Are secret marriages allowed? Like at universities where girls or boys marry without parental consent, knowledge or approval?
Scholars differentiate between two types of what is known as common marriage. Common, here, stands in contrast to well documented marriage. The first is when marriage takes place without being officially recorded. But it takes place within the family, is known among the friends and neighbours but for other reasons it is not registered. Maybe the couple are drawing unmarried benefits or whatever. This is an acceptable religious marriage even though there are unethical motives behind it.
The other type is exactly the one referred to in the question. When the two parties agree to keep it secret. They ask two friends to witness the marriage with the understanding that they do not talk about it. And they did not, I repeat, they did not register it. This does not amount to a secure, tranquil marriage. It is simply satisfying their physical need. The comment of a scholar, who was a judge before taking the chair of the Islamic Shari’ah in the Faculty of Law, Cairo University, is that “We do not condone, nor accept such an arrangement. It is far from the real concept of marriage. Families and girls’ honour should not be treated so flippantly. In my life as a judge I came across so many miserable, depressing cases resulting in acrimonious disputes. Allah’s Shari’ah has to be respectfully followed. Any so called legal fictions in this particular matter must be shunned.”
And Allah says the Truth and guides to the right way.
“Guardianship in Marriage” by Sheikh Darsh Available from Amanah Publications FAO Ashfaq Ali, 841 Barkerend Road, Bradford, BD3 8QJ