AZIZ v. AZIZ
127 Misc.2d1013, 488 N.Y.S.2d 123 (1985)

FACTS
The parties were married in the State of New York according to Islamic law and executed an Islamic Marriage Contract. It was signed by both parties and witnessed by a religious leader who performed the ceremony. The Contract provided a prompt mahr payment of $32 and a deferred mahr payment of $5,000. The wife sought enforcement of the deferred portion under the Islamic Marriage Contract they had signed.

ISSUE
Whether a religious marriage contract is enforceable under contract law where the parties agreed to the terms “as part of a religious ceremony.”

RULING
The Court ruled in favor of the wife by awarding her an immediate payment of the $5,000 mahr, which was originally provided for in the Islamic Marriage Contract as a deferred payment. The Court held that the Islamic Marriage Contract conformed to the requirements of New York contract law. Therefore, the secular terms of the Contract are “enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.”

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