#375: Allah as the Wali for Online Marriage Ceremony

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. Recently, I get to know a Muslim man who is residing overseas. He wants to marry me and suggested that we get married online through webcam/skype. According to him, there is evidence that rules it permissible for us to get married this way and Allah will be the wali for our marriage. Is this permissible? Hope for an explanation on this matter.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Wali or in Arabic al-Wali (الوَلِي) lexically means “near or close by”. It is stated as “walyyahu, walyan” which means near or in its proximity. And “wali al-Amr”, when one is dealing with him and “Tawalla al-Amr” which means he is appointed.

The terminology, al-Wilayah is used as the highest leader, qadi, army and others. There are various meanings for the word wali or wilayah, it also means a proxy or representative or guardian that is likened to the wali in someone’s lineage, proxy in inheritance division and others. [1]

Furthermore, the other meaning al-Wilayah is it is the antonym of al-A’dawah, which originally means love and closeness. While the meaning of al-A’dawah is hatred and distance. [2]

Whereas wali in marriage is a person who determines the validity of the solemnization (marriage). The solemnization is invalid when he is absent. A wali can be the father, a person who is bequeathed, a close family member (al-Qarib al-Ashib), a person who freed a slave, a ruler and a king. [3]

According to the above question, such a situation will not make the solemnization of marriage valid. This is as narrated from Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma where he said:

لَا نِكَاحَ إِلَّا بِشَاهِدَيْ عَدْلٍ وَوَلِيٍّ مُرْشِدٍ

“There is no nikah (marriage) except when there are two fair witnesses and a murshid (fair) wali.” [4]

This hadith clearly shows the obligation of the presence of a wali in a marriage. The word “لا” in the hadith denies the validity of the marriage, not denying the perfection as stated in a hadith:

لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ

“None amongst you believes (truly) until he loves for his brother” “that which he loves for himself.” [5]

Valid conditions for marriage are the groom, bride, sighah ijab and qabul, two witnesses and a wali. The wali here refers to a human wali and not Allah SWT, although it is stated in the Quran:

اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ

“Allah is the ally (wali) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light.” [6]

Wali here means the Protector (the One who Controls and Aids) and not wali in marriage. If the marriage is said to be valid, why is it suggested that the marriage should be performed again in front of an imam and the rightful wali? This is wrong. In truth, a wali for marriage must be human and the woman’s father or another wali according to the order set by syarak.

Marriage through live video

Marriage performed live such as through skype, zoom and others are valid if it fulfils the conditions and requisites of marriage, which are:

Requisites of marriage:

  1. Husband
  2. Wife
  3. Wali
  4. Two witnesses
  5. The utterance of ijab and wabul (sighah)

In Islamic ruling, in solemnization, the person officiating the marriage isn’t necessarily must be present physically. However, the most important thing is that he has to face and talk to one of the requisites of marriage and the existence of sighah. Sighah means the utterance or action conveyed by the person going into the akad (agreement) and showing his willingness. Jurists are of the opinion that the sighah must contain ijab (offer) and qabul (acceptance). [7]

Dr Muhammad Zuhaili explained that there isn’t any marriage unless with sighah of the akad of marriage which is the ijab and qabul. [8]

Sighah or utterance of marriage which means ijab from the wali and wabul from the groom. Examples of the utterance of ijab are: “I marry you to my daughter” or “I’m marrying my daughter to you”. While examples of the utterance of qabul are: “I accept the marriage with your daughter” or “I accept to marry your daughter” or “I accept this marriage” or “I agree to marry her”. [9]

The 97th National Fatwa Muzakarah Committee for religious Affairs Malaysia convened on 15th – 17th December 2011 discussed the issue of the Ruling on Marriage through Video Conference. The Committee has decided the following: [10]

After analyzing the presented explanation, arguments and opinions, the Muzakarah emphasized that jurists have agreed to set the condition that in ensuring an akad of marriage is valid, it must be held in a ceremony (ittihad al-majlis) so that everyone involves directly during the ijab and qabul.

Hence, considering the solemnization through video conference fulfils the condition of Ittihad al-majlis, for it is classified as Ittihad al-Majazi, the Muzakarah agreed in deciding that it is permissible to hold the solemnization through video conference on the following conditions:

  • The ceremony is held at the al-yakin level and not al-zhan.
  • There are no elements of deception (al-gharar) and doubt.
  • Fulfils all the requisites and valid conditions of marriage according to syarak.
  • It is encouraged for the wali himself to perform the solemnization of the couple.
  • There is an obstacle that prevents them to hold the solemnization in the specified place because both parties are far away from each other such as living overseas and it is hard to gather in a ceremony due to an illness, flood and others.
  • Subject to the law and legislation (State Muslim Family Enactment) currently in force.

Marriage with Allah as the Wali

Marriage with Allah as the wali is specific and only happened for Rasullullah PBUH. He was married by Allah SWT to Zainab binti Jahsy. Before marrying Rasullullah PBUH, Zainab was married to Zaid bin Harithah, Rasullullah PBUH’s assistant who was later adopted by Rasullullah PBUH. He was the one narrated by Allah SWT in His statement:


وَإِذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِي أَنْعَمَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللهَ وَتُخْفِي فِي نَفْسِكَ مَااللهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى النَّاسَ وَاللهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَاهُ فَلَمَّا قَضَى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَاكَهَا لِكَيْ لاَيَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِي أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَآئِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللهِ مَفْعُولاً

“And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, “Keep your wife and fear Allah,” while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So, when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished.” [11]

Hence, Allah married Zainab to Rasullullah PBUH without any wali or witnesses. And Zainab was proud of this and said so in front of the Prophet PBUH’s other wives as narrated by Anas bin Malik, he said:


 فَكَانَتْ زَيْنَبُ تَفْخَرُ عَلَى أَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تَقُولُ: زَوَّجَكُنَّ أَهَالِيكُنَّ، وَزَوَّجَنِي اللَّهُ تَعَالَى مِنْ فَوْقِ سَبْعِ سَمَوَاتٍ

Zainab used to boast before the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) and used to say, “You were given in marriage by your families, while I was married (to the Prophet) by Allah from over seven Heavens.” [12]

Thus, it is clear that the above evidence states that the permissibility of marrying with Allah as the wali is specific for the Prophet PBUH and cannot be for anyone else.

Furthermore, other than the Prophet PBUH, everyone must marry by following the set conditions in the evidences and syarak.

Conclusion

To close, we state that there is no evidence that states that it is permissible for marriage with only Allah as the wali except that it is specific for only the Prophet PBUH, moreover, marriage with the excuse of Allah SWT as the wali contradicts the evidences and syarak. Whereas, a marriage that is performed as such is invalid for it doesn’t follow the requisites set by syarak.

May Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] See al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 45/135

[2] See al-Furqan Baina Aulia’ al-Rahmah wa Aulia’ al-Syaitan, pg 9

[3] See al-Fiqh ‘ala al-Madzahib al-Arba’ah, 4/29

[4] Narrated by al-Baihaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, (7/126)

[5] Narrated by al-Bukhari (13) and Muslim (45)

[6] Surah al-Baqarah (257)

[7] See al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 30/200

[8] See al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e, 4/53

[9] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 2/347

[10] See http://e-smaf.islam.gov.my/e-smaf/index.php/main/mainv1/fatwa/pr/10288

[11] Surah Al-Ahzab: 37

[12] Narrated by al-Bukhari (7420) and al-Tirmidzi (3213)

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