Fatwa: # 42014
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Date: 5th November 2019


Is nikāh valid without witnesses?


I have submitted a question regarding nikah with a Christian woman who might embrace Islam later in life.

Now my question is can we do nikah in private without witness as we both don't want to disclose it and want to keep it secret.

Purpose of this nikah is to avoid sin of sexual intimacy.

JazakAllah khair


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

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

A nikāh is valid only if it is witnessed by at least two adult Muslims. A nikāh without any witnesses is not a valid nikāh. If you meant performing a valid nikāh with at least two adult witnesses, the nikāh will be valid.[1] However, we wish to caution you against marrying in secret. Rasūlullāh ﷺ advised us,

“أعلنوا النكاح” مسند أحمد

“Announce the nikāh and make it known” Musnad Ahmad

A secret nikāh comes with lots of challenges. What if people in public come to know about your union with the woman? They would accuse you of having an immoral relationship. What if the woman falls pregnant? Furthermore, what if she does not embrace Islām and more so if you are weak in practicing your duties as a Muslim? Consider all these angles before you make a decision. If you wish to marry, do so openly. Make an effort for that woman to accept Islām. Once you remove all uncertainties, then it will be safe for you to marry her. Marriage is not only about sex and intimacy. It is also about the responsibilities and consequences that flow from the marriage. A woman should not be used for only for sexual gratification. [2]

We advise you to exercise restraint until you make a correct and proper decision to marry. In the meantime, you should fast to control your desires. Also, abstain from all such avenues that would aggravate your desires. Most importantly, be conscious of Allāh Ta’ālā and know well that Allāh Ta’ālā sees everything and knows everything you do.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Ikraam Elias Gangat

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] البناية شرح الهداية (5/ 6 )

النكاح ينعقد بالإيجاب والقبول... ولا ينعقد نكاح المسلمين إلا بحضور شاهدين حرين عاقلين بالغين مسلمين رجلين، أو رجل وامرأتين عدولا


درر الحكام شرح غرر الأحكام (1/ 327)

 النكاح ينعقد بالإيجاب والقبول


 [2] شرح مختصر الطحاوي للجصاص (4/ 245)

وأيضًا:"نهى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن نكاح السر"، وإذا لم يحضرهما، فهو نكاح السر، فلا يجوز


تبيين الحقائق شرح كنز الدقائق وحاشية الشلبي (2/ 98)

ولما روي أنه - عليه الصلاة والسلام - «نهى عن نكاح السر» ولنا قوله - عليه الصلاة والسلام - «لا نكاح إلا بشهود» وأتي عمر بن الخطاب - رضي الله عنه - بنكاح لم يشهد عليه إلا رجل وامرأة فقال: هذا نكاح السر فلا أجيزه ولا يلزمنا ما رووا فيه؛ لأنه بحضور الشاهدين يحصل الإعلان ويخرج من أن يكون سرا

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