Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Difficulties in having a straightfoward nikah because of fear of my family

asian bride nikah


I am wishing to get married this year to my fiancé inshallah, who does not live in the same country as me and is of different nationality. We are hoping to start a life together, and for this to happen we must be married as is dutiful to Allah.

However, my own family situation makes it difficult to publicise this and gain the permission of my relatives. For reasons that I do not wish to disclose, I am estranged from my parents, and in answering my query, they need to be ruled out from all possibility of reconciliation. All I can say, without any exaggeration, is that my parents were a danger to my life from childhood, and they cannot therefore play any part in this. It is most unfortunate, but I am in a unique situation, in that I have no family to aid me in this. What has occurred in my familial relationships is beyond my control and not of my causing.

I am therefore at a dilemna, in that I cannot publicise the wedding with my family. I have 2 muslim brothers, non-related, but who are trustworthy enough to act as witnesses, but will this still be a 'secret nikah'. As a result of my difficult family situation, I have felt that I cannot have my nikah carried out in a mosque because of possible stigma, and I am also fearful of the marriage becoming registered, as this cannot happen for legal reasons. I just wish to be married to this man in the eyes of god, and I will come back inshallah to the registry part of it as soon as is possible, in order to preserve our rights under the law of the land.

My question is, does one have to marry in the mosque before an imam, who may or may not recognise my special circumstances and possibly have difficulty/prejudice in marrying us without sufficient familial presence on my side, or can a practicing muslim brother do this (as I have read is acceptable, as islam does not advocate priesthood)? Is it ok for me not to have a guardian, as I have read is permissible? And will it be frowned upon that my family are not aware, despite that in my case it is a danger to my well-being? The groom's family are aware of us marrying, and have given their blessing, but they are not muslim, as my fiancé is a convert. But this plays some part in that the marriage will inshallah be publicised and celebrated rather than staying secret. Please help me with my complexities!

May peace be upon you,


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1 Responses »

  1. Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah!

    Considering they are a few factors that you have no been able to disclose it makes this a hard call. I'm answering from the best of my opinion based on what you gave. There is no marriage in Islam without a wali; for a divorced woman she need not the permission of her wali but his presence, whereas a virgin needs both. Having said this though, if an Imam deems the wali in question (her father) is for whatever circumstances not able to be the wali, he may ask the brother (if there is) or uncle etc.You need two witnesses for the marriage from your side. There is A LOT of wisdom in this. One being if there are issues between couple the wali/guardian of the girl represents her. Our religion is so beautiful that when a woman is married 'off' she's not given away to get rid of her as some cultures do where they give a dowry to the man to take her and she is to never return. Instead she has people looking out for her, for her rights and that she is protected.

    According to the majority of fuqaha’, in order for a marriage to be valid it is essential for the woman’s wali (guardian) to be present. The wali is her father, then her son – if she has a son, then her brothers, then her brother’s son, then her paternal uncles, then the sons of her paternal uncles, and so on in order of closeness among the male relatives on her father’s side. If there is no one, then the ruler or the qaadi (judge) is her guardian, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage without a guardian.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2085), al-Tirmidhi(1101) and Ibn Maajah (1881) from the hadeeth of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

    My advice to you is to go to your local Imam. A requirment of is to be made public, its' not a 'hush hush' thing. You do not want people assuming that you are 'together' in a forbidden relationship. You want it to be known you are married. As for a legal marriage, that's a technicality. The reason I say this is because in western countries ( I don't know where you are) couples are legally able to be 'common law' partners. Which means if they been LIVING together for I believe a year then they have legals rights to one another just as married couple do (ie they are considered one household as in a married couple). In Islam, it's the Islamic marriage that matters... requirements being you need a wali (or at least an appointed wali) and two it should be made public. You dont' have to tell the world, send out invites etc. but don't hide it.
    Another thing to note,also Islam highly. HIGHLY encourages keeping relations between kith and kin. The dua of someone is not accepted if they break of ties with their family. Allahu Alim your circumstances. However, if the situation is that horrible in your family perhaps you can get an Imam invovled to try and reconcile the situation .Effort MUST be made!! Family relations is very, very important, and cannot be brushed aside despite their shortcomings.

    Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi waalam) said,
    The du'a of any worshipper will continue to be responded to, as long as he does not ask for a sin or breaking the ties of kinship, and as long as he is not hasty'.

    InshaAllah you are able to find peace in what you do, and your marriage if filled with barakah!.. Please see your local Imam to appoint appropriate wali for you if the situation with your own is unreconcilable.

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