Religious affairs minister says virtual weddings may be possibility

Jerry Choong


Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad speaks at the Tuanku Mizan Mosque in Putrajaya March 12, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad said it may be permissible to conduct virtual nikah (marriage solemnisation) ceremonies without having to gather physically if the situation requires this.

On Twitter, the Islamic affairs minister said he agreed with the idea in principle, but said the implementation would depend on the agreement of state religious authorities.

“And, it can only be done during an emergency (darurat),” Zulkifli said.

The former Federal Territories Mufti was responding to a query on Twitter on whether nikah may be conducted with the couple and solemnisation officer while the wali (guardian) and witnesses observe the ceremony via Skype or video call.

The query also added that some nikah ceremonies have been suspended since the wali and witnesses reside in other states. 

Non-essential travel is severely restricted under the movement control order (MCO) to contain Covid-19.

Earlier on March 21, Perak Islamic Affairs Department director Datuk Mohd Yusop Husin announced that all nikah ceremonies in the state were postponed indefinitely as part of the efforts to break Covid-19’s infection chain and to protect officials and participants.

Prior to that, before the MCO came into effect on March 18, the department said nikah ceremonies would only be permitted at private premises at a maximum of 30 minutes, with only the marrying couple, the solemnisation officer, two witnesses and a wali in attendance.

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