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Doubts About Marriage

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: I want to marry a man and he wants to marry me. The problem is that his mother wants him to marry someone else. What can we do?

Answer: Bismillahi al-Rahman al-Rahim.

Your suitor should make a wise decision based on advice from outside his family and the guidelines of the Sacred Law. Whoever he sees fit, he should marry. His mother is not his guardian, and he has to make decisions for himself.

Obeying One’s Parents

Our moral debt to our parents, and especially our mothers is something great indeed, and seldom we do really grasp what respect, reverence, and gratitude are due to them.

Allah Most High says:

‘And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.’ (Qur’an, 31: 14)

That said, respect and reverence, and care and financial support do not entail allowing them to ruin one’s life. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘Let there be no harm or any harming back.’ (Malik, al-Muwatta)

So as long as there is no harm, he should obey his mother. For more detail please from the Hanafi school, please see: When May Parents Be Disobeyed, and How?

In the Shafi’i school, it would not be obligatory to obey one’s mother or father in such a request. (Bulqini, al-Fatawa)

A wise and grateful son would navigate his way through such a problem taking both positions into consideration, and being respectful, loving, and polite to his mother. But he would not marry someone he knows he cannot ever live with.

Please also see: Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage 

Mama’s Boy

Many modern scholars of different schools of thought have warned of the over-involvement and control of parents, and particularly mothers, in their sons’ marriages. Sometimes, there is an all too close attachment between mother and son that is really not healthy. At a certain point, people have to realize that the married couple area new and independent family, and that the son is no longer a baby sitting on his mother’s lap filling her eyes with joy: he has moved on and has a life of his own.

Mothers may not take well to this realization, and it can sometimes require the son/husband to take the initiative and distance himself from his mother in order for the relationships to assume their proper mold.

Conclusion

Your husband-to-be should make his independent decision while being polite, caring, and respectful. He should also look at which of the two brides-to-be have the best character and religious practice.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid DingleFarid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Having to Wait for Nikah

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat gives advice on marriage and the consent of parents.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.

I have met a practicing man I wish to marry. We have been trying to get his parents to agree for almost nine months now and, alhamduliLlah, by the grace of Allah Most High, they have finally started to come to terms with it and his mother has called my mom. Their only concern is that nothing should happen until we both graduate, which is what my parents want as well.

The issue is that he graduates in three years, and keeping ourselves free of sin is really tough. We were wondering if it was possible to sign a nikah without telling our parents, just to free ourselves from further haram as the desires we have are very great. We would not let anyone else know (aside from the ones performing the nikah) and we would let our parents take their time in getting to know one another while we finish school, while secretly married.

Please advise us on what to do. We were hoping to follow Hanafi fiqh in this regard due to the lack of wali needed in some cases.

Jazak Allah khayr.

I pray you are well.

Turn to Allah

It is a huge blessing from Allah that the parents from both sides have agreed to the marriage. You should thank Allah profusely for this blessing. Thanking Allah is a means to an increase, because He Himself swore an oath saying, “[I swear], if you show thanks I will certainly give you an increase.” (Sura Ibrahim 14:7) Thank Him for this blessing and all others and you will certainly see more of what you like coming your way.

You should also turn to Allah with dua, and ask Him to facilitate matters in the best way for you. Allah answers all prayers – but according to His schedule, not ours, and in the way He deems best, not what we plan (Ibn ʿAtaʾillah, al-Hikam).

The Sunna of Marriages

In Islam, the sunna is that once a suitable match has been found, the nikah should take place as soon as possible. All the necessary discussions should take place first, and then when both parties are happy to proceed the nikah should be conducted.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “O Ali, three [particular] things do not delay: the [obligatory] prayer when its [time] comes; the [funeral prayer over] the deceased when [the body comes]; and [the marriage of] a lady when you have found her a suitable match.” (Tirmidhi).

You should try yourselves, or ask someone of authority in the community to convey this point to the parents on both sides.  Perhaps they can be persuaded.

A nikah does not mean that you have to move in together. It finalizes the contract and shuts the door for the devil to play any games with anyone. The rest of the marriage plans can follow the schedule agreed upon by both sides.

Prolonged engagements go against this sunna.

No Secret Marriages

Secret marriages are not something which should even be considered. Marriage is more than the union of two individuals. Both families are bound to each other through it, which is a blessing from Allah.

Also, many parents would feel extremely hurt and betrayed if they found out that their child had secretly entered into a marriage – even if it was with someone they had already approved of. In many cultures parents see the marriage of their child as a responsibility, which makes this a serious matter. Do not go down this route.

In some cases, the agreement can be called off, and if the prospective couple have secretly married, they find themselves in a very difficult position: neither family approves of the marriage – yet they are married. Revealing the matter means risking family ties being severed, and keeping it a secret can only go on for so long.

I once came across a case where a couple performed a secret marriage whilst waiting for the wedding date the families had agreed on to come, and in the meantime the husband divorced his wife three times. Imagine explaining that one to the parents.

May Allah facilitate what is best for you. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

The witnesses of my marriage were not there. Is my marriage valid? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

An imam was my wali (guardian) for my marriage.Though the imam brought two witnesses, they did not appear in front of us. They did not hear or see the marriage happening. Now I’m living together with my husband. Is my marriage valid?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for your question.

The arkan or elements of a marriage contract – over and above the husband and wife – are as follows:

1. The formula

The formula consists of an offering and compliance. The Shafi’is are strict on the wording of both the offering of the Wali or his representative and the compliance of the Husband. The offering usually reads, “I marry off to you your fiancee, my daughter (or the daughter of so and so), for the mahr that you agreed upon”; and the compliance, “I accept her hand in marriage for myself, for the agreed upon mahr”.

2. The Wali

The Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said, “There is no marriage without a Wali.” From this the Shafi’is understood that a marriage that takes place without a Wali is invalid. Your wali is your father, then your grandfather, then your brother, then your paternal uncle, then your paternal uncle’s son and so forth. If you have a living Wali, the Imam may not act as your wali. Should he do so, the marriage will be invalid.

Yes, in the absence of a living wali you may appoint an Imam or a religious person to act as your wali (tawliyah). Similarly, you may appoint a scholar to act as an ad hoc judge (tahkim) for the specific purpose of conducting your marriage. This however only applies in non-Islamic countries, due to the absence of authoritative Islamic courts.

3. Two witnesses

RasuluLlah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said, “There is no marriage without a wali and two witnesses of integrity.” Again the position of the Shafi’is and the vast majority of scholars is that a marriage performed without witnesses, is invalid. In addition, the witnesses have to be male; they should be present; they should hear and see the formula being pronounced. In the absence of these conditions, their testimony or being witnesses for a marriage is not correct, and the marriage would consequently be invalid.

Conclusion

If you have a living wali, then your marriage is invalid, since you married without his consent. If you do not have a wali, the marriage is still problematic as you did not officially appoint the Imam to act as your wali. In addition, it would seem that the witnesses may not have observed the marriage contract by listening and seeing the offering and compliance as explained above – you mentioned that they were outside your home when the marriage contract took place. This serves as an additional reason for the invalidity of your marriage.

Nonetheless, because of the uncertainty and obscurity (shubhah) of the situation, you and your “husband” are not considered sinful. If any children were conceived they are considered legitimate. What remains however, is that you will have to remarry as soon as possible, ensuring that all the elements mentioned above are fulfilled.

May Allah bless you in this union, Amin.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
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.

Can You Separate the Nikah and Walima? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Can you separate the nikah and walima?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

Photo: Unai Guerra

Why Married Couples Struggle and How to Respond Successfully

Why Married Couples Struggle and How to Respond Successfully. A Muslim Perspective from Ustadha Shireen Ahmed & Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersHub seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersHub Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

How To Manage Problems With In-Laws – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How To Manage Problems With In-Laws. A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersGuidance seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersGuidance Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

What Is The Purpose Of Marriage? A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Muslim-Marriage-Couple-Nikah-CREDIT-AzlanDuPree

What Is The Purpose Of Marriage? A Muslim Perspective from Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersHub seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersHub Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

Successful Marriage: Keys from the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah ﷺ, by Habib Hussein as-Saqqaf

This talk on marriage by Habib Hussein as-Saqqaf is probably one of the finest we have heard on the subject in a long, long time.

The closest relationship a person will ever experience in their lifetime is with their spouse. In this SeekersHub seminar, we learn how to cultivate this union to the fullest, how to overcome common hurdles, and how to maintain a high degree of moral conduct and excellent character.

For more info and FREE registration for our upcoming seminars – wherever you are in the world, visit SeekersHub Toronto.

Cover photo by Azlan DuPree.

What Are the Minimum Steps That Must Be Taken for a Marriage to Be Valid?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: 1. Does the person conducting the ceremony have to be an “imam”?

2. Is a guardian (wali) essential for the bride?

3. Are two male witnesses essential?

4. Must the dowry (mahr) be discussed?

5. Must both bride and groom be Muslim?


6. Is the nikah a civil contract or a religious one?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

1. No. There is no requirement for there to be an imam figure when it comes to the marriage ceremony. The basic elements of the nikah are: (a) the two parties (or their appointed representatives), (b) the witnesses, and (c) the actual offer and acceptance.

However, it is good to have a religious figure overseeing the process to ensure everything is conducted soundly.

2. According to the Hanafi school, a guardian is not necessary for the validity of the marriage contract. Yet, one may be engaging in sinful behavior if parental guardians are excluded for unjustifiable reasons. For more details see:

Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Can I Marry Without My Parents’ Consent?

Obeying Parents in Matters of Marriage

3. Two male witnesses are a requirement or one male and two females.

4. The dowry should be discussed and agreed upon between the two spouses. However, if it is not, the marriage contract will be still valid, and, a specific dowry would still be due.

5. A Muslim man may marry a woman from the People of the Book. A Muslim women is only permitted to marry a Muslim man. Please see:

What is Islam’s Stance on Muslim Men and Women Marrying Non-Muslims?

6. A nikah is primarily a religious ceremony, meaning the involvement of civil authority is not a necessary component for a valid nikah. However, a state or civil authority may get involved in regulating certain aspects of marriage. In this case, even though a nikah would remain a religious ceremony, it would also take on aspects of a civil contract.

[sources: al-Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar; Ibn `Abidin, Hashiya]

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is There a Preferred Time for Getting Married?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: As salam alaykum,

I am planning on getting married this year and planning on getting the marriage contract (Nikah) done at the mosque. Is there any preferred time of the day for this?

Answer:Assalamu ‘Alaykum,

I pray that you are well. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.
Scholars mention that it is preferred to perform the Nikah during the month of Shawwāl, the month following Ramadan.

Within that month, it is preferred to perform it on Fridays, because they are for us the most blessed of days.

Within that day, scholars mention two different preferred times. Some mention that it is preferred to perform it early in the morning, because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘Lord, bless my community during the early part of the day’ [Iʿānat al-Tālibīn]. Others hold that its preferred time is the eve of Friday [what we would refer to as Thursday night]. This is because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported to have said, ‘Take possession of your wives in the evening, as it is more blessed’ [al-Mughnī].

Other than this, it is permissible to perform it at any time of the day or night.

May Allah facilitate your affairs.

Wassalam,
Shuaib Ally

Photo: MyLifeStory