Marriage in Songkhla Thailand
Songkhla is the only location of the office of the Consulate General of Malaysia in the whole Southern Thailand. To have your Nikah registered in Malaysia, you will be required a confirmation letter form the Consulate General’s Office. So if you decide to get married in other places aside from Songkhla or Phatthalung, then you will have to travel to get to the Consulate of Malaysia and obtain the confirmation letter.
After knowing where to have a Muslim marriage in the Southern part of Thailand, the next step is to know how the marriage is done in Songkhla or Phatthalung. You will need to bring all your valid travel documents such as Passport and Border Pass (for residents of Perlis, Kedah Perak and Kelantang). One must be a resident for at least 3 years in any of those states to be able to apply for a border pass to enter Thailand. You must also bring your identification card and any video capturing device, to be able to video record the Nikah to be used as evidence in the Sharia court afterwards. For divorced women, the original Divorce Certificate should be available. For widows, the Death Certificate of the deceased spouse is required.
Bride and grooms from neighboring countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei also come to Thailand to get married at the Songkhla mosque. These ceremonies are currently helping in promoting the cultural tourism for Songkhla and other provinces in the South, as most couples are accompanied by a large group of family members together with other relatives and friends to witness the matrimonial ceremony.
For Malaysian Muslim couples who wants to be in the city and explore more in Bangkok, they may also have the choice to have their Muslim marriage preformed at the Islamic Center in Bangkok. The process would be alike, however, only done at the Islamic Center’s office and not inside a mosque.
Intermarriage with different faith among Muslims in Thailand has been the center of discussions by many local religious leaders and senior village members in the Muslim community. The Islamic Revival happening in Thailand for the past decades has brought the debate over interfaith marriage into a new level. Commitment to Islamic customs and beliefs for Muslims in the Southern part of Thailand has been increasing. As an example, there has been an increased attention being given to Islamic Studies in both the traditional Islamic System and the national school system, and more women wearing veils can now be seen anywhere in the country. However, the process and outcome of marriages in Muslim Thailand are quite different from those of Muslims from Malaysia and Indonesia when it comes to the level of formal institutional control. Most interfaith marriages in southern Thailand involve the Buddhist partners to convert to Islam. Only few cases occur that the Muslim partners become Buddhist, but despite this occurrence, religious conversions does not necessarily take place, but rather the Muslim partners leave their Muslim identities undergoing a cultural process.
Muslim marriages all over Thailand are governed by both Islamic law and civil law, although the religious ideas and various rituals of Muslims across the country are determined by the mosque committee of each village, including marriage. Therefore, the Islamic family law is extended to Muslims all over Thailand. But still, legally, Muslims outside the four southernmost provinces of the country can be married under Thai law.