A daughter of a Muslim father and

Q: During my work in an Arab country and according to the conditions of work, I became acquainted with an Egyptian girl. It was her religious commitment that drew my attention to her. Subsequently, we established an honorable relationship. In order to avoid Satan's influence and falling into sin, we concluded an `Urfy marriage (without an official contract). At that time, there were no witnesses to the contract, but we told our friends later on that we got married. The contract was in writing and each of us gave a verbal consent to the other. She wrote a document stating that she granted herself to me and prohibited herself from any other man.When we went back home to (Part No. 18; Page No. 168)  Egypt, I went to her family to formalize the contract according to our traditions. However, to our surprise, her family disapproved of our marriage. More than one person proposed to her and she refused them. Now we are very disturbed. Is this marriage valid or not? Is there any solution to our problem, in order to return to each other, given that I left her in Egypt and returned to my work abroad. I fear that I might have done her an injustice. I hope that your Honor would kindly answer me in order to help both of us preserve our religion.

A: If the case is as you have mentioned, your marriage contract is not Shar`y (Islamically lawful) for it lacks Waliy (a legal guardian representing the bride) and witnesses. The intimate relations you had as husband and wife take the ruling of Zina (premarital sexual intercourse and/or fornication). You must repent and not to repeat this again. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions.