Family life is the foundation of a successful society, and marriage is an occasion of great joy in the Muslim community. Our beloved Prophet and Messenger of Allah said,
“We have not seen anything better than marriage for those
who are in love”
(ibn Majah, 1847)
London Fatwa Council (LFC) facilitates the solemnisation of an Islamic marriage, by authorising a contract of marriage, known as the ‘Nikah’.
London Fatwa Council Requirements for a Nikah
In order for a marriage to be conducted by a qualified Scholar form London Fatwa Council, we have the following conditions;
- Mutual Agreement: Both families must agree or have been clearly informed of their intention to be married.
- Religious compatibility: Both spouses must be of the same belief and creed. The Shahadah must be taken in case of a revert. If no Shahadah certificate is evident please note the whole Shahadah process will be repeated, logged and registered at the LFC.
- Documents: Passport copy and a driving licence or a current Utility bill.
- Age compliance: Bride and Groom to be aged 17 years and over: (permission is required from parents or guardians if under 18 years of age please note that, the Imam would need time to make the best judgement and decision, based on the groom’s ability to provide maintenance which is considered obligatory (wajib) on the husband or in the event that the wife agrees to finance the husband, this too will need to be clarified.*
- Bride and Groom to be present: preferably the same building/venue.
- Bride’s Wali (guardian) or Wakeel (attorney) to be present: Marriage is a happy occasion and should not exclude the family. LFC does not support, nor conduct, a secret or a runaway marriage. The Imam conducting the marriage, may call the guardians of the bride and groom to confirm their consent to the marriage, if they are not present or he is informed they are abroad.
- In the absence of the Wali: If the Qadhi is content that permission was sought from the Wali, but his ground for refusal was on a discriminative basis; ie culture, race, caste, the Nikah will be conducted and considered valid.
- Witnesses: Please ensure there are two male Muslim, sane and able witnesses who have a valid British passport. It is preferred that one witness is represented from either side; both from the bride and groom. Along with the brides Wali or Wakeel (attorney), there will be three witnesses present in total.
- Travel restriction: There must be no immigration restrictions on either party.
- Something sweet: To share following the Nikah; Arabian Dates as is Sunnah.
- Nikah on Skype: A Skype or telephone Nikah will not be conducted.
- Divorced: If any one or both of the couple were previously divorced, we will require the Islamic certificate of divorce, the Decree Absolute and that the complete I’ddah (waiting period) has been observed. London Fatwa Council will not be responsible for the invalidity of Nikah based on oversight of this principle of Shariah. Please ensure the Imam conducting your Nikah is made aware of the aforementioned and the necessary certificates have been verified a week prior to the date of the Nikah.**
- Polygamy: The law in the UK does not recognise polygamous marriages and any woman involved in a polygamous marriage relinquishes all legal rights over her husband’s property, inheritance and conventional marital rights in the sight of the law.
- Civil Marriage registry: A Nikah as conducted by an Imam, is not considered a civil marriage without an official registry. LFC recommends all wedding parties to have their marriage officiated at the time of Nikah. Find further information on this process here.
- Decree Absolute: Though you may have been granted a civil divorce, Islamically, you will need a valid certificate of divorce to anull your marriage, which is the exclusive right of a Qadhi. Without undergoing this Shari’ah process, or the express three fold use of the word Tilaq, a woman will not be considered divorced from her husband. For further clarity on this issue please contact us immediately on 07985463440, to prevent delay in your marriage.
- Upon satisfactory fulfilment of the said requirements, London Fatwa Council will assign a qualified and experienced Qadhi (a Scholar commissioned to conduct the Islamic Nikah) who speaks fluent English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu, to conduct your Nikah in the language of your choice.
*LFC is strict in adhering to the law of the land. As stipulated above, if the bride or groom is between the ages of 17-18, parental/guardian consent is required. The parents would need to confirm that they are able to support the young couple financially, including lodging and maintenance, up until they are of independent stage. The financial burden of the young couple should not fall on the authorities. The LFC recommends that a young person 21 years and over is of independent age.
**Widow/Widower – Former spouses death certificate and for her to have observed her I’ddah, which according to Shari’ah is four months and ten days.
a) Unconsummated marriage/ unconsummated widow – There is no waiting upon a woman who did not consummate her marriage. However, if the married couple were away from the view of others with a clear opportunity to consummate the marriage, regardless of whether or not the marriage was consummated, the widow will be required to complete a full waiting period.
b) Consummated marriage and above 55 years of age – The waiting period for a woman who has been divorced and who had consummated her marriage or if she is above 55 years of age, is three menstrual cycles.
c) Pregnant widowed woman – The waiting period for a pregnant widow is up until her child is born, however many months she has to go.
Note: The stipulation of three cycles has no maximum time period; this can be a number of months or indeed years; in the case of an irregular menstrual cycle. The ‘iddah will lapse upon completion of the third menstrual cycle, having completed three states of purity, post menstruation.
On the day
- Please ensure punctuality. It is bad adab to keep anyone waiting, least of all an Imam;
- Please allocate a person to be available for the Imam to contact on the day, in case of an emergency and to take care of him when he arrives at the venue.
- Please arrange for any music to be switched off at the presence of the Imam and at a large venue for a PA system to also be arranged.
- Please arrange for a Compare/ Master of Ceremonies to announce the presence of the Imam, to settle and ready guests for the official ceremony.
- The Nikah ceremony will start with a short recitation of the Quran. This is followed by a brief address to commemorate the celebration. Thereon, the Imam will deliver his Arabic sermon (Khutbah) and conduct the official Nikah ceremony of ‘Ijaab’ and ‘Qubul’ (the exchange and confirmation of the offer and acceptance of the marriage between the Bride and the Groom). The ceremony will end with a supplication for the newlyweds, both families and all present.
- Whilst the ceremony is conducted, movement of attendees should be at a minimal and food should not be served. All guests should be focusing on the ceremony at this time.
- Invitations to wedding celebrations are graciously received. We thank you in advance. Where possible the Imam will stay as long as possible. Please refrain from stalling his exit, as there are numerous engagements in one day and time keeping is of utmost importance.
- The newlyweds will be sent their Certificate of Nikah with the official London Fatwa Council stamp within a week of the Nikah.
Fees to conduct the Nikah
London Fatwa Council office: £150 charge payable in advance or on the day of the Nikah.
External venue: If the marriage is to be conducted at a venue of your choice; home, venue etc, an appropriate fee based on distance, will be agreed prior to the Nikah. The external price begins at £250 and will increase depending on distance from the office.
To Book Your Nikah
We recommend you book your Nikah as soon as you have a date in mind. Please be aware that the summer months are a busy time for Nikah ceremonies, therefore, kindly book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Subject to fulfilling the above criteria, book your Nikah using the form below. Fill in all the contact details so we may be in touch. Call: 020 8201 3632, to confirm your booking.