What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Can nikah (marriage) be performed over phone or Skype when the bride and groom are in different countries, e.g. UK and Pakistan? If yes, how can it be done
Questioner: A brother from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Nikah cannot be performed over phone or Skype as ijab (willing consent) and qubul (acceptance) are pillars of a nikah and it is necessary for both (the bride and the groom) to be in a single gathering.
It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah:
أَنْ يَكُونَ الْإِيجَابُ وَالْقَبُولُ فِي مَجْلِسٍ وَاحِدٍ۔۔۔إذَا كَانَ أَحَدُهُمَا غَائِبًا لَمْ يَنْعَقِدْحَتَّى لَوْ قَالَتْ امْرَأَةٌ بِحَضْرَةِ شَاهِدَيْنِ زَوَّجْتُ نَفْسِي مِنْ فُلَانٍ وَهُوَ غَائِبٌ فَبَلَغَهُ الْخَبَرُ فَقَالَ: قَبِلْتُ، أَوْ قَالَ رَجُلٌ بِحَضْرَةِ شَاهِدَيْنِ: تَزَوَّجْتُ فُلَانَةَ وَهِيَ غَائِبَةٌ فَبَلَغَهَا الْخَبَرُ فَقَالَتْ زَوَّجْتُ نَفْسِي مِنْهُ لَمْ يَجُزْ
Translation: “It is conditional for the ijab and qubul to take place in a single gathering. If either the bride or the groom is absent, the nikah will not be done. If the woman, in the presence of two witnesses, says, ‘I have done nikah with so-and-so,’ and this news reaches the man and he accepts it, or vice versa, it is impermissible.” [al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, vol. 1, pg. 269]
It is not possible for the ijab and qubul to take place in a single gathering using phone or Skype. The ijab is done in one country and qubul in another. Thus, such a nikah is not permissible.
It is stated in Fatawa Fayd al-Rasul: “Performing nikah over the phone is totally wrong.” [Fatawa Fayd al-Rasul, vol. 1, pg. 560]
If someone staying in a foreign country wants to marry in Pakistan or some other country, then he can appoint a wakil (agent) for himself in that country through phone or Skype. The wakil can then perform the nikah in the presence of two witnesses. The ijab or qubul from the wakil will be on behalf of the one who has appointed him (the groom). The nikah conducted in this manner will be correct.
When the Holy Prophet ﷺ sent a marriage proposal to Sayyidah Umm Habibah (may Allah be pleased with her), she was in Ethiopia. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then sent Sayyiduna ‘Amr b. Umayya Damri (may Allah be pleased with him) to the Negus, ordering him to forward this proposal to her and to perform the nikah. Sayyidah Umm Habibah (may Allah be pleased with her) then appointed Sayyiduna Khalid b. Sa’id b. al-‘As (may Allah be pleased with him) as her wakil. The Negus then read the sermon of the nikah. Sayyiduna Ja’far b. Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) along with all the Muslims who had migrated to Ethiopia became the attendees of the gathering. The Negus then handed over dinars to Sayyiduna Khalid b. Sa’id b. al-‘As (may Allah be pleased with him). When the attendees were about to leave, the Negus said, “Be seated, feeding people in a gathering of nikah is the way of the Prophets (peace be upon them).” He then made arrangements for food. The people left after having food.
[Madarij al-Nubuwwah, vol. 2, pg. 481]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath team
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0402] Can nikah be performed over Skype or phone?