Correct For The Husband’s Father To Be A Witness To His
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I have been married for two years but my
marriage was done in the following manner:
after getting engaged, we decided to do the marriage
contract. I went with my father and my fiancée and her
father to the registrar’s office, but we found only
one notary public. His companion was absent even
though he knew that he and his companion were supposed
to sign the marriage contract. The notary who was
present knows my father. That notary did the marriage
contract and asked my wife’s father about the dowry
and whether he had received it. He said that he had
received it when he had only received half of it, and
we went ahead with the marriage contract. When we came
out I did not feel comfortable about that so I asked
my father whether this marriage contract was
Islamically acceptable, since there must be two
witnesses and there had only been one. My father
replied that there was nothing wrong with that, so I
kept quiet, but until now I am not convinced about
that. Hence I am asking whether my marriage is
Islamically acceptable or is there any reservation
concerning it? Can my father be counted as a witness?
If it is not Islamically acceptable, what is the
Praise be to Allaah.
The marriage contract mentioned is valid and your
father can be counted as a witness to your marriage.
This is the view of Imam al-Shaafa’i and was narrated
in one of the reports from Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have
mercy on them both).
See Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj, 6/218; al-Insaaf, 8/105
That is because he is not a wali (guardian) with
regard to marriage, so he may be a witness, unlike the
The view that this is valid was favoured by Shaykh Ibn
‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him). After
mentioning the first view on this matter, which is
that it is not permissible for any ascendant (father,
grandfather, etc) or descendant (son, grandson, etc)
of either spouse to be a witness to the marriage, he
said: The second view is that this is valid, and one
or both witnesses may be an ascendant or descendent.
Then he said: So the correct view is that the marriage
contract is valid. This was narrated from Ahmad and
was the view favoured by many of our companions.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 5/163
Moreover you mention that you have been married for
two years, so it may be assumed that the marriage has
been announced publicly, such as inviting people to a
wedding party and so on, as is customary among people
nowadays. This is sufficient to make the marriage
valid, even if it was not witnessed by two witnesses,
according to some scholars. This is the view favoured
by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah who said: There is no
doubt that a marriage that is announced publicly is
valid, even if it is not witnessed by two witnesses.
Al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 210
The wife’s father erred by saying that he had received
the dowry when in fact he had only received half of
it, but that does not affect the validity of the
And Allaah knows best.