Marriage is invalid without a Waliy

Q 6: What is the Islamic ruling on a man and a woman getting married without having their marriage legally documented (Part No. 18; Page No. 170) and without the presence of the woman's Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman regarding marriage)? Such marriages are concluded by the man saying to the woman, "I offer myself in marriage to you" and she replies by saying, "And I too offer myself in marriage to you". Is that type of marriage permissible?

A: This marriage is Batil (null and void) until the Waliy undertakes the marriage contract of his charge and until all the conditions of marriage are fulfilled as explained in the books of scholars. It is not sufficient for the conclusion of a marriage contract that a woman offers herself in marriage to someone who accepts her offer. Documenting the marriage is not a condition for its validity inasmuch as it serves as a means of protecting the rights of the couple and referring to it when necessary. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.