Q. How should a Nikah take place in the Masjid if the bride is not present?
A. The procedure of Nikah takes place as follows:
A female gives consent to her representative (Wakeel or Mahram -unmarriageable relative like father, brother, etc.) preferably, in the presence of two male Muslim witnesses or one male and two female witnesses to perform her marriage in the Masjid.
N.B. In this case, the presence of witnesses is not necessary. It is simply preferable.
The marriage is performed in the Masjid by an exchange of offer and acceptance between the male and female’s representative in the presence of at least two male Muslim witnesses or one male witness and two female witnesses.
N.B. In this case, the presence of witnesses is necessary. A marriage will be invalid in the absence of these witnesses.
It is not a requirement for the validity of the Nikah to announce the Mahr amount in the Masjid at the time of Nikah. The one performing the Nikah may simply conclude the marriage by stating, ‘…on a mahr amount as agreed upon between the parties.’
After the Nikah is performed, it is Sunnah to consummate the marriage prior to conducting a Walimah. However, it is permissible to consummate the Nikah after a Walimah as well.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.