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Marriage Contract Validity

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question Summary

In our area, the girls’ father doesn’t say “I hand my daughter to you” to the groom during the marriage contract. Are these marriages valid?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah guide every dimension of our lives to that which pleases Him.

The Marriage Contract

The spoked marriage contract (aqd al-nikah) is the explicitly stated spoken agreement (sigha) comprising a verbal offer by the guardian and verbal acceptance by the groom. The oral agreement is valid in languages other than Arabic, even when one can speak Arabic. [Keller, Reliance of the Traveler]

The spoken form (sigha) of marriage is not valid if allusive. Nor is it valid without:

1.      An offering statement from the guardian that affects it, namely “I marry you” (i.e., to her, the Arabic ‘zawwaja’ means to marry someone to another).

2.      An immediate spoken acceptance by the groom, namely “I marry her,” or “I accept her marriage.” [Keller, Reliance of the Traveler]

If the above conditions are present in the marriage contracts you referred to, they are valid, but if not, they are not correct, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick


Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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