Can a Woman get married without a Wali (guardian)? | Sh. Ibn ‘Uthaymîn


Scholar: ´Allâmah Imâm Muhammad bin Sâlih bin ´Uthaymîn
Source: http://www.ibnothaimeen.com/all/noor/article_6493.shtml
Video by: http://aFatwa.com

Question: Is it permissible for the virgin woman who has no wali (guardian) or without his presence to marry herself off or not? And is there in this ruling a difference between a virgin or a previously married whether divorced or widowed?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymîn: It is not permissible for the woman to marry herself off or others whether she is a virgin or previously married.

And that is because Allâh, Glorified and Exalted, has made the contract of marriage in the hands of other than the woman as He said:

{And do not marry polytheistic women} (The Qur’ân, interpretation of the meaning 2:221)

In men He said

{And do not let marry polytheistic men} (The Qur’ân, interpretation of the meaning 2:221)

and He added that the marriage is for the husband himself but with the women He said:

{And do not let marry polytheistic men [to your women] until they believe.} (The Qur’ân, interpretation of the meaning 2:221)

So He made the marriage in the hands of other than the woman and He, Glorified and Exalted, said:

{Do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis.} (The Qur’ân, interpretation of the meaning 2:232)

And from the narration of the Prophet, peace & blessings of Allâh be upon him:

“There’s no marriage without a wali (guardian).” (Bukhâri)

So that is the proof of the narration that there’s no other option for the woman than with a guardian marrying her off.

As from the point of view then the woman is deficient in intellect and religion as she is limited in thinking and she is also weak in religion and I say this from the narration of the Messenger of Allâh, peace & blessings of Allâh be upon him:

“I have not seen anyone more deficient in intellect and religion than you. A cautious sensible man can be led astray by some of you.” (Bukhâri)

And from the saying of Allâh Almighty:

{Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allâh has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.} (The Qur’ân, interpretation of the meaning 4:34)

And if it wasn’t for the deficiency of the woman then a man would not be in charge of her but rather in the âyah:

{by [right of] what Allâh has given one over the other} (The Qur’ân, interpretation of the meaning 4:34)

So if the woman was in such description, as the Qur’ân and Sunnah indicated, from deficiency of intellect and religion then she is in need of a guiding guardian who knows the appropriate/capable and knows the interests of marriage and knows who the woman is for him until he decides to marry her off or refrain (from such). This is why there should be a guardian for the woman to marry her off within the known requirements to the people of knowledge.

And the woman shall not marry herself off whether she is a virgin or previously married. However, there is an issue that should be noted/addressed which is that a woman must be asked for permission and consent whether she was a virgin or previously married and whether the one who marries her off is her father or anyone else. And the most correct saying is that it is not permissible for the man to marry his daughter off or anyone else until she agrees upon that husband and gives permission.

However, if she is a virgin then her permission is enough by being silence and if she stated/uttered to agree then that is better/complete however being silent is enough. And if she is previously married then she must state (speak) to agree and says ‘Yes’ that she agrees to marry this man.

And as for the guardian whether it is the father or anyone else, he must describe the suitor to the woman with a description that will take her to know him (suitor). So he does not say ‘do you want me to marry you to such’ until he clarifies to her the situation of this man and his description because as much as the man wants in a woman in beauty and righteousness, a woman wants this too in a man in beauty and righteousness. Therefore the man must clarify to the woman whose permission is sought (for marriage) in a way which takes her to know him but vagueness will not lead to the goal. Of course if the woman trusts fully her guardian and will suffice with what her guardian sees and she asked for example ‘are you happy/convinced with him (the suitor)’ in regards to his religion and to his manners then this would suffice if she trusts him and she is pleased with what he (guardian) is pleased with.

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
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2 Responses to Can a Woman get married without a Wali (guardian)? | Sh. Ibn ‘Uthaymîn

  1. Muslimah says:

    Does Islam consider Women deficient in intelligence and religion?
    There is a famous saying (hadith) by Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, that is constantly misunderstood and sometimes misused by some prejudiced people to attack Islam and prove that in Islam men are considered a higher grade of humans than women.

    The hadith is found in the Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 6: Menstrual Periods, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301 it states: Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (Mosque to offer the prayer) of ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).”
    They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?”
    He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.”
    The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?”
    He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?”
    They replied in the affirmative.
    He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?”
    The women replied in the affirmative.
    He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”

    Now lets take a look at the explanation of this hadith..
    First :
    let us try to understand what the word intelligence here mean.. Intelligence here rather means intellect, that is why many scholars consider translation as a cause for the misunderstanding of this hadith.

    That is why some consider the above translation as wrong and give the following as its correction

    “The Messenger of Allah once said to a group of women: O Women, give charity. I see the majority of those in hellfire to be women. They said: why is it so, O Messenger of Allah? He said: You rebuke a lot and you are disobedient towards your husbands. I have not seen any one who has more influence on an intelligent and sensible man, than you, although you are deficient in intellect and religion. A cautious, sensible man can easily be led astray by you. The women asked: O Allah’s Messenger, what is deficient in our intellect and religion? He said: Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man? They replied in the affirmative. He said: This is the deficiency in your intelligence’… ‘Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menstruation? The women replied in the affirmative. He said: This is the deficiency in your religion.”

    They give the following explanation to the above hadith
    In this narrative of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, according to a normal principle of the classical Arabic language, some words have been suppressed. The words “Naqisa’tul-`aql wal-deen” translated as: “deficient in intellect and religion” have the noun “umu’r” suppressed. The complete phrase is: “Naqisa’tu umu’ril-`aql wal-di’n” or “Naqisa’t fi’ umu’ril-`aql wal-di’n” i.e. “deficient in responsibility in matters pertaining to intellect and religion.

    A thorough deliberation on the narrative in the light of the above explanation would clarify the meaning of this narrative. The Prophet , peace and blessings be upon him, directs the group of women to give a lot of charity to balance out their weaknesses. He then informs them of two of their important weaknesses, i.e., they are quick in rebuke and are disobedient to their husbands. Both these qualities may result in making the family life very miserable. He then expresses his surprise at their influence on their men by saying that although God has reduced their responsibility in matters pertaining to practical wisdom and religion, strange as it is, they have a tremendous influence on their men. (http://www.understanding-islam.com/related/text.asp?type=question&qid=540)

    Second :
    Arab philosophers consider the human mind has two parts one which has all his instinct-based behavior, as well as his being God’s trustee on earth which is the one that Allah created inside man. The other one is based on the intelligence, intellect and brilliance. Consequently, they say that some humans can have one strong and the other deficient whether men or women equally.

    Based on Arab philosophers theory, The famous scholar Al-Mawardi said that the real intellect is the one responsible for the human actions as Allah’s vicegerent on earth. That is the one meant by the word (intelligence) in this hadith. That is why the hadith said (deficient in intelligence and religion) i.e. used the woman’s deficiency in intellect with her having less religious responsibilities. The hadith actually speaks of the part of the mind responsible for the human as vicegerent on earth.

    As for her deficiency in intellect, Women can not control her feelings as much as man and is more patient and merciful than man and is much easily moved by tragic situations than man which is her nature that is why her responsibilities as Allah vicegerent on earth are less. For example she does not have to financially support the family while financially supporting the family is one of the man’s major responsibilities. Another example is her testimony in debt registration sessions or transactions which is a field not frequently tackled by women, which requires great accuracy and understanding of financial matters, in this case her testimony is half that of a man (please refer to page 21 for further discussion of this point in Islam).

    As for her deficiency in religion it is because during her menstruation she does not fast or pray.

    Both deficiencies are not meant to humiliate or underestimate women but rather understanding her nature. Women have less responsibilities as Allah vicegerent on earth that is the part of their intellect that is missing but it never means that women are brainless, unwise, less intelligent or even less religious than men. The hadith rather empathizes women nature as the part of humanity responsible for emotions and mercy than men.

    Before we leave this matter we have to say here that in various occasions the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, praised women intelligence and wisdom.

    The holy Quran praised Belqees The Queen of Sheba’s wisdom and narrated her story with Prophet Soloman, blessings be upon him, in the following verses

    “She said: O chiefs! give me advice respecting my affair: I never decide an affair until you are in my presence They said: We are possessors of strength and possessors of mighty prowess, and the command is yours, therefore see what you will command. She said: Surely the kings, when they enter a town, ruin it and make the noblest of its people to be low, and thus they (always) do; And surely I am going to send a present to them, and shall wait to see what (answer) do the messengers bring back.” (AlNaml – 32:35)

    Belquees, the Queen of Sheba was a woman in a ruling position. She represented a democratic ruler who consulted with her people before making important decisions.

    “It was said to her: Enter the palace; but when she saw it she deemed it to be a great expanse of water, and bared her legs. He said: Surely it is a palace made smooth with glass. She said: My Lord! surely I have been unjust to myself, and I submit with Sulaiman to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” (AlNaml – 44)

    After witnessing what God gave Solomon, she became a Muslim, while still the Queen of Sheba. When she saw the interior of Solomon’s palace, she thought it was a pool of water, and she (pulled up her dress) exposing her legs. He said, “This interior is now paved with crystal.” She said, “My Lord! surely I have been unjust to myself, and I submit with Sulaiman to Allah, the Lord of the worlds”

    In another hadith a woman came asking the prophet and he praised her wisdom and eloquence. The Noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, consulted his wives, may Allah be pleased with them, in many critical occasions and followed their opinion like in case of Um Salama, may Allah be pleased with her, during the treaty of Hudaibeya which is explained later in the section (Examples of How the Islamic society treated women)

    From the above discussion we can easily conclude that Islam regards woman as equal to man, the fact that she has less responsibilities as God’s vicegerent on earth does not underestimate her capabilities but rather empathizes her nature as more passionate than man which is a necessity for the continuity of life on earth.

    ——————————————————————————–

    • Explanation of the Hadeeth: “Women are Deficient in Intellect and Deen.”

      We often hear the noble Hadeeth “Women are deficient in their intelligence and in their Deen” and some men use this Hadeeth as a form of belittlement towards the women. We desire from you O noble shaykh, clarification of the meaning of this Hadeeth?

      The meaning of the Hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam):

      “I have never seen anyone with a deficiency of ‘Aql (intellect) and Deen (religion) who are more overpowering to men than one of you [women].”

      So it was said:

      “O Messenger of Allaah, what is the deficiency in her intelligence?”

      He said:

      “Isn’t the witness of two women equal to that of one man?”

      So it was said:

      “What is the deficiency in her Deen?”

      So he said:

      “Isn’t it the case that if she is menstruating she doesn’t pray or fast?”

      So the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) clarified that the deficiency of her intellect was from the angle of her weak memory and that her testimony is strengthened with the testimony of another woman. This is because of the preciseness of the witness (in Islaam) and because she could forget and make an addition or deletion to the testimony. Just as Allaah says:

      {And bring forth two witnesses from your own men. If there are not two men (available) then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs then the other can remind her…} [2282]

      As for deficiency in her Deen, then it is because during her state of menstruation and post-partum bleeding, she abandons the Salaat and fasting, and she doesn’t make up the salaat. This is from the deficiency in her Deen. But this deficiency is not blameworthy upon her. Rather it is a deficiency, which happens as a result of that which Allaah had decreed for her and this was done in a manner of leniency and easiness towards her. For if she were to fast in a state of menstruation or in a state of postpartum bleeding it would harm her. So from the Mercy of Allaah (towards women) He has legislated for her to abandon the fast at the time when she is menstruating or in a state of Nifaas, and to make up the fast afterwards.

      As for the salaat, then without a doubt, the state of menstruation prevents her from purification. So from the mercy of Allaah, He legislated for her to abandon her prayer and likewise in the state of Nifaas. He also legislated for her not to make it up, because in making up the (Salaat) is difficulty, because the Salaat is tremendous, and repetitious, five times throughout the night and day, and the days of menstruation can be plentiful, sometimes seven or eight days or more than that. And the Nifaas could reach 40 days. So from the mercy of Allaah upon her and from His Ihsaan (doing good) towards her is that He removed the Salaat from her whether it be the initial Salaat or the make-up. And this does not necessitate that her intelligence is deficient in everything! Nor that her Deen is deficient in everything! But indeed the Messenger(sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) clarified that the deficiency in her intelligence is from that which happens to her from the lack of precision in her memory and testimony, and that the deficiency in her Deen is from the fact that she leaves off the prayer and fasting at the time of her menses or in the state of Nifaas. Also this doesn’t necessitate that she is less than a man in everything! or the fact that the man is better in everything! Yes, generally the male gender is better than the gender of the females generally for many reasons. Just as Allaah the High and Sublime says:

      {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allaah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend their wealth (to support them)…} [434]

      But she can surpass him, sometimes, in many things. And by Allaah how many women surpass many men in their intelligence, Deen and precision! But verily that which is narrated on the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) is that the women are surpassed by men, generally, in intelligence and in the religion only. There can proceed from her many righteous actions, in which, she can surpass the men and in her Taqwah of Allaah, Azza Wa Jall, and in her station in the hereafter.

      There could be some affairs that she places great importance on and is precise in them more so than the precision of a man. There are many issues, which she carefully considers, and is diligent in memorizing and precise in. She would become the foundation in Islaamic history and point of reference in many affairs and this is clear to those who ponder and reflect on the state of the women during the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) and after that. With this it should be understood that this deficiency should not prevent her from being treated equally in her narrations and in her testimony, if it is strengthened with the testimony of another woman. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that it (this deficiency) should prevent her from having Taqwah of Allaah and the fact that she could be from the most virtuous slaves of Allaah if she is upright in her Deen, even if the fasting and Salaat is not obligatory upon her at the time of menstruation and Nifaas rather this is a deficiency which is specific to the intellect and Deen just as the Messenger (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) clarified. It is not appropriate that a believer should accuse her of being deficient in everything and weak in every area of her Deen, and its clarification is pertinent and important so that the speech of the Messenger is understood in it’s proper context and in the best possible manner and Allaah knows best.

      [By: Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baaz|Reference: Majmoo’ Fatawaa Wa Maqalaat Mutanawi’ah. Vol. 3/292|Translator: Shadeed Muhammad, Abu Az-Zubayr]

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