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Thinking of doing a secret nikah

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Thinking on doing a secret nikah.


Firstly, I would like to say that having any contact or relationship with a girl before marriage is strictly prohibited and unlawful in Islam. This is nothing but Satan trying to lead you astray. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has said, “Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents, that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire.” (Surah Fatir v.6)

Islam is a religion that instructs its followers to be moral and modest and does not allow its followers to tread the path of immorality and immodesty.  Allah enjoys on both males and females to restrain their eyes from looking at each other. “Enjoin the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty… Likewise enjoin the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty… (Surah An Nur: 30-31)

Ahadiths on the prohibition of men and women intermingling are many. Jarir ibn Abdullah narrates that I asked the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) about the sudden glance (that is cast) on the face (of a non-Mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes. (Muslim, 1015)

Uqba bin Amir narrates that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Beware of entering upon the ladies.” A man from the Ansar said, “Allah’s Apostle! What about the in-laws of the wife?” The Prophet replied, “The in-laws of the wife are death itself.” (Bukhari, Vol 7, 159)

The above verse of the Quran and the Ahadiths of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) indicate the importance of observing segregation and to refrain from intermingling. A person is instructed to turn the gaze away when a glance is cast on a non-Mahram accidentally let alone on an arranged meeting.

In another Hadith Ibn Abbas (radi allahu anhu) narrates that Abu Huraira raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated from the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) who said   “The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it.” (Sahih Bukhari: 8.260)

With regards to your situation, I personally advise you to go about things in a correct manner. You must at once stop all informal communication with her. Perform the prayer of guidance (Salat al-Istikhara) and ask Allah to guide you. Speak to your parents about this issue and f they are happy then let someone from your family propose to the girl’s family on your behalf. If marriage with her is destined for you, you will marry her; otherwise Allah may choose someone better for you.  I would not advise you to perform a secret nikah without going through the aforementioned alternative.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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