A Muslim marriage requires proposal (Ijab) from one party and acceptance (Qubul) from the other as is required for a contract. Moreover there can be no marriage without free consent and such consent should not be obtained by means of coercion, fraud or undue influence.
A marriage which has already been solemnised can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable in cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs or where they have converted into any of these religions. Where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Special Marriage Act 1954. An Act to provide a special form of marriage in certain cases, for the registration of such and certain other marriages and for divorce.
Marriage among the Hindus was considered a sacramental union and it continued to be so throughout the entire Hindu period. However with changes in the society marriage among the Hindus which was essentially a sacrament partook the nature of a contract. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 covering entire India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir has reformed the Hindu law of marriage.
The practice of giving a “dowry” or a gift to a woman at marriage is said to have its origins in the system of “streedhan” (women’s share of parental wealth given to her at the time of her marriage).
With a view to eradicate the rampant social evil of dowry from the Indian society, Parliament in 1961 passed the Dowry Prohibition Act.