Q: A man and a woman were having an affair about 3 years back. They later got separated because the man was already married and he refused to marry her. Now, almost one year after their separation, the parents of that woman were pressurizing her to get married somewhere else. She started insisting that she wants that man to marry her. When he said no, she threatened him that she would commit suicide or accuse him of rape (which is very conveniently possible in my country) or defame him if he did not marry her.
To avoid this situation this man contacted a local imam and asked him to perform his “dummy” marriage with that woman so that she may be convinced. They both went to the masjid and got married accordingly. They got a nikahnama on which both of them had signed but the man did not signed correctly as he did not want to marry her. Mehr was mentioned in the nikahnama but was never given. No Quranic aayaat or kalimah were read and no process as mentioned in the Quran was followed. The witnesses and audience signed but they were paid for to sign.
Also, the date mentioned on the nikahnama was manipulated to show that they got married way back in 2016. The woman was not able to guess that it was not a true marriage as she has embraced Islam for this marriage and is new in Islam. The date was manipulated on her saying only to justify the haraam acts done by them in the past.
Now the parents of the woman came to know about this marriage and things went out of control. The woman is still in her parent’s house. No one from either side wants them to stay married and even the man does not want her as his wife.
1. Is their marriage valid or null and void?
2. If their marriage is valid, and the parents of the woman and the man did not want to remain in that marriage, is the man required to divorce the woman?
3. What about mehr?
1 – 2. It is simple that he must divorce her, even though it is not in the presence of the wife.
3. If there was no seclusion with her after the nikaah then he has to pay her half the mahr.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)