First of all, we’d like to state that Islam pays great attention to marriage, taking all measures to protect the family life and relations between the spouses against any suspicion or difficulty that may arise in the future. Like all contracts, the Shari`ah demands witnesses for the marriage contract and it lays stress on announcement so as to protect the spouses against suspicion from the society and protect the rights of each partner for likely future disputes. In line with the aims of the Shari`ah the registration of marriage is of paramount significance in protecting the rights of the spouses.

The eminent Muslim scholar and renowned Da`iyah, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, states: “In order for marriage to be valid it has some pillars and conditions that must be fulfilled. The pillar of marriage is the full consent of both partners to the marriage, expressing the above consent through ijab (offer) and qabul (acceptance).

As for its conditions, they are: the testimony of two reliable witnesses to the marriage, the announcement of marriage i.e. the marriage should not remain secret, the agreement of the wife’s wali (guardian) in case she did not marry before, and the dowry given to the wife. But this last condition which is giving dowry to the wife does not nullify the marriage contract in case it is not fulfilled as it may be specified later.

Given the above, we’d like to stress that in order for marriage to be legal, there are authorized persons in Muslim and non-Muslim countries who are legalized to conduct nikah contracts. Contracting the marriages is very important and a legal condition that coincides with the objectives of Shari`ah in order to preserve the rights of souses and their children. So, this is a legal and Shari`ah-based condition. Then, why did not you commit to it? What is the reason of not abiding to that condition? Not registering the marriage contains unrighteous intention.”