Marriage Process at ISGL
- Obtain a marriage license from the City Clerk’s Office of your choice within Massachusetts (valid for 60 days)
- ISGL's Imam performs an Islamic marriage (Nikah) ceremony and completes/signs the marriage license (in black ink only).
- The marriage license is returned to the city or town where it was issued
- Obtain the certificate of marriage from the same city or town Clerk’s Office
Who can perform Marriage at ISGL:
Mass gov website describes the list of people who can perform marriage ceremonies in MA:https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartII/TitleIII/Chapter207/Section38
“A marriage may be solemnized in any place within the commonwealth by the following persons who are residents of the commonwealth: a duly ordained minister of the gospel in good and regular standing with his church or denomination, including an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church or in the Roman Catholic Church; …. the Imam of the Orthodox Islamic religion; …”
So according to MA law, it is sufficient to be the Imam of ISGL to perform a marriage and no other legal conditions are needed. So the only legal constraints are related to the couple who are getting married (obtaining marriage license, etc). ISGL Imam is able to conduct marriages at ISGL.
Marriage License Requirement in Massachusetts
The legal age to marry in Massachusetts is 18 (M.G.L. ch. 207, s. 33A). All people who marry in the state must have a marriage license issued in Massachusetts by any city or town clerk (M.G.L. ch. 207, s. 28). http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/search/united_states/massachusetts/marriage_license/lowell_ma.shtml
MA state laws referenced below here is the specific wording: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartII/TitleIII/Chapter207/Section28
“Such certificate shall be delivered to the minister or magistrate before whom the marriage is to be contracted, before he proceeds to solemnize the same.”
So in other words, the marriage license is legally required for nikah to be performed and recognized by MA. If you don’t have a marriage certificate, you can still have a nikah, based upon Islamic tradition/Fiqh, but you would have to perform a “court marriage” after you get the license – and the legal date of you marriage would be that court marriage date.
Obtaining a Marriage License in Lowell Massachusetts
You may obtain a marriage license from the City Clerk’s Office at the following address:
City Clerk’s Office
Lowell City Hall, Room 31 375 Merrimack St.
Lowell, MA 01852
The City Clerk’s Office accepts marriage license applications Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM. The fee is $30.00. The City accepts checks, money orders or cash. Checks should be made payable to “City of Lowell.”
Divorce Decree is not necessary when filing an application, but divorce must be finalized at the time of filing application. In addition, you may not marry certain relatives, as follows: no man shall marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, stepmother, grandfather's wife, grandson's wife, wife's mother, wife's grandmother, wife's daughter, wife's granddaughter, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister or mother's sister, and no woman shall marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, stepfather, grandmother's husband, daughter's husband, granddaughter's husband, husband's grandfather, husband's son, husband's grandson, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother or mother's brother.
To apply for a marriage license, both applicants must appear together at the City Clerk’s Office and bring the following:
- A photo ID for each applicant.
- The Social Security number for each applicant who has been issued one. Federal statutes require the collection of Social Security numbers at the time of application. You do not need to bring your Social Security Card; just have the number available.
- For each applicant under 18 years old, a Court Marriage of Minor Order must be obtained from the probate court or district court where the minor resides. The applicant must appear in court with his or her partner and his or her parent, and obtain a judge’s permission to marry, before applying for the marriage license. For each such applicant, bring a certified birth record and the court order showing the judge’s permission to marry.
There is no longer a requirement for any blood work.
Once the application for a marriage license is complete, the license will be issued 3 days later (licenses applied for Monday can be picked up Thursday; licenses applied for Friday can be picked up Monday).
If you want to waive the 3 day waiting period, you must bring an approved Court Order for a Marriage Without Delay showing a judge’s permission to waive the waiting period. The Lowell District Court is one court that issues these Orders for a fee, and is located at 41 Hurd St., Lowell, 978-459-4101.
The license is valid for 60 days from the day you originally apply and may be used in any city or town within the state. The license cannot be used outside of the state.
A Priest, Minister, Rabbi or Justice of the Peace may perform the ceremony. A Justice of the Peace will not require witnesses to the ceremony.
Out of State clergy may perform the ceremony in Massachusetts if an authorization has been obtained prior to the ceremony from the Secretary of State’s Office (McCormack Building, Public Records Division, Department of the State Secretary, One Ashburton Place, Room 1701, Boston, 617-727-2836). The marriage license will not be registered unless the required authorization is enclosed with the license.
The person who performs the ceremony must complete and sign the license in black ink only, and return it to the city or town where it was issued. That city or town is the only place where the certificate of marriage may be obtained.