How to perform nikah (nikkah)

A quick guide to how to perform a nikah (nikkah):

We'll cover: who, what, when, where, and why?

Who must be present?

There must be at least five people present.

  • The groom

  • The bride

  • The bride's guardian

  • The first witness

  • The second witness

Who is a woman's guardian?

Her father, grandfather, uncle, brother, or similar.

What if the woman has no guardian?

Then a responsible authority from Muslim leadership should assist her.

What is the guardian's purpose?

To guarantee the groom is a truthful, capable, and upright person worthy of marrying the bride.

Who can be a witness?

Any upright, adult, male Muslim.

Who performs the wedding ceremony?

The woman's guardian performs the wedding; that's all that's needed for it to be Islamically valid.

What about the Imam/Officiant?

There's no stipulation for an Imam to perform the wedding; this is a function of government registration or a lack of a guardian.

What must be done?

  • A mahr (mehr) must be named, if not it defaults to the customary norm

  • An offer of marriage from the bride or her guardian.

  • An acceptance from the groom.

  • Any phrases that indicate these are acceptable.

  • The guardian's approval.

  • The witnesses being present and attesting to the offer and acceptance.

  • The marriage should be announced.

What's a typical way a wedding happens:

  • The guardian says to the groom I offer you my daughter's hand in marriage according to Allah's book and His messenger's Sunnah, do you accept?

  • The groom says: I accept your daughter's hand in marriage according to Allah's book and His messenger's Sunnah.

  • The witnesses attest to this.

  • The bride and groom are congratulated with the Prophetic supplication:

    BärakAllah lakuma, wa bäraka Alaikumaz wa Jama' baynakuma fi Khair.

  • The wedding is concluded. People usually congratulate the bride and groom at this moment, and sweets are sometimes shared.

When should all this be done?

  • There is no special time, day or place for a wedding to be performed.

  • There are no disliked times, days, months, or places either.

  • Should the offer be made before the acceptance or the acceptance before the offer? Either are fine.

  • When must the mahr (mehr) be given? It should be given when agreed upon by the couple.

  • When should the Walima be held? It can be held immediately after the nikah (nikkah) ceremony, or anytime thereafter.

Where can a Nikah be held?


Can it be held online?

Yes, but only if the identities of all those above in "who" are confirmed.

Why is marriage important in Islam?

  • It is a means for fulfilling legitimate sexual desire.

  • It is a means for having children.

  • It is a means of protecting oneself from fornication and adultery.

  • It is a means to share one's life to find tranquility, love, and mercy in another person.

  • It is a means of building families and communities then the Ummah as a whole.

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