Marriage of Christian woman to Muslim man without Wali
Fatwa No: 361465


I was told that in order for a Christian girl to be with a Muslim man, we needed to do a ritual in islam. I never thought that it was a wedding in Islam. The wedding had no consent from my guardian. There were no witnesses from my side, and he has not given me a dowry. When I saw the marriage certificate, I saw that he wrote their that he gave me a dowry, which is not true. And now I am a battered woman. I have been suffering from violence for almost a year. I requested for a divorce, but he did not allow it. Please help me. I know nothing about Shariah law. What will I do? And now I have my daughter. But he always treathens to kill my family if I do not give him my daughter. I really do not know what to do. Please help me.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

There are certain conditions that must be met for a marriage contract to be valid in Islam, the most important of which are the bride's Wali (legal guardian) and the witnesses. Please refer to fatwa 83629. There are no special conditions for the validity of the marriage of a Muslim man to a Christian woman except that her Wali must be Christian as well.

It is required to have witnesses for the marriage contract, and it is not a condition that they be from the husband's side or the wife's side.

If this marriage was conducted without the permission of your Wali, it is considered invalid according to the scholarly view adopted at Islamweb because the Wali's presence and consent are conditions for the validity of the marriage contract according to the preponderant view of Muslim jurists in this regard. However, the annulment and invalidation of such a marriage, if the husband does not willfully issue a divorce, requires a verdict of the Muslim judge or whoever is acting in his stead.

If your husband refused to divorce you, you should refer the case to the Islamic Center in your country to remove the harm incurred upon you. They should also investigate the issue of the dowry; it is one of the rights of the wife over her husband; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And give the women (upon marriage) their (bridal) gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease.} [Quran 4:4]

They should also address the custody-related issues; the decisive factor in determining who should be given custody of the children should be what serves the best interests of the child. This child is his daughter and she is attributed to him, because the marriage contract about whose defectiveness scholars differed yields the same legal effects and implications as the valid marriage contract. Accordingly, the children born out of such a defective marriage are attributed to the husband.

It should be noted that the Islamic Shariah commands the husband to treat his wife kindly; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.} [Quran 4:19] It is prohibited for the husband to harm his wife; if he harms her, she is entitled to ask for divorce.

Allah knows best.

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