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Difference Between Shia and Sunni Nikah

Shia vs Sunni Nikah

There are many differences in the nikah ceremony of Sunni and Shia. Sunni and Shia have different religious understanding and they also have cultural differences. Due to these differences, Sunni and Shia Alims or religious scholars do not encourage such marriages in which one of the spouses is either Shia or Sunni.

Nikah is a marriage contract between a Muslim man and woman. Sunni and Shia brides are supposed to sign the marriage certificate or nikah nama. There are many requirements and responsibilities for the bride and groom to fulfill .The groom is responsible for providing the living expenses of the bride and the bride has to be responsible for the raising of the children as proper Muslims and the care of the household.

In the Sunni nikah ceremony, it is mandatory to have two adult male witnesses whereas there is no need of witnesses in a divorce or Talaq. On the other hand, Shias do not have such condition to have two witnesses present at the nikah ceremony but they need them only at the time of divorce. During the Shia, nikah kalma and other verses of quran are mandatory to be recited whereas it is not mandatory to recite six kalmias in a Sunni nikah ceremony. Shia nikah ceremony is quite longer than the Sunni nikah ceremony. Before the Shia nikah ceremony, the couple has to perform ghusal or take a bath by following a specific procedure whereas there is no such requirement in a Sunni nikah ceremony. After these, the rest of the ceremony procedure is almost the same. Shias also do not seek permission from authorities to enter into a marriage and they are not allowed to marry women belonging to non-Monotheistic religions. Muslim women are allowed to marry Muslims only.

Shia also believes in a temporary marriage or Nikāḥ al-Mut’ah whereas Sunnis do not believe in such type of fixed-term nikah or marriage. Within this Mut`ah nikah ceremony, the man and woman live under a contract of marriage. The fixed-term nikah or marriage is subject to renewal and it dissolves automatically once the contract is over. How long the Mut`ah nikah may last is up to the consent of the man and the woman and the date of expiration is also written on the nikah form. Mut`ah marriage can be turned into a permanent marriage at any time. Within this marriage contract there is no need for divorce.

Sunnis on the other hand have another form of nikah or marriage contract that is called Nikāḥ-e-Misyar. It is also a non traditional temporary marriage or nikah contract but is not exactly the same as Mut`ah. However, Nikah al Mut`ah and Nikah e misyar are controversial topics for both Sunni and Shia Muslims. Sunni and Shia both condemn such practices and other rituals.


1. Shia nikah ceremony is longer than a Sunni nikah ceremony.

2. Sunni nikah requires the presence of two witnesses at the time of the nikah whereas Shia Muslims do not believe in having such requirement.

3. Shia Muslims favor Nikah-al-Mut`ah whereas Sunni Muslims strongly oppose it.

4. There is a non conventional nikah ceremony in Sunnis called the Nikah e Misyar.

5. Sunni and Shia have slight differences in the traditional and ritual practices during nikah ceremony.

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  1. Clarification:

    Wittnesses MUST be present during the Shia Nikah ceremony. The wittnesses are in fact the ‘mo’wakkils’ (appointed representatives) of the bride and groom. Without the presence of these appointed representatives, the Nikah’s validity will be questionable.

    Similarly, wittnesses in the event of a divorce, are also the appointed representatives. These appointed representatives are mostly the religious clerics.

    Also, unlike the Sunni practice of saying Tallaq three times at the same time, in Shia school of thought, there should be a certain time period between the three Tallaqs, and saying all three at one time does not nullify a marriage.

    • yes, Wittnesses MUST be present during the Shia Nikah ceremony. The wittnesses are in fact the ‘mo’wakkils’ (appointed representatives) of the bride and groom. Without the presence of these appointed representatives, the Nikah’s validity will be questionable.

      Without wittnesses are not allowed to have nikah in shia.

      • As salam u alaikum brothers and sisters.

        There is no need of witnesses in a shia nikah but it is a legal requirement of the country that is why witnesses are required.

        • I am studying muslim and hindu laws.. and in muslims law, everywhere i found the se thing that is there is no need of witnesses in shia marriages.. but at the time of divorce there must be 2 witnesses without them. The talaaq will be a void talaq.
          Whereas there’s a need of two witnesses in Sunnis at the time of marriage but not required at the time of talaq

    • Witnesses are not a condition in this nikkah. Representative( wakils not muwakkils) are only appointed if the man and women are not reciting offer and acceptence by themselves and is being recited on behalf of their principals by some one else. Even a single person can recited offer and acceptence on behalf of both man and woman.

    • Sigha must be recite by moulana without sigha marrage has not been made

  2. Shia ppl need 2 wittnesses aswell…. and as far as ur focusing on Mutah … its not as much found in Pakistan ..atleast i hav never seen a single guy having Muttah throughout my life…. research again before wirting …

  3. Wrong.Shia nikah ALSO requires 2 witnesses.I was married according to shia way so I know.

  4. Just wnt 2 say dat Shia’s r alwz wrng in wat dey thnk dey say dey do, dey neva knw dt vd vc conditions dey vl face out in futur or on d day of judgment … SubhanAllah Im vry mch happy and thankful 2 Allah coz he has made me Sunni muslim and born me in Sunni’s family as 2 follow Rasool pak’s rules and regulations… Im happy 2 born in ummat of Rasool Allah…La-Ilaha-IlAllah-Mohammad-u-r-Rasool-Allah.

    • Tamanna khan sounds and writes like an immature fool. Learn spelling and grammar before commenting.

    • dear you should happy , but every man like his sect , as the decleration about shia is wroung , actual concept of shia is very great ist you should reserch about the sect before write about it , two witnesses are compulsory in shia nekah

  5. Lol at Tamannah. The way you speak/write is directly correlated with your IQ, or lack-thereof.

  6. Why cant there be just one type of marriage..why does it have to be shia marriage or sunni…What does the Quran say on marriage…I dont think The Holy Quran mentions Shia or Sunni

  7. Sad very sad, the last “Khutbah” from Rasulluallah proven that his umat will be divided into sect and beliefs for not holding to his Sunnah and Alquran.

    • What prohet Mohd(pbhm) said, I am leaving two things among you the Quran and my family which is written in your Sahih Bukari. Read your book then talk.

      • Ms/Mr. Batoor,

        Can you please give reference number of sahi bukhari page number, where its written that Rasool ALLAH is leaving Quran and his family for us. it is wrong! He (PCBUH) was asked what he is leaving for us, he replied three times “Quran Quran and Quran”. please correct yourself.

        Research before quoting anything concerning deen, because these are very sensitive issues!

        ALLAH bless you with Aqal.


        • excuse me, but the hadeeth is correct, he left the quran and his family, so please oh please just focus because you have no idea of what you just said!


      • Dear Mr. Baylor, please do not spread wrong conception about Deen. It’s never said by Rasool Allah. He leave Quran for us.
        Islam and Deen is not a property for specific family or person. It’s what you remain stick to Allah message and order.


  8. Q. What is d ruling of both shia & sunni on the marriage of “eloption” i,e without d consent of parents if the other condition of marriage being fulfilled??????

  9. Most of the time Shia needs two Vakeel who recite Nikah (one each for bride and groom, though one is enough but I have always seen two Vakeel) unlike in Sunni tradition they just have one Vakeel. After reading this article I think Mr. Jilani (or whoever write is) needs to improve his knowledge, just don’t go for suni sunaai baatain, do some research and then write.

  10. SHIA beleive in killing of sunni muslims.(nauzubillah)for them khumeni is more respectful then Abu bakar (R.A) even they abuse our first 3 khalifah.they considered themself the lover of Hazrat Ali (R.A ) i ask them then why Ali (R.A) accepted them as khalifah.if you want proof please click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avDtqOM3_G8
    the video from parachinar pakistan

    • i am shia and i know little bit about my sect , dear we never abuses the khalifas , but it is ffact that thay are khalifas if you fallow the government ruler who rules government , they are khalifas of course every muslim should not abuse them because they were rulers of islam we respect them , Hazrat Ali(A.S) and others are not equal dear you should accept it ,and look between the books

      • Brother can i talk with u ? I want to know some shia concepts plz.

        • The Prophet was neither Shia nor Sunni, just relax and read the Quran it is very simple and straight forward.
          As for those who divide into sect (firqa) are not approved by God – check this:
          Quran 6:159
          Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, are not with them in anything.
          Their affair is only [left] to Allah ; then He will inform them about what they used to do.

    • Here we go. Doesn’t take long for people to start changing what the original conversation started from. It started from the differences of the two sect on nikaah. As regards to having your own beliefs, follow whatever you think is right. At the end of the day no one really is going to agree with anyone. So stop writing crap and stay on topic. If you can’t do that well only god can help you. May Allah guide us all.

  11. Dear Ali,

    who we are to decide who is more good and who are not?

    ALLAH knows better, upon whom he has special blessing.. see we never know who is near to ALLAH, we have to respect ALL because we cant reach them as all of them had saccrifices for Islam and offer their service for Islam and Rasool ALLAH.

    here the conflicts creates, don’t emphasize one over other….. yeah it can be the case that if we ourself love one more then other, like as i love Farooq RA very much because of his justice and ALI RA because of him knowledge and bravery. a man is known by his doings..and ALLAH blessed them with good deeds..

    Faiza Wahab

  12. Shiaism is not Islam. It is irrelevent how these taqiyya people do their nikah. What is important is their shirk and kufr. They believe Allah swt sent holy infallible imams to replace prophets, they even make images of them and invoke them.

    Read the articles about shiaism:


  13. Salam i m shia syed Can you tell me the total procedure of nikah i m going to do nikah with sunni girl. All thing belong to shia nikah please told me.

    • How this can be possible no body accept this marriage
      Please tell me actually I’m also suffering from this same problem
      My parents will never accept us how did u convinced her parents
      I wanted to know



    • Aap unhein just reality btaein with the prove of Ahaadess either there realtes to the preferable book of Sunni or Shia, i think it is much better for you

  16. Please tell k nikkah b/w a sunni girl and shia boy is allowed or not? I hv searched a lot but everyone gives a big xplaination. So now I know all things different b/w them. Just tell me k it is allowed or not? Please.

    • Assalam o alaikum Parisa, that is the same situation with me and InshaAllah bghait kisi problem k humara nikkah ho ga, but simple hai k dono ko means Shia aur Sunni ko follow kro aur jo right way hai wo adopt kro, and i think aap kisi molvi ya zakir se discuss kro gi to definitely wo khd ko sahi aur dosre ko ghalt lahay ga q k iss dunia mein ye aik business ban gaya hai k molvi ban jao ya zaki mgr thr best way is that aap Quran Pak aur Ahadess ko explore kro and i think thats not difficult

  17. I am NOT from Aalim Network I’m just posting the reply from a Shia Alim that I found and crediting it.

    Says clearly you do NOT need witnesses for Nikah. I read that too on another shia website. Divorce needs witnesses. In any case, Allah is always the third witness in any conversation and He knows well what you reveal and what you conceal. He ultimately decides marriage validity. So be mindful before you spread gossip of anyone of committing wrongdoing if you don’t know the situation and details, and consider that believers can also make mistakes in the process depending on circumstances, lest you be daring enough to want to be that guy. You know that one guy. And everyone agreed to kill the she camel but there was one more daring than the rest…..


  18. Asalamualaikum my brothers and sisters ..
    Nikkah is not Farz it’s sunnat ..basically it depends on the circumstances and condition of couples and thier families location etc .most simplified form is just verbal assurance or agreement of bride and groom . Secondly asking about witness is not complusery bcz no one is better witness than Allah .it is also optionally requirement if u can witness 2 male on each side as per our local law system . They way shia brothers do spacially during giving divorce or talaq is the proper way as per Quran .sura baqara verse no 225-230 .third it is more as per our cultural customs than compare to deen or religion ..Islam forbids about the major issues as per discribed in the holy Quran like .force marriage ..not paying haq maher. Not to b just with wife or wives .rest of the other issues is not compulsory …ty brothers and sisters
    Allah hum sab ko sahi rasta apnany kee toufeeq day
    Allah afiz

  19. Can anyone tell me if Dawoodi Bohras have a different nikah and can a Sunni and Dawoodi Bohra get married ?

  20. If a Shia girl only does Sunni nikah is it right thing to do it their relationship will be illegal

    • The Prophet (pbuh) was neither Shia nor Sunni so relax and read the Quran there is no Sect (firqa) -it’s simple, everyone who tries to be pure, clean, straight forward, charitable and humble is the right person. God does not like Firqa but the firqa people promote it for their own interests.

      check this:

      Quran 6:159
      Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, are not with them in anything.
      Their affair is only [left] to Allah ; then He will inform them about what they used to do.

  21. Wow,as I read these comments in sadden Allah the holy,the great never sent down any sec of islam its we who divided ourselves and have the world mocking and walking all over us,Allah sent islam with our Prophets s.a.w not Sunnis or Shia, how we gonna stop the world from thinking we are all war stricken if we cant even agree on something as small as these things,brothers Allah s.w.t sent Islam not Sunnis or Shia…thank you

  22. Frnds i had fall in love with a shia boy I am sunni but we both want to get marry can we get marry plz say me we really like eachother

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