Agreed To Marry Him and Contract was Conducted without Her Knowledge
Fatwa No: 408844

  • Fatwa Date:11-12-2019 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1441
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Salam alaikum,
A sister agreed to marry a man. They came and did the engagement. But later she's told by that man that they already did "fard nikah" while she, the bride has no knowledge of it even. First off what is "fard nikah"? Is there a thing as such in Islam? Second, can whatever kind of nikah be it, happen without even the knowledge of the bride involved? The sister did agree to marry that man but that was for a future date. What should have happened that day was only the engagement as she had only agreed to that in that time. Please clarify.
Jazakalllahu khairan.


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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is not clear to us from the question whether a marriage contract was conducted or it was only a proposal, and whether or not the offer of marriage (Eejaab) and expression of acceptance (Qabool) were exchanged between the bride’s Wali (guardian) and the suitor!

Accordingly, we cannot judge whether a marriage bond has been established as per the Sharee‘ah or not. However, we can benefit you with some general Sharee‘ah rulings relevant to the subject of the question in the following points:

- The mere approval of the woman to marry a man does not entail that a marriage bond has been established. It is stated in Fat-h Al-‘Ali Al-Maalik fi Al-Fatwa ‘ala Math-hab Al-Imaam Maalik that: “… If it is customary that the proposal and response to it with acceptance are merely an introductory step to the Islamic marriage contract conducted on the wedding night, and that what takes place between the two occasions is not Islamically binding but are only signs of each party’s inclination to the other, then there is no problem in considering that the marriage contract is not established by that and that the relevant Sharee‘ah rulings of marriage are not entailed by it.” [End of quote]

- It is not clear to us what is meant by the “obligation of marriage” (fard nikah). Perhaps it refers to its pillars without which it is not established. Jurists held different opinions in this regard, but they unanimously agreed that the exchange of Eejaab and Qabool is a pillar of the marriage contract without which it is not valid.

The Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia reads: “Jurists differed in opinion regarding the pillars of the marriage contract. The Hanafi School of jurisprudence are of the view that the only pillar of marriage is Eejaab and Qabool. The Maaliki School held that its pillars are: the Wali, the Mahall (a husband and a wife), and the Sharee‘ah-approved formula (wording) of the contract. The Shaafi‘i School held that its pillars are five: a formula, a husband, a wife, two witnesses and a Wali. The Hanbali School are of the view that its pillars are three: two spouses, Eejaab and Qabool.” [End of Quote]

- The large majority of scholars stipulate the Wali as a condition for the validity of marriage; so it is impermissible for a woman to give herself in marriage. Scholars held different opinions regarding the validity of giving a virgin in marriage without her consent. The preponderant opinion adopted in Islamweb is that it is absolutely impermissible to give a woman in marriage without her consent.

- An engagement is a proposal to marry a woman and it is recommended in Islam. Sharee‘ah does not state anything specific that is required to be done at the time of the proposal; however, it is permissible for the two parties (suitor and woman to whom he proposes) to look at each other.

Our advice for you is to orally consult a reliable scholar whose religion and knowledge are trusted in the Islamic centers or elsewhere in your country.

Allah Knows best.

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