Can My Maternal Grandfather Be My Wali?

Question:
Asalamu ‘alaykum. I am a convert to Islam and speaking to someone for the purpose of marriage but before we marry, I need to know the rulings on who is my wali. I was adopted but then re-entered foster care when I was 13. I found my biological grandparents on my mother’s side when I was 20, who happens to be Muslim. My mother passed away 4 years ago. Would my grandmother be my wali in this case although she has not raised me nor provided me with any sort of parental guidance or support?

Answer:

Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

A lady’s wali is her nearest adult, male, Muslim relative. In the Hanafi school, a wali is not required for the lady to enter into a marriage if the suitor is meeting the criteria of suitability. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

For yourself, I would advise getting your maternal grandfather involved in the process as a guiding hand. You can make your own decision, but it is important to have him involved at some level, lest there be any manipulation or other foul behavior. Unfortunately, vulnerable people are often advantage of.

If need be, you can appoint any upright male as your wali, according to the Shafi’i school. [al-Mawsu’a al-Kuwaitiyya] I advise you to speak to a local scholar and get clarity on the whole process of the nikah and related matters beforehand.

May Allah facilitate all matters for you in the best way.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.