Due to different reasons, a sister may end up in need of a wali/waqeel (Guardian), these are usually because:
- She is a revert and her family have abandoned her due to her beilief’s
- She has no father, brother, uncle or cousin brothers to be her wali
There may be other circumstances but my point in this blog is what action does a sister take at this point.
According to Islam she would go to her local masjid and they would act as her wali as someone would usually be appointed. Now lets face it, the moment this occurs a sister is vulnerable, because if she gives her affairs to this brother who she has faith has taqwa and hikmah to do right by her. It is then the responsibility of this appointed wali to guard her honour and act on behalf of her affairs where she is not able to.
However this isn’t always the case, and rather than introduce the sister to a bunch of sisters who can first look at their eemaan (faith) she is usually presented with the idea of getting married. And to top it off the process she goes through to find a brother is usually poorly managed which often results in a short term marriage and a sister feeling used and broken down.
In order to eradicate a problem, we have to acknowledge it as a community and take responsibility as well as accountability. Brothers who take on the role as Wali should treat these sisters as they would their own daughters. And we know that barriers should be observed when communicating as the wali isn’t her mahrem however you wouldn’t just give your daughter away to anyone.
Hadiths are assessed by the chain of narration, and reliability is then further looked at to decide on the strength of the hadith by looking at the character of the person relating the hadith. Shouldn’t we apply this same method to finding out about brothers and sisters who are marrying?
Divorce rates are high clearly because the deen of those marrying is not in a good state. Women are emotional and if left to their own devices they’d make the wrong decisions because there emotions get in the way of rational thinking. Therefore the purpose of the wali is to protect the sister by going straight in there and saying ‘Brother are you financially fit to look after this sister’? The wali is in a position to check a brother’s claims to be a good responsible husband by checking character references. The wali can also attend the masjid a brother goes to to see if he prays at the masjid and is a regular student of knowledge.
The consequence of high divorce rates in the muslim community needs to be addressed. The poor children witness Islam being practised in the poorest of manners. I’ll say no more but SISTERS, be careful at who you appoint as a wali, and Brothers do you real know your companions.
A community should know when someone dies, when someone is ill, when someone gets married and when someone gets divorced. We are a long way from behaving like the community of our beloved sahabah. May Allah aid our ummah to spread the ilm necessary to strengthen our generations to come Ameen