Category: Marriage (Nikah)
Fatwa#: 39664
Asked Country: United Kingdom

Answered Date: Feb 21,2018

Title: Will my marriage be valid?


Assalamu alaikum.


I need some advice in relation to permissibility of marriage & divorce under secular law in a western country and the sharia.


I am from a European country and have three children from a previous marriage.  We divorced Islamically just under 12 months ago but the process of the secular divorce as recognised by the state is still ongoing because of negotiations with my ex-wife.  So, my understanding is that I am divorced in the eyes of Allah but the state recognises me to be married.


In the autumn of this year I met, online, a Muslim sister who lives outside Europe in a Muslim country.  She is also divorced and has a child (the child’s father has chosen to have no further involvement in the child’s life).  We are both in our early 40s and the Muslim sister’s father is no longer alive so I cannot have this discussion with him.  I have met her mother and brothers and sisters when I visited her home country.


I would like to marry this Muslim sister.  I cannot marry her legally under secular law here in my country until my divorce is finalised legally with my ex wife and until this sister gets a visa which is likely to take several months.


My question is whether it is Islamically permissible for me to marry this sister with an Islamic marriage (nikah) now so that we are married in the eyes of Allah, and then marry under secular law when my divorce is formally approved by the secular courts in this country?


Thank you for your advice on this matter.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Your Islamic marriage (nikah) will be valid on condition that the nikah is performed correctly[i].


The procedure of a valid nikah is:

1)    Ijaab (a proposal to marry) from the boy or girl in the present or past tense. For example, “I marry you” or “I have married you”.

2)    Qabool (an acceptance of the proposal) in the present tense or past tense, for example, “I accept you in marriage” or “I have accepted you in marriage”.

3)    The above stated Ijaab and qabool must take place in the presence of at least two adult male Muslims or an adult Muslim male and two adult Muslim females who understand that nikah is taking place.



And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Shibly bin Mizan

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai


مختصر القدوري (ص: 145)

لنكاح ينعقد بالإيجاب والقبول بلفظين يعبر بهما عن الماضي أو يعبر بأحدهما عن الماضي وبالآخر عن المستقبل مثل أن يقول: زوجتي فيقول زوجتك

ولا يعقد نكاح المسلمين إلا بحضور شاهدين حرين بالغين عاقلين مسلمين أو رجل



المحيط البرهاني (3/ 24)

عقد النكاح ينعقد بلفظين يعبر بهما عن الماضي نحو أن تقول المرأة: زوجت، ويقول الرجل: قبلت، قال: وينعقد أيضاً بلفظين أيضاً، يعبر بأحدهما عن المستقبل نحو أن يقول الرجل: زوجت


الهداية شرح البداية (1/ 189)

النكاح ينعقد بالإيجاب والقبول بلفظين يعبر بهما عن الماضي لأن الصيغة وإن كانت للإخبار وضعا فقد جعلت للإنشاء شرعا دفعا للحاجة وينعقد بلفظين يعبر بأحدهما عن الماضي وبالآخر عن المستقبل مثل أن يقول زوجني فيقول زوجتك لأن هذا توكيل بالنكاح والواحد يتولى طرفي النكاح على ما نبينه إن شاء الله تعالى وينعقد بلفظ النكاح


بدائع الصنائع - ث (2/ 229)

 أَمَّا بَيَانُ اللَّفْظِ الذي يَنْعَقِدُ بِهِ النِّكَاحُ بِحُرُوفِهِ فَنَقُولُ وَبِاَللَّهِ التَّوْفِيقُ لَا خِلَافَ أَنَّ النِّكَاحَ يَنْعَقِدُ بِلَفْظِ الْإِنْكَاحِ وَالتَّزْوِيجِ وَهَلْ يَنْعَقِدُ بِلَفْظِ الْبَيْعِ وَالْهِبَةِ وَالصَّدَقَةِ وَالتَّمْلِيكِ قال أَصْحَابُنَا رَحِمَهُمُ اللَّهُ يَنْعَقِدُ وقال الشَّافِعِيُّ لَا يَنْعَقِدُ إلَّا بِلَفْظِ الْإِنْكَاحِ وَالتَّزْوِيجِ

 وَاحْتَجَّ بِمَا رُوِيَ عن النبي صلى اللَّهُ عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قال اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ في النِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّهُنَّ عِنْدَكُمْ عَوَانٌ اتَّخَذْتُمُوهُنَّ بِأَمَانَةِ اللَّهِ وَاسْتَحْلَلْتُمْ فُرُوجَهُنَّ بِكَلِمَةِ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ التي أَحَلَّ بها الْفُرُوجَ في كِتَابِهِ الْكَرِيمِ لَفْظُ الْإِنْكَاحِ وَالتَّزْوِيجِ فَقَطْ قال اللَّهُ تَعَالَى { وَأَنْكِحُوا الْأَيَامَى مِنْكُمْ } وقال سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى { زوجناكها }



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