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Is civil marriage accepted as Nikaah?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Salam Wa alayekoum

i am a female muslimah, aged 22 years old, two years ago a good muslim showed interest and wanted to ask for marriage, we are both resident in two different european countries.his mother phoned my mum and they decided to meet up in the summer in our original city, where we are all from. in the summer his parent came to my house and asked for my hands for marriage form my mother and my grandmother and may grand father (who look after me since i was born, because my mum and dad are divorced), my mum and my grand parent agreed and they decided to meet up after three weeks to do `fateha`(read Al fatiha) and have some people around for dinner, three weeks later we had fateha, there were 15 memebers of my family and 20 of his family. the men were in the first floor, they introduced then my husband`s father read some qur an and fatiha and my grand father made some duas, this happened in the presence of my uncles and my aunty`s husbands and in the presence of some male family of my husband.

a year later i travelled to the country where my husban live, with my mother and we udertook the civil marriage in the local register office, this was the legal marriage of that city(not islamic). at the same day my husband gave me my dowry.

however we have not yet registered the islamic marriage, where the dowry is written, basicly we do not have an islamic marriage certificate.
i am getting married next summer INCHA ALLAH and my mum insists that i am still islamically not married and that i need to go to the islamic centre and register my marriage before the wedding, my husband on the other side argue that we are married and the wedding can resume and we can register it when it is possible.

i need to know

am i married to this person or not?

Jazakoum Allah khir  


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Is Civil marriage accepted as nikaah

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Your Question: i need to know am i married to this person or not?

If the following obligatory conditions of marriage were fulfilled, regardless of who conducts the marriage, the marriage will be considered valid and legal in the Sight of Shariah.  Contrary to popular belief, there is absolutely no condition in Islam that the marriage has to be documented or registered to be legal; provided all the conditions are met and agreed upon, even if they are only verbal, the marriage will be absolutely legal and valid in the Sight of Shariah.


The obligatory conditions of an Islamic marriage are:

  1. The proposal by the groom and the acceptance of the proposal by the bride.
  2. The determination of ‘mehr’
  3. The presence of (at least) two witnesses to the above proposal, acceptance, and determination of mehr between the groom and the bride.
  4. The presence and consent of the ‘wali’ or guardian of the bride (her father, or grand-father, or uncle, or brother, or in their absence, the girl may choose any reliable and righteous member of the believing society to be her ‘wali’.)


Thus my beloved sister, if the above obligatory conditions of marriage were fulfilled, regardless of whether the marriage contract is documented or not, regardless of whether the marriage is registered or not, regardless of whether you possess a marriage certificate or not, the couple will be deemed married in the Sight of Shariah. 


Registration at the local Islamic Centre or Shariah Court or any registrar is only to fulfill the legal purposes of the laws of this world and the nation one resides in; these documentations have absolutely no bearing on the validity or legality of the marriage in the Sight of Shariah and of Allah Subhanah. 


If even only verbally, all of the above listed obligatory conditions of marriage were fulfilled, your marriage would be deemed absolutely legal and valid in the sight of Shariah and of Allah Subhanah.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,




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