Friend Wants to Marry a Non-Muslim. Is It Permissible to Witness Their Civil Wedding?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question:My best friend is Muslim and is involved in a relationship with a non-Muslim woman. He has proposed to her and she has accepted. They have also decided to move in together.

Is it permissible for me to be a witness to their civil wedding or even be present during the ceremony? Is it permissible for me to help them pack and move into their apartment ?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out clarity on this sensitive issue.

Assisting in sin

There is a clear legal principle (qa’ida fiqhiyya) behind this: That which is not permitted to do oneself, one is not permitted to assist another in.

“O you who believe! Violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of Allah, nor of the Sacred Month, nor of the animals brought for sacrifice, nor the garlanded people or animals, etc. [Marked by the garlands on their necks made from the outer part of the tree-stems (of Makkah) for their security], nor the people coming to the Sacred House (Makkah), seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when you finish the Ihram (of Hajj or ‘Umrah), you may hunt, and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.” [Qur’an, 5:2]

Is it possible for you to encourage your friend to do a simple nikah? This way, at least they have a valid marriage contract in the eyes of Allah, and his future children will be legitimate.

Good character

Continue to treat him with compassion and respect, but draw the line when you need to. I pray that Allah guides your friend to that which pleases Him, and blesses him with success in both deen and dunya.

Please see:
What Are the Minimum Steps That Must Be Taken for a Marriage to Be Valid?

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.