Is It Valid For The Maternal Uncle To Be The Wali In The Marriage Contract Of His Sister's Daughter?
Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
Is it valid for the maternal uncle to be the
wali in the marriage contract of his sister's daughter
and to do the marriage contract for her?.
Praise be to Allaah.
It is confirmed that guardianship in the case of
marriage belongs to the ‘asbah, who are the male
relatives on the father's side, such as the father,
grandfather, son, brother, and paternal uncle.
With regard to the relatives on the mother's side,
they are not among the ‘asbah and there is no proof
that they have the right of guardianship with regard
We have previously discussed the ‘asbah and their
order of precedence with regard to guardianship in
marriage in the answer to question number 99696.
But there are some cases in which it is valid for the
maternal uncle to assume guardianship with regard to
the marriage contract. They are:
1. When he has been appointed as a guardian by the
father or the guardian who has the authority to do the
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing
If a person has the authority to do the marriage
contract for a woman when one who is closer to her
than him has given it up to him, or the rightful
guardian has instructed that he should do the marriage
contract for the woman under his guardianship, then it
is permissible for him to do the marriage contract and
that marriage is valid, because it is a right that was
given to the one who was appointed and acted in his
stead. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez
Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh
Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 18/174, 175
2. If he is the wali (guardian) when there are no male
relatives on the father's side.
This is the view of some of the scholars, such as Imam
Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him). But the
majority of the scholars are of the view that the
Muslim qaadi should be given precedence over him.
This has been discussed recently in the answer to the
question referred to above.
3. When the maternal uncle does the marriage contract
in the presence of the woman's guardian and with his
approval of the marriage contract. The silence of the
guardian in this case is indicative of his approval,
so the marriage contract is valid.
In al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/237, 238) it says:
There is no doubt that negative silence is not
indicative of approval or its absence. Hence the fiqhi
principle is based on the idea that no opinion can be
attributed to the one who remains silent, but silence
in a context where there is a need to speak is a
statement. This applies if it is accompanied by
circumstantial evidence which may indicate his
The fuqaha' are unanimously agreed that the silence of
a virgin is indicative of her consent, because of the
saheeh hadeeth that was narrated concerning that, as
the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)
said: "A virgin should not be given in marriage until
her permission has been sought." They said: O
Messenger of Allah, what is her permission? He said:
"If she is silent." According to another report: "The
previously married woman has more right to decide
concerning herself than her guardian, and the father
of the virgin should ask her permission concerning
herself, and her permission is her silence." End
4. Where the marriage contract has been completed and
documented in an Islamic state that follows the
opinion that it is valid for the maternal uncle to do
the marriage contract for his sister's daughter, or
the view that it is permissible to do a marriage
contract without a guardian, because the verdict of
the ruler in matters that are subject to ijtihaad is
valid and cannot be overruled.
This has been discussed in the answer to question no.
98546, where it says:
If the judiciary system in your country follows the
Hanafi madhhab and the regard the marriage without a
guardian as valid, then the marriage remains in effect
and cannot be annulled. But if the judiciary system in
your country does not follow that madhhab, then the
marriage contract is invalid. Moreover, if you both
still want to be married to one another, a new
marriage contract should be redone in the presence of
your guardian. End quote.
These are the cases in which the maternal uncle may
act as the guardian with regard to doing the marriage
contract and it will be valid.
And Allah knows best.