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Nikkah in Islam


Nikkah in Islam

Word Nikkah means marriage or wedlock in Arabic language. The nikkah in islam contains great importance. This word is used in Quran to describe about the wedlock.

Meaning of Nikkah

The literary meaning of this word is when two things combine with each other and becomes one is called the Nikkah.

Explanation of Nikkah

A Nikkah is an Islamic contract which takes place between an adult Muslim man and an adult woman with their free wills in the presence of two witnesses from each side. This contract can be written or verbal and it implies some duties and rights on the contracting parties.

History of marriage

Before Islam, there were different types of marriages which were common amongst the people of Arabs. In those marriages, woman had no rights and no control over any matter. Her opinion was not considered important. She could not divorce her husband as well. There were no limitations on the man at that time. Man was free to marry as many times as he wanted and whether to treat wives equally or not. Wife had no rights even over her children or maintenance.

Conditions of Nikkah

Following are the conditions of Nikkah

1. Adult

A woman and man should be adult for the purpose of Nikkah. Anyone who is a child and less than the age of puberty cannot be married even by the permission of her or his guardian.

2. Muslim or woman of  book

This means that to conduct a Nikkah both should be Muslims. But a Muslim man can marry a woman who is Christian or jew but such ruling is only for man and not applicable on a Muslim woman.

A man should always prefer a Muslim girl over non muslim girl

But if someone wants to marry a non muslim girl then the girl should be chastise, avoid Zina, and her wali should be a Muslim

This day [all] good foods have been made lawful, and the food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith – his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. Surah Al maida verse 5.

There are many risks in getting married to a non muslim girl because the children are more likely to follow the mother so it can lead to problems afterwards.

3. Offer (Eijab)

This means marriage proposal offered to the woman or her guardians in order to seek permission and their consent for marriage. This can be done the other way as well by sending a proposal to a man by the guardian of the woman.

4. Acceptance ( Kabul)

The second condition of Nikkah is acceptance of proposal . If she or he agrees with her or his free will then the Nikkah can be taken place.

5. Two witness

To conduct the Nikkah, two male witnesses are necessary from both the sides.

6. Wali

For a Muslimah, a male wali is necessary to give her into the Nikkah of a pious person. Wali can be her father or her brother or any male man in her family who is a Mehram to her. But it is not permissible for a wali to force the woman. Wali can guide the woman but the final decision should be of the woman.

7. Nuptial gift or Meher

The nuptial gift is necessary as well in Islam as a protection for the woman.

O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers what they have spent. And there is no blame upon you if you marry them when you have given them their due compensation. And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women, but ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah ; He judges between you. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. Surah ul Mumtahina verse 10.

Amount of Nuptial Gift

There is no fixed amount of nuptial gift. It can be paid according to the will of the woman or according to the pocket of the man.

Abu Salama b. ‘Abd al-Rahman reported: I asked ‘A’isha, the wife of Allah’s Messenger ( صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ): What is the amount of dower of Allah’s Messenger ( صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ )? She said: It was twelve ‘uqiyas and one nash. She said: Do you know what is al-nash? I said: No. She said: It is half of uqiya, and it amounts to five hundred dirhams, and that was the dower given by Allah’s Messenger ( صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ) to his wives. Sahih Muslim book of nikah hadith no 3489

Contract of marriage

It is not necessary to have a contract on paper for a Nikkah but it is only done for the safety of the woman so that the man does not ran away after getting married.

Nikkah a Compulsion

If a person is an adult and he or she has sexual need then to avoid Zina, Nikkah becomes a compulsion.

Nikkah a Sunnah

Nikkah is the Sunnah of our Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) and to abstain from it is cursed by Allah and his Prophet . The concept of celibacy was condemned by our Prophet.

Sa’id b. al-Musayyib reported: I heard Sa’d (b. Abi Waqqas) saying that the idea of ‘Uthman b. Maz’un for living in celibacy was rejected (by the Holy Prophet), and if he had been given permission they would have got themselves castrated. Sahih Muslim book of nikah hadith no 3405.

Rejecting a Proposal

If a wali or the girl wants to reject a proposal, its their right. One should keep in mind that rejecting a proposal on the matters of deen, chastity of man, immoral habits is fine but the others things i-e property, house, family members, earning, education is not a valid point to reject a proposal.

Concept of Love Marriage in Islam

Love marriage is not prohibited in Islam. A person is allowed to marry the person of his or her choice. The proposal should be sent to the wali and wali should ask the woman. If she agrees then wali should not force them not to marry or to abstain them. But having an affair is not halal.

Nikkah prohibited with whom?

Nikkah is prohibited with following

• Two sisters at the same time
• Ones mother or father
• Own sister, own brothers
• Own daughter or son
• Father’s sister or brother
• Mother’s sister or brother
• Niece or nephew (paternal or maternal)
• Grand parents and grand children
• Great grand aunts and uncles
• Woman who nursed one
• Sister or brother through nursing
• Father in law or mother in law
• Step daughter or step son under your guardianship
• Daughter in law or son in law
• Nephews and nieces of husband and wife
• Uncle and aunts of wife or husband
• Polytheists or Non Muslim woman or man
• Same sex (man with man and woman with woman)

Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives’ mothers, and your step-daughters under your guardianship [born] of your wives unto whom you have gone in. But if you have not gone in unto them, there is no sin upon you. And [also prohibited are] the wives of your sons who are from your [own] loins, and that you take [in marriage] two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful. Surah Al Nisa verse 23

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace upon him) having said this: One should not combine a woman and her father’s sister, nor a woman and her mother’s sister in marriage. Sahih Muslim book of Nikkah hadith 3436


In Islam, man are allowed to marry more than one woman at the same time. A man could not marry more than 4 woman.

Conditions of Polygamy

• All women are Muslim or women of book
• He should ask for permission of previous wives
• He should treat all women equally and if he fears that he could not treat them equally then he should not marry.

And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice]. Surah al Nisa verse 3

Permission of Wali

The Nikkah without the permission of wali or guardian is considered void in Islam if the woman is virgin but if a woman is widow or divorced then she does not need the permission of her wali.

Now a days it is a common practice of parents who do not pay attention to the sexual needs of their children so in this situation, a woman is permitted to do Nikkah without the permission of her wali.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger ( ‌صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ) as having said: A woman without a husband (or divorced or a widow) must not be married until she is consulted, and a virgin must not be married until her permission is sought. They asked the Prophet of Allah ( ‌صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ): How her (virgin’s) consent can be solicited? He (the Holy Prophet) said: That she keeps silence. Sahih Muslim book of Nikkah hadith 3473.

Concept of Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is haram in Islam. It is narrated in Surah al Nisa verse 19

O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.

Sending Proposal to a Betrothed Woman

It is haram to send proposals to a married woman or a woman who is about to marry someone or agreed to marry someone.

Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Apostle ( ‌صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ) as having said this: None amongst you should outbid another in a transaction, nor should he make proposals of marriage upon the proposal made by someone else.  Sahih Muslin book of Nikkah hadith 3454.

Is Engagement Permissible in Islam ? 

There is no concept of such tyoe of engagement in Islam which is prevailed now a days in Muslims so one should avoid such rituals of engagement parties with exchanging rings amongst the non mehrams. When one sends proposal to someone and they agreed(eijab and kabook) then it is assumed to be the engagement between the parties but the concept of getting along, meeting and talking after engagement is not considered halal in Islam. Because they are still na mehram for one another.

Seeing each other before marriage is permissible and recommanded. See the following hadith.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: I was in the company of Allah’s Messenger ( ‌صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ) when there came a man and informed him that he had contracted to marry a woman of the Ansar. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger ( ‌صلی ‌اللہ ‌علیہ ‌وسلم ‌ ) said: Did you cast a glance at her? He said: No. He said: Go and cast a glance at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansar.  Sahih muslim book of nikah hadith 3485

Reasoning of Non Acceptance

It is not necessary to give a reason when someone rejects a proposal. It is ones right to accept or reject the proposal so no one can force other to accept the proposal.

Can a girl proposes a man for marriage

Yes a girl can proposes a man for Nikkah if she likes that person.

Is Having an Affair  Permitted in Islam? 

No, in Islam if you like someone you should propose them for Nikkah and if the other one is agreed then you can do Nikkah as soon as possible by fulfilling all the above mentioned conditions of Nikkah.

For authentic Ahadees about Nikkah visit following link


(If you find any mistake in this article please feel free to contact us and point it out. We will try to correct it in the light of Quran and Sunnah. May Allah bless us all with the authentic knowledge of Islam. May this effort of ours ease the way of jannah for our family).

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