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My wife has no relationship with her paternal father

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwaa.com

Salaam hope you can help me (Hanafi fiqh)
After doing research I feel as though I need some clarity on the relationship of my wife and her paternal father. Her mum and dad split up before she was born but up until around 5-8 years old my wife and her older sister would visit their paternal father from to time to time but for the past decade they do not have any contact with him. Although, to my knowledge he has tried reaching out so I can not say he has broken of ties with them. My wife and her sister have made the choice to stop seeing her paternal father at a very young age because of lack of knowledge of how to deal with the situation at hand. (Thinking it wasn’t right on her mother and trying to be loyal to her, feeling like her fathers in the wrong for leaving so not liking him, etc) Only recently after we got married (due to social media) she found out that cutting of ties with parents is a really grave sin. We are married and her paternal father doesn’t even know and non of her paternal fathers side know.

So first question is…
Is our marriage valid, since no effort was made to seek the walis permission?

Second question is…
Does my wife become sinful if she does not try and repair the relationship between her and her father?

Third question is…
Do I as her husband encourage her to talk to him even though it will upset her if I do?

Fourth question is…
Have I done wrong for marrying her without even thinking about Islamic laws on walis? (I honestly had no clue)

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salām wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,

Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family for the unfortunate circumstances that you have mentioned.

May Allāh ﷻ ease the situation and correct all of your affairs as well as that of your family.

Kindly find the answers to your questions below:

  1. In principle, a female who has reached the age of puberty has an independent right to marry and does not require the consent of her Walī.

As long as the Nikāḥ was conducted in the presence of two male witnesses, or one male and two female witnesses, then the Nikāḥ is valid.

  1. The joining and maintaining of family ties is one of the most important and emphasized aspects in Islām, and more importantly would be to show kindness to one’s parents, irrespective of circumstances.

Showing kindness to parents entails keeping a good, healthy relationship with them, and not being ‘cut-off’ from them. Ideally, it would also entail having open communication with them.

We advise that your wife makes a concerted effort in trying to mend the relationship with her father.

While effort is being made in this regard, one will be rewarded greatly by Allāh ﷻ irrespective of whether or not the desired outcome is achieved.

  1. As her husband, it is highly recommended that you advise her accordingly.

If you have an overpowering thought in that it will upset her, then you may use your discretion in determining the best approach, together with the correct timing, to address the situation.

  1. It cannot be said that you have done wrong and are sinful for merely marrying her without knowing the laws pertaining to a Walī.

However, the validity of your Nikāḥ is subject to the ruling mentioned above. (Refer to no. 1)

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best

Wassalaam,

Ismail Moosa (Mufti)

This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .

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