Fatwa n° 502
Category: Fatwas about Family - Marriage Contract – Establishing Marriage Contract
Concerning the non-effect of the relationship with a strange woman on establishing the marriage contract with her
I met a girl with the intention of marriage, and I kept in touch with her via telephone and Internet without the knowledge of her guardian (father). Then I asked her in marriage and accordingly we established the religious marriage contract in the presence of her guardian and two fair witnesses. Is this marriage valid? And is the way followed in the contract correct?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:
Allah عزّ وجلّ forbade all means that lead to the forbidden and made Harîm (borders) for the forbidden thing, and the Harîm of the forbidden thing is its preliminaries such as being with a woman in privacy (Khulwa), the speech that exceeds what is needed as well as the expressions that stimulate the sexual desire; this is forbidden by the Shari‘a because it leads to the extreme limit (the final objective) which is: committing adultery. However, when it comes to the degree of sin, these preliminaries are not the same as the objectives, and do not deserve the well-known worldly punishment.
Nevertheless, they are wrong deeds that can be expiated through repentance, righteous good deeds and multiplication of the mentioning [of Allah], according to what is stated in the authentic hadiths among which, his saying صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: “The five ritual prayers, and Jumu‘a (Friday prayer) until Jumu‘a, and Ramadân until Ramadân, expiate what is between them if Al-Kabâ’ir (great sins) are avoided”(1).You may review the Monthly Article entitled: “The Ways of Salvation from Sins” with some details on our website(2).
As for delegacy in the contract or in money(3), it is unanimously permissible; so the delegate, the guardian or the representative carries out the duties of Al-Asîl (the main responsible). Therefore, if the Consent conforms perfectly to the Demand, i.e. what they agreed upon in the presence of two fair witnesses, then the marriage contract is valid. However, it must be followed by the civil contract in order to preserve the established contract and the rights of the two (spouses) inasmuch as the Algerian judicial system considers the religious contract as an engagement.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on: Ramadân the 19th, 1427 H,
Corresponding to October the 12th, 2006 G.
(1) Reported by Muslim (233) from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه.
(2) See the Monthly Article n° 11 on the Official Website.
(3) It means here: financial transactions and acts of worship based on money such as Zakât, charity and expiations. Translator’s note.