Online Nikah Ceremonies During COVID-19
It's a question that many individuals are asking and an option many couples are looking into during this pandemic. Is it permissible and what stance are we at The Nikah Co taking?
What is an online Nikah?
The Nikah is a term used for the contractual element of a Muslim marriage ceremony. This is usually done in person in a mosque, wedding hall, or even homes. There are no restrictions where a Nikah can take place as long as the conditions are met to carry out a valid ceremony. Due to the current situation with COVID-19 and the coronavirus outbreak, online options are now being considered with many couples having to postpone their weddings and receptions which would usually involve hundreds of guests coming together for the auspicious occasion.
Is an online Nikah permissible?
As this is a very new phenomenon, naturally there will be some differing views amongst Muslims jurists & Imams. It is, however, considered permissible by many scholars who claim that as long as the usual conditions are met for a valid Nikah, then there is no issue with conducting the ceremony online via Zoom, Skype, or other online mediums. According to the mainstream Sunni schools of thought, a valid Nikah consists of the verbal acceptances from the bride & bridegroom, in the presence of witnesses, with consent from the bride's Wali (legal guardian), and a Mahr (bridal dower) agreed beforehand.
Recently renowned Muslim scholars, including Mufti Ismail Menk and Shaykh Hasib Noor, have taken to social media to openly encourage Muslim couples to get their Nikah done online considering the current circumstances. With the advanced technology at our disposal today, this seems like a sensible suggestion and viable alternative for couples who otherwise may have to delay their Nikah for many months if they wait for an Imam to conduct the ceremony for them on-site.
What stance is The Nikah Co taking?
After consulting with our Imams and senior scholars from the British Board of Scholars and Imams (BBSI), we at The Nikah Co have taken the step to ensure we continue providing our services for the time being in an online capacity, and have already conducted a number of Nikah ceremonies via Zoom. In a time of great uncertainty, many couples have had to postpone their weddings and functions and have raised their concerns regarding the Nikah which they do not want to delay further.
Our qualified Imams at The Nikah Co will ensure that they conduct the Nikah following the usual guidelines and conditions, and we as a team will accommodate for all couples who do not wish to delay their Nikah. Not only will the Nikah be conducted online, but we will also be issuing an electronic copy of the Nikah certificate with e-signatures to ensure all procedures are followed correctly.
We have already conducted a few online Nikah ceremonies and have received glowing reviews thus far. Atif & Shazma, who were due to get married in April 2020 after months of planning, sadly had to postpone their wedding plans after the lockdown measures were enforced by the government. They did however opt for a Nikah via Zoom with The Nikah Co, and they thoroughly enjoyed it with more than 300 virtual guests joining from across the globe! You can read their review and experience here. Imam Sultan Ahmed, who conducted Atif & Shazma's Nikah, said afterwards: "The lockdown might have stopped large gatherings taking place, but it doesn't stop us from fulfilling the important Sunnah of marriage. Our commitment is to continue to work with couples wishing to get Islamically married during the lockdown in the safest way possible while fully adhering to the Islamic principles for a valid Nikah."
Though it has been sad to see many couples having to cancel their plans after months of organising and preparing for their big day, there is still without a doubt the positive of being able to use technology to our advantage during this period.
If you or your loved ones would like to arrange a Nikah online in the coming weeks, please feel free to get in touch with us and we will be able to arrange this for you depending on our availability. In the meantime, we pray for everyone's safety, and hope we can return back to normal soon where we can be part of your special day in person.
Imam Shabbir Hassan (Founder & Officiant, The Nikah Co)
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