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What are the minimum requirements for marriage between a couple of hanafi madhab?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

we are engaged and are scheduled to marry in 2 to 3 years. Since Islam doesnt recognize engagement as any type of halal relationship, can we just have a nikkah (no ruksati) without anyone knowing? What are the requirements besides 2 male witnesses? of what age do the witnesses must be? must a wali be present? JazkaAllah


Q: I am proposed to a girl. Our families want us to marry only next year.
Since we are seeing each other, can we perform a secret marriage to avoid
committing adultery and officially marry next year?
A: Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised, ‘Announce the Nikah.’
(Mishkaat pg.272; Qadeemi)
The wisdom behind the announcement is to avoid any misconception of an
illegal and illicit relationship between the boy and girl. Although the
first and secret marriage for the purpose of legalizing intimacy will be
valid, but we are also advised to abstain from doubt and disgrace. If the
Nikah is not announced, people witnessing the relationship will regard the
relationship as Haraam and illegal.
Furthermore, what if the girl conceives and gives birth before the official
‘second’ marriage? The negative factors surrounding that as well as the
child for the rest of his/her life are well known. Therefore, we advise that
if there is a dire need to fulfil one’s desires, the Nikah be expedited to
avoid the abovementioned negative factors of a secret marriage.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

A Nikah is performed with a proposal (Iejaab) by the male or female and
acceptance (Qubool) by the male or female in the past and/or present tense
in the presence of two male Muslim witnesses (Hidaaya vol. 2).

It is Sunnat that the marriage be announced and performed in the Masjid and
the bride be represented by her Mahram (father, brother, etc.). The bride
gives consent to her representative (Wakeel) in the presence of two
witnesses to perform her marriage at the Masjid. At the Masjid, the Wakeel
represents the bride in the presence of the two witnesses who must be
trustworthy and pious male Muslims. They should not be from among the girls
ascendants e.g. father, etc. nor from her descendants, e.g. son, etc.

Having said that, if the sister (attained puberty) wishes to represent
herself at the time and place of Nikah, then she may do so without a Wakeel.
This is according to the Hanafi Madhab – according to Shaaf’ee permission is

A marriage without the two witnesses is not valid. the relationship will be
illegal and Haraam.

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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