Fatwa: # 16586
Category: Marriage (Nikah)
Country: United States
Date: 14th April 2008


What is the difference between Shia nikah and Sunni nikah?


I have raised below question many times but for some reason I haven’t got any answer. Inshallah I hope this time I will get the answer from you guys, as I seriously need your help.I am Imran and I belong to a Sunni family. I want to get married to a Shia girl. My family and her family both got agreed. But, her father says he wants to do Shia Nikah 1st after that I can perform Sunni nikah and convert her to Sunni, for this she has to perform Shia nikah 1st. But then my family says she has to do Sunni nikah 1st. On this issue my wedding is on hold. As I was suppose to get married in MAY’08. She said once we to the ritual from her side (because her father is a heart patient). She is ready to accept our Islam and do the Sunni nikha. In order to go head with this matter I have to perform Shia nikah 1st.  Before I ask you my question further I want to let you know her belief, so based on that you can comment or suggest me to do anything. Her father says once she does shia nikah 1st (this is his wish) she can perform sunni nikha and accept the Islam (sunni way) and follow the sunna of Rasulullah (saw). 


Her belief :Believes in Allah and his messenger Rasulullah (saw). 
Believes that after Rasulullah (saw) Ali (RA) was the Kalifa. 
Believes in 12 imams – but she never practice religion!, Beside above 3 things she has no knowledge of Islam.  

MY Question’s:Can I perform Shia nikah 1st then convert her to Sunni then perform Sunni nikah, as shia nikah will be not valid on me?
 What is the difference between Shia nikah and Sunni nikah?  
Please advice me what to do? Hope to hear from you soon. 


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

It is not permissible to conduct a Shia nikah. The issue is not only about the nikah. It is about aqeedah and expressing complacency to the Shia aqeedah. Consider this. If a person intends marrying a Christian woman and she requests having the Christian nikah at a church and then she consents having it in the Musjid later, surely no one will permit that as that will be a tacit approval to Christianity and its beliefs. You should remain firm in your belief and do not submit to having a Shia nikah.

And Allah knows best


Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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