Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Was I ever really married?

Real marriage or fake marriage?Asalam o aliakum,

I had a proposal come to me when I was 18, I told my parents I would like an engagement ceremony, as I knew that we were quite different personalities and we can see if we are compatible whilst engaged. I was studying at university and came home for the weekend, a few hours later the imam was at our house as they arranged a nikah, I approached my father stating I wanted an engagement to begin with.  My father stated that for honour of the family I should comply with his request for nikah, as all relatives had also arrived.

No rukhsati was done, but my husband was 6 years my senior and said we had to sleep together by Islamic law, unfortunately my knowledge was very limited so we did.

Within three months we realised that we just didn't like each other and we stopped talking after 3 months and never spoke 2 each other for 6 years.  Our parents were pushing to complete the marriage and said we should talk and meet I sat my dad down and said that I didn't want to get married to him my dad said he will do whatever will keep me happy but to just meet him as 6 yrs ppl can change, so I did, and I never told him as I wanted to keep the meeting civil and we were in a public, but when I went home I told my parents I did not want to go ahead as we don't have any common ground.

My parents said it's fine and everyone changes when they get married and its in my mind etc but the assured me that things would be fine. I made it very clear that they are leaving me with no option (as I could not run away from home or publicly humiliate them by not listening to them at all) but to agree with them.

After the meetings me and my husband never spoke as we would just argue. The marriage took place and no nikah was redone as apparently the first one was still valid. Before the marriage he said I could still work, and I could complete my studies.

It was a complete disaster, he just never cared about me, loved me, paid any attention, asked if I needed any money, I wasn't allowed out of the house, he didn't like me working, didn't want me to complete my studies, he didn't like me seeing my parents, friends, he was never at home always out with his friends, he would stop talking to me over small things for weeks he then sent me to my parents house after a disagreement.

He came to my house with his parents and made sure my parents were there and in front of my father and his he openly discussed our sex life, and how didn't like the fact I was able to do things on my own, or I never asked him before I could have my meal, drink water, I never got his permission if i wanted to pray etc..

I never went back, I was married and living with him for 3 months and I left him 8 months ago and we have no contact whatsoever apart from when he came to my parents to drop all of my belongings. He recently text me saying 'i'm divorcing you'.

Can you please advise me on the above points?


- misbah44

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9 Responses »

  1. I did not understand what you mean by rukhsati here.

    By any means I am not a knowledgeable person on Fiqh here, but from your description it seems to me that you were only engaged with that boy; you were not married. In Islam, engagement does not make the bride and groom halaal for each other. They remain haraam for each other until they do nikah. That's why it was unlawful on your family to force you to go out and make out with that boy only after engagement.

    Even if the nikah had been done, the solution is easy as you do not have a child. Get divorced! If nikah wan not performed, just cancel this relationship.

    • I think the Nikah was invalid since she didn't say yes three times sincerely, and when the opportunity arose to have a valid Nikah done with her and the man's consent (The marriage took place and no nikah was redone as apparently the first one was still valid. ) it didn't occur.
      I cannot answer this question at all, and I think the lack of responses to it show that a lot of the people here are confused. This is something a scholar should analyze to figure out if the marriage was null from the advert, is null with the text message, or null cause it involved breaking laws (forcing her into the marriage, having her ask for permission to pray, unfulfilled 'vows' etc).

      SisterZ is wonderful at giving recommendations for people you can talk to, Misbah, so await her response with that info. I think you need to speak with whomever she recommends, figure out the legation of your marriage, and, if needed, formally divorce him. I hope you have a happy life free of him as he seems someone who is not good enough for you, and finish your studies.

      • wasalam,

        thank you so much for the comment! but i am still awaiting for a response from sister Z but she has not commented!

        if you know anyone who may help then please do advise


    • salaam o alaikum,

      rukhsati means giving you away, so you do a nikah but the father does not give his daughter away but stays at her fathers house until a formal wedding take place. the nikah is done with a imam and a engagement ceremony type party, so u invite a total of 20 witness's and you get the nikah paper signed by 2 witnesses but the bride does not leave her fathers house.

      the only halaal thing was at the time of this nikah was as a naive person, when he said we have had our nikah done, you are now my wife and islamically what say goes so he wanted me to have a physical relationship with him, which i did but only took place twice.

      if you can help me solve this i will be sooo grateful.

  2. Salaamalikum,

    Dear sister according to me the nikah was valid as you mention that there was Imam and I assume you were asked to accept the person in question to accept him as your husband which again I assume you must have accepted.

    If things happen as I mentioned above then you were married and if things happened some other way then you were not married according to Islam.

    If you have any other problem do post it.

    may Allah Ta'allal bless you and solve all your problems.

    • wasalama

      yes, there was an imam and he did ask me but like i said when i spoke to my dad about this proposal i said to him i was happy to only have an engagement but i came home from uni one day and my parents were aware, as they were told on the same day a few hours before i was made aware, that my nikah was to happen on the same day but i only found out about an hour before the nikah and all my family were round and it became a matter of my dads respects.

      and things did happen as i have said above but i am also told that if you don't share a sexual relationship as husband and wife for a certain period then your nikah is not valid.

      please advise

  3. how do i know who is really answering ?? are there any scholars to answer??

    • aros, the answer is no, none of us (including the editors) are scholars. That's why this is billed as a "common-sense" advice website, and that's why none of us editors have answered this particular question, because it requires a fatwa from a scholar.

      We do not give fatwas or Islamic rulings.

      Wael Editor

  4. Salaams,

    I think this is a perfect example of how things get confusing when cultural traditions get mixed in with shariah.

    From what I've studied, there are only a few requirements for a marriage to be Islamically valid.

    1. You must have a wali representing you and to "give you away" to your groom. In this case, it appears the wali was your father. A wali's duty is to make sure that everything is being conducted correctly, that the groom you have chosen is not going to be bad for you, and looks out for all your best interests as you start your new life. What a wali is not, is someone who decides for you who to marry, or answers on your behalf when asked if you agree to marry the groom.

    2. You must be given a dowry by the groom. The dowry must be given directly to you, not to your wali, father, family, or anyone else. It is YOURS to do with as you wish. If a bride is not given any type of dowry, no matter how small, the marriage is invalid. If the dowry is given to someone other than the bride (family member, wali, etc) and kept by them as "a trust", the marriage is invalid.

    3. There must be one Imam to officiate and at least two male witnesses. It sounds like you had enough witnesses and you had an imam. However, in the actual conducting of the nikah, the imam asks the bride and groom each three times if they accept the other as a spouse. If each do not answer affirmatively all three times, the marriage is not valid. If someone acting on the part of the bride or groom (such as a father or other family member) are answering the questions, and not the bride and groom themselves, the marriage is invalid. If the Imam doesn't ask these questions at all, the marriage is invalid.

    4. Finally, if the marriage is not consummated (the couple engages in intercourse) in a reasonable amount of time (which can vary on circumstances), the marriage is invalid. However it sounds as if this particular aspect would not have applied to you.

    If all of these aspects were fulfilled at your "rukhsati", that would constitute an Islamically legal marriage. There would be no difference from that and a "formal wedding" (that you mentioned having later on) in Islam, regardless of whose house you lived at afterwards. "Engagements" are not a requirement of Islamic marriage, nor are they necessary. Once you agree to marry someone, on your own free will, that would make you "engaged", whether you formally announce it or throw a party or whatever. Honestly, engagement should not be a period of seeing if you're compatible, you should NEVER consent to marry someone if you don't feel you are compatible with them at least a little bit. Get to know them before agreeing to marriage (ie: before getting engaged), because intentions are of grave importance in Islam. Intending to marry someone should be taken seriously, and only when you are reasonably certain that you are going to marry should you consider yourself "engaged".

    Hopefully this gives you a simple standard to weigh your nikah against to determine if it was indeed valid or not. What you heard about a marriage "becoming" invalid if a period of time w/o sexual intercourse is NOT true, as there are varieties of reasons that couples may abstain for significant periods of time, whether willfully or not. If a spouse is withholding intercourse from the other who desires it however, this is a legal grounds to request divorce.

    If you determine your nikah was valid based on the above, and he has issued his first talaq (divorce), he may take you back w/in three menstrual cycles if he wishes and the marriage can legally continue.
    he can only do that two more times and no more. If he lets three menstrual cycles pass without taking you back, you and he will be permanently divorced and cannot remarry until you have married and divorced someone else. Furthermore, if within that period of three mens. cycles he issues two more talaq's (by saying he divorces you), the divorce will be final at the issuance of the third one. You also have the means of divorcing him by returning the value of the dowry he gave you and issuing him talaq.

    However, if you determine that the nikah was not valid because not all the mandatory requirements were met, then you are free to marry whom YOU chose.

    And Allah always knows best.

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