Prayer Time

  |      |      |   The Message of Islam:

 All the praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah. I seek His special salutations and blessings on the final Prophet and the leader of the Messengers; the holy Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and all those who strictly follow his tradition until the Day of Recompense.

Among the many challenges of the Muslim minorities in Western societies, is the absence of a wali (a guardian) during marriage officiating. Many factors contribute to this situation and the common among them is the fast spread of Islam in these societies, which gave birth to many non-Muslim young men and women embracing this universal and unique religion. Young unmarried people especially women, who embraced Islam from families where their guardians or  fathers remained non-Muslims are perplexed with the cumbersome problem of the presence of a guardian which is a necessary condition for the validity of an Islamic marriage. Bearing in mind that in a valid Islamic marriage, a non-Muslim father cannot be a guardian for a Muslim woman, this situation resembles a case where there is absolutely no guardian at all. In this short article, a brief but concise elaboration shall be made on this peculiar phenomena while seeking the aid of the views of Muslim scholars; both ancient and contemporary on this issue.

 It must firstly be known that, Islam forbids a woman to get married without a wali (guardian), and it regards a marriage contract done without a wali as invalid. A kaafir (a disbeliever) cannot be the wali of a Muslim woman, so if none of her family is Muslim, then the leader or mufti of the Muslims, or the imam of the Islamic center, should stand in as her wali. 

Ibn Qudaamah said: “A kaafir (a disbeliever) cannot be the wali of a Muslim woman under any circumstances, according to scholarly consensus. (Al-Mugni)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

“If there is no relative who can act as her guardian, then the position of guardian passes to the one who is most fit among those who have any kind of authority in matters other than marriage, such as the head of a village, the leader of a caravan, and so on.” (Al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 350.)

Shaykh ‘Umar al-Ashqar said: 

If there is no ruler of the Muslims, or if the woman is in a place where the Muslims have no ruler, and she has no guardian at all, like the Muslims in America and elsewhere, if there are Islamic institutions in that country that take care of the Muslims’ affairs, then they should arrange her marriage. The same applies if the Muslims have a leader who is in charge or someone who is responsible for their affairs.” (Al-Waadih fi Sharh Qanoon al-Ahwaal al-Shakhsiyyah al-Urduni, p. 70) 

  If the woman does not have any wali who can give her in marriage, then that role may be filled by the Muslim qaadi (judge), if there is one. If there is no qaadi, as is the case for Muslim communities living in the West, then the director of the Islamic center may give her in marriage. 

If there is no director of an Islamic centre, then the imam of the mosque, or a scholar, or a Muslim man of good character may give her in marriage. Ibn Qudaama said: “ if there is no guardian, or a Muslim Judge, or an Imam of  a mosque, it is reported of Imam Ahmad that any trustworthy Muslim man can be her guardian in marriage with her permission.” (Al-Mugni)

Considering the above, any muslim woman in the West whose situation is like the above described, can marry without a guardian from her family and the marriage shall be valid in sha Allah.

And Allah knows best.




© 2015 - 2016 All rights reserved Islam Message