Q. My husband married me over the phone whilst he was in England and I was in South Africa. He asked me over the phone; ‘Do you accept me as your husband?’ I said ‘I accept you as my husband.’ Is our Nikah valid?
A. In the case of conducting a Nikah via the phone, the following procedure is necessary for a Nikah to be valid;
a) The offer (Ijaab) and acceptance (Qabool) should be conducted in the presence of two male witnesses or one male witness and two female witnesses.
b) A representative should be appointed by either party to conduct the Nikah in either of the parties’ respective locations.
As such, in the enquired situation, the offer (Ijab) and acceptance (Qabool) was conducted in the absence of witnesses and in the absence of a representative and hence, the Nikah was invalid.
Alternatively, in such a case, you may appoint a representative in England on your behalf to accept (Qabool) the offer (Ijab) made (from your husband) in the presence of two male witnesses or one male witness and two female witnesses. Accordingly, the Nikah would be considered valid if it is conducted in this way. (Jadeed Fiqhi Masaail 1/192-193)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa