Marriage between persons in different countries


Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu Honourable Maulana I am in RSA and the person I want to marry is in Saudi Arabia. According to the legal system there I can only marry him if I have obtained iqama (residency). Is it possible for the nikah to be performed while he is in KSA and I am in RSA (in different countries while the nikah is performed). Please advise JazakAllah Khair
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
  1. Scholars differ on the validity of marriage contracted over means of communication in which the contracting parties are not physically present in the same place, such as the telephone, Skype etc. The view we take is that marriage thus contracted is invalid.
  2. The alternative to using these means of communication is to separate the tawkīl from the nikāḥ
  3. The tawkīl is the process whereby a person, who may in this instance be the bridegroom or the bride’s walī (i.e. her father, brother etc), appoints another person to act as his representative (wakīl) in contracting the marriage.
  4. The appointment as representative may take place over the telephone or via Skype.
  5. The person appointed as representative should ideally be located in the same place as the other party to the marriage so as to conduct a marriage ceremony in which both parties are physically present.
  6. Care should be taken to ensure that if the tawkīl comes from your side in this matter (i.e. if your family are going to appoint someone to be their representative to conclude the marriage in Saudi Arabia), it would be your walī who appoints the wakīl. Your walī would be your father in the first instance. In the absence of your father it would be your grandfather, and in his absence, your brother, and thereafter your paternal uncle.
  7. The converse option, whereby the prospective bridegroom in Saudi Arabia appoints someone as his representative in South Africa, is also possible. In this case he would directly appoint a representative, and not through the agency of a family member.

والله تعالى أعلم

And Allah knows best.

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