Respected Sister in Islam
As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Haamidaw wa Musalliyaa
Your query below refers;
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has stated, "Announce this Nikah and perform it in the Masjid." (Mishkat Vol.2 Pg.272)
Nikah is a crucial step in the life of a Muslim and cannot be trivialised by conducting it in a clandestine manner. The negative consequences of doing a secret Nikah have been experienced by many who have ventured down this route. Simply, it is extremely difficult to maintain the secret status of the Nikah, and very often the news leaks out to families and friends. Thereafter there is untold heartbreak and pain. Therefore, the Shariah has prescribed public announcement of the Nikah to avoid any suspicions and allegations of an illicit relationship between the boy and girl.
Nonetheless if a secret Nikah is performed for the purpose of legalising intimacy and avoiding sin, it will be technically valid, though this could also lead to certain legalities and complexities in the future.
Ideally both of you should break the unlawful relationship you share at present by fearing Allah Ta’ala and repenting for the sins of the past. You may marry each other when the proper process is possible.
Alternately, if you are unable to contain yourselves and fear that you will fall into zina and sinful deeds then you should honestly consult your family members and explain the circumstances to them. Request the consultation and intervention of an Alim or senior who may guide the process to an amicable resolution.
And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Shafiq Jakhura (Mufti) & M.D. Mangera (Mufti)