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Civil Marriage Ceremony of New Convert Permissible?

23 July, 2021
Q Hi. I am marrying a wonderful Muslim man in October. I was raised in a Christian family so we believe that this is possible but are trying to work out the ceremony. We plan on being married in the eyes of Islam the day before with a Muslim ceremony. The following day we will have the legal ceremony and reception. I have a family friend 'aunty' who is a minister of religion in the church I grew up in and I would love for her to marry us. The ceremony will take place in the gardens and the guide she has given us will reference God in the following way "Marriage, first instituted by God, is both a civil and a sacred institution." Is it acceptable for a Muslim man to be married using this quote? And secondly by a minister of religion (Christian) in a civil garden ceremony? Thank you for your reply.


Short Answer:

  • Having a Muslim ceremony the day before, the marriage conditions in Islam will be met and the marriage will be valid.
  • The quote you mentioned does not contain anything objectionable from an Islamic point of view. It may be used in the civil ceremony.


Salaam alaikum my sister and thank you for your question.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

May Allah bless you both, make you the coolness of each other’s eyes, and let your lives together be filled with love and happiness, Ameen!

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Marriage Conditions in Islam

From a Muslim perspective, the conditions of the marriage ceremony (or nikkah in Arabic) are quite simple.

– Both the bride and the groom must be present (or people there on their behalf)

– Both of them must consent to and accept the marriage

– The bride must have a male guardian (wali) present (this is usually a male blood relative, although a trusted imam could also act as one especially if a Muslim woman doesn’t have any Muslim male relatives)

– A dowry (mahr) for the bride must be agreed upon

– There must be at least two male witnesses

Since you will be having a Muslim ceremony the day before, all these conditions will be met and the marriage will be valid.

Civil Marriage Ceremony

Because the religious ceremony already happened, the legal/civil marriage ceremony can be more flexible.

As long as there isn’t anything included in it that is blatantly against Islamic beliefs, couples may make the civil ceremony however they want.

The quote you mentioned does not contain anything Islamically objectionable, so it may be used in the civil ceremony.

As long as the person performing the civil marriage is allowed to do so from a secular legal standpoint (e.g. a judge, a minister, etc.), they may civilly marry a Muslim couple that has had an Islamic marriage ceremony.

I think it’s lovely that you are asking your aunty to perform the ceremony.

It is surely a great honor for her to be included like this, and it also is a wonderful way to integrate your family and their traditions into your newly married life.

Thank you for contacting us, and I wish you the best in this life and the Hereafter.


And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

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About Anne Myers
Anne Myers is a proud Wellesley College graduate and holds a Master of Divinity focusing in Islamic studies. She has experience in pastoral care in hospital and university settings. Her passions include Islam, feminism, traveling, reading, watching cooking competitions, and her cats.