Islamic marriage advice and family advice

No Nikah, but my Wali signed the documents; Is my marriage valid?

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I am legally married to a man in a court. The marriage ceremony was done in a proper way. It was performed in the presence of my parents, a lady who performed the vows and the whole family as witness. The lady who performed the marriage was not a Muslim but was a qualified Justice of peace.

We both took vows and was done by the consent of both parties parents. The reason we did not sign up for a proper nikah was because we wanted to sort out our lives before getting properly married. I am a citizen of UK and I wanted my husband to get the same residency status before we start living together.

We signed on the marriage certificate and my parents also signed it below as guardians. In my opinion they were acting as my Wali but I’m still unsure about the validity of my marriage. Is it valid in Islam and is my husband halal for me?

~ g.griffith

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11 Responses »

  1. Assalamualaikum,

    We can not issue a fatwa straightaway, but I say that your marriage was not Nikah. And without Nikah, he is not your husband. The person performing the Nikah should be Muslim, there must be two Muslim witnesses and the Wali or his representative. There must be the exchange of the Mahr during the Nikah and your husband should throw a party which is called Waleemah.

    Exchange of vows, and other ceremonies/rituals that are non Muslim give no validity to the relationship, rather it amounts to imitating the Kuffar, which is forbidden as warned by Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. And Allah Knows Best. So I suggest you to repent to Allah and perform a Nikah at a Masjid from a Qaadhi.

    Abu Abdul Bari Editor

    • The marriage was done in the presence of my parents who obviously are Muslims. The only condition it does not fulfill is the MAHR. The witness were also muslims. The waleemah was held as well. Everything fulfills the conditions except MAHR. What do you say now?

      • I can only tell you what I think. I am far far from being qualified to give a fatwa.

        I say you should do a Nikah because what you did was not a Nikaah and it involved imitation of the Kuffar, which has been warned against by Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

        The stipulation of the mahr is secondary in your case, while exchange of mahr is obligatory. The contract is itself doubtful. If you want a fatwa, you should contact a scholar, a mufti among those upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.

        Abu Abdul Bari Editor

      • Sister ,

        More importantly is your husband a Muslim ? A marriage with non islam is not allowed in sight of Allah ..

    • Technically speaking, a nikah does not have to be officiated by a Muslim Imam, Qadi, or anyone at all. The primary requirements of nikah, without which it cannot be considered valid, are mutual agreement of the bride and groom, presence of the bride's wali, presence of two adult and sane witnesses, and payment of mahr.

      Mahr is an absolute requirement of nikah. Since there was no mahr paid at this ceremony, it seems the marriage is Islamically invalid, and Allah knows best.

      Secondary elements of nikah - meaning they are Sunnah and highly recommended - are:

      - A knowledgeable Muslim should conduct the ceremony and deliver a marriage khutbah
      - A marriage contract should be signed by groom, bride and witnesses
      - A walimah should be held after consummation of the marriage

      Therefore, g.griffith, I second brother Abu Abdul Bari's recommendation that you conduct a proper Islamic nikah; and until you do so, you should not consider yourself married.

      Wael Editor

  2. Sister your marriage is not recognised in Islam. I work in the marriage register dept in the UK and can confirm your marriage ceremony is only for the purpose of recognition in the UK as husband and wife. There is no religious benefit from a UK registry marriage, in the eyes of UK law you are husband and wife but in Islam your husband is still haram for you due to the fact the whole requirements required in Islam the nikka have not been done.

  3. salaam

    from what the sister explains all they have done is an english marriage so that he can get his indefinite leave to remain / stay not a niqaa so they are not halal for each other

  4. How can an Islamic marriage be performed by a non-Muslim woman, sister? Just stop and think about it.
    Do you think Allah (SWT) will recognise it as marriage? Don’t deprive yourselves of Blessings and Barakah of Allah SWT, do the Nikah properly and start halal marriage, Inshallah.

  5. Assalamwalekum
    I completely understand why you needed a to do a court marriage to get residency visa for your husband. And for a court marriage it doesnt matter who is acting as a magistrate. However its not an islamic nikka even though it can be used for you to live as a legal married couple in uk. However islamically you would be living in sin. So please go to a masjid with your parents as witnesses and get a proper nikkah done before you consider your husband hallal. My sister too had to get herself a court marriage for visa regulations but she and her husband got a proper nikkah done before they aproached the court. Which is i think you should have also done.
    From your post i gather that you havnt had any relations with your husband yet so dont worry. You havnt done anything wrong yet. Just get a proper nikkah done before it becomes too late.

  6. assalamu alaikum,

    My father also had me and my fiancé registered but our nikkah did not take place. And when he was available at the time of registration we both did not sign because the lawyer did not ask us at that time. The purpose of this registration was also for the sake of citizenship. After my fiancé left for his country the lawyer called in to say that we forgot to sign and I had to sign for him and myself.

    So we are totally not married in Islam but what if he want to give me divorce will that have anything to do with marriage? Because it was only for the sake of papers.

    Jazakallah khair.

    • Salaam, I don't understand your question. You did not get married Islamically, so how can he give you divorce?

      If you mean a legal divorce, you must file the proper papers with the court. Either one of you can do it.

      Wael Editor

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