Marriage through Registry Office

12th March 2018

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Question: Please could you give a legal opinion on the following case from a junior doctor based in the UK. I am currently engaged to a woman from a Catholic family. She has decided to revert to Islam, she calls herself Muslim and has renounced any ideas of the Holy trinity et cetera. She is currently scared to tell her family, though, and this may take some time. She wants, as I do, to be married Islamically as well under national law. The questions are:

 1) Do we need to do the Nikah for the marriage to be legal, or is the national registry enough?

2) If we do the Nikah (which ideally we want to), will she need a Wali? The reason this is a problem is that she does not feel ready to tell her father of her change in religion, and she is certain he will refuse to witness the Nikah. I am also fairly certain he will refuse. 


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



In reference to your case scenario, the national registry would suffice only if the integral elements of Nikah were fulfilled namely; offering & acceptance from the bride and groom and the presence of Muslim witnesses either two males or one male and two females. It is, however, advisable to have an Islamic Nikah done in the presence of an Imām either before or after the registry office marriage.

According to the Hanafi School, the presence of a legal guardian during the Nikah ceremony is not essential but just a recommendation. The Nikah will be valid in spite of the absence of her Wali. Nonetheless, it is her moral duty that she informs her parents of the Nikah and persuades them to the best of her ability into accepting it. If they still refuse then that does not affect the validity of their Nikah.


[Allãh Knows Best]


Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department