State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta


Continuity and Change in Law: Confabulating Misyar Marriages in Indonesia: As a non-conventional marriage, misyar marriage is understood as a marital contract in which the husband does not stay together at the same home with his wife, but visiting her regularly depending on his discretion. This marriage will usually also exempt the husband from providing the wife a financial support due to some conditions. This study brings the idea of misyar marriage in Indonesia as a leeway of Muslims to relax some legal consequences of marital bonds. Pros and cons have certainly followed the case of misyar marriage, expressed in the debate over its nature, status and position in Islamic marriage law. What is found in this research is that the practice of misyar marriage cannot be separated from such other non-conventional marriages as unregistered marriage (nikah sirri) and polygamous marriage. By way of interviewing deeply six performers of the misyar in the three cities in Java (Yogyakarta, Sidoarjo dan Jember), this research has shown that the three kinds of marriage have collaborated each other to demonstrate a kind of triangular non-conventional marriage, with misyar as a core model.

Relevant Publications:

  •  Legal Pluralism in Indonesia: Bridging the Unbridgeable (London & New York: Routledge, 2013)
  • “Trapped between Legal Unification and Pluralism: the Case of the Supreme Court’s Decision on Interfaith Marriage” in Gavin W. Jones, Chee Heng Leng and Maznah Mohamad, (eds.), Muslim-Non-Muslim Marriage: Political and Cultural Contestations in Southeast Asia (Singapore: ISEAS, 2009), pp. 33-58.
  • “The Enigma of National Law in Indonesia: The Supreme Court’s Decisions on Gender-Neutral Inheritance.” International Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 52 (2007): 147-167.