If a divorced woman decides to get married, must she be represented by a wali or can she give herself to marriage without a wali? I understand it is preferred for her to be represented by a wali but my question is if it is optional or incumbent on her? Is this unanimous between the 4 schools of thought? JazaakAllaahu khair
There are two angles to your question:
• Wali representation at the nikah ceremony, • Permission to marry from the Wali
It is not necessary for a woman to be represented by her Wali in marriage. She may represent herself at the Nikah (within the confines of Shariah) or appoint someone to represent her.
It is not necessary for a women to obtain permission from her Wali to marry. If she does marry without his permission the nikah will be valid. However, if she does get married to some one outside of her scope of Kufu (compatibility) the Wali in the interest of the child has the right to object and the marriage. (Hidaaya vol.2 Pg. 314 Ilmiyya)
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai