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Halal Relationship at School

Ustadh Salman Younas gives advice on marrying against the wishes of parents.

There are sometimes you love a lady and the lady loves you too and is ready to live with you. but the problem is from both parents. They are not ready for you to get married since you are still a student and poor. And the parents of the girl want someone rich for their daughter.

Is there any possibility to make your relationship halal since parents are against it and two of us are true lovers? Due to fear of Allah we want to make the relationship halal, but due to parents avoidance it might lead to something bad as the barriers are only the parents not the two of us.

The dilemma that you find yourselves is understandable. On the one hand, you have found someone that you would like to marry, but given your age and status, it is proving difficult to convince the parents. 

In this situation, the default is that one should not go forward with a marriage that is kept secret from the parents. Rather, one should have patience, put the relationship on hold, and then have a frank discussion with their parents regarding the situation they find themselves in.

This is admittedly not easy, but parents have rights, and they are entitled to our respect as the Qur’an and sunna clearly affirm. To go behind their back and get married would generally be seen as a contravention of this. 

Similarly, marriage comes with responsibilities. One cannot simply rush into a marriage based on feelings alone without being able to fulfill these responsibilities. 

I would advise you to read the following answer for a more detailed answer on this issue, which relates to a case similar to yours: Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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.

Is It Valid to Marry in Secret?

Ustadh Salman Younas answers a question about the validity and rightness of wanting to marry someone without the parents’ knowledge and consent.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I love someone and I want that relationship becomes halal. Right now I want to marry her without telling anyone just to make it halal, and it is not possible right now to take permission from my parents neither from her parents.

If we marry each other will it be legitimate? And if we do not get involve in any physical relation before the marriage with the permission of our parents will it be legitimate?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

According to the Shafi‘i school, in order for a marriage contract to be valid the following must be present:

    1. 1. The bride’s guardian (wali)

2. Two upright Muslim witnesses

3. The groom

4. The offer and acceptance.

Without these being present, the marriage contract would not be valid. As you can see, “secret” marriages executed without the knowledge and consent of the bride’s legal guardian are not valid in our school. (Tuhfatul Muhtaj, Nihayatul Muhtaj)

Hanafi School

Although the Hanafi school holds that the bride’s guardian is not a legal integral for the validity of the marriage, when there is no serious need to take this position, marriage without your parent’s knowledge and consent would be highly discouraged.

While your feelings towards each other are strong right now, please do not forget your respective mother and fathers, their feelings, and everything they have done for you both. Marriage is a huge step and one that takes a child away from the family home forever. Do your best not to break their hearts and cause them unnecessary anxiety, for in many cases, couples that do so later regret it and wish they had done things differently.

For more detailed answers to the Hanafi position and related concerns, please refer to these answers, particularly the second answer: What Are the Minimum Steps That Must Be Taken for a Marriage to Be Valid? and Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Relationships

Whether one is in a physical relationship or purely an emotionally attached relationship, either way, it would not be permitted to continue. Allah has commanded us:

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ

And do not come near to adultery. (Sura al Isra 17:32)

Coming near zina includes every inclination of the heart, every loving gaze, every touch, every word spoken with intent of affection, with someone one it is not permitted to do so with. These tender emotions are guarded and preserved for after marriage, which makes the marital bond that much sweeter and pure.

There is a saying in Egypt which goes something like, “The one who walks through the door is respected, the one who climbs through the window is not.” In other words, the man who does not go through the proper means of asking for a bride’s hand in marriage, i.e. the father or guardian, deserves no respect, while the one who goes through the correct channels, regardless if his acceptance is accepted or not, is still respected and his dignity and reputation remain intact.

Don’t forget, by marrying this girl, you are essentially taking someone’s daughter away from them. This is hard enough for parents when their child gets married with their consent, let alone behind their backs.

Conversely, from the bride’s point of view, she should not give her affection to anyone easily, rather she should deem herself worthy, and accept only a man who is respectful, dignified and who carries out his affairs with principles and correct conduct. This not only earns the respect of the family, but the woman herself will value and respect him more, and he respect her more.

Though it may be hard to put your relationship on hold until a solution can be found in regards getting married, put it on hold you must. You should take the lead and show strength and resolution.

In this time, I suggest that you both work on your relationship with Allah Most High, for whom your love should be more than anyone else. When you truly love Allah, step by step, you will both desire what is pleasing to Him, and naturally forgo what you want and accept whatever Allah has in store for you both.

Solutions

Marriage is a celebration of two people coming together lawfully, and it is important that it is made public for many reasons.

Try to resolve the issue by following the helpful suggestions mentioned in this answer: Can I Marry Without My Parents’ Consent?

Be patient and true, and you’ll find that Allah will open up things for you in ways you never would have expected.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Can I Marry in Secret With the Minimum Conditions for a Valid Marriage in Order to Avoid Fornication?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: What are the minimum conditions for a valid marriage? Would it be permissible for a man to marry a girl without her guardian’s approval especially if they are already involved in a sinful relationship?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The conditions for a valid marriage are:

(a) an offer and acceptance between the two parties or their agents,
(b) two male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses who must be Muslim (if both parties are) and morally responsible i.e. adult and sane, who hear the offer/acceptance and understand that a marriage is occurring.

Secret Marriages

As for the approval of a guardian and not registering with the state, these are not conditions for a valid nikah although there is significant difference of opinion on the former with many scholars saying it is a condition.

Regardless of the position adopted vis-a-vis validity, a secret marriage is unacceptable and would only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. It would be sinful to engage in such a marriage for a number of reasons that include:

(a) it entailing clear disrespect for parents, which is a major sin.
(b) unregistered marriages do not establish any enforceable rights for the spouses, which is potentially harmful.
(c) such marriages being contrary to the sunna, which stresses that a marriage be known and public.

If someone fears falling into sin or is actually engaged in it, the proper course of action is not to have a marriage behind the backs of one’s parents/family but to cease the sin, which involves, among other things, cutting off links with the other party until such a time arises where both can get married.

This said, I would advise you to consult a reliable local scholar given that I have no knowledge of the specifics of your situation.

Please also see:

Can We Get Married Without Involving Our Parents?

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Robert Occhialini