My husband and I performed nikah in presence of four Muslim men and an imam (who guided us with the procedure). Offering and acceptance of dowry was done too. However, we can not announce our nikah as our parents would never accept us like this until our studies are complete. Is our nikah valid or not?
For marriage to be valid, it is stipulated that the wali (guardian) of the woman be present, and it is not permissible for the woman to do the marriage contract for herself, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no (valid) marriage except with a wali.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2085; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1839. And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) also said: “Any woman who gets married without the permission of her wali, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid.” Narrated by Ahmad, 24417; Abu Dawood, 2083; at-Tirmidhi, 1102; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
The minimum conditions for the validity of nikah are the following:
- The consent of the guardian of the woman
- Presence of witnesses
- Offering and acceptance
- Mahr (dower).
In this conditions your nikah seems valid Nikah. Even Islam prefer make marriage as early as possible, so normative rules and cultural disagreements can't be beyond rules of Islam. It's a Hasenah if you get permission from your parents but you don't have to, and need to get their permission all to time for your actions.
Nikahs in secret are frowned upon; and a Nikah must have the following:
The woman's guardian (this isn't anyone you choose, it has to be a relative of yours - like your father, brother, uncle, grandparent).
Mahr (payment from the husband)
Offering and acceptance (ie, it must be accepted in public)
In this respect, with you having a guardian there - I believe the Nikah is invalid.