Q. I would like your opinion as to whether or not a wali is required in the case of an adult woman who wishes to marry. Would you categorize this with the Qur'anic minutiae particular to the time and culture of the Prophet (pbuh)?  Also, if the woman has been previously married, divorced, and has children, would she need a wali for a subsequent marriage? Thank you for any light you may share on this matter.

A. It is our opinion that a "wali" is for minors. Abu Hanifa was one of those who ruled that a thayyib, i.e., a once married woman, must audibly give her consent. We feel that in our day and age, the idea of a woman (such as you have described) having a wali is not only backward, but somewhat chauvinistic. Given that Islam tells us to observe the laws of the lands in which we live, a person in a western country over the age of consent does not need a wali.

Posted February 20, 2011