Praise be to Allaah.
It is not valid to get married without a wali (guardian),
because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“there is no (valid) marriage except with a wali (guardian). Narrated by Abu
Dawood (2085), al-Tirmidhi (1101) and Ibn Maajah (1881) from Abu Moosa
al-Ash’ari; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “Any woman who gets married without the permission of her wali,
her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid…
and if there is a dispute, the ruler is the wali of the one who has no
wali.” Narrated by Ahmad (24417), Abu Dawood (2083) and al-Tirmidhi (1102);
classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (2709).
If the wali refuses to marry the woman under his care to a
man who is compatible and of whom she approves, then he is preventing her
marriage (‘adl). Some of the scholars stipulated that in order for it to
proven that the wali is preventing marriage, such refusals should have taken
place several times. If the wali refuses several times to give her in
marriage to a compatible man, then he is preventing her from marrying and
guardianship passes to the next closest relative on the male side, then to
the qaadi (judge).
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: What is
meant by preventing marriage is not allowing a woman to marry one who is
compatible with her, if she agrees to that and if each one wants to marry
the other. Al-Ma’qil ibn Yasaar said: A sister of mine married a man, then
he divorced her. When her ‘iddah was over he came and proposed marriage to
her (again), and I said to him: “She married you, was intimate with you and
honoured you, then you divorced her, and now you come to propose marriage
again! No, by Allaah, she will never go back to you.” He was a man with whom
there was nothing wrong, and she wanted to go back to him. Then Allaah
revealed these words (interpretation of the meaning):
“do not prevent them from marrying”
I said: Now I will do it, O Messenger of Allaah. He said: So
he married her to him. Narrated by al-Bukhaari.
This applies whether she asks to get married with a mahr like
that of her peers or for less. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i, Abu Yoosuf
So if she wants to marry a specific person who is compatible,
and he wants to marry her to someone else who is also compatible, and
refuses to marry her to the one she wants, then he is preventing her
But if she asks to marry someone who is not compatible, then
he has the right to prevent her from doing that, and he is not (willfully)
preventing her in that case.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If
the guardian refuses to arrange the marriage of a woman to a suitor who is
compatible in terms of his religious commitment and good character, then
guardianship passes to the next closest male relative on the father’s side,
then the next closest. If they refuse to arrange her marriage, as usually
happens, then guardianship passes to the shar’i judge, and the shar’i judge
should arrange the woman’s marriage. If such a case comes to him and he
knows that the woman’s guardians refused to arrange her marriage, then he is
obliged to arrange her marriage, because he has general guardianship so long
as family guardianship was not achieved.
The fuqaha’ (may Allaah have mercy on them) mentioned that if
the guardian repeatedly refuses compatible suitors, then he becomes a faasiq
(evildoer) as a result; he is no longer regarded as being of good character
and his guardianship is waived. According to the well known view of Imam
Ahmad, he is no longer qualified to lead prayers, and it is not valid for
him to lead a group of Muslims in prayer. This is a serious matter.
As we have referred to above, some people reject the suitors
who come to propose marriage to the women over whom Allaah has given them
guardianship, even though they are compatible, but the girl may be too shy
to go to the qaadi (judge) to ask him to arrange her marriage. This is
something that really happens. But the woman should weigh up the pros and
cons, and see which is worse: staying without a husband and letting this
guardian who fools about and is careless control her life, then when she
grows old and has no desire for marriage, he marries her off, or approaching
the qaadi with a request to arrange her marriage, which is her shar’i
Undoubtedly the second alternative is preferable, which is
going to the qaadi and asking him to
arrange her marriage, because she is entitled to that, and because going to
the qaadi and having the qaadi arrange her marriage is in the interests of
other women as well, because other women will come as she has come, and
because her coming to the qaadi is a rebuke to those wrongdoers
who do wrong to the women whom Allaah has placed under their
guardianship by refusing to marry them to compatible suitors. So this serves
The woman’s own interests, so
that she will not be left without a husband
The interests of others, as it
will open the door for other women who are waiting for someone to set a
precedent for them to follow
Preventing these unjust
guardians who are controlling the lives of their daughters and other women
whom Allaah has placed under their guardianship, on the basis of their whims
It also serves the purpose of establishing the command of the
Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who said: “If there
comes to you one with whose religious commitment and character you are
pleased, then marry (your female relative under your care) to him, for if
you do not do that there will be tribulation in the land and a great deal of
And it also serves a specific interest, which is making it
easy for those men who propose marriage to women, whose are compatible in
terms of religious commitment and character.
End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah (3/148).
It seems from your question that your brothers are not
preventing you from marrying another man who is compatible, so based on that
you should not be hasty. Allaah may send you someone with whose religious
commitment and character you are pleased, and your brothers may also approve
And your brothers may have a reason for rejecting this
suitor, because he is not of the same nationality as you. It is well known
that many problems may arise in such marriages.
If they repeatedly refuse to give you in marriage to one who
is compatible with you, then you will have the right to go to the qaadi. If
the qaadi is a coward and will not arrange your marriage because he is
afraid of your walis, then the only choice you have left is to follow the
view of Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) and arrange your
own marriage, and this will be a case of necessity.
But it is better for you to refer to a righteous Muslim man
to arrange your marriage for you.
This is the ruling in such cases.
But we do not suggest that you should get married without the
approval of your family, because those who choose this option usually lose
their families for good. Based on that, and before you make a decision, you
should weigh up two options:
Either get married in this manner and lose your family, or be
patient and wait in the hope that there will come one of whom your family
will approve and who will be pleasing to you too.
The choice between these two options will vary according to
circumstances. The first choice may be better for one who is older and who
is running out of opportunities for marriage. And the second option may be
better for one who is younger and hopes that if she waits a year or two,
Allaah will send her a righteous husband and will relieve her of her
Finally, the entire matter is in the hand of Allaah, may He
be exalted, so you must turn to Him and pray to Him to guide your family and
bless you with a righteous husband and righteous children who will bring you
We ask Allaah to make things easy for you and to relieve your
And Allaah knows best.