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Urfi: Urfi Nikah-Secret Marriage | Urfi Marriage/Nikah in Muslim Countries

What is an Urfi Nikah or a Secret Urfi Marriage?

URFI MARRIAGE/NIKAH: The Urfi Nikah is a secret type of marriage in some Arab countries that happens without a religious ceremony. Urfi marriages are not recognized by law. The term Urfi, an Arabic word literally meaning “customary” is a reference to the customary marriages which are practiced in many Muslim countries today. Although modern Muslim societies often view it as a “secret” marriage, despite its literal meaning. The Urfi Nikah is a marriage that happens without the formalities associated with a religious ceremony. In some Muslim countries, it remains used as an alternative to marriage for women who were not allowed to marry outside their tribe or caste.

Urfi Nikah/Secret Marriage

Urfi Marriage is Not Legally Recognized

In the context of customary marriage, it is a marriage that is not legally recognized. Many people have questions about it and whether it is in accordance with sharia law. Generally, the Sharia prohibits the execution of a contract unless it is made by the guardian of the woman in the presence of two witnesses. A marriage contract is not deemed valid if it is not recorded by the official tasked with recording marriage contracts.

Rationale Behind Urfi Marriage

In earlier times, marriage used to be a religious contract between two individuals. It was a simple contract written on a piece of paper and signed by both parties with witnesses. There was no minimum or maximum time span for the marriage contract, and there was no need for any special permission from government authorities or from relatives to approve the marriage.

In Earlier Times, Marriage was a Simple Contract Written on a Piece of Paper and Signed by Both Parties with Witnesses

As the world has progressed, so has the understanding of marriage. In earlier times, marriage used to be a religious contract between two individuals. It was a simple contract written on a piece of paper and signed by both parties with witnesses. There was no minimum or maximum time span for the marriage contract, and there was no need for any special permission from government authorities or from relatives to approve the marriage.

We Need to Update Our Matrimonial Laws Occasionally Based on Modern-day Scenarios

As we move forward in our journey towards building better communities one step at a time, we also need to update our matrimonial laws occasionally based on modern-day scenarios which arise out of technological advancements that help us connect with people across borders at lightning speed but also allow us access information about other cultures which may not necessarily be conducive towards fostering healthy relationships within families or communities where everyone knows everyone else’s business all too well.

An Urfi Marriage was Performed Traditionally to Allow Widows to Remarry

An Urfi marriage was performed traditionally to allow widows to remarry while keeping their state pensions. Because of its secrecy, the Urfi system has been used to marry people of different social classes. A man from an upper-class family can marry a second wife from a lower-class family by utilizing Urfi marriage. By preserving their marriages with their wives, and keeping their second marriage secret, men were able to satisfy their sexual desires while preserving their honor. Due to the fact that “urfi marriages” are not recognized by the courts, and because the couple does not establish a joint home after marriage, this relationship can remain secret. Their relationship can be defined as a marriage contract and a sexual relationship that binds them as husband and wife.

Increasing Number of Urfi Marriages are Observed in Egypt

An increasing number of Urfi marriages are observed in Egypt, particularly among affluent young Egyptians who face economic hardships at the time of marriage, as a result of inflation and unemployment. In addition, Urfi marriages are also used by young Egyptians to maintain their halal image as Muslims while following the wave of “liberal” westernization.

Nikah Urfi or Urfi Marriage is Common in a Few Muslim Countries

Today, what is known as Urfi Nikah or Urfi Marriage is common in a few Muslim countries. This is mainly due to the restrictions imposed upon youth by their families, where they are not allowed to choose their own life partner according to their wishes. The most common problem faced by Muslim youth in choosing their partners is that they are not allowed to marry outside their caste, race, religion, color, and creed.

Urfi Nikah or Urfi Marriage has been adopted by both urban and rural areas with equal enthusiasm because of its simplicity and flexibility. Urfi Nikah or Urfi Marriage may be performed without any paperwork or registration at a local mosque by the Imam (religious leader) after taking consent from both parties involved for marriage.

Legal Status of Urfi Marriage

The Urfi Nikah is a marriage that takes place without the formalities of a religious wedding. It was historically used by women who were not allowed to marry outside their caste, and it is still used in some Muslim countries as an alternative to official marriage.

Urfi Nikah was originally practiced by lower-class Muslim families because they couldn’t afford to pay the dower money required for a proper wedding ceremony. In Egypt, Urfi weddings became popular because Muslim women from lower classes were forbidden from marrying outside their caste or religion.

Urfi Nikah is not Recognized as an Official Marriage in Most Countries

However, Urfi Nikah is not recognized as an official marriage in most countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This means that the couple will not be considered married under civil law—for example, if one spouse dies intestate (without leaving a will), their assets will go to their family members rather than their spouse and children.

Urfi Marriages are Legal in Some Arab Countries, like Egypt

In some countries, Urfi marriages are legal. In Egypt, for example, they are recognized by law. 

In Egypt, Urfi marriages are considered legal in the eyes of the law. This means that any children that come from an Urfi marriage will be considered legitimate and have all the same rights as children born to a more traditional union.

Urfi Marriages are Considered as Unofficial Nikah or Nikah Al-Mutah

In other countries around the world where Islamic law is practiced, Urfi marriages are also recognized as legal unions by the state and its courts. Urfi marriages are legal in Egypt and some other Muslim countries. They are also known as unofficial nikah or nikah al-mutah. These types of marriage have no legal standing, but they are recognized by the Muslim community for the purpose of creating a religious bond between two individuals.

In Egypt, Urfi marriages can be performed by any person or group of people who are authorized by the local Sheikh or Imam of a Masjid to perform these types of marriages. The spouses must be present during the ceremony, and they must consent to be married.

Urfi Marriage Ceremony is Not Legally Binding

The Urfi marriage ceremony is not legally binding, but it will help you prove that you were married if you need to show proof of your relationship in court or with government agencies.

Urfi marriage is a type of marriage that is recognized by Islamic law and follows many of the same rules as a regular Muslim marriage. However, unlike traditional marriage, an urfi marriage does not require two witnesses or an Islamic ceremony.

In Egypt, it is legal for men to marry women without having the woman’s consent. In fact, if the woman refuses to marry the man who has asked her father for her hand in marriage, she can be punished by imprisonment or flogging. A man may also force his wife into an urfi marriage if he has divorced her three times before.

The Growing Trend of Urfi Marriages

Urfi Nikah is becoming increasingly popular in Saudi Arabia as it offers Muslim youth a chance to marry outside their caste, race, religion, and creed.

In addition to this, the most common problem that Muslim youth face when selecting a partner for marriage is that they are not allowed to marry outside their caste or race. The Urfi Nikah allows them to bypass these restrictions and choose a partner of their choice.

Urfi Nikah or Urfi Marriage is very common in almost all Muslim countries. It is a practice where the couples do not have to get married in court and the couple can be legally married without getting it registered. They have to offer certain prayers at home by themselves, which makes them legally married according to sharia law.

This trend has become very common, especially among youth who are not able to convince their families of their choice of a marriage partner, or they are not allowed by their parents due to some reasons. In this case, Urfi Nikah is a good option for them as they can marry according to their wish and also save money that would have been required for registering the marriage in court.


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