What is a Nikkah?
Nikkah literally means to combine/ come together.
Legally it is a contract so requires one party to make an offer ‘marry me’ and the other to accept ‘I have accepted’ or ‘I have married you’.
What is a Wali?
A Wali is the guardian of the bride. The bride can appoint the Wali to make or accept the offer of marriage on her behalf.
The Wali can be:
- The son of the bride
- The father of the bride
- The grandfather of the bride
- The great grandfather of the bride and so on
What is Wakeel?
If the bride does not have anyone that she can appoint as a Wali, then she can appoint a legal representative to fulfil this role – the Wakeel.
What is Mahr/dowry?
Mahr is an obligatory gift to the wife (usually of monetary value) for the wife to use as she pleases. The dowry may be given at the time of the Nikkah or a later date, however, not stipulating a dowry in the marriage contract does not itself invalidate a Nikkah.
For more information on Mahr Click here.
How many witnesses should there be to the Nikkah?
There should be a minimum of two witnesses. The Wali or Wakeel cannot act as a witness.
Can I have special clauses in my Nikkah?
Yes, as long as they don’t conflict with the Qu’ran or Sunnah. However, to set out agreements more comprehensively, it is advisable to enter into a cohabitation agreement (or a prenuptial agreement if also intending to marry legally).
Is my Nikkah recognised in England and Wales?
- If the Nikkah took place in a country where Nikkah is recognised as a legally valid form of marriage and you complied with the formalities as per the law in that country, then your marriage should be recognised in England and Wales.
- If the Nikkah took place in England or Wales, it will not usually be recognised unless the building that the ceremony took place in, is registered for the purpose of solemnising marriages.
If you need help with a cohabitation agreement or pre-nuptial agreement, we would suggest you contact Madia Aslam or one of our specialist Family team members below for more advice.