Islamic Marriage vs. Thai Marriage
Many has come to Thailand and make it as their wedding venue, these are not only limited to the Western world but also to the Muslim crowd. The Kingdom of Thailand has always remained one of the best choice among foreigners on wedding destinations. There are two classifications of marriage in Thailand, the Islamic marriage under Muslim law and the Thai marriage registration (see also register foreign marriage in Thailand) under the Thai civil code.
Muslim marriage in Thailand do vary completely from Thai legal marriage. As one is under Muslim law, thus, a religious marriage being done between Muslim couples or Muslim with non-Muslim couple. And the Thai legal marriage is a bond which is completed at the District office which is legal, a non-religious ceremony. Islamic marriage in Thailand is also known as Nikah. This process of ceremony is being held and officiated at the Islamic Center in Thailand, by an imam together with witnesses. Most Muslim countries do require such ceremony in order to acknowledge those who intend to be together as couples.
There has no complications so far for marriage among Muslim couples, however, it is very important that for those who are non-Muslim, conversion to Islam before Islamic marriage be performed by the Imam. Converting to Islam faith is not as difficult as it may seem. As long as it is of your own free will especially if you have chosen to be with your partner who is a Muslim. The conversion process does not take long, about 30 minutes and you will be guided by the Imam for the process of it. Most conversions are being made before the Muslim ceremony, however, some have completed their conversion from overseas before coming to Thailand for the Islamic Marriage.
Many have questioned if conversion is a must for those marrying a Muslim person, and yes, it is required that couple must have one faith. Muslim marriage in Thailand cannot be completed if the other party does not want to be converted to Islam. Also, passport visa validity is an important thing before going to the Islamic Center, if you have overstayed your stay in Thailand, Islamic marriage will not be accommodated by the Islamic Center. Refugees may be accepted, as long as they have a valid visa to show as proof.
Marital status has been questioned by most Muslim man, as many have thought that a permission from the first wife will be required for them to proceed. In Thailand, it is not a requirement by the Islamic Center, they are requiring only proof of being single, or divorce certificate from the female party.
The Islamic ceremony happens at the Islamic Center and it would not take longer than 2 hours. An appointment should be made ahead, to have your marriage done. A certificate, which is what they called, Nikah document will be given on the same day to the couple signed by the Imam, witnesses and the couples themselves. After process completed at the Islamic Council, legalization of documents will be done at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.