What is the ruling on secret marriages in Islam? If the marriage ceremony has been witnessed, but kept secret and only the witnesses know. Is this practice acceptable to protect the other wives in the case of polygamy? If the couple agreed to keep their marriage secret, it it lawful to do so indefinitely?
wa `alaykum salam,
For a valid nikah these conditions are to be met:
b) Offering and acceptance
d) Consent of the guardian of the woman
The Messenger of Allah (s) said, “There is no marriage without a guardian and two reliable witnesses.”
Hanafi madhhab allows nikah in secret but it is makrooh. In Shafii madhhab it is not allowed without the first wife’s permission. The wife who does not want her husband to marry again can make it a condition.