a way for men to get married without having the liability of dowry and family support,” said Al-Thubaiti.

The Misyar practice is in line with Ministry of Justice regulations requiring the husband to put their signature on contract documents that have to be ratified by local courts in reference to Article 22 of the Saudi Marriage Act.

This type of marriage could, nonetheless, protect widows and divorcees and reduce spinsterhood.

However, the practice is still considered taboo among many communities leading to negative stereotypes among communities, which consider Misyar an insult to women.