[Q 262] Legality of Telephonic Nikah in Islamic Law


Zaid went to perform Umrah and married Hindah over the phone while talking to her. Neither Hindah nor Zaid had any witnesses present. In this scenario, did the marriage between Zaid and Hindah take place?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب بعون الملك الوهاب اللهم هداية الحق والصواب


For a Nikah (marriage) to be valid, certain conditions must be met, including the offer and acceptance occurring in the same Majlis (gathering), and the presence of either two sane adult Muslim men or one man and two women who simultaneously hear the words of Ijab (offer) and Qabool (acceptance).

However, in the aforementioned scenario, the Majlis of offer and acceptance is separate, and there are no witnesses present, therefore, Zaid and Hindah’s Nikah did not occur. Even if witnesses were present on both sides, the Nikah would still not occur because the Majlis (gathering) of offer and acceptance is not the same.

As it is stated in Sunan al-Kubra (Nisai):

عن علی رضی الله تعالى عنه قال: لا نکاح إلا بشھود

Translated: Maula Ali رضی الله تعالى عنہ said, “There is no Nikah without witnesses.”

 (Sunan al-Kubra Nisai, Volume 14, Hadith number 13762, page 104, مرکز البحوث والدراسات)

As stated in Bada’i al-Sana’i, Fatawa Alamgiri, and Bahr al-Raiq,:

“أن یکون الإیجاب والقبول فی مجلس واحد حتی لو اختلف المجلس لا ینعقد النکاح”

(Bada’i al-Sana’i, Volume 3, page 325, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Allamah Ala’uddin Haskafi رحمۃ الله تعالی علیہ states in Durr al-Mukhtar:

“ومن شرائط الإیجاب والقبول إتحاد المجلس”

(Durr al-Mukhtar, Volume 4, page 76, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

It is mentioned in Mukhtasar al-Quduri and Fath al-Qadir:

” ولا ینعقد نکاح المسلمین إلا بحضور شاھدین حرین عاقلین بالغین مسلمین رجلین أو رجل وامرأتین.”

(Fath al-Qadir, Volume 3, page 190, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

And in Fatawa Alamgiri:

“ومنھا سماع الشاھدین کلامهما معا”

(Fatawa Alamgiri, Volume 1, page 296, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut)

Sadr al-Shariah Mufti Amjad Ali Azmi رحمۃ الله تعالی علیہ writes in Bahar-e-Shariat: “There are several conditions for Nikah:

3) Having witnesses. That is, the offer and acceptance should occur in front of two men or one man and two women. The witnesses should be free, sane, adults, and all must hear the words of Nikah simultaneously.

4) The offer and acceptance must occur in the same Majlis.(gathering)” (Bahar-e-Shariat, Volume 2, Part 11, Pages 11-17, Maktaba-tul-Madina Karachi)

Answered by: Mufti Sajid Attari

Translated answer

Date: 4th May 2024


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