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Marriage - Nikah & Registry office

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jnk1984 | 18:46 Mon 13th Aug 2012 | Society & Culture
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I am planning to marry my muslim partner and we have decided to have a registry office wedding (non religous) and also a Nikah ceremony - however we are unsure which to have first and i have he below questions - is a Nikah a legal and registered wedding? I am unsure if we can have the nikah blessing first and then still be able to have the registered wedding - ideally we would like to have it this way round, but I do not want to be told afte the Nikah that we can not go ahead with the civil ceremony
thank you


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A register office wedding is the only legal form of marriage in the UK. The registrar can be paid to be present at faith ceremonies such as catholic, muslim, jewish etc. The oddity is Church of England ceremonies, where there's some kind of ancient arrangement that gives you the registrar as a buy-one, get-one free deal.
All other ceremonies performed without either the presence of a registrar, or a separate register office ceremony, have no legal status in the UK.
Be aware this is commonly not understood among UK muslims.
BTW a muslim woman I know was well done over after agreeing to a Nikah and no civil ceremony. He had her money, jewellery and clothes, chucked her out, dragged her name in the mud and carried on with his mistress.
So think on.
Question Author
Thank you.. I am very sure I won't be done over, I just wasnt sure if I could still go ahead with a civil wedding if I had the nikah blessing first! Thank you for your help
From the civil viewpoint, you can dance naked round an oak tree if it's what you like but it is not a recognised marriage, whether done before or after a civil ceremony.
The point of this is to safeguard the property rights of the participants and their heirs, and to ensure that all is done consensually with awareness of all of the consequences.
jnk, you would be fine to do it that way round, it makes no difference to the legal position. Friends of mine married by nikah in Pakistan then came home to the UK and had the civil ceremony - only after that were they formally recognised as a legally married couple by the State.
Mosaic, your first answer is complete rubbish. In Scotland (which is certainly part of the UK) a minister of religion is legally entitled to conduct a wedding ceremony - usually, but not necessarily, in a church. At a certain point in that ceremony, the couple legally become man and wife. At the end, they fill in some paperwork, and someone (usually the best man) has to deliver it to the registry office within two or three days, but the registrar certainly does not have to be at the ceremony. Don't quibble - I've been at scores of these, and I know what happens. I would fully expect the same arrangement to apply in England, especially with Anglican clergymen.
Bert is right. Marriages taking place within churches and synagogues are legal, but in your case I suppose your decision depends upon which ceremony you feel is most important to you. If you marry in an Islamic ceremony, in the eyes of the law you will not be legally married until you undergo a civil ceremony. If you're happy with that, then go for the religious ceremony first. If not, opt for the civil ceremony first.

Being a Muslim, I would say that Nikah should be first. Because without Nikah you are not married in the eye of the religion and can't live together or have a relationship like married people do (but then again here un-married do that too).

Then comes in the law of the country. And of course Nikah is not recognised here as "marriage" in the eye of the law so therefore you will have to have registry office sorted too.

And finally do not listen to anyone who tells you the stories of the people they knew etc as black sheep are every where. And I know you understand what I am talking about.
Wow, that's a fascinating link from Naomi24. When you change the drop-down list box at the top of the page from 'England' to 'Scotland', the differences are staggering. We are supposed to live in a country of religious tolerance, but the marriage laws in England obviously haven't caught up with that yet!

How long is it going to be before England gives Muslim, Hindu and other religions equal status with Christians, Jews, and Quakers? In Scotland, there is only a tiny difference in their status; for example, all that an imam (?) has to do is to register with the local office, then every Nikah ceremony with him is a full legal marriage, and the registrar gets the paperwork afterwards, just the same as for church weddings.
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Keyplus90, thank you for the advice.. I will also be converting to Islam soon however will this have to be done before nikah or can be done after? I am still learning about things and think I already ask my partner too many questions! Thank you
JNK – I would say that it would be better to convert (or revert as Muslims say) to Islam before Nikah. Because where a Muslim man is allowed to marry from people of the book (aka, Jews and Christians) but still there are few restrictions and sometime complications afterward. However if a woman reverts to Islam then in reality it is marriage between two Muslims and no future complications as you have shown commitment from the word go. I sincerely wish you all the best and true happiness in your future life. However if you are interested in gaining knowledge about Islam then there are so many websites. But be careful as there are 10 times more anti-Islamic websites under a disguise. I think the easiest and most trusted is peace TV. It is free English language TV channel covering every sort of topics. SKY 820.
One for Bert: my answer was most certainly not complete rubbish, but is the law in England.
And Wales.
And Northern Ireland.
And the channel islands.
And I'd suggest from the experience of my friend that caution is a good watchword.
Naomi's answer re. churches and synagogues - this is only the case for Anglican churches, not for nonconformist or catholic churches where a registrar must be paid for separately to be present.
//I am still learning about things and think I already ask my partner too many questions! //

I don't understand that. You're embracing the religion of the man you're about to marry (and I presume had he been of another religion you would have embraced that instead), and yet you feel you ask him too many questions? Surely you should feel able to ask him anything you like without worrying about it?
Mosaic, you haven't a leg to stand on there. Your answer was completely wrong for Scotland, and completely wrong for Anglican, Quaker, and Jewish marriages in England. It was grossly misleading for other religious marriages in England, where Naomi24's excellent link shows that when the minister/priest/etc has first obtained the appropriate certificates for himself and for the premises, he can perform the ceremony without the Registrar, the same as Anglican clergy do.

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