Questioner: A father who doesn’t pray, he wants to force his daughter who is practicing to marry a guy who doesn’t pray, so the daughter went ahead and disobeyed her father and left the home and married a practising man with the agreement of, ‘the person charged with authority over the affairs of the Muslims [‘Walee Amr al-Muslimeen’],’ in that area, so what is the ruling about that marriage?
Al-Albaani: How is, ‘the person charged with authority over the affairs of the Muslims [‘Walee Amr al-Muslimeen’],’ her walee? Is it possible for you to explain the picture further?
Questioner: It’s about Britain, O Shaikh of Ours.
Al-Albaani: The, ‘Walee Amr al-Muslimeen,’ in Britain.
Questioner: There are people in authority [umaraa], O Shaikh of Ours, in different areas in the UK, they undertake the supervision of the affairs of the Muslims as regards Islamic centres and marriage contracts and affairs such as these, so she got married through this man and refused to marry through her father who doesn’t pray to someone who doesn’t pray.
Al-Albaani: We like this refusal and hold it to be incumbent—but the other problem is [still] there, which is for her to marry without the permission of her walee when the Prophet ﷺ said, “And if there is any dispute then the ruler is the guardian of the one who does not have a guardian.”
So I want to see the, ‘Walee al-Muslimeen,’ [of Britain] as you termed him—and [when you said that] the mind wandered off thinking, ‘Where is this Walee al-Muslimeen and in which country?’
And lo [and behold] he is in Britain.
So these people who are there, who have propped themselves up as those in authority [umaraa]—in your opinion are they scholars?
Questioner: Students of knowledge, O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: In this situation I say that a Muslim girl must ask someone whose knowledge she trusts, presenting her story to that scholar, whether he [i.e., that scholar] is in the east or the west, [asking], ‘What is the solution that you have? My father wants me to marry a non-Muslim man or someone who is a faasiq at the very least, and a religious, practicing person has proposed to me …’ and so on, ‘What should I do?’
So this scholar who [really] is a scholar and who is from those people who are in authority according to the text of the Noble Quran [see Surah Nisaa 4:59], it is possible that he can permit her to marry—[but] I fear about those who you initially referred to with that inflated statement [of yours, i.e., when he called them, ‘the person charged with authority over the affairs of the Muslims [‘Walee Amr al-Muslimeen’]] and then you brought it down a little by saying they were ‘those in authority’ … and these ones ‘in authority’ have propped themselves up, no one put them there—and such a situation results in many evils and much fitnah.
And I am virtually certain that they speak about many issues which they come across there without knowledge—because they, as you said, are students of knowledge—and what knowledge have they acquired? Maybe he has a degree or a doctorate in some sciences—and then he goes and sits in those alien lands and lands of disbelief, expanding what he knows a little.
So what is important is that this issue needs caution and restraint and that it is not rushed, such that we get rid of one problem only to fall into another, ‘We were in the rain and then ended up under the drain,’ as they say—the father orders her to marry a disbeliever or a faasiq, it isn’t allowed for her to obey him but it also isn’t allowed for her to marry herself off. She must take her case to a Muslim ruler/judge [haakim], and it is this haakim who will marry her off—and these people [you mentioned] are not haakims.
Questioner: If they got someone to write to you, O Shaikh of ours, if they wrote to you, so that you could write an answer for them, inshaa Allaah.
Al-Albaani: No. I’m not from them, they write to the one who judges and passes judgement between the people—I can give a fatwa but I do not adjudicate.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 542.