• Marriage Validity and Attribution of Nasab

    MARRIAGE VALIDITY & ATTRIBUTION OF NASAB

    QUESTION ABOUT MARRIAGE VALIDITY: Assalamu’alaikum Peguam Syarie Faiz Adnan. I am Khairul Bin Asri from Bandar Baru Bangi. I got married to my wife; Arini Syakilla in Taiping, Perak and are blessed with one daughter. During the marriage ceremony, my wife’s father was still in existent and lived in Kerteh, Terengganu and was also the wali mujbir of my wife. However, my father in-law did not become the wali for my wife as we solemnised our marriage without his knowledge as my wife doubted that his father would permit us to get married since we were then still in our foundation studies at the Foundation Centre. Nevertheless, my wife never asked for his permission and consent prior to our marriage, hence, there was actually no evidence that my father in law refused to consent. In turn, the man who became my wife’s wali was a man by the name of Ahmad Bin Tokiman, who claimed to be a wali hakim. Problems arose when we received a letter from the Office of the Administration of Islam, Taiping, Perak, stating that our marriage certificate was a forgery and was never issued by any Deputy Registrar of the kariah in the area. I have two questions to ask. Firstly, whether our marriage was lawful and secondly, whether the nasab of our daughter can be attributed to me?

     

    ANSWER:

    1. Wa’alaikumussalam Encik Khairul. Thank you for the genuine questions. I would like to express my concern towards the problems that you and your wife are currently facing and will try my level best to attend to your queries. First and foremost, referring to the facts that you have presented, we have to determine the issues which need to be addressed. There are two issues here, namely:
      1. Whether the marriage which was solemnised in Taiping was valid according to Syara’  (Marriage validity)?
      2. Whether the nasab of the daughter can be attributed to the father?

     

    WHETHER THE MARRIAGE WHICH WAS SOLEMNISED IN TAIPING WAS VALID ACCORDING TO SYARA’

     

    1. In determining marriage validity, we must observe whether all the pillars of a valid marriage in accordance with syara’ are met. Legally speaking, Section 11 of the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 provides that:

    A marriage shall be void unless all conditions necessary, according to Hukum Syarak for the validity thereof are satisfied.

     

    1. The provision does not list out one by one the pillars of marriage, hence, credible Islamic books can be of good reference. Referring to Mughni al-Muhtaj ila Ma’rifati Ma’ani Alfaz Al-Minhaj by Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Muhammad Al-Khatib Al-Sharbini, there are 5 pillars of nikah which are also reiterated in kitab Al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, Juz 4, page 55. The pillars of marriage are:
    • Bridegroom(az-zauj)
    • Bride (az-zaujah)
    • Guardian (wali)
    • Witnesses (Syahidain an-Nikah)
    • Pronouncement of Offer and Acceptance (As-Sighah Ijab wa Qabul)

     

    1. Referring to the first pillar of marriage, i.e. bridegroom, we have to consider whether all of the conditions which are required for the bridegroom to satisfy are fulfilled. The conditions are stated in kitab Al-Iqna’ Fi al-Faz Abi Syuja’, Volume 2, page 246. Firstly, the man is lawful to be married. Secondly, the consent to marry is made voluntarily not under duress. Thirdly, a specific man. Fourthly, the man knows that the woman is lawful to be married.

     

    1. Other conditions can be seen from the Qur’an, such as the man must be a Muslim. This is stated in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 221 which states, “And do not marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe. And a believing slave is better than a polytheist, even though he might please you.” The bridegroom must also not have four wives at the time of the marriage ceremony. This is in consonance with the verse of the Qur’an which restricts the maximum number of wives for a man to get married up to four, whereby in Surah An-Nisa’, verse 3, Allah says, “And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].”

      

    1. Hence, if you have fulfilled all of these conditions and are not under ihram during the marriage solemnisation, then the first pillar of marriage is fulfilled.

     

    1. Next, with regards to the second pillar of marriage, which is the bride, in the Qur’an, in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 221, whereby Allah says:

    Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters) until they believe. A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman even though she allures you.

    In addition, in another verse Allah says, “(Lawful to you in marriage) are not only chaste women who are believers but chaste women among the people of the Book revealed before your time ­ – when you give them their dowers and desire chastity not lewdness nor secret intrigues.”

     

    1. Thus, based on the above two verses, the bride must either be a Muslim or a kitabiyyah. Since there is no mention in the facts that you have presented that your wife is a kitabiyyah, a discussion pertaining to it need not be elaborated further. Apart from being a Muslim, based on the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zain et al. (2016), the bride must also not be associated with any marital relationship at the time of the marriage. Moreover, she must also ensure that she is not within the prohibited degrees of blood or fosterage relationship.

     

    1. Therefore, if your wife has no obstruction to get married by fulfilling all the conditions of a valid bride, thus, the second pillar of marriage is also said to have been fulfilled.

     

    1. Moving on to the third pillar of marriage, which is wali. This pillar is of great importance in this present case before us since your marriage was solemnised without your wife’s wali’s knowledge and consent. Shahrin Nasution in his book called Fiqh Lengkap Perkahwinan, defines wali as “a person who has the right to give away a woman in marriage”. This is cited in the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zain et al. (2016). The necessity to have a wali in a marriage is emphasised in the hadith of the Prophet which states to the effect that: “There is no marriage without wali”.

     

    1. Based on the facts that you have stated, during the marriage ceremony, your wife’s father who was also a wali mujbir was in existent. Nevertheless, the marriage was solemnised by a purported wali hakim, or simply said, by a person falsely representing himself as a wali hakim. We firstly have to define the meanings of wali mujbir and wali hakim.

     

    1. Wali mujbir is a guardian with the power of compulsion, which means, he has complete rights over the woman under his care, to marry her off to a man that is of the same/similar social status (kafaah) without her prior consent. The power to become wali mujbir is specially designated to the father and the paternal grandfather of the bride only. This is stated by Mohammad Azam Hussain and Alias Azhar in their article entitled; The Definition of Wali (Guardian) in Marriage from the Perspective of Fiqh and Family Law in Malaysia. Section 2 of the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 also defines wali mujbir as the father or the paternal grandfather and above.

     

    1. On the other hand, wali hakim means “a Sultan or a Leader as the Head of an Islamic State or a Judge or any other person who is granted permission and conferred with the power to become a wali nikah for the woman.” This is stated by Al-Syeikh al-Imam al-‘Allamah Muwaffaq al-Din Abi Muhammad ‘Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Mahmud bin Qudamah, 1972 in Al-Mughni, Volume 7 and cited in the aforementioned article.

     

    1. Whereas, in Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu, Volume 7, states that “the majority of the ‘ulamaa’ opines that a marriage solemnisation is not valid except if it is solemnised by a wali. A woman cannot marry herself off, nor can she marry off others, and she also cannot appoint others to become a wali to marry her off. If such acts are done, the marriage is not valid regardless whether the woman has already come of age, is of sound mind and is already matured…If the wali refuses to marry her off, thus the hakim shall act as the wali for a person who has no wali.

     

    1. Referring to the facts that you have presented, when the marriage between you and your wife was solemnised in Taiping, Perak, the wali mujbir was in existent and stayed in Kerteh, Terengganu. A wali mujbir can only be substituted with a wali hakim upon three main grounds, namely, when the wali refuses to consent, when the wali disappears (ghaib) or when he is unavailable. These three grounds are stipulated under section 13(b) of the Enactment.

     

    1. With regards to the first ground, in order to know whether there is in fact a refusal from the wali, there must be a prior confirmation and approval by the Judge. Our religion strongly detests if a wali refuses to marry off the woman under his guardianship without lawful reasons. This is explained in the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zain et al. (2016).

     

    1. In this present case, there is no express evidence to show that the wali had refused to give his consent for the marriage, as you and your wife did not even convey about the marriage to the wali and the wali did not even have the knowledge regarding the marriage. And your wife only had doubt on whether the wali would or would not consent to the marriage. Thus, the first ground to allow a wali hakim to substitute a wali mujbir would not be successfully invoked.

     

    1. Moving on the last two grounds, i.e., when the wali disappears or when the wali is unavailable, the issue of distance comes into the picture. Based on the decided local cases such as in the cases of Hashim v Fatimah [1977] 5 JH 106, Zakaria v Maria [1977] 3 JH 97, and Saad bin Syafie v Sarimah bt Saad [1992] 9(2) JH 203, only if the wali resides in a place which is situated more than two marhalah from the place of marriage, can the marriage be solemnised by a wali hakim, provided that other required conditions are fulfilled.

     

    1. In this present case, despite the distance between Kerteh and Taiping exceeds two marhalah, the “wali hakim” which solemnised your marriage was a falsely represented wali hakim. And based on the case of Abd Halim bin Md Hashim v Azila bt Ramli @ Ismail [2017] 2 SHLR 57, there was also no pronouncement of wakalah wali from the wali mujbir to the man who solemnised the marriage. Thus, the status of that juru nikah which was tainted with forgery would make the requirement of wali not to be fulfilled in this present case.

     

    1. Next, with regards to the fourth pillar of marriage, which is the presence of two witnesses during the marriage ceremony, the Qur’an, in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 282 states:

    and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as you choose for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her

     

    1. Based on al-Khatib al-Sharbani, page 235, written by Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Muhammad, a marriage is invalid except if it is solemnised in the presence of two male witnesses who are free, ‘adil, able to hear, see and understand the ijab (offer) and qabul (acceptance). Since the facts are silent with regards to the issue of witnesses, thus, the requirement of two witnesses as has been discussed above needs to be satisfied in order to meet the requirement of the fourth pillar of marriage.

     

    1. The last pillar of marriage is the pronouncement of offer and acceptance (as-sighah ijab wa qabul). Based on Ala’eddin Kharofa, page 45, as cited in the Islamic Family Law in Malaysia by Najibah Mohd Zain et al. (2016), there are a few conditions of a valid pronouncement of ijab and qabul. Firstly, the sighah must be made in an official ceremonial gathering. Secondly, both of the parties must be able to hear each other and the pronouncement should be comprehendible by each of them that the contract is for the purpose of marriage. Thirdly, the acceptance should tally with the offer that is made, and lastly, the marriage contract should be witnessed by two witnesses which must be legally acceptable. Since the facts are silent about how the sighah was pronounced, thus, considering all the conditions of a valid sighah are fulfilled, the last pillar of marriage is said to be fulfilled.

     

    1. Nevertheless, based on the above discussion, since the requirement of a valid wali is not present in this case, based on the case of Abd Halim bin Md Hashim v Azila bt Ramli @ Ismail [2017] 2 SHLR 57, the marriage would be fasid or in other words, it would result to an irregular marriage. A fasid marriage happens when there is a lacking of the requirements of a valid marriage such as a marriage without a wali. This is stated by Abdul Azis Bin Abdul Rawi Bin Ali Al-Jabar in his kitab, Al-Hukm bi-Ithbat an-Nasab. Thus, both of you would be separated (faraq) due to the irregularity of the marriage. And the consummation which took place due to the fasid marriage would constitute wati syubhah (syubhah intercourse). Based on Section 2 of the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, a syubhah intercourse is interpreted as an “intercourse performed on erroneous impression that the marriage was valid when in fact the marriage was not valid (fasid) or intercourse by mistake and includes any intercourse not punishable by Had in Islam”.

     

    WHETHER THE NASAB OF THE DAUGHTER CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE FATHER

     

    1. Referring to an article entitled, “Pensabitan Nasab dan Anak Tak Sah Taraf dari Perspektif Syariah dan Perundangan Islam di Malaysia”, written by Paizah Hj. Ismail, according to the fuqaha’, lineage (nasab) in Islam can be acquired via three means. One of them is when there is a syubhah intercourse between a man and a woman.

     

    1. In the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, there is a specific provision with regards to a syubhah. It is stated under Section 114 of the Enactment. The Section provides, “Where a man has syubhah sexual intercourse with a woman, and she is subsequently delivered of a child between the period of six qamariah months to four qamariah years after the intercourse, the paternity of the child shall be ascribed to the man.”

     

    1. Based on the above provision and based on the case of Abd Halim bin Md Hashim v Azila bt Ramli @ Ismail [2017] 2 SHLR 57, if your daughter was 6 months after your marriage, then, the nasab of your daughter could be attributed to you as the biological father of the child.

     

    CONCLUSION:

     

    1. In conclusion, based on the foregoing discussions, the answer to the question on your marriage validity is that, your marriage that was solemnised in Taiping, Perak by a falsely represented wali hakim, would result in the marriage being fasid (irregular) due to the non-fulfilment of one of the pillars of nikah (arkan an-nikah).Whereas, in respect of the attribution of lineage of your daughter to you, if it can be satisfactorily proven that your daughter was born 6 months after the solemnisation of your marriage, then, it is most likely that the nasab of your daughter could be attributed to you. Since your queries involved several complicated matters, I humbly advise you to seek and consult a Syarie Lawyer who is eligible to address and answer these questions.

    Article published for Peguam Syarie Faiz Adnan