Secret Marriage and Pre-Marital Interaction
Considering the following situation: Brother X is engaged to be married to Sister Y, with both families in complete approval of this union, but one set of parents desire that the couple wait until the Brother has graduated from a university, (which means the couple has to wait over a year) would it be possible for the couple, who fear fitna and don’t want to be in this difficult waiting period situation to get married without her Wali present, but in front of witnesses and keep it a secret otherwise. Then get married again with parents later on?
What advice can you offer young adults in the west who are put in the uncomfortable situation of being encouraged to keep certain communication with their fiance and see them at family gatherings on a regular basis and so on, but have to treat them like a non-mehram at the same time? Since they aren’t communicating to make a decision on marriage anymore, all interaction is Haraam right?
In the name of Allah the Inspirer of truth
It would not be permissible in this case to marry discreetly. Try to convince the parents to at least allow the nikah to be solemnized so you would be considered husband and wife and leave the consummation for later. This is definitely a better and safer choice than remaining without nikah in a long engagement. If this is not possible then you have to avoid any contact or interaction, which you have also correctly observed.
Marrying discreetly without the community or the general family knowing would put you in a place of accusation and suspicion when you interact. Even if many of them do not care (or even encourage interaction outside marriage), there will be others who will look on with suspicion and consider it a sinful practice. Putting yourself in places of suspicion is also to be avoided.
A narration which is more correctly attributed to ‘Umar radiyallahu anhu states, “Abstain from (placing yourself in) places of suspicion”
And in Allah’s control is all success.
Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf