When it comes to marriage to a Saudi, how many women, whether Saudi or non-Saudi pay a lot of attention to or read what is in the marriage contract? I got to thinking about marriage contracts on reading this article in slate.com which indicates that the majority of Pakistani women, even those who are highly educated such as doctors and lawyers, fail or disregard to read their marriage contract. Some of the women are even prohibited or strongly discouraged by their families to read the marriage contract believing it is starting the marriage on a foot of distrust instead of faith in the husband. Yet the article also points out that many of the women found that rights they are entitled to under Islam were taken away from them by the words of the marriage contract.
One women’s rights activist, Rubina Sehgal, believes that a primary reason the women are not being more forward and insisting on seeing the marriage contract is “It has to do with their upbringing,” she said. “Women are brought up to believe that marriage implies submission and obedience and so, when it comes to the marriage contract, they just sign it. They forget at that time that they have the right to read it, vet it, and even suggest changes. At the time of tying the knot, a lot of importance is given to trust—trust your soon-to-be-husband, trust your parents.”
Speaking of my own personal experience, I paid little attention to the marriage contract. The concept of a marriage contract was foreign to me as a Westerner. My continued belief of marriage is “to love and to cherish; to trust and to honor; and to death do us part.” I remember Abdullah kept asking me if I wanted anything included in the marriage contract and my reluctance to discuss it.
So I’d like to hear from those who married Saudis and Saudi women. Was the marriage contract read? Were there many negotiations? Or as Rubina Sehgal suggests, more importance is given to trust rather than reading the fine lines of print?
Filed under: America, culture, gender, islam, relationships, religion, Saudi Arabia, Saudi blogs, Saudi culture, Saudi customs, Saudi education, Saudi Living, travel, Uncategorized, Women Issues Tagged: | America, blogging, culture, culture shock, customs, gender, gender issues, islam, KSA, Love, marriage, Relationship, religion, Saudi, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Saudi customs