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Islam/is it nikah or just engagement, and can i leave him??

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salaamun brother. im very worried and would really appreciate ur advice and the research u may do for it in sha Allaah.

engagements in my culture are seen as an agreement between the two families for the couples to get married (however, i dont think they take it as nikah perhaps), engagements in my culture is not a getting to now each other phase and then decide on whether to marry or not, as some people may see engagements as.

I was asked for my approval for the relationship, and I said yes, I accepted the relationship, willing to get married, but I didnt think of my consent to be taken as the consent for nikah to happen at that time, it was just my approval of the relationship, as in having the intention of marrying him in the future. and I dont even think my family took this as nikah.

There were many guests on engagement day, but I dont even know if they all prayed salahs or not. an adult sane person who doesnt do salahs out of laziness, some scholers say they are kaafirs and cant be witnesses or wali, so though there were many people seeing us get engaged, but whether they were in the position to be witnesses or not is something im not 100% sure of, though their would have been probably at least 2 or 3 people out of so many guests that prayed salahs. Also, im not sure if the guests saw this as nikah or just engagement.

Before I talk about the wali, I would like u to know that the judicatory system of the country that the engagement happened in and that my family were born in are hanafi I think, though im not sure if my family believe that wali is essential or not for the validation of nikah, they may believe it to be essential. im not sure if the wali’s consent and confusion over this is therefore something that matters in my case, though I personally believe that wali is needed for nikah, however, I am not sure if I had this view at the time of engagement or not, I dont follow a particular madhab now, also im not sure if my family holds this view or not. Also, my father is more close to my mothers father and her brothers, rather his own brothers (his father has past away), because many of his family members have cheated him, and are not that good, but I think he is in touch with his cousin and one or two of his brothers perhaps too, but not sure how good their bond is, but in general he is more closer to my moms family instead of his own… my dad doesnt pray, or may be he did at that time, i dont quite remember if it was ramadhan or not, anyway, my dad was happy with this relationship as well as my maternal grandad. my maternal grandad had consent over this relationship though im not sure if he intended to be my wali or not and whether he saw this as nikah or not, but he had agreed on this relationship, and my family and my fiance's family were happy and in agreement with this relationship. However, I do not know if my grandad (or someone speaking from my grandad's side) proposed to my fiance or not (or proposing to someone who was on my fiances side or proposing to someone who was representing my fiance) and whether then my fiance (or someone from his side of family or someone speaking on his behalf) then accepted it or not. so basically, im not sure if such exact dialogue of proposal (by wali) and acceptance (by fiance) has happened or not, i dont think it has happened, but both families, including my maternal grandad and fiance had no objection to this relationship and were happy.

Furthermore, what has happened (before the engagement day) is that some money was given to my maternal grandad was given some money by my fiances grandad, or by someone from my fiances family, but this was not mahr, this was just a customary practice as to show official agreement between the two families, however, I dont know if this is taken as nikah or not by them. By the way, there was no qaadi in all this … there are so many 'IFs' and 'BUTs', and im very confused as to whether the conditions for nikah have been met or not.

I have been given gifts, but mahr has not yet been given to me, though the amount is kind of fixed for it.

Im not sure if the groom’s side took this as nikah or just engagement. as far as im aware, my family just took it as an engagement.

am I in nikah or not? has all these things that have happened made me in nikah to him ???

are there any scholerly differences in opinon regarding this ? plz explain if this is nikah then how it became nikah, and if not nikah, then whats been lacking from it that doesnt make it nikah.

may be im over thinking and worrying, i dont know, but i really need to know, because if its engagement then i want to break it off, if its nikah then im not sure if i should break it off or not just because he isnt as islamic as how much he should be.

he doesnt drink, he prays and fasts etc, generally a very good guy, but not as islamic as one should be, he likes music for example, he may change for me but im not sure how much he will actually listen to me and obey Allaah from his heart in all matters of life. sometimes i fear that his family arent religious so he may not be so religious either, and it may have influence on kids. im not really sure, im very confused on what to do. my family arent religious so if after the wedding he doesnt be islamic, my family will not understand or support me perhaps, so to avoid the risk i want to leave him now, but im not sure if i should or not leave if nikah has taken place. if possible, plz tell me if nikah has taken place do i have the right for khula in my situation. to be honest, i dont feel very comfortable with this relationship anyway, but  if he turns islamic or taking khula is not right in my case, then for Allaah's sake i am ready to stay in this relationship, in sha Allaah.

Furthermore if I can take khula, is it enough to just break the engagement, and not say anything to my fiance or anyone that we were in nikah and now I want a khula, I mean is it enough to just break the engagement, though he may not be happy with it from the heart perhaps for the engagement to break, would that be enough for the khula to happen? or do I have to actually ask my fiancé for khula?? and would I also have to return all the gifts without him asking for it?? I don’t want to ask khula directly or tell anyone that nikah has happened if I decide to leave him, because people may frown upon that.

Basically, I want to know whether nikah has happened or not? and if it has happened then do I have the right to leave him now? If I do have the right to leave him, how should it be done ? plz answer with sure knowledge... i cant go to a local imam, so if ur not sure about this matter either then can u plz research this matter for me dear brother... i want to break my engagement if nikah isnt done, but i need to be very sure tho before i do anythin on whether or not nikah is done or not.

sorry for the long question, im just very distressed and need to sure on this matter. wasalam brother.

Answer
Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim (In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Assalmalaikum

Dear Sister,

Since it was engagement, it was not nikah at all. After nikah, the husband has full right over the bride and both sign the marital contract.
Walimah is given the next day of nikah. Here that didnt happen as well.

However please re-think before calling off. Its important to understand that none is perfect. There will always be ifs and buts in a human. You have to learn to compromise here and there. If he is fearfull of Allah, then everything will go well.

Allah can give hidaya to anyone anytime. So just pray to Allah that whatever happens, happens for good.

You may also do istikhara.

Istikhara
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Bukhari Vol 2, Book 21. prayer At Night (Tahajjud). Hadith 263.
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Narrated By Jabir bin 'Abdullah  : The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara (Istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or a deed), in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Qur'an. He said, "If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer): 'Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as'alaka min fadlika al-'azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta'lamu Wala a'lamu, Wa anta 'allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta'lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or 'ajili amri wa'ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or fi'ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.' (O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter... (or said: If it is better for my present and later needs). Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter... (or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs). Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it). The Prophet added that then the person should name (mention) his need.

The dua is available in arabic text in the following website

http://islamnatural.com/istikhara.htm

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Its my duty to help those in need. You are free to ask as many questions as you like.

If you are not convinced or feel the answer did not address all your questions, pls write back immediately without any hesitation. Please do forgive me if there is an unexpected delay in replying.

rg
Ahmer

Pls spare some time and see these small video clips.


hijab
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg3C1WpX3N8

which is the best religion - how to identify the true scripture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIcl0ZAF6ZU

why is islam the best religion - 15point explanation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atOexGJC88U

love affairs & Islam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9xAj7Aeg-w

Riba
http://www.dailymotion.com/islamnatural

( Note: I am not a mufti, if you are in doubt or want 100% accuracy please verify the above hadith with an authentic personality. However I have not altered any hadith and presented it as and how it was found. May Allah forgive our mistakes from time to time...ameen.)

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