I am a student in a French university, of Algerian origin. I do not have any family in this country and I want to get married. Is it permissible for me to use the internet and the matrimonial websites to get married? Please note that there are Salafi sisters on these websites .
If the matrimonial websites on the internet are controlled by Islamic guidelines, then there is nothing wrong with going to them and making use of them. These guidelines include the following:
1 – They should not show pictures of the women, because looking at the woman to whom one is proposing is only allowed for the suitor once he has resolved to marry her, and it is not permissible for anyone else to look at her, and it is not permissible to enable anyone to do that.
2 – The website should not give detailed descriptions of the woman so that it is as if one can see her, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should describe another woman to her husband so that it is as if he is looking at her.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5240).
3 – It should not allow any correspondence between the two sexes, because of the evils that result from that, including the participation of mischief-makers both male and female whose intention is to do evil or have fun. Rather the administrators of the site should first check on the identity of the suitor, then put him in touch with the guardian (wali) of the woman.
You should seek the help of your family and friends, and those who are in charge of Islamic centres, in looking for a righteous wife, in your homeland or in the place where you are staying. This is easy, praise be to Allaah, and it is safer and better than doing that via the internet.
In order for the marriage to be valid, it is essential to have the consent of the woman’s guardian (wali), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage except with a wali.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2085), al-Tirmidhi (1101) and Ibn Maajah (1881) from the hadeeth of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage except with a wali and two witnesses of good character.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi from ‘Imraan and ‘Aa’ishah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 7557.
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who gets married without the permission of her guardian, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid. If he has consummated the marriage with her then she is entitled to the mahr because of the intimacy that he has had with her, and if there is a dispute, then the ruler is the guardian of the one who has no guardian.” Narrated by Ahmad (24417), Abu Dawood (2083) and al-Tirmidhi (1102); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ no. 2709.
We have drawn attention to this because it may be thought that if a young man gets to know a young woman over the internet and she accepts him, this is regarded as a marriage.
We ask Allaah to help you and guide you.
And Allaah knows best.