I want to marry a Muslim girl, but in three years’ time, and I do not want to commit sin with her. I want to marry her in a ‘urfi marriage (a kind of marriage in which the nikaah is not registered officially or announced) or a mut’ah marriage until I can marry her in the shar’i manner later on. What should I do when I want to marry her in the shar’i manner after that? Because I fear Allaah and I do not want to fall into sin. This is the best and most permissible method, but Allaah knows best. What should I do?.Praise be to Allaah.
The question is not clear. The brother’s words may be
understood in more than one way with regard to his intention in the marriage
contract about which he is asking. He says “ ‘urfi marriage” then he says
“mut’ah”. It is known that there are two well-known forms of “ ‘urfi
marriage”, and he could be asking about three kinds, so we will answer on
the assumption that he is asking about all of them.
As for mut’ah marriage, which means marrying for a set time
limit agreed upon by both parties, for a specified mahr (dowry), after which
the marriage contract is annulled upon expiry of that time period – this is
a haraam marriage contract which is not valid at all. This has already been
discussed in the answers to questions no.
With regard to “ ‘urfi marriage” – there are two types of
1 – Where the woman is married in secret, without the
agreement of her wali (guardian). If that is the case then it is a haraam
marriage contract which is not valid, because the agreement of the wali is
one of the conditions of the marriage contract being valid.
In the answer to question no.
2127 you will find a summary of the
conditions of marriage, and the conditions of the wali. In the answer to
question no. 7989 there are more
details about the importance of the wali in order for the marriage to be
2 – Marriage with the agreement of the woman and her wali,
but without announcing the marriage publicly, or registering it in the
shar’i or civil courts, but there are witnesses. If this is the case, then
it is a valid marriage from the point of view of having met the necessary
conditions, but it goes against the Islamic command to publicize the
marriage. Not having the marriage officially documented may lead to the wife
losing out on her rights with regard to the dowry and inheritance, and if
the marriage leads to children, how will this child be recorded in official
documents? How will the woman defend her honour before people?
It should also be noted that some of the fuqaha’ say that
publicizing the marriage is one of the conditions of it being valid, which
is not far from the truth. They gave as the reason for that the fact that
publicizing the marriage demonstrates the difference between marriage and
immoral relationships. This is supported by the words of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The difference between what is
halaal and what is haraam is beating the daff and raising the voice at
weddings.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1088; al-Nasaa’i, 3369; Ibn Maajah,
1896. Classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel,
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
There is no doubt that a
marriage which is announced publicly is valid, even if it is not witnessed
by two witnesses, but if it is concealed and kept secret, this is a matter
concerning which there is some debate. If there are witnesses and it is also
announced publicly, this is the marriage concerning which there is no
dispute that it is valid. If there are no witnesses and it is not announced
publicly, then it is invalid according to all scholars. But if there are any
scholars who dispute this, they are very few.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
The Lawgiver has
stipulated four conditions for marriage in addition to the marriage
contract, in order for there to be no suspicion of immoral conduct: it
should be publicized, there should be a wali (woman’s guardian), the woman
should not do the marriage contract herself and it is mustahabb to beat the
daff and raise voices (in song) and give a waleemah (wedding feast), because
that does away with the means that may lead to immoral actions under the
guise of being married.
I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een, 3/113
i.e., if marriage is done in secret, it is possible that if
the woman gets pregnant and gives birth, the man may deny this child because there is no proof that this woman is his wife and this child is his child. But if there are witnesses and the marriage is publicized, there is no room for this evil action to take place.