Is a Legal Marriage Enough to Be Deemed Religiously Married?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaikum

I have been told that if one has done a legal marriage, there is no real need to do the Nikkah (religious contract). Me and my partner have done the english side of the marriage first, but have yet to do a Nikkah.

Is the Nikkah really necessary?

Answer:Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

If the marriage ceremony fulfilled the considerations of the Sacred Law, namely, (1) a clear offer and acceptance, and (2) the presence of two male, or one male and two female, witnesses, then the contract would be valid.

However, if there is any doubt in the matter, you should consult with a local scholar. Otherwise, there is wisdom in having a traditional ceremony as well because of the inevitable blessings of a gathering which fulfils the sunna. Further, and if in the presence of the righteous, you benefit from the supplications of those close and beloved to Allah Most High.

Please also see: Can I Marry in Secret With the Minimum Conditions for a Valid Marriage in Order to Avoid Fornication? and: The Fiqh of the Marriage Feast (Walima)

And consider taking the following free class: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.