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Does a Marriage Need an Imam to Preside over it to be Legal?

by Aditi
(South Africa)

I am particularly interested with what you're saying regarding the sermon, on the Muslim Marriage Culture page: "The wedding ceremony starts with delivery of a sermon by a Qazi or Imam. Though his services are not required at all for a valid Muslim marriage contract but traditionally no Muslim marriage is conducted without such a sermon."

My question relates specifically to the need for an Imam during a Muslim wedding. Are you saying here that a Nikah can be regarded as valid even if its not presided over by a religious person?

Furthermore, the fundamentals you put forward elsewhere on the website outlining what constitutes a legal Muslim marriage say nothing about the requirement that both parties be Muslim. Can a nikah take place if one of the parties is not Muslim, although on the proviso that all children born from the union be Muslim? I am aware that people 'of the book' are not required to convert on this same provision; but am wondering about other religions eg. Hinduism, Bhuddism etc.

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