We are, alHamdulillaah, deeply in love with each other but (unfortunately – Allaah forgive us) communicated everyday (phone & internet) like fiancees and we found it too difficult to refrain from talking to each other (despite our vigorous efforts).
We had to wait long for the Moroccan authorities to finalise the papers. As we have accepted each other for marriage and to prevent further sinning, we decided to get married (at least) Islaamically but in secrecy because her family would not be happy knowing we got married without our parents’ consent. So we got 2 sane, mature (23 & 18 year old) male witnesses to sit in our presence and I asked her in these words (with the intention of marrying her right then) “I would like to take you as my wife for the amount of — as Mahr, do you accept?” She replied (with the intention of getting married to me right then) in these words “I accept”. I repeated the question several times (in the same manner) and she replied every time (in the same manner). Her brothers were fully aware of our questions & answers. However, before asking the question to the girl, I simply said to the witnesses that I wanted them to witness what I was asking her and her reply to that.
We plan to officialise the marriage in accordance with Moroccan legalities as soon as the authorisation is given by the Moroccan authorities. We intend to keep our islaamic marriage between us until the official marriage. I don’t think the witnesses know that Islaamic nikaah can be performed in the above manner.
UESTION: As far as an Islaamic nikaah is concerned, have we met (at least) the minimum requirements of a nikah (even if the witnesses are unaware that Islaamic nikaah can be performed in such a simple way) and are we husband & wife to each other? We know there are many sunan to perform (eg WALIMAH) and we intend to fulfil those on our official marriage. Please kindly provide references that validates a marriage in secrecy in the manner performed by us (sincere apologies for requesting the references – I trust your work – but it’s for my wife’s family as she would like to inform them but they’ll want shar’ee proof that validates our nikaah).
According to Shariah there is no such concept of secret Nikah. The purpose of Nikah is I’laan (to announce). Rasulullah () is reported to have said “Announce the Nikah and have them performed in the Masaajid” (Mishkaat).
Nikah is a proposal and acceptance of marriage from the bride and bridegroom or their representatives and witnessed by at least two men. Once this criterion has been fulfilled the strange man and woman now become husband and wife according to Shariah. The marriage will be valid even though it may not be recognized by the legal authorities. (Fataawa Hindiyya Vol.1 Pg. 296 Darul Kutubul Ilmiyya)
Your statement “I would like to take you as my wife for the amount of —-Mehr” and her subsequent acceptance in the presence of two male witnesses, constitutes a valid Shar’ie Nikah. Therefore you are now husband and wife even though the “official” announced Nikah has not taken place. (Ibid Pg. 298 Darul Kutubul Ilmiyya)
Walima is held after the couple meets. Since the nikah is valid, you may have the Walima now. There is no need to have an elaborate function. Feeding few people will also be sufficient for Walima.
And Allah Knows Best
Muhammed Zakariyya Desai
Student: Darul Ifta
Checked and Approved: Mufti Ebrahim Desai