The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) officiated Malaysia’s first virtual ‘akad nikah’ (wedding) on the 18th April 2020. The online ceremony was opted due to the extended Movement Control Order (MCO).
The unique ceremony involved the groom, Muhammad Don Haadi Don Putra (29) who stayed at his house in Setiawangsa, and the bride, Nahdatul Aishah Mohd Sharif (29) at her family’s house in Bandar Baru Wangsa Maju, Setapak. The bride’s father acted as a ‘wali’ (guardian) of the wedding.
The wedding was also featured ‘live’ on Berita Al-Hijrah‘s Facebook page and was witnessed by the Minister of Religious Affairs Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri and JAWI director Mohd Ajib Ismail.
According to Al-Hijrah, the virtual wedding ceremony was in line with a JAWI ruling that gave the couple the opportunity to obtain a Marriage Permit to conduct a marriage video conference, based on set guidelines.
“A ceremony can be done even during the MCO, between a large distance, with the right amount of witnesses. We also need to respect the rules made by the government at this time, and make sure the groom could say the right phrases,” said Zulkifli.
“Whatever happens, we’re blessed. Even if the wedding is like this, the ceremony is lively, and we get to be with family. With this, I hope that this brings hope to other couples that wish to marry,” said bride Nahdatul Aishah.
Besides Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also amongst the Muslim countries that have conducted virtual weddings following the outbreak of COVID-19.