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Marriage in non-muslim court legal

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:

In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Please give a detailed answer to the following.

Would a marriage be considered legal if not done according to shariah ? Does the witnesses have to be Muslims ?

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Marriage in non-muslim court legal

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: Would a marriage be considered legal if not done according to shariah ?

If by Shariah, one means to say that a man and a woman get married in secret or at a public registrar, without the required conditions of Nikaah, then the marriage will not be deemed legal in the sight of Shariah.


If the following conditions of Nikaah are met, then and only then will it be considered legal and valid:

  1. Proposal and acceptance
  2. Determination of the Mehr
  3. Two witnesses to the above agreement.

If the above three conditions are met, then the Nikaah will have been deemed according to Shariah and will be absolutely legal and valid. It does not matter if the Judge, or the registrar documenting the marriage is a believer or a non-believer, the Nikaah will be considered valid if the above three conditions of Shariah are met.


Your question: Does the witnesses have to be Muslims ?

The scholars in Islam are unanimous in their opinion that the witnesses to the Nikaah of a muslim couple must be believers.


But if two people who are disbelievers marry in any format (Hindu, Christian, Court Registration, etc.), and subsequently Allah blesses them to revert to Al-Islam, they will not have to perform their marriage again. Their marriage will be deemed as legal and valid in the sight of Shariah.


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


Your Brother in Islam,






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