Girl Marrying Without a Wali

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Mufti Muhammad Adnan


Wanted to ask that if two people wanted to get their nikah done with local imam secretly, would it be valid without the girl’s wali? Can the Imam be a wali for her?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


A free, sane, mature lady can marry without the permission of her wali (guardian) according to Imam Abu Hanifa and according to the most apparent opinion (zahir-e- riwayath) of Imam Abu Yusuf. Another opinion of Imam Abu Yusuf is that nikah will not be valid without the consent of the wali.

Imam Muhammad states that the nikah will be mawqoof (pending) upon the permission of the wali.  It has been narrated that Imam Muhammad changed his opinion to that of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf’s. (Hidayah, Vol 2, P313)

Even though technically the marriage will be permitted and valid though even in the Hanafi fiqh there is a difference of opinion, Darul Ifta Birmingham discourages nikah without the permission of the Wali due to various issues which arise and become a means of animosity. The cutting of family ties is Haram and in a lot of instances, secret nikah leads to the cutting of family ties.

Darul Ifta Birmingham encourages dialogue with such families that are an obstacle to a nikah and elders and Ulama in the community should work with such families to make nikah easier. Only as a last resort if a male and female wish to marry and they fulfill the conditions of marriage (sane, adult, kufu, etc), then the above opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (may Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) should be followed.

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Mufti Muhammad Adnan

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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