I am a 31 years old girl. I do not work and I am of a weak financial status. About one month ago, I knew a man “innocently” through the internet. He offered to marry me as he does not see the point of a man knowing a woman without marriage. I talked to my mother and she refused saying that he is of a higher social status than ours, which may make him and his family look down at us.
I have discussed the matter of marriage with her many times but she says: “why do you want to marry? You are staying honorably in your family’s home!” so I told that man that we cannot marry, and the matter was finished.
I knew some man through a matrimonial website few months ago. He is married, my mother refused him because he is married, but I do not mind. She said also that he is from a different tribe to ours.
We have difficult financial status, and many family problems. I am tired of all this. I fear Allah, but I did things, more than one time, that I wouldn’t like to mention.
Sheikh: I do not want to commit a sin, but the only solution is to marry this last man who I knew through the matrimonial website. He is ready for marriage and we agreed to this, Alhamdulillah.
My question is: I want to marry him without telling my family. Secret marriage but with all conditions fulfilled; witnesses, contract, dowry and everything except the wali. As my father is of a weak personality, and the last word is always for my mother.
Also the witnesses will be two women friends of mine. Is it permissible to marry this way? Knowing that our marriage will not remain secret, just for little while so that I protect myself from the haram. Until the suitable time for telling my family comes.
Praise be to Allaah.
Marriage without a wali is not valid, because the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no marriage
except with a wali (guardian).” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2085), al-Tirmidhi
(1101) and Ibn Majaah (1881) from 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:
“Any woman who gets married without the permission of her guardian, her
marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid.”
Narrated by Ahmad (24417), Abu Dawood 92083) and al-Tirmidhi (1102); classed
as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (2709).
If the guardian refuses to marry his daughter (or female
relative under his care) to a compatible man with whom she is pleased, then
he is regarded as preventing her from marriage, and guardianship passes to
the next closest male relative, then to the qaadi (judge).
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
What is meant by preventing marriage is not allowing a woman
to marry one who is compatible with her, if she agrees to that and if each
one wants to marry the other. Al-Ma’qil ibn Yasaar said: A sister of mine
married a man, then he divorced her. When her ‘iddah was over he came and
proposed marriage to her (again), and I said to him: “She married you, was
intimate with you and honoured you, then you divorced her, and now you come
to propose marriage again! No, by Allaah, she will never go back to you.” He
was a man with whom there was nothing wrong, and she wanted to go back to
him. Then Allaah revealed these words (interpretation of the meaning):
“do not prevent them from marrying”
I said: Now I will do it, O Messenger of Allaah. He said: So
he married her to him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari.
This applies whether she asks to be married with a mahr
(dowry) like that of her peers or less. This was stated by al-Shaafa’i, Abu
Yoosuf and Muhammad.
So if she wants to marry a specific person who is compatible,
and he wants to marry her to someone else who is also compatible, and
refuses to marry her to the one she wants, then he is preventing her
But if she asks to marry someone who is not compatible, then
he has the right to prevent her from doing that, and he is not (willfully)
preventing her in that case.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If the guardian refuses to arrange the marriage of a woman to
a suitor who is compatible in terms of his religious commitment and good
character, then guardianship passes to the next closest male relative on the
father’s side, then the next closest. If they refuse to arrange her
marriage, as usually happens, then guardianship passes to the shar’i judge,
and the shar’i judge should arrange the woman’s marriage. If such a case
comes to him and he knows that the woman’s guardians refused to arrange her
marriage, then he is obliged to arrange her marriage, because he has general
guardianship so long as family guardianship was not achieved.
The fuqaha’ (may Allaah have mercy on them) mentioned that if
the guardian repeatedly refuses compatible suitors, then he becomes a faasiq
(evildoer) as a result; he is no longer regarded as being of good character
and his guardianship is waived. According to the well known view of Imam
Ahmad, he is no longer qualified to lead prayers, and it is not valid for
him to lead a group of Muslims in prayer. This is a serious matter.
As we have referred to above, some people reject the suitors
who come to propose marriage to the women over whom Allaah has given them
guardianship, even though they are compatible, but the girl may be too shy
to go to the qaadi (judge) to ask him to arrange her marriage. This is
something that really happens. But the woman should weigh up the pros and
cons, and see which is worse: staying without a husband and letting this
guardian who fools about and is careless control her life, then when she
grows old and has no desire for marriage, he marries her off, or approaching
the qaadi with a request to arrange her marriage, which is her shar’i
Undoubtedly the second alternative is preferable, which is
going to the qaadi and asking him to arrange her marriage, because she is
entitled to that, and because going to the qaadi and having the qaadi
arrange her marriage is in the interests of other women as well, because
other women will come as she has come, and because her coming to the qaadi
is a rebuke to those wrongdoers who do wrong to the women whom Allaah has
placed under their guardianship by refusing to marry them to compatible
suitors. So this serves three interests:
- The woman’s own interests, so that she will not be
left without a husband
- The interests of others, as it will open the door
for other women who are waiting for someone to set a precedent for them to
- Preventing these unjust guardians who are
controlling the lives of their daughters and other women whom Allaah has
placed under their guardianship, on the basis of their whims and wishes.
It 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 one with whose religious commitment and character you are
pleased, then marry (your female relative under your care) to him, for if
you do not do that there will be tribulation in the land and a great deal of
And it also serves a specific interest, which is making it
easy for those men who propose marriage to women, whose are compatible in
terms of religious commitment and character.
End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah (3/148).
You should seek the help of people who can advise your father
and mother, and urge them to arrange your marriage, and warn them against
the sin of preventing you from marrying and of mistreating you.
The one who wants to propose marriage to you should approach
your wali, and if he refuses for no apparent reason, then refer your case to
the qaadi so that he may take charge of arranging your marriage. You do not
have the right to arrange your own marriage, especially the ‘urfi marriage
in which there is no protection for your rights; how easy it is for the
husband to forsake his wife in such cases and to deny her and not
acknowledge any rights for her. There are many well known stories of such
cases, which should be taken as a lesson.
You should beware of forming any relationship with men via
the internet or otherwise. You should note that that which is with Allaah
cannot be attained except by obeying Him, and that disobedience or sin is
the cause of being deprived of provision and goodness.