Wednesday 10 August 2022 \


Is it permissible to solemnise marriage over Skype?

I have the following situation: the father of my bride is in another region several thousand kilometers away. The road there is fraught with high financial costs and a waste of time, which is very problematic for me. Is it possible to use modern means of communication, the Internet in such a situation? Is it permissible to solemnise marriage (nikah) over Skype?


Imam al-Nawawi in the book "Rawzat at-Talibin" (Volume 7, p. 37) notes:
إذا كتب بالنكاح إلى غائب أو حاضر, لم يصح ... لأنه كناية ولا ينعقد بالكنايات ... ولو خاطب غائبا بلسانه, فقال: زوجتك بنتي ثم كتب, فبلغه الكتاب أو لم يبلغه, وبلغه الخبر, فقال: قبلت نكاحها, لم يصح على الصحيح ( ج -7, ص -37)
"If a person wrote the words of solemnising marriage to someone who is not present or to someone nearby, then such a marriage is not considered valid ..., since it falls under a category known as kinayat (1) (indirect expression), and marriage by indirect words is not considered as valid.
If someone, addressing to a person who is not present, said: "I will marry my daughter to you", and then wrote these words, and this letter reached the person whom he addressed, or the letter did not reach, but reached the information that he said so, after which the recipient accepted the marriage and said: "I will marry her," then in all these cases the marriage is not considered valid."
Kinayat (indirect expression) may be used for authorisation (wakalah) purposes.
Ibn Hajar al-Haythami in the book "Tuhfat al-Muhtaj" (volume 5, p.310) states:
(ويشترط من الموكل) ... (لفظ) صريح أو كناية ومثله كتابة (ج -5, ص -310)
"A condition for someone to authorize another to solemnise marriage, for instance, are words that indicate the authorization by direct or indirect text (kinayat) or in writing."
1. It follows from the foregoing that many modern scholars consider marriage over Skype and other means of communication in writing, i.e. by indirect words, to be null and void.
2. However, some other scholars allow authorization (wakalah) by phone and other means of communication in matters related to marriage, etc.
(1) Kinayat is an indirect indication (expression) of something where the word has an undisclosed meaning.

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