Types of marriages in Saudi Arabia

Since coming to KSA, my awareness of different types of marriages has increased considerably. Other than normal marriages and the oft-quoted multiple wives (polygyny) there are also misyar, misfar and shigar marriages.

Disclaimer: This post is about marriage as people or news have described it. This does not claim to describe the norm in KSA or any other country of the world

  • Normal- between one man and one woman
  • Polygyny- between one man and up to four women
  • Misyar- between one man and one woman with the woman giving up her right to financial support by the husband
  • Misfar- between one man and one woman done for the sole purpose of allowing the woman to travel outside the country
  • Shigar- one man marrying another man’s daughter or sister in exchange for the other man marrying his daughter or sister.
  • Urfi- an undocumented marriage between one man and one woman (not as common in KSA)