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I would like to explain my situation first before asking my question. A righteous man, whom visits the masjid often, reads Quran, delivers da'awah in person and online, and is well known by many in being a very humble man and has a very clean reputation.

This man has come to ask for my hand in marriage. This man is Palestinian and I am a Yemeni. Many men have come and ask for my hand, coming from very wealthy families but I would discover that they do not pray, and live a very wild lifestyle. My father who is very much absent in my life (I see him maybe 3 times a year, and he lives a few blocks away from me) has accepted the marriage of these men that I do not want because they are Yemeni.

My father has rejected the offer of the Palestinian, simply because he is not Yemeni, and does not care about his religious accomplishments. My father also expects to keep half of the dowry that I receive for himself and has requested that my dowry be 40 thousand. May Allah (swt) have mercy on us.

I live with my mother and stepfather, and everyone but my father agrees to this marriage. I already know that the wali, to have a marriage valid must be parental. My grandfather sadly is a lost man, and wants nothing to do with me, and he is nowhere to be found. May Allah guide him. My uncle has passed away, Allah have mercy on him. I have my brother who is the son of my father and is 20 years old and is considered an adult in Islam.

My question is, with my father's irrational thinking in rejecting this marriage proposal, is this enough of an excuse to have my brother be my wali? And if so, my marriage will be valid in the eyes of Allah, even if my father rejects the proposal?

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I did some research on the matter and would like to share some of my findings with you:

A father or a guardian (waly) should marry his daughter(s) or the woman he has been trusted to a righteous husband if she is willing to marry this man as stated in this hadith:

"When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care) of one of you, then marry to him. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil (Fitnah) in the land and abounding discord (Fasad)."

else he would have betrayed the trust he was given.

  • A guardian is not allowed to keep any of the mahr without the acceptance of the bride (Imam a-Shafi'i forbid it in general, other's allow it for the father only) see for example this fatwa in Arabic with details.
  • As long as your father is alive he is your waly (guardian), then would come his father and his father's father etc., or his -the fathers- brothers, then your brothers (from the same father). See also this fatwa, so a step father or a brother from the same mother for example couldn't be a waly at all only per procuration/wakala (see for example this fatwa, and this on the brother from the same mother, but different father in Arabic). (Also take a look at this post Who can be wali, and in what order? , most fatwa sites are showing the view of the sahfi'i and hanbali school!)
  • Your father is not allowed to reject a righteous man who asks for your hand if you accepted this man, while you can reject any other man and he isn't allowed to force you for marriage. See also this hadith where a sahabi rejected to re-marry his sister to a man (see also this version of the hadith from sahih al-Bukahri).
  • Rejecting a man for him being a Palestinian or in general not Yemeni is haram as we know (49:13)

    O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. ...

    and to get to know other people is one of the reasons for marriage.

So far i couldn't find any fatwa clearly allowing to omit the father (while he is alive) as a waly and take an other of his relatives as a waly and how this exactly works. (If anybody could find it I'd be glad to read about that and reasoning behind it).
But what I found recommended by islamqa in this case as it seems to me is seeking the intervention of a court to impose the father to marry you with a righteous man. Unfortunately I'm aware that this isn't an easy way to solve the problem due to a couple of effects: time might be the less important of it, but maybe the most biggest problem would be that this could be considered as an shameful act or a humiliating act ... or something you'd rather prefer not to do.

See for example this fatwa (with an actually ?) not working English translation) and this one: Note that this last fatwa includes two statements of ibn 'Othaymeen: One saying that if the father as a waly rejects a righteous man while his daughter is willing to marry him the walaya goes to somebody else (in the order described above). While the other is encouraging women to seek their right to impose the marriage via court.

See also this article and this fatwa.

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