As Salaam Alaikum,

A man says to a woman,’Marry me’ or ‘You marry me’ And the woman replies,’okay’. This conversation takes place in front of many people. Does it make them married?


Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

No. They are not married because ‘Okay’ is not ‘Qubool’ (acceptance). The word ‘Okay’ does not give a clear meaning as to what the woman wants to say or what response she is giving, since it has many different meanings, and can be used to send different messages.

Besides the ambiguity in the word ‘okay’, it also cannot be used for Qubool (acceptance) since it is not a past tense word. According to the Islamic law, marriage occurs with an offer and acceptance (Ijab and Qubool) by using two statements which express the past tense, or one of the two statements expresses the past tense and the other expresses the future tense.

In the case mentioned above, the statement ‘marry me’ or ‘you marry me’ (uttered by the man), is an order which is considered a part of the future tense. It therefore means that the woman was required to use a statement which expressed the past tense. Therefore, she should have said, ‘I have accepted’ or ‘I have married you’. In these statements, the past tense is present, and would have made the Nikah valid. But the woman did not use such statements. Instead, she said ‘okay’ which is not a past tense word, and it also does not convey what the intention of the woman is since the meaning of the word is not clear. Therefore, marriage will not take place.

And Allah Knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan,