Married without witnesses or a guardian
Fatwa No: 132754

  • Fatwa Date:2-3-2010 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 17, 1431
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Question

May Allah bless you and accept your deeds. My question is regarding my own nikkah with a woman. I liked a woman and proposed her for marriage which she accepted. I told my parents about her and they had no problems marrying me with her but wanted me to wait till i turn 28 which will be in 2013. Other reason my father wants me to start a job and save good amount of money and enjoy life before getting married. He objects the fact that the girl is 11 months older than me as well as she does not look very attractive.
I told him if there is any islamic reason against her such as that she is not following islam or her family is shia than only will not marry her. But any other reason, like what she looks like, or if she is a year older than me is not islamic or acceptable. He agrees but still not that much interested to marry me with her. He still wants to take 2-3 years in thinking and making the poor girl wait. I also talked to her parents and they have no problems with me. But they want my parents to ask her hands than only they will marry me with her. They also want me to be more stable in my career and job and make money which inshallah i will and i am.
I talked to local imam here and he advised me to do nikkah with her so that atleast i talking to her is not haram and meeting her is not haram. I agreed and talked to the girl and she accepted it also.
We went to him and he did nikkah for us. I did very much research on nikkah. The problem is he did nikkah and only i was there with the girl. No witnesses at all. I told him about witnesses that we need to have atleast 2 witness but he said in my case it is not needed. He is very respectable in the community and as far as i know he is honest and religious man. He did nikkah for us with no witnesses.
Atleast it makes me and the woman talk without any sin. BUt i would like to know if this nikkah is valid.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

There are certain conditions for the validity of the marriage contract, the most important of which are the presence (and consent) of the guardian and the presence of two witnesses; you may read the other conditions in Fatwa 83629.  

Therefore, if this marriage took place without a guardian and two witnesses, then it is a void marriage and it must be invalidated. We do not know how come this man says that in your case it is not necessary to have the presence of two witnesses? The fact that he is religious and trustworthy does not necessarily mean that he is a scholar and a Faqeeh (a scholar of Sharee’ah). Therefore, if you wish to renew the contract while fulfilling its Sharee’ah conditions, then you should try to convince the girl’s parents.

There is no doubt that marriage is a good thing that one should take the initiative to do. Also, it should not be delayed until a young man reaches a certain age on the pretext of him enjoying life or obtaining a job or saving a specific amount of money. Rather, it is more appropriate that the young man is helped in marriage by reducing its costs. ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The most blessed marriage is the one with the least expenditure.” [Ahmad]

Hence, if you have the financial ability to marry and you are able to earn your living, then you should marry in order to keep yourself chaste from temptations. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “If a man whose religion and moral character are pleasing to you proposes to you, then let him marry. Otherwise there will be great mischief and corruption on earth. [At-Tirmithi]

Finally, it should be noted that the reason for choosing a woman as a wife should be her religion because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, her family lineage, her beauty and her religion. So choose the religious one, you will prosper.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

As regards the difference of age and the like, then this is not religiously an obstacle as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) married Khadeejah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her while she was much older than him.

Allaah Knows best.

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