UK-Issued Islamic Marriage Certificates – Where Are They Recognised?

At present, Islamic marriages are not recognised as legally binding by UK law. This is out of step with many other religious ceremonies which are recognised such as Jewish and Quaker marriages. Unless the married couple go on to seek a civil ceremony, their marriage is not considered legal and will miss out on rights enjoyed by other married couples. Does this apply to other countries and can they be legalised for use overseas?

What We’ll Cover

  • Where Islamic Marriage Certificates are accepted

  • What to do for countries where they aren’t recognised

  • How to prepare an Islamic Marriage Certificate for use overseas

A poll for Channel 4 found that 61% of couples who have a Nikah, or Muslim ceremony, do not seek to have their marriage made legal under UK law in a civil ceremony and this only seems to be increasing trend. This can cause issues when wanting to access legal services or move abroad and have the marriage recognised. As specialists in the legalisation sector, we have seen inconsistencies with which countries will attest these certificates and accept them as official notices of marriage for family visas. Here we look at the most common destinations and their stance on these documents.


As of June 2020, Qatar will now accept Islamic Marriage Certificates in most instances, though a translation may be required once you reach Qatar. Get in touch for further assistance.


If you are planning on moving to the UAE, you will be able to have your Islamic marriage certificate attested for use in the country. The document itself will need to be certified on the original before the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will apply an Apostille, which is the first stage of all attestation processes, but once the Apostille is applied the UAE Embassy will then apply their consular stamp.


The Kuwaiti Embassy will legalise an Islamic Marriage certificate, though if the parties on the certificate are British citizens a copy of both passports must be presented along with the certificate when requesting the consular stamp. No GRO-issued (General Register Office) civil copy of a certificate is required to support the Islamic certificate.


If you are wanting to use a UK-issued Islamic marriage certificate in Egypt, then you will be able to have this legalised within the UK at their Embassy in London. The document itself will need to be certified on the original before the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will apply an Apostille, which is the first stage of all attestation processes. Once the Apostille is applied the Egyptian Embassy will then supply their consular stamp.

Saudi Arabia

The Embassy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will stamp an Islamic Marriage certificate for attestation purposes. The document itself will need to be certified on the original, followed by an Apostille being applied by the FCO. You can then request a consular stamp from the Embassy, but be aware an individual can not submit a document to the Embassy directly. You must employ an agent to do this on your behalf, which is a service we are able to supply.

Translations of the certificate

The Islamic marriage certificates can be issued in Urdu, Arabic, English and sometimes dual-language. If your certificate is not an English version or dual-language, you will need a translation to support the original document or request a new copy from the venue for legalisation purposes.

If you would like to get your Islamic marriage certificate attested for use along with your other documents, get in touch with one of our specialist advisers for advice. You can use our live chat system, send a text message via WhatsApp, give us a call on 0330 088 1142 or email us at We’ll be more than happy to help.

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Ashraf Vachhiat
Ashraf Vachhiat

Ashraf is the Marketing Technologist at Vital Consular, which means he handles all the technicalities involved in bringing this blog to life! He also enjoys creating in-depth articles around current affairs which impact the travel and relocation industry. In his free time, Ashraf relishes travelling as much as possible, and is always looking for quirky spots to take some great photos.

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    • Hi Firas, if you need your marriage certificate legalised for Canada we can look into that for you. If you e-mail us at and state that you commented on our blog post, we can assist if you can also attached a photo or scan of your document. Many thanks for commenting.

  1. Hi there, please can you tell me if uk-issued islamic marriage certificates are ok for employee pension scheme entitlements?

    • Hi Adam, if this is within the UK it should be fine but to ensure there’s no issues you should contact whomever you are presenting the certificate too and check their requirements, as it can depend on their needs.

  2. Hi there, please can you tell me if uk-issued islamic marriage certificates with apostle to be presented to Uae and uk Is a valid marriage or need to be officially register

    • Hello,

      An Islamic marriage certificate is fine to present to the UAE Embassy – it doesn’t need to be registered. You will need to have the document certified before an Apostille is applied, though.

      Hope this helps!

        • Sure!

          Document legalisation is where you take a document that’s been issued in one country and make it legally recognised in another. In some instances, like with Islamic Marriage Certificates, getting your document certified is a requirement of the legalisation process.

          Having the certificate certified means taking it to a solicitor and asking them to confirm that it is authentic. You can either certify the original certificate or you can certify a copy of the original. The solicitor will check that it is legitimate (or is a legitimate copy of the original) and then certify the document.

          Hope this helps – if you have any more questions please feel free to ask!

  3. If i have a nikah certificate from the uk and it has an apostile stamp on it will that be valid enought for me to use to bring my husabnd to the uk on a spouse visa?

    • Hey Zay,

      Unfortunately, we can’t advise on matters to do with visas, sorry. I would say that as a Nikah isn’t recognised as a valid marriage by UK law (it’s seen only as a religious ceremony) it doesn’t hold much legal weight, so (in my opinion) I wouldn’t think so. It might be worth getting in touch with the Home Office and asking them – hope this helps!

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