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Difference between Irregular Marriage And Void Marriage in Muslim law

Definition When a marriage is temporally outlawed but not necessarily restricted, it is considered irregular or fasid rather than void.An irregular marriage occurs when a marriage is performed by breaching specific or partial prerequisites of a legitimate marriage. A void agreement is one between a potential bride and groom that does not satisfy all of the essential elements of a Muslim marriage, and any marriage that occurs in pursuance of a flawed agreement is considered a void marriage.
Scope Wider in scope as compared to void marriage. Narrower in scope as compared to irregular marriage.
Accepted And Followed By Sunni law takes into account the existence of an irregular marriage. Thus, the concept of irregular marriage is accepted and followed by Sunni Muslims. Shia law considers an irregular marriage to be a void marriage. Thus, the concept of void marriage is accepted and followed by Shia Muslims.
Examples The marriage with a woman who is undergoing Iddat is an example of an irregular marriage. If a man marries his own daughter, then that marriage is considered to be void.
Legitimacy Of Children In case of irregular marriage, the children born will be deemed legitimate and will have full inheritance rights. Children born from a void relationship are deemed illegitimate and have no right to succession or inheritance.
Iddat Law Period of Iddat needs to be followed in case of irregular marriage. In case of void marriage, the period of Iddat need not be followed.

Irregular Marriage Case Laws

  • In the case of Ata Mohd. v. Saiqul Bibi [(1910) 8 ALJ 952: 7 IC 820)], Justice Karmat Husain held that if a marriage is not prohibited, it is irregular, and if marriage is prohibited, it is void if the person has knowledge of the fact but is oblivious, the marriage is irregular, and the children are legitimate. As a result, it is noticed that marrying a pregnant woman constitutes an irregular marriage.
  • The Hon'ble Supreme Court ruled in Chand Patel v. Bismillah Begum [(2008) 4 SCC 774] that a man's marriage to two sisters is not void. It was said that this marriage was instead irregular in nature. It was also considered that the child of such a marriage would be eligible to inherit from his father.

Void Marriage Case Laws

  • In Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India (1995 AIR 1531), it was held that the second marriage is void in nature since the original marriage was not annulled, and the conversion occurred only to commit fraud and marry two women at the same time is void.
  • The Hon'ble court held in Tangela Bibi v. Bajrul Sheikh (1986) that the marriage with a woman who is pregnant from a prior relationship is void.


In Muslim law, irregular and invalid marriages have quite different consequences. They cannot be compared on the same level. Under Muslim law, the grounds for annulment are relatively limited and typically center on forbidden marriages. The notion of irregular marriage is unique to Muslim law and is not found in other legal systems. In other laws, the reasons for void marriage are broader than in Muslim law and include impotence, stupidity, the performance of rites, age bar, and other factors that are not required in Muslim law.

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