Is It Permissible to Have a ‘Secret’ Nikah without Informing Our Parents?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan


I am in a relationship with a nice boy, and we want to get married to avoid falling into sin (totally aware our relationship was a sin, but we’re not perfect and striving to be better), but we know our parents won’t allow this. Our parents want us to study but allow us to go out and such and are unjust in not allowing the marriage as we would be able to care for each other. Can we have a ‘secret’ nikah so as not to partake in sin without guardians present at the local masjid?


Your intention to marry to avoid sin is commendable. However, the option of a secret marriage is problematic. It is not permitted in the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence, even though it may be permitted in another school. In any case, marrying in secret without your parents’ consent will cause many future regrets.

I advise you to identify a scholar in whom your family has confidence and from whom they usually seek religious advice. Schedule a meeting with this scholar and explain your situation to him. Have an open mind and be willing to accept the scholar’s advice. If the scholar agrees that marriage is the best solution for the two of you, ask him to speak to your parents. They may be more willing to engage with a scholar with whom they have confidence than to engage with you.

Lastly, I want to emphasize that if marriage is not possible for you at this point, it is not a justification for you to engage in haram. Allah tests us all differently, and it may be that Allah is testing you today only to grant you great goodness shortly.

May Allah place patience in your heart and make you successful in this trial. If marriage is best for you, we pray that Allah facilitates it for you soon. Amin.

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received ijazah ‘ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib’ Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib’ Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi’i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.