Good deed #480 – Witnesses present at nikah

All scholars agree that marriage without witnesses is not possible. Imam Abu Eisa Tirmidhi reports Ibn Abbas (RA) saying that ‘there is no marriage except with Bayyinah (i.e. witnesses)‘. And it is unanimously agreed that there should be two witnesses for a marriage. However, there are some different opinions about witnesses among different scholars; here are these different views:
According to Imam Malik, it is not necessary that the two witnesses be present at a time together, they can witness the marriage at different times, but it is essential to publicize it; thereby meaning, that when the marriage is witnessed by one person and the another afterwards, then it is permissible, as long as that is publicized.
According to Imam Abu Hanifah, a marriage is not acceptable until it is witnessed by two witnesses together, at the time the marriage is contracted.
According to Imam Ahmad Hanbal, one male or two female witnesses can also stand witnesses for a marriage.
According to Imam Shafi, only males can be witnesses of a marriage.
These are the different views of four great scholars; either of these can be followed.
There is another issue related to the religion of the witnesses. Can witnesses be Non-Muslims for a Muslim marriage? Majority of the scholars are of the view that the witnesses for a Muslim marriage should themselves be Muslims. And Allah knows best.
However, the common view is that if there are no two witnesses, the marriage cannot take plac

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