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Uncle refusing to allow his neice to get married to a prospective suitor

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

A wife of my close friend, introduced to me one sister. I have seen her, when she was with her brother. We liked each other. When this sister born, her parents give her to the family of her father’s brother, because that family didn’t have their own child. She knew that when she became 15 years old, now she 23. In her real family, her real father died, her mother (real one) is practising moslem. However this uncle which raised her obviously against Islaam.

He is not praying, neither fasting. He mocks hijab of this sister, and say: If you would uncover your head I would give you in a marriage.
Back to my problem, in accordace to our local traditions. I first send my family members from women to their house, for meeting. They talked with woman who raised that sister (woman I mean wife of her uncle, that raised her). She agreed with marriage issues, said that she wants happiness of this sister and etc.
Most likely her uncle (the one who raised her as his own girl) asked about me, and he was said that I am wahabi. Here that’s something scare full for people. It is enough to have a beard here in Azerbaijan, to be called wahabi.
So when my family members talk with him about marriage, he said: I wouldn’t give my daughter to man who is working as technician. That was some sort of
reason, that he found. I am working as a technician in Oil company. My salary is about 1000 $ per month, and average monthly salary in Azerbaijan to be reached AZN 550 (about 700 $). I mean I am earning more than average.
Her uncle also said: I am afraid that he (I am) would be fired (from job) and couldn’t earn money.
Is it permitted to me ask that sister to go to the house of her real parents, and ask her real mother and real brother (he is about 13 years old) to give her in a marriage to me? That mother already knows me, and she agreed with her choice.

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.


The initial view of the Hanafi school of thought was that the marriage of a free sane adult woman without the approval of her guardian is valid if the person she is marrying is a legal and suitable match for her in terms of their religion, independence, lineage and possession. If the person happens to be unsuitable for her in terms of the aforementioned categories then the marriage will be deemed invalid.

However due to the corrupt nature of society today (Fasad-zaman), if a free, sane adult women gets married without her guardians consent, the marriage will be valid irrespective of whether the man is a suitable match for her or not. (Raddul-Muhtar p157v4)

According to the teachings of Imam Shafee, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (RA) it is necessary for a woman to seek permission from her guardian in order to get married.

The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, “There is no marriage without the consent of the guardians.” (Sunan Abu Dawud P284v1 & Sunan Ibn Majah p135 v1)

In regards to your question, the uncle or the guardian of the girl should look for a husband who is pious and religious. To refuse the proposal for petty reasons is something not allowed in Islam.

Saiduna Ali Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said, “O Ali! Never delay in 3 matters; Salaat – when it’s time is nigh; Janaaza – when it is ready (before you), an unmarried woman – when her Kuff (suitable partner) is found.” (Sunan Tirmizi p.43 v.1)

The girl in this situation can take permission from her younger brother as long as he has reached the age of puberty. The brother is considered to be more close to the girl than the uncle. A mother is not considered to be custodian (wali) when there are male custodians of the girl alive.

Nevertheless, if you get married to this girl without the uncle or even without the brothers consent then marriage will be done, although disliked (Makruh Tanzihi) according to the Hanafi Scool of Thought, however, according to the teachings of Imam Shafee, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (ra), the marriage will not be done at all.  (Raddul Muhtar p.191 v.4)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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

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