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The Academy Blog
15 Nov 2017

The Most Right To Be The Wali

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قال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

“إِنِّي قَدْ خَلَّفْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدَهُمَا أَبَدًا مَا أَخَذْتُمْ بِهِمَا أَوْ عَمِلْتُمْ بِهِمَا: كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَسُنَّتِي”

[رواه الألكائي في شرح أصول اعتقاد أهل السنة والجماعة]

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said;

“Verily I have left behind with all of you, that which you will not go astray after them ever as long as you take from them – or act upon them – The Book of Allah and My Sunnah.”

[Reported by Imaam al Laalikaa’i]

From this hadeeth, we see the obligation of following the Sunnah of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). This holds true in all aspects of our religion. As a matter of fact, there is no better guidance for both our Religious Life, nor our Secular Life which we will find more beneficial than that which he was sent with as a light for mankind. Those that choose to stick to it, will find happiness and pleasure at the end of the day. It is those that turn away from it, and die disbelieving in it that will be forced to pay for their abandoning that which was sent to them from Allah’s final Prophet and Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him).

One of the aspects in which we find that many Muslims turn away from, in our societies, is the issue of appointing a wali (gardian or protector) over the women for the purpose of marriage. Even though as Muslims we seem to understand the fact that the woman needs a wali in order to get married. Generally, the people move away from the issue by not following the Sunnah in terms of who we appoint as the wali. Before, we discuss the issue of who is appointed, we need to mention the proof for those that need it about fact that the wali is a necessary part of the marriage contract that is recognized in Islam. This is the statement;

“لَا نِكَاحَ إِلَّا بِوَلِيٍّ وَشَاهِدَيْ عَدْلٍ وَمَا كَانَ مِنْ نِكَاحٍ عَلَى غَيْرِ ذَلِكَ فَهُوَ بَاطِلٌ فَإِنْ تَشَاجَرُوا فَالسُّلْطَانُ وَلِيُّ مَنْ لَا وَلِيَّ لَهُ”

[رواه ابن حبان وصححه الألباني]

“There is no marriage except by way of a wali and two just witnesses. What happens from marriage that is not like that, it is nor recognized. So if they differ, than the ruler is the wali for the one there is no wail for them.”

[reported by Ibn Habbaan and Sheikh al Albaani declared it sahih)

Now that we understand this, and hopefully try to memorize, we need to understand that simply choosing a wali is not enough. Rather the Book and Sunnah explain to us who has the most right to being the wali. We need to follow this protocol as well, if we are trying to do what is acceptable in the site of Allah. Therefore, I would like to discuss the order that is found in the Quran and Sunnah, so that we can begin looking to these people first, before looking elsewhere unless needed. So the order is as follows;

The one that has most rights to this position;

  1. First the father
  2. Then the grandfather (father’s father)
  3. Then the brother (with the same father and mother)
  4. Then the brother (with the same father only)
  5. Then the nephew (of the brother with the same father and mother)
  6. Then the nephew (of the brother with the same father only)
  7. Then the paternal uncle
  8. Then the male cousin (son of the paternal uncle)

If none of these relatives exist;

  1. Then the owner that freed them (if they were once a slave)
  2. Then some of their relatives if they exist
  3. And then the ruler

So what is important, is that it is understood that these are the people that have the most right to being named the wali. They are chosen in this order and if we want to be building our future and marriages upon that which is correct, then we need to make sure that we do it in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah. Therefore, we choose from where we have been commanded to choose, in that order, meaning that we do not look elsewhere just because we find it to be convenient.

May Allah guide all of our hearts and that of those that we know and love to that which is beneficial. May He bless all of us to be of those that strive to the best of our ability to stick to Sunnah as much as possible, and may He accept it from us. Allahuma ameen.

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