Since most of us in the west are predominantly converts & when seeking marriage we have to deal individuals that are not related to the woman. And although these brothers may be in positions to handle these affairs some of them may not keep certain trusts that are conveyed to them between themselves & the woman. Or it may be that the woman or man may not keep certain information that is necessary to reveal at the sit down for marriage. We know that if a man or woman has any defect (ie., std, disability, etc.) that it must be revealed to the person or the wali.
My question is, is it permissible to say at the sit down that we may get married but wait for a period of time to get to know the other person & reveal those things to the other in complete privacy before consummation of the marriage & if the other person doesn’t want that in their marriage then they can divorce without any idda on them or khula.
When dealing with marriage as it should be & how it mostly is in an islamic society or predominantly Muslim land the people only are dealing with the family members & the likelihood of the secret being revealed to others that it shouldn’t go to is lessened. In our societies people have a tendency to spread information which may be embarrassing & may have occurred before the person entering into Islam & has been now forgiven for by Allah because it was something that passed before Islam.
Shaikh Waleed Boghdady:
The first thing to say is that it’s a great sin for a wali called خيانة الآمانة (dishonesty) to spread the secrets of any of them, either the man who wants to get married or the woman.
We have to teach this to the wali, and there is also an option which is to make the wali to swear by Allah that he won’t spread any private information regarding any of them.
There is a period of time to make the arrangements for marriage and within this time they can know each other (within islamic legislation limits), so whatever “defaults” they might have will be known by each other.
If there is something you want him to know before marriage and you don’t trust your wali, you can meet this man and take your father or your brother with you, even if they’re disbelievers, so you can talk to this man, you can ask him questions, and he can confess anything you might need to know, and if there are no mahaarim you can take with you, then you may take one or two female friends.
It’s not necessary that your friends listen to the conversation, rather they can sit far of you but looking at you, so you will avoid khulwa, and in this way they won’t listen every word you say.
Another option is that if the meeting is with the wali and she needs to tell any default privately, she might write it down in a paper and give it to him without the wali reading it.
As for the part of the question regarding postponing the consummation of marriage till they know each other of course this is not acceptable at all because one of the conditions of marriage is to have the intention to continue the marriage.
This condition that they might go ahead with the marriage or not is not acceptable. If the marriage was done with the intention to continue but later on there was a reason to divorce, then this is ok.
We need to take divorce seriously as it is a very serious matter and we need to clarify any issue before marriage in order to avoid divorce, and Islam gave the woman the option to get know the person she will get married to. She can ask him about him through Skype for example while being with another person so there is no khulwah, and she can send him a letter if she fears someone will know this information, so there are options to get know each other before marriage contract.