If you have ever visited Haram Makkah or Madina, you must have seen people sitting in small gatherings, performing Nikah, drinking Qahwa and distributing dates. I always wondered if it is legal to perform Nikah in Masjid al-Haram. Well, I searched a lot about it but could not find exactly if it is legally allowed. I have asked some expatriates about it and they came up with the opinion that it is not allowed to perform Nikah in Masjid al-Haram both Makkah and Madina. But still, people perform Nikah there and take it as a prestige.[irp]
If it is not allowed to perform Nikah in Masjid al-Haram, how people do it? Another question which will be arising in your mind, how people perform Nikah in Masjid al-Haram when it is not allowed by law. Well, as far as Saudis are concerned, they perform Nikah in Haram without any problem. Obviously, this is the House of Allah and government cannot charge you for performing Nikah in Haram. But expatriates are still reluctant to perform Nikah in Haran. Even when they do it, they do not do it openly. Many expatriates living in Saudi Arabia do not encourage others to perform Nikah in Masjid al-Haram.
Is Nikah performed in Haram registered legally? If you have seen someone performing Nikah in Masjid al-Haram, you must have noticed that they note the things like names of witnesses, Haq Mahar, names of bride and groom in a register. This is not a legal register but just a notebook. So yes, your Nikah has been performed religiously but not legally. To register Nikah legally, you will have to go to Ahwal Shakhsia if you are Iqama holder. The procedure to register Nikah is explained in this link “Procedure to Register Marriage in Saudi Arabia”
Performing Nikah in Masjid al-Haram on Umrah Visa: Some people have this utmost desire that their Nikah is performed in Masjid al-Haram. So, they take Umrah Visa and the whole family comes to Masjid al-Haram to perform Nikah. No one stops them from doing it and Nikah is performed religiously just after that. Religiously speaking, Nikah is no more than proposal and acceptance in front of witnesses. But even after this, they will have to get it registered when they go back to their countries. There is no provision of getting a marriage registered in Saudi Arabia on Umrah or Visit Visa.
If you want to share your experience regarding performing Nikah in Saudi Arabia, please do share it with us.