Fatwa ID: 02699
Answered by: Maulana Imran Mughal
My father passed away recently leaving 2 wives first wife English (revert) whom he married in the 60's in front of imaam and witnesses 2nd wife he married in 70's in pakistan (muslim) first wife has no certificate of marriage but pakistani wife has certificate of nikkah,
both of the were not registered in a registry office here. Is the marriage certificate needed to prove she was his wife under English law, or is there a way to get marriage witnesses to sign an affidavit or something.
Both wives were with him till his passing away. Please advise.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
From the point of view of the Shariah, both marriages to each are valid. However, in English law polygamy is illegal and therefore only one marriage is accepted.
This is what is written as conditions for a valid marriage:
“The absolutely minimum requirement for a marriage to be valid under UK law is that it must have been recognized as a valid ceremony that satisfied the legal requirements of the judiciary of the country in which it took place.
Where the partners entering into the marriage ceremony have different countries of domicile, then there must be no objections on the part of the legal authorities in those countries to the marriage taking place.
Also, if one or both of the partners has been previously married, then those previous marriages must have been properly terminated in accordance with UK family law.
An overseas marriage ceremony cannot be simply recorded at a UK register office. The normal procedure to registering an overseas marriage in the UK is to send off an application to the country where you were married requesting that they send the documents to the GRO (General Register Office) and this will create a permanent record of that marriage. The foreign authority will need to send either the original documents or certified copies.”
Only Allah knows best
Written by Moulana Imran Mughal
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham