Question:  What is the exact way to perform nikah? Where it should take place and how? Please tell me the right way given in Islam.


Bismillah wal-Hamdulillah was-Salatu was-Salam ‘Ala Rasulillah.

Well, first of all what is nikah? Nikah is basically a contract between two parties.

Nikah has certain conditions to be valid. What does this mean? Take the example of prayer / namaz / salah. If you pray without wudu, is your prayer valid? No. You must have wudu for your prayer to be valid. Therefore, wudu is considered a “condition” for your prayer to be valid. Similarly, nikah has some conditions. The two most important conditions are:

(1) Proposal and acceptance

(2) Two just, practicing, upright Muslim witnesses

Usually, the traditional sequence of events goes like this:

  • The imam performing the nikah addresses those present, the bride and the groom, to have Taqwa of Allah and explains how marriage is God’s blessing on mankind. He may also explain the rights and responsibilities of each spouse.
  • Before the father can propose to the man, he must obtain the woman’s permission. So, he will go to the woman and ask her if she wants to marry him. It’s better for a woman never married before to stay quiet, her silence is taken as “yes.” She may also say, “yes.” These days, the bride and the groom have already obtained a marriage license before they get it solemnized, thus, making this step superfluous.
  • Proposal & Acceptance

The father makes a “proposal,” to the man, offering his daughter in marriage. He does this by saying a few words in Arabic like “zawwujtuka ibnitee Aisha” (the imam performing the nikah will tell him what to say in Arabic). The man “accepts” the proposal by in turn saying few words in Arabic like “nakah-tu” (again the imam will tell him exactly what to say).

  • Two practicing, upright Muslim men must be “witnesses” to the marriage contract (nikah). Of course, they can be more, but at least two practicing Muslim men should be physically present and quietly “witness” the marriage proceedings. ‘Practicing’ means they pray regularly, fast Ramadan, give zakah, and do not commit sins openly.

The mahr / haqq-mahr/ sidaq/ dowry is the gift given by the man to the woman. It is all hers to keep. The equivalent of what the Prophet gave as his mahr to his wives at the time of marriage is estimated to be the price of 1531 gram of silver, but there is no minimum or maximum for it. It can be more or less than that, according to the financial ability of the man.

It is better to agree upon it before the nikah and it is better that the man pays it at the time of nikah too. Some people write a BIG amount of mahr and say the man may pay it later. They make it like a security against divorce!

That’s it. They are husband and wife now!

All of the above can be done verbally. Putting things in writing or signing papers is for confirmation and government procedures and is definitely recommended to preserve rights.

Also, the nikah ceremony may take place anywhere, a mosque, house, or a marriage hall. Of course, a place with least sinful activities is better!

At the end, people give some money to the “maulvi” sahib who performs the nikah, because after all this is one of the two occasions (other being death) when many secular Muslims remember Islam and solicit the services of a “maulvi”!

And Allah knows best.

Feature Image: Flickr