Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Parents refusing marriage because of race, can the Imam be my wali?

Pakistan, India and Bangladesh

Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Asalamualaikum wrwb

I have found a brother that I would like to get married to. He has all 4 things in check that Islamically you're supposed to look for. He has great character and very religious Alhamdulilah.

Only problem is, my parents won't agree cause I'm Pakistani and he is Bengali. I have no issue with this since race doesn't matter to me one bit. He comes from a similar and typical family so there isn't any logical explanation as to why my parents are doing this.

My question is, can I go to the mosque to get married with 2 witness as THE IMAM BEING MY WALI?

I really want some solid proof to back this up so I know what I'm doing is halal.  I've tried talking to my parents but they don't have anything else to say but that he's not Pakistani.

I want to make this halal as soon as possible inshAllah so please let me know if the imam can be a girl's wali if family is basing decisions that are not Islamically appropriate.

JazakAllah khair

- dora111


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11 Responses »

  1. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    If the wali refused to let a woman marry a man whose religious commitment and character are good, then guardianship passes to the next closest male relative on the father’s side, then the next closest and so on. If they refuse to arrange her marriage, as usually happens, then guardianship passes to the qaadi, and the qaadi should arrange the woman’s marriage. If the matter is referred to him and he knows that her guardians have refused to arrange her marriage, then he should do that, because he is the wali in cases where there is no specific wali.

    The fuqaha’ (may Allaah have mercy on them) stated that if the wali repeatedly refuses marriage proposals from suitable men, then he is a faasiq (evildoer) and is no longer regarded as being of good character or as being a wali, rather according to the best known view of the madhhab of Imam Ahmad, he also forfeits the right to lead prayers and it is not valid to offer any congregational prayer behind him. This is a serious matter.

    Some people, as we have referred to above, refuse offers of marriage from compatible men, but the girl may feel too shy to come to the qaadi to ask for her marriage to be arranged. This is something that does happen. But she should weigh the pros and cons, and decide which has the more damaging consequences, staying without a husband and letting her wali control her life according to his mood or his whims and desires, and when she grows old and no longer wants to get married, then he will arrange her marriage, or going to the qaadi and asking him to arrange her marriage because that is her right according to sharee’ah.

    Undoubtedly the second alternative is preferable, which is that she should go to the qaadi and ask him to arrange her marriage, because she has the right to that, and because her going to the qaadi and his arranging her marriage serves the interests of others too, because others will come just as she has, and her coming to the qaadi will serve as a deterrent to those who wrong those whom Allaah has put under their care and prevent them from marrying compatible men. In other words, this serves three purposes:

    1. The woman’s own interests, so that she will not stay without a husband.

    2. The interests of others, because it will open the door for women who are waiting for someone to set a precedent they can follow.

    3. Preventing those oppressive walis who make decisions for their daughters or other women under their guardianship according to their own moods or what they themselves want.

    This also serves the purpose of establishing the command of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “If there comes to you (to propose marriage to your daughter) one with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that, there will be fitnah (tribulation) on earth and widespread corruption.”

    It also serves a specific interest, which is arranging marriages for those who are suitable in terms of religious commitment and character, thus protecting them from going astray and falling into haraam.

    Quoted from Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/148

  2. @Muhammed Wasseem, I am infuriated with your answer. I am deeply angry. A father that chooses culture over religion or is physically/emotionally/sexually abusive to his daughter is not fit to be a wali. Your advice is just like telling an abused victim to go back to their abuser! Allahw will punish the parents for making haram easy and halal hard! I have a father like this too! he is emotionally abusive and only cares for me to marry from my own country!!!! obeying parents has a limit! I will not and should not obey blindly and you shouldnt encourage that. You know there are people who abuse positions of power,and they are not fit to hold these positions. Youte telling me if a a father abuses his daughter he has the right to be a wali?
    an Imam wont question the woman because he knows what goes on! imams are open minded people! they know of the trials and tribulations that young muslimahs have to go through on the daily.
    My marriage will be invalid because my father refuses to accept a man of another culture? and I should just shut up adn accept it in fea ro f"Allahs punishment". Allah is not a pitbulldog to release on people whenever they dont follow your version of islam!
    I think it is very irresponsible and dangerous even to give such advice to females.

    • Assalaamualaikam

      Sister, I think you may have misunderstood what my fellow editor was saying. Brother Muhammed Waseem is very knowledgeable and has advised the sister in light of Islam.

      Essentially, if a father (or other male relative acting as wali) is refusing a suitable proposal based on un-Islamic reasons (racism, caste, etc.) then the sister seeking marriage has the right to challenge this - if possible, she can have an imam speak with her wali to explain the issue and inshaAllah persuade him to put his un-Islamic reasons aside and consider the proposal in Islamic terms; but if this is unsuccessful and he continues to behave un-Islamically, then she has the right to have another wali (the role would, so far as I understand, pass to the next nearest male relative, and if none are suitable or willing, to an imam) who can consider the proposal.

      So long as Islamic conditions are fulfilled, a nikah would be valid, whether the wali is a family member or an imam.

      I can appreciate that you are distressed, but please be reassured that at no point has anyone been advised to stay with an abuser, or threatened with punishment from Allah.

      If you need advice relating to your own situation, you're very welcome to submit a post for publication.

      Midnightmoon
      IslamicAnswers.com editor

      • Dear Bro, I was in search of such answers for wali. Appreciate your way of answering being polite MashaAllah but not the answer itself. Our parents know the Islamic rulings very well and also the punishment from Allah in Qiama. Even if the Imams are speaking to them their race, society comes first not the simple religion Islam. Some cultures like in Saudi itself who follow the tribal culture, which our Prophet (PBUH) warned that tribal culture is not good to be followed. Saudi is the land where Islam was born and spread from. Those people don't even marry within their differnt tribes. Very few percentage of marriages happen, which we can say one in a few thousands. A saudi lady marring a foreigner is really a toughest part nearly impossible because of her family and government which is not islamic at all. If she tell her family that she is wishing to
        marry so n so foreigner an Asian in particular, 100% chances are there she will be beaten to death or I'll treated and house arrested to life. Many casses of such honour killing are not even filed by the police there, they turn a blind eye on such cases.
        If she goes to local imam there he informs her family and the situation is still same. So what is the solution for this? Should a person be worried about Islam and it's teaching and lead his life or to worry about the society and others as you have answered?
        Marriage happens between two hearts and of course a good understanding is required. Allah says not to stop any two people who find each other as suitable in Islam. Allah know the best. Hope you can correct you answer that is emphasising more on this worldly society which knowingly stays raciest and brutal.

    • @Sana
      You nailed it. I love your comment. I agree with you. Religion over culture is a big yes-yes. I don't understand why people choose their own race/same/culture over religion in terms of marriage. Considering a Muslim man is good enough to marry despite of cultural differences. Worst if it is a Christian man.
      Let me share you this. Maranao tribe, a Muslim tribe in the Philippines, is a very strict tribe of all tribes in my country. They don't like to be mixed with other Muslim tribes when it comes to marriage. I can't say that all Maranaos. Some of them are open minded and some are not. There are some Maranao women were married to other tribes/race but their parents and relatives take time to accept the fact that one of the members of their family is married or worst, they cut kinship ties because of pride.
      I told my father about the people I know about Maranao women married men from other tribes and races. At first, my father agreed to what I said but later on, he doesn't like the idea, maybe because he realized that he doesnt allow me to do that.

      When I get married, I prefer a Muslim man and not a man who just follows customs and culture.

  3. Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah,

    Sister, it is not easy to just say this is Halaal, do it. Because your life will be based on this one decision. Allah Knows Best if this man is good for you in deen and dunya or he is not.

    It is not appropriate that the parents deny a man just because of where he was born(and he is good in his deen and dunya), but make sure there are no other reasons.

    If they do, you should obey them and let this man go. If this man is one who will help you get closer to Allah, but your parents restrict you, yes your Wali can be someone else. But this should not be decided in haste, but you should do Istikhaarah, seek Allah's counsel and do excessive dua, then decide with trust in Allah.

    If not your father, the Wali can be one of your other Mahrams. If none of them is available, the Imam can act as the Wali. But remember that you may face a lot of tests and trials if you choose this way, including rejection from parents, bad speech about them and you in the society, and so on. Take the correct decision, preferably in guidance of some of the elders in your family.

    Muhammad Waseem
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Walaikum Asalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatu

      I understand your point and thank you for replying, I wanted to add that I did istikhara for this even before telling my parents just so I knew that I was doing the right thing, I did it 5 times and Alhamdulilah all 5 times it was in my favor. I've had a previous case with another very religious brother, he was ready to settle down, was on his deen and wanted me to get better as well but he was arab and my parents rejected him solely based on this. They don't have any islamic proof to every back up their decisions except for the fact that the guys I find suitable are never my own race.

      • I can give you my opinion, and can not claim that this is the most correct option. Ask your parents "if not this man, then bring a man who is better in terms of religion and in terms of dunya, who will give you the contentment in this World and would help you earn the Pleasure of Allah Izza wa Jal".

        This sounds authoritative. So be as kind in your speech as possible. They have no reason to disagree, based on the culture only.

        It will be best if you approach a QUALIFIED Imam (and not just anyone), then ask him if he would act as your Wali, after explaining your situation. And make sure he is one who has Taqwa enough to take the responsibility for his decision and does not act without knowledge.

        Before this, see if you can arrange for a Mahram from your family who may replace your father as your Wali for Nikah. The Imam need not act as you Wali if this is possible.

        I pray that Allah Guides you to the best.

        Muhammad Waseem
        IslamicAnswers.com Editor

        • Asalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatu

          I've tried that before, I told them if they want to start looking go ahead but the guy has to be on his deen 100%, after that every guy they found was the complete opposite; just because the mother & sisters of that family would wear a hijab my parents approved of it as being "religious" when in reality the million & one times I've been through this process, the guys don't even offer all the salahs and that's not okay in my books.

          I have two older brothers, the eldest one is a clone of my dad (cultural, all about name of the family, not on his seen, controlling just because he's older), I cant even talk to him about school let alone my married life. The younger one is a lot more understanding but he doesn't support getting married out of the race either he says it's better to stick to a pakistani guy and obviously I disagree 100%. From previous experiences, I know neither of them will agree to be my wali. Now, uncles I don't have any from my dad's side, not even great uncles or grandfather. My mom's brothers I havent spoke to since I was a little baby plus they live in pakistan itself and from what my mom tells me about them the whole culture over religion is twice as bad with them.

          How would I know if the Imam is "qualified", I thought you had to be any way in order to be it since it's one of the biggest islamic responsibilites to carry on a congregation.

          Thank you for your time & effort, I really appreciate it.
          JazakAllah Khair

          • What I mean when I say qualified is that he does not just do it without knowledge. A qualified Imam will question you before he acts. He may even try talking to your father and convincing him. If nothing works, he would act and do your Nikah with all the conditions fulfilled. He would be full of taqwa and warn you about the Aakhirah.

            Sister, if you choose to go ahead with the Nikah, then remember that you will be putting yourself in a lot of trouble, a lot of diffculties, tests and trials. Your parents may disown you, the society may look down upon you and your parents, and so on. Be ready to take it all up and trust in Allah when you have taken your decision.

            For further process, approach the Imam I mentioned.

            Muhammad Waseem
            IslamicAnswers.com Editor

          • Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

            Sister, I do not know of any condition that says that if the parents are not doing the right thing, the waliship can be transferred. Fact is fact, you need to seek Allah's help and convince your parents.

            Also, your father doesn't have the right to marry you to anyone without your permission....so if you are stuck, he also is as well. Also, perhaps you will be punished with a bad marriage for not getting parents permission. We cannot just take the easy way out of difficulties. Also, if you have taqwa(guard, be cautious and protect yourself from Allah's displeasure), Allah will make a way out for you

            Seek help(the word here isatiin means to do something and seek the rest from Allah) with patience and prayer and inshaa Allah you will soon be married to whoever is best for you.

            Tell your father he will have to face Allah with this on Yawm al Qiyamah!

            the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If there comes to you one whose religious commitment and character pleases you, then marry [your female relative who is under your care] to him, for if you do not do that, there will be tribulation on earth and much corruption.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

            Tell your dad about that, and you should point black refuse any man who is deficient in his deen. You should not marry a man bad in deen who can corrupt you....inshaa Allah.

            Marriage is not permissible and is not valid except with a wali, according to the majority of scholars, because of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is no marriage without a wali.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2085), al-Tirmidhi (1101) and Ibn Majaah (1881) from the hadeeth of Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

            And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage except with a wali and two witnesses of good character.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi from the hadeeth of ‘Imraan and ‘Aa’ishah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ 7557.

            And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Any woman who gets married without the permission of her guardian, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid. But if the marriage is consummated then the mahr is hers because she has allowed him to be intimate with her. If they dispute, then the ruler is the guardian of the one who has no guardian.” Narrated by Ahmad (24417), Abu Dawood (2083) and al-Tirmidhi (1102); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ no. 2709.

            Islam QA has multiple articles.

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