There are conditions for the validity of marriage such as acceptance, presence of the woman’s guardian, presence of witnesses and absence of any reasons that preclude the marriage.

Conditions for marriage

The following conditions must be met in any marriage:

1- Each of the two spouses must be identified in person. Marriage to an unidentified person cannot be valid, as in the case of the parent saying to the groom: ‘I give you my daughter in marriage’, if he has more than one daughter, or he may say to the groom’s father: ‘I give her to your son in marriage’, if the other has more than one son. Each spouse must be identified either by name or status, such as saying, ‘I give you my eldest daughter’.

2- Marriage by compulsion is not valid, and each of the two spouses must agree to the marriage.

:Abu Hurayrah reports that the Prophet(peace be upon him) said

‘A previously married woman cannot be given in marriage unless she has been consulted, and a virgin cannot be given in marriage unless she has given permission.’

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 5,136; Muslim, hadith No. 1,419

3- The presence of the woman’s guardian. No one can give a woman in marriage except her guardian, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

‘No marriage is valid without the presence of the guardian.’ 

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 19,518; al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 1,101; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 2,085; Ibn Majah, hadith No. 1,881; al-Hakim, vol. 2, p. 184; Ibn Hibban, hadith Nos. 4,077 and 4,090

The guardian must be an adult, sane, free man and of the same religion as the girl, but probity is not a condition in this case because the lack of probity does not deprive a father or guardian of the competence to give the woman in marriage, unless such lack is excessive.

4-The presence of witnesses. No marriage is valid without the presence of two adult Muslim men of integrity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: ‘No marriage is valid without the presence of the guardian and two sound witnesses. Anything else is invalid.’ Al-Tirmidhi said: ‘The standard practice of the scholars among the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Companions and their successors is that no marriage is valid without the presence of witnesses...’ Needless to say, the condition requiring witnesses is to guard against any dispute, particularly with regard to the acknowledgement of children.

5- The absence of any reasons that preclude the marriage, such as the prospective spouses having been breast-fed by one woman, or the presence of another marital relation, or following a different religion, or other reasons such as either of them being at the time in the state of Ihram in pilgrimage or 'umrah.