A revert Muslim girl wants to marry, who can be her Wali (guardian)?


I am planning on marrying my financee who is currently incarcerated. None of my family is Muslim so my own father cannot be my Wali. Is it permissible for his father to be my Wali?


If a woman is a virgin, she usually needs the permission of her Wali (her father or paternal grandfather) before getting married. However, in the following situations, it will not be necessary for a woman to seek the permission of her father or paternal grandfather, before getting married:

1. If she is not a virgin.
2. If she is a virgin, but her father or paternal grandfather refuse to grant permission to her for marrying a man who is compatible to her in the eyes of Shariah, as well as custom.
3. If the father and the grandfather are not in any way willing to participate in the marriage.
4. If they are not in a capacity to give their consent, like in the case of mental illness etc.
5. If it is not possible to obtain their permission because of their absence, or such other reasons, and the woman is eager to get married urgently.

In pronouncing the marriage formula, she can either represent herself and say the formula her self, or she can nominate a representative (this can be her future husband or her father-in-law or the scholar who might be enacting the marriage). The representative needs to seek her permission to be her representative and then he can recite the marriage formula on her behalf.


Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail

Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

What is Islam’s view on the beating of wives? Non-believers use this point against Islam.


What is Islam’s view of the beating of wives? Lots of non-believers bring up Surat An-Nisā’ 4:34 and state that Islam allows beating of women and therefore is an unjust religion.


This ayah (Surah An-Nisa 4:34) is in the top 5 points raised by the opponents of Islam, who say this religion is against basic human rights for women. Furthermore, some ignorant Muslim men use this ayah to justify hitting their wives, claiming they are following the Qur’an, without even trying to understand the context or application of the ayah. Allah (swt) says such people (who do something wrong and justify it somehow through the ayat of Qur’an) are the biggest losers on the day of Judgement. Because they do something that they think is according to the Qur’an, while it’s not, and they never get a chance to repent before they leave this world.

‘Wadhribu hunna’ means ‘hit them’ but under specific conditions: how, why, when? etc. There is a difference between ‘hitting’ and ‘beating’, between ‘hitting’ and ‘punching’. These details must be specified first and foremost, with specific conditions being met before carrying out this ayah. In the same way where Allah (swt) says to pray and pay zakat in the Qur’an on numerous occasions, the details of how to pray, when to pray, and the conditions of praying are not mentioned in their full details in the same ayah, hence all these variables must be explored before one is able to properly carry out the ayah where Allah (swt) says to ‘pray and pay zakat’. In the same way, the same conditions must be met in respect to this ayah in Surat Nisa.

Also, to interpret and understand any ayah in the Qur’an, one must always resort to the sunnah (traditions and lifestyle) of the Prophet (pbuh), and not just any opinion or interpretation. Let us analyse the traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) to understand when this ayah becomes applicable.

1. It is not a command (that must be carried out), rather it is permissible (once the conditions are met). So even if the conditions are met, it does not become obligatory to hit one’s wife, it is simply permissible to do so.

2. No jurist has ever accepted the general meaning of the ayah (without any conditions). There is no jurist, scholar or interpreter of the Qur’an that says there are no conditions to carry out this ayah. i.e. no one says you can hit her however you want, whenever you want etc. No one has this opinion in the past or present.

3. Wadhribu hunna is correctly translated as ‘light hitting’.

4. Light hitting is definitely permissible only if she has committed adultery and if all the previous methods were useless.

5. The methods of dealing with a wife who has committed adultery before hitting her are:

a) Advise her and talk to her

b) Try to emotionally influence or discipline her

c) If the above two were not effective, then ‘light hitting’ is permissible (not obligatory)

6. The beginning of the ayah says that “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women”, so if a woman commits adultery then the husband must discipline her at home (conditions in point 5), before taking the case to the court or police and disrespecting your wife.

7. It is  narrated from the holy Prophet (pbuh): “ If she commits an adultery that is confirmed (not suspicion or allegation), if she does this, turn away from her (emotionally), hit them a hitting that is not hard, if she regrets it (and acknowledges her mistake), don’t take it any further (keep it a secret and forgive her).” (Ibn Majah, vol.1 p.594)

a) Another narration says a light hitting that does not make her bleed:

8. Imam Baqir (as) tells us about a friendly or light hitting; to hit her with a traditional sewak (Ref.: Majma’ul-Bayan under the Ayah), which is a soft type of branch. It is not a real hit or meant to really harm her.

9. Hitting the face and major limbs (or organs) is forbidden.

a) Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said: any man who slaps the face of his wife, the Almighty Allah orders the angel in charge of fire, to hit his face 70 times inside the hellfire. (Da’emul-Islam, vol.2, p.217)

b) Even hitting the face of an animal is forbidden in Islam, let alone a human being and specially your darling and partner! (Ref: Wasa’eul-Shi’a, vol.11 p.481)

10. It is forbidden for a man to hit his wife due to verbal abuse. All scholars and jurist (both past and present) are unanimous that if a wife is verbally abusing her husband, or she is not obedient, it is forbidden for him to hit her nor does it justify (or allow) him to hit her. (Jawaherul-Kalal, vol. 31, p.205)

11. If the conditions are met, and the hitting causes her bruising, bleeding or fractures, he is liable. (Ibid, p.207)

12. It is better for a man not to hit his wife, in fact it is better to divorce her than to hit her.

a) A man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and told him that his wife has a bad tongue and she verbally abuses him for many hours, he cannot stand it. The Prophet said; divorce her. The man said he has children and she is not always bad, so the Prophet said to keep her and be patient, but do not hit her. (Mosnad Ahmad, vol.4, p.33)

In considering these 12 points, it gives no one the justification to hit their wife claiming to follow the Qur’an without any conditions or understanding the context of how and when the ayah in Surah Nisa becomes applicable.

Also, the notion that Islam does not consider the human rights of women is on the contrary because of the specific rules and conditions pertaining to hitting one’s wife, in other words, Islam has considered the real life scenario of a woman who has committed adultery, she is not sorry or regretful, she refuses to heed to the advice of her husband, she does not heed to any emotional influence or methods. If the man in that case does not want to divorce her, and despite all this she does not regret it, nor does she repent (and maybe even continues committing this despicable act), in this case, if the man thinks that light hitting will influence her then he has the option to do so, however, he can only do so without leaving any bruises or broken bones, without hitting her face or limbs and organs, then and only then, can he practice this act of light hitting. Anything outside of such a scenario and it’s conditions is strictly forbidden in Islam.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Can a Shia man marry a Sunni woman?


Can a Shia man marry a Sunni women? And how would they tell their parents about this as most parents do not prefer their child marrying from a different sect?


Although it is jurisprudentially permissible for a Shi’a man to marry a Sunni girl, it is not recommended considering the confusion interfaith marriages will bring to children. Also, in our modern society children are under great influence from their mothers – as they spend more time with them – and as such a Shi’a man should consider the possibity of their mother’s beliefs influencing the children. Experience has shown that the more compatibility between husband and wife, the more guarantee for a smooth future relationship.

Surely, compatibility of faith is a major issue. Those who pray together, live together. Consider the fact that the mosques where they pray, and observe their Islamic occasions, and celebrate Eid e.t.c, will be different. Their diet will be often different as in the Sunni Fiqh all seafood and Kosher are Halal etc.

This is all if the girl does not have an anti-Shi’a belief, otherwise it is forbidden. Imam Baqir (a.s) had a Sunni wife, but once she insulted Imam Ali (a.s) and the Imam divorced her. When he was asked for the reason, he said: “I did not like a piece of (hell) Fire touching my body.”

Also, for a Shi’a girl to marry a Sunni boy is not recommended.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Why did the Prophet of Islam marry several wives?


I have read that Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, had a total of 12 wives, out of which 9 were alive at the time of his death. What was the reason for this?

What I understand is that a man is allowed to marry once in Islam, yet depending on the highly unlikely criteria laid down in the Quran (relating to justice between wives), he may marry up to four women (if he can keep justice between them).

But why was the Prophet allowed to marry more than the maximum of 4 even?


In the old days, there was generally no government social benefits and services, and thus, women and children were financially looked after by men who were then the main bread-providers. This would become more essential when we consider the number of wars that were imposed on early Muslims, the result of which would be obviously many orphans and widows without any supporters.

In order to meet the needs of this vulnerable part of society, Islam permits and often encourages polygany.

Note Ayah 3 in Surat Nisa that allows polygyny is preceded by the rights of orphans. In other words, the Almighty God first reminds the believers of the rights of orphans as the most vulnerable part of society, and then deals with the second; i.e. widows. In short, the message of Ayahs 2 & 3 of Surat Nisa to the believing men is:

1. to encourage the community to bring orphans to their homes and look after them like their own children.

2. to bring orphans with their mothers to their homes by marrying widows so that they too can enjoy a life with a father/husband.

3. at least marrying one woman (whether widow or not) to take their bear minimum social responsibilities.

The meaning of justice here also is to be fair in providing food, clothing and other maintenance.

Now, let’s look at the life of the holy Prophet of Islam (s). Up until 10 months after his migration to Madina, he had only one wife i.e. Khadija. In fact, she dies in the year 9 of his mission while he was still in Makka, but he never married anyone until 4 yrs later in Madina, when he married Aesha.

Then from the 3rd yr A.H. and after the battle of Uhod, which imposed many casualties on Muslims, his holiness married ام سلمۀ (Umm Salamah), whose husband was martyred in Uhod.

Then he married ام حبیبه (Umm Habeebah) whose husband عبیدالله (Ubaydallah) had died in Ethiopia.

Then Zainab whose husband was also martyred in Uhod.

Then Sooda whose husband had died after their migration to Madina.

Then Hafsa the daughter of Omar, who had married twice before and didn’t have much chance for any more marriages.

Then Safiya, whose husband was killed in the battle of Khaibar.

And the list continues…

Most of these women had children too, and the holy Prophet of Islam as the head of the community was looking after all of them compassionately. If there was any lust behind his practice of polygyny, he would have naturally had some children from all of these women- given the lack of family control facilities in those days. Yet, the only one he had a child from- apart from Khadija – was  ماریه (Mariha), who was a female slave gifted to the Prophet (s) by the then king of Egypt. She gave birth to a son for the Prophet (s) called Ibrahim, who unfortunately died at the age of 2.

The world must really admire the lifestyle of the holy Prophet of Islam, who in spite of his heavy social duty as the head of state, had the most ideal family life too. A man who at one time had 9 families to look after and yet never divorced any of them. This by itself is one of his miraculous characteristics.

It was due to this outstanding nobility and ability that the Almighty God exceptionally allowed him to marry up to 9 women at one time.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

What is the main criteria for choosing a spouse in Islam?


What are the main Islamic factors in choosing a spouse? What is the best criteria list?


The main factor is الکفو (compatibility). In defining compatibility the Holy Prophet (p) says: 

أن یرضی دینه و خلقه  “They should be content with his religion and his manners” (Beharul Anwar: 103:372).

In another Hadith he said:

الکفو أن یکون عفیفا و عنده یسار “Comptability means that he should not need to ask of people, and that he have a comfortable means of living”.
Furthermore, the Holy Prophet (p) said:

اذا جاءکم من ترضون خلقه و دینه فزوجوه والا تکن فتنۀ فی الارض و فساد کبیر  “If one comes to you (with a marriage proposal) , and you are satisfied with his manners and his religion, then give him (your daughter) in marriage. Otherwise, there would be a great mischief and corruption in the land” (Wasael 20:76).

He also said: “Marry a faithful person (male or female), your life will be blessed”  (Wasael 20:50).

Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: “When a man marries a woman for her beauty or her wealth, he will be only granted that, but if he marries her for her faith, Allah will grant him her wealth and beauty too” (Wasael 20:49).

So in general, the two main characteristics that are obligatory for both boys and girls are: faith, and good manners.

It is also very important for the wife to be submissive قانتات as mentioned in Surat al-Nisa. That means that apart from being obedient to the law of God, she is also submissive to her husband (unless he is asking her to do a forbidden act or to discard an obligation). Thus, a Muslim woman is not expected to be argumentative and stubborn.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei