sign to imam

The Details of the Question
Hello, my name is Elena and I meet a Muslim few years back, now we want to be together but not to be married officially. He just wants me to go to imam and to sign a paper to be in front of Allah together. Can you tell me please what does that “paper” means? I forgot to say he is from Turkey and I’m from Italy. Thank you very much.
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Without official marriage, we don’t recommend religious marriage ceremony. Especially for woman’s religious and worldly rights we do not regard it to be true. Firstly we advise you to make an official marriage beforehand.

According to Islam, when a man and a woman, with the permission of their family or not, marry in the presence of their witnesses, they are accepted as wife and husband. And unless man divorces his wife, woman can not marry someone else. In this respect it is very dangerous. As a matter of fact we receive so many questions such as: “I have made a religious marriage with someone and he does not divorce me, so what shall I do?”, “Without divorcing my past religious marriage I married someone else. Is it regarded as adultery?" We come across such problems so much. That is why we do not approve religious marriage without official marriage.

In religious marriage (nikah) ceremony there is no paper to be signed. But for a marriage to be acceptable, there are some conditions that must be complied. Nikah is a contract, an arrangement and a marriage agreement. Therefore it requires some conditions. If one of these conditions doesn’t occru then the nikah is invalid;

1. Ones who are going to marry or their agents must be present.

2. The declaration of the acceptance of the parts. The spouses must declare their acceptances of marriage by saying “I accept”.
3. Nikah must be announced, not be kept secret. This condition is according to some of the sects.
4. The permission of the parent of the girl. This rule is according to all sects except Hanafi sect.
5. Testifiers must be present. Such testifiers must be whether two males or one male two females who are sensible and at least in their adolescence. So there must be at least one male testifier.

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