A Customary Marriage With Her (Zawaaj ‘Urfi) Then He Left
Her And Ran Away!
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I knew a man who deceived me by saying that he
wanted to marry me. He said he could not announce this
marriage neither could he propose to ask my family for
my hand. We had a customary marriage and we wrote a
paper of it. He left me and ran away. Am I really his
Praise be to Allaah.
We continue to hear about such calamities. For how
long will our daughters remain clueless, not realising
what these criminals want?
Each one of them says: I know what I am doing and I
trust this man, he is not like the others, then when
he gets what he wants from her, he leaves her and runs
There are dozens of stories, if not hundreds or more
than that, of such calamities. It happened repeatedly
and it is still happening repeatedly.
Islam is wise in its prohibition of women adorning
themselves and showing their beauty in front of non-mahram
It is wise in forbidding women to mix with men in a
careless manner which leads to nothing but evil.
It is wise in forbidding women to speak to a non-mahram
man for no purpose or unnecessarily.
It is wise is blocking the way to evildoers and those
in whose hearts is a disease. Islam enjoins women to
observe hijab and cover themselves, and to keep away
from mixing with men as much as possible. It forbids a
man to touch a woman who is not his mahram and forbids
being alone with her, and it forbids speaking in a
soft and alluring manner, and much more.
All of that is to protect her and her chastity, and to
protect society in general against indecency and
immorality, so that chastity, purity and modesty will
If a woman goes against all of that, she will fall
prey to the wolves who do not respect the sacred
things of Allaah. No religious commitment or good
morals prevent them from doing anything. Then the
woman regrets it... but after it is too late, when
regret will not bring back what has been lost.
Islam is wise in forbidding women to arrange their own
marriages; rather it stipulates that her wali or
guardian should be in charge of that, because he is
more able than her to choose a suitable husband for
her, and so that the woman will not be deceived and
become the plaything of criminals.
If a woman gets married without a wali, the Messenger
(blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) ruled that
this is an invalid marriage. He (blessings and peace
of Allaah be upon him) said: "Any woman who gets
married without the permission of her wali, her
marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her
marriage is invalid." Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1102)
and Abu Dawood (2083); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani
in Irwa' al-Ghaleel (1840).
If we add to that the condition of concealing it and
not announcing it or telling the people of it, this is
zina beyond any shadow of a doubt. Merely writing on a
piece of paper is not enough; this paper is worthless
and does not change what is haraam into something
What people call customary marriage, that is done
without the knowledge of the wali, and without
witnesses or announcements, is an invalid marriage; it
is zina, not marriage.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on
With regard to secret marriage, which they agree to
conceal and for which they do not bring any witnesses,
it is invalid according to all the scholars and it
comes under the heading of immorality. Allaah, may He
be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "All
others are lawful, provided you seek (them in
marriage) with Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband
to his wife at the time of marriage) from your
property, desiring chastity, not committing illegal
sexual intercourse" [al-Nisa' 4:24].
Majmoo' al-Fataawa (33/158).
He also said:
If they get married without a wali or witnesses, and
conceal the marriage, this is an invalid marriage
according to the consensus of the imams. Rather the
view of the scholars is that "there is no marriage
without a wali" and "Any woman who gets married
without the permission of her wali, her marriage is
invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is
invalid". Both of these phrases are narrated in al-Sunan
from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be
upon him). More than one of the early generation said:
There is no marriage except with two witnesses. This
is the view of Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa'i and Ahmad,
and Maalik regarded it as obligatory to announce the
Secret marriage is akin to a relationship with a
prostitute. End quote.
Majmoo' al-Fataawa (32/102, 103)
Based on this, what occurred between you was not a
legitimate marriage, and you not a wife to this man.
The ruling on customary marriage has been discussed in
the answers to questions number 45513 and 45663.
In the answer to question number 7989 you will find
evidence to show that marriage without a wali is
Finally, we call upon you to repent to Allaah and to
regret what has taken place, and to resolve not to go
back to it, and to resolve to do righteous deeds and
adhere to the laws of Allaah, for Allaah has promised
acceptance and forgiveness to the one who repents from
sin and does righteous deeds. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
"But whosoever repents after his crime and does
righteous good deeds (by obeying Allaah), then verily,
Allaah will pardon him (accept his repentance).
Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful"
"And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents,
believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in
worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and
then remains constant in doing them (till his death)"
We ask Allaah to enable you to repent and to accept it
And Allaah knows best.