What to Do in Case of the Unfulfilment of Integrals in Nikah?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

If a nikah has been conducted with an offer and acceptance as follows:

The boy said, “I have taken you as my wife. Have you accepted?” The girl replied, “Yes, I have accepted.”

If we made this contract in front of three witnesses, i.e., the girl’s parents and another man. All three have heard the acceptance from both sides.

Suppose the nikah has not yet been physically consummated. In that case, i.e., the girl is still a virgin, according to the Shafi’i school, should the contract be made again with the girl’s father acting as guardian in front of 2 witnesses?

Answer

May Allah reward you for wanting to make sure your nikah is valid, but you should prepare beforehand to avoid pain and trouble.

Integrals of Marriage

It says in the Reliance of the Traveller:

m3.1 marriage has integrals (A) which are five in number:

  • the spoken form;
  • the witnesses;
  • the bride’s guardian;
  • the groom;
  • and the bride.

The Witnesses

M3.3 The second integral is that the marriage has witnesses; it is not valid unless two witnesses are present who are:

  • male (O: since a marriage witnessed by a man and two women would not be valid (A: though it would be valid in the Hanafi school);
  • sound of hearing;
  • sound of eyesight;
  • familiar with the language of the two contracting parties;
  • Muslims;
  • and upright (def: 024.4) witnesses, even if their uprightness is merely apparent (O: since marriages take place among ordinary, common people, and if they were made responsible for knowing the inward virtue of witnesses, it would cause delays and difficulties. Apparent uprightness means the person is outwardly known to be upright, even if he is inwardly unknown).

Conclusion

As such, you had a guardian present at the marriage contract but not two male witnesses. You have to repeat your nikah (marriage contract) according to the Shafi’i school.

Please see this link as well:
Is It Valid to Marry without the Presence of a Wali (Guardian)?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.