Praise be to Allaah.
Yes, you have to tell her
family; in fact the marriage is not valid unless the marriage contract is
done by her guardian or his deputy acting on his behalf. If her relatives
refuse to let her get married, then guardianship passes to the Muslim judge
who may do the marriage contact for her.
The Standing Committee for
Issuing Fatwas was asked: A Kitaabi (Jewish or Christian) woman wants to
marry a Muslim. When her father, who is also a kitaabi, realized that his
daughter might become Muslim after her marriage to a Muslim boy, he refused
to be her guardian for marriage, and he refused to let her marry him. Please
note that she has not entered Islam yet. Who should be her guardian in this
They replied: The kitaabi
woman should be given in marriage by her father. If she has no father or he
refuses to do the marriage contract, then it should be done by the closest
male relative on her father’s side. If there are no such relatives, or they
refuse to do it, then her marriage contract should be done by the Muslim
qaadi (judge). If there is no qaadi, then the head of the Islamic Centre in
her area should do it, because the basic principle with regard to
guardianship of women is that it should be the father, then the closest male
relative on the father’s side, then the next closest. If there are no such
relatives, or they are not qualified to be her guardians for any reason, or
they refuse unlawfully, then guardianship passes to the ruler or his deputy.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “The believers, men and
women, are Awliyaa’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one
another” [al-Tawbah 9:71]. It was narrated that the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to marry Umm Habeebah bint Abi
Sufyaan who was Muslim, but Abu Sufyaan (her father) had not become Muslim,
so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) appointed
‘Amr ibn Umayyah al-Damari to act as his representative in the marriage
contract, and her cousin Khaalid ibn Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas, who was Muslim,
gave her to him in marriage.
If the closest relatives of
a free woman refuse to marry her to a man who is compatible and suitable,
then more distant relatives may give her in marriage. If there are no such
relatives, then the ruler should do it, because the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The sultan is the wali (guardian) of
one who has no wali.”
And Allaah is the Source of
strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and
his family and companions. End quote.
Standing Committee for
Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas
We ask Allaah to help you
to do all that is good.
And Allaah knows best.