Appointing a Wali - Can a woman appoint her Wali?

Can a bride appoint her Wali? In today’s post, we will discuss if a woman can choose her Wali.

As per Islam, Wali is the guardian of a Muslim woman and has the responsibility of giving her away in marriage.

In one of the Hadith, Prophet says:

“A marriage contract is not valid without a Wali.”

[Irwa ul-Ghalil no. 1839]

As the Hadith clearly says, to make the Nikah valid, the presence of Wali is necessary.

Who is a Wali?

A Wali is generally the bride’s father. In case her father is not there, the role of Wali can be performed by her closest mahram such as her paternal grandfather, brother, paternal uncle or any male relative from her paternal side. If no one is available, the Kadi will assume the role of a Wali.

The role of a Wali plays an important role in your Nikah. Therefore, a Wali, who is not found to be lawful for the solemnization can render a marriage null and void.

Allah says:

“Allah will never grant to the unbelievers a way of authority over the believers.”

[An-Nisa 4:141]

If the blood relatives of the bride are non-Muslims or if she doesn’t have anyone, then the Judge will appoint a Wali for her who can fulfill the responsibility efficiently keeping in regard to her best interest. In many non-Muslim countries, the local Imam of the Muslim community carries out the duties of the Islamic judge and becomes the bride’s Wali.

Allah’s Messenger, The Prophet says:

“A marriage contract is not valid without a Wali. And the Islamic authority is the Wali of the one who does not have a Wali.”

[Irwa ul-Ghalil No.1840]

Does a Muslim woman have the right to appoint her own Wali or not?

Islam gives a clear answer that a Muslim woman does not have any right to appoint her own Wali. In situations, where the woman does not have a legal Muslim guardian, as per the laws of Shariah, she cannot appoint her Wali.

However, many non-Islamic countries follow a common practice that a woman who has no Muslim mahram as Wali can appoint her own Wali. This practice is very much accepted in society, but if we go back to the Islamic practices, such an appointment is considered wrong in Islam. Such right of appointment is prearranged to an Islamic judge known as Imam.

What will be the consequences?

When the woman makes the mistake of appointing her own Wali, then there are some bad repercussions. A few of them include:
  • The Wali appointed by the woman is considered unworthy and unreliable. He is deemed incapable of acting as a guardian to the woman he is giving away.
  • Some women take freedom with the Wali and treat him as a close friend or relative. This means that they tend to share intimate secrets with them and indulge in Khulwah that usually leads to making major sins.
  • Few women expect the Wali more than his capacity. They can be very demanding and make unreasonable needs. The duty of the Wali is to serve the best interest of the woman he is giving away in Nikah. Once the marriage is solemnized, his duty ends and from that point, he stops being the woman’s Wali. Sadly, few women take their Wali’s position as permanent and keep contacting him for every small and big thing they face in their life.

Can a woman be another woman’s Wali?

No. In Islam, a woman must not take another woman as her Wali.

As per Islam,

“A woman must not give another woman in marriage, nor should a woman give herself in marriage. For it is adulterers who gives herself in marriage without the Wali’s consent.”

[Irwa ul-Ghalil No.1841]

To sum it up, the importance of Shari Wali must be remembered and followed by every Muslim. The knowledge you have must be shared with everyone.

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