Me and my fiancé are planning on having a nikah soon, but I have been researching the topic and my parents and family are all non-Muslim (I have converted to Islam after meeting my fiancé). But I need a Muslim wali with me when we do the nikah, so I was just wondering what I can do?

And how can we have a ceremony after the nikah that my family can attend if they can not come to the nikah because they are not Muslim?

I am very confused and I hope you can understand what I am trying to say, I would love for my parents, brothers, uncles and aunties to be there because it is a special day for us.

  • 1
    Why do you need a muslim wali?
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 18:50
  • 1
    Your editing still doesn't clear my question there is no rule in Islam saying a convert needs per se a Muslim wali! If you were among the people of the book your father, brother etc. could be your wali. The answers quoted below only express the last choice if none wali among the people of the book would accept marrying you to a Muslim.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 6:34

3 Answers 3


If none of your family members are muslim, then a muslim Judge(Qazi) may act as your wali, if you can't find one then you may ask any person with the qualification of a judge or witness to act as your wali ... such as an Imam.

If the bride has no Muslim guardian and there is no Islamic magistrate to act as one, she may authorize a male Muslim who has the qualifications of an Islamic judge (def: 022.1)--or if there is none, then a male Muslim who is legally upright (def: 024.4)-to act as her guardian in marrying her to the groom. Umdat as-Salik, 3.6 Marriage, Section on Guardians, p519

When there are no awliya', the wilayah belongs to the imam and the hakim( or qazi) because of the words of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), "The sultan is the wali of one who does not have a wali." Al-Hidayah, Book of Marriage, p.499 , Alternate translation, see mid-left

A Non-Muslim may not be the guardian of a Muslim.

There is also no wilayah for the kafir (unbeliever) over a Muslim, due to the words of the Exalted, "And never will God grant to the unbelievers authority over the believers.."[4:141] It is for this reason that the testimony of an unbeliever regarding a believer is inadmissible and they do not inherit from each other. As for the unbeliever, his wilayah for purposes of marriage is established over his unbelieving child, due to the words of the Exalted, "The unbelievers are protectors, one of another ..." Al-Hidayah, Book of Marriage, p.498 , Alternate translation (see bottom right)

The marriage agreement is not valid without a guardian who is (a) male (b) legally responsible (mukallaf) (c) Muslim (d) upright (e) and of sound judgement. The following may not be a bride's guardian: (1) a woman (2) a child (3) a non-muslim Umdat as-Salik, 3.6 Marriage, Section on Guardians, p519

Also see question on islamqa: https://islamqa.info/en/389 and this article on islam-online

In the Hanafi school of thought, a woman may contract marriage without a wali, though its not a recommended practice.

The nikah of a sane and major, free woman stands concluded, when it is with her consent, even if the wali (guardian with legal authority granted by the shariah) did not undertake this contract. This is so according to Abu Hanifah and Abu Yusuf (God bless them) recorded as the Zahir al-Riwayah.

The basis for permissibility (according to the Zahir al-Riwayah) is that she has undertaken an act that pertains to something that is purely her personal right, and she possesses the legal capacity to do so being sane and in possession of discretion. It is for the same reason that she can undertake transactions in wealth and possesses the right to choose a husband. Al-Hidayah, Book of Marriage, Section on Guardians, Page 491 , Alternate translation, see right under heading of Guardianship

Also see this.

Whereas a non-muslim may not act as a wali for a muslim you may invite your family to attend the Nikah ceremony, and you definitely should invite them to the wedding feast(Waleemah). There is nothing in Islam which forces you to sever ties with your non-muslim family ... indeed Islam tells us the opposite, to treat them with kindness and love.

Quran 31:14 And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.

Quran 31:15 But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.

Quran 4:1 O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.


To answer, it requires to know first what the rights of wali on the girl are in Islam.

According to this paper from Hablolmatin حبل المتينJournal from Iran, either Sunni or Shia has the pretty similar verdict on wali and father's right on your marriage which is explained briefly as follows:

  1. full right: meaning that he has the right or "Wilayah" on you, as his daughter, to marry you to who he thinks is the best for you, even though you have reached maturity in thinking and recognizing good and bad, Sawab from sin. This is also called istimrar of wilayah (continuation of Wilayah) or in Arabic استمرار الولايه
  2. Same level right or independence of the girl or استقلال الباكرة الرشيدة This means that the girl, if has reached to the level of maturity in thinking, has the right to reject father's choice or discuss it the bottom line is the marriage must happen at the permission of the girl and father together.

It is important to notice that there are variety in verdicts among Sunni sects, Hanbli, Shafeei, Maleki, and Hanafi, or Shia scholars. But those two are a summary to those votes in general. They have more details which varies based on the sect. However, all are based on the assumption of virginity or no sexual relationship before marriage on the girl.

If the assumption is not true, there is another set of verdicts among scholars. According to Shia scholars, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Makarem, Hamadani, Khomeini, and couple more, if the girl has lost her virginity due to any event, including car accidents, the requirement for wali permission is omitted but it is better , that is to say Mustahab مستحب, to get the permission first.

I was unable to find Sunni verdict on the marriage of a women/girl who is not virgin.

To the best of my knowledge and research so far, there is nothing that stops your family to attend your nikah just because they are not Muslim, unless you want to hold it inside the mosque. They can be there.

Regarding your wali , there are options like your grand father or uncles who would be Muslim or a Muslim friend who made the brotherhood promise (عقد الأخوة) with your dad is enough. If you follow those categories of scholars which believe in the similar right for father and girl, that would be no problem and as long as you and your father are good with the marriage, there is no problem with it.

There might be Sunni fatwa or verdict that I was not able to find.


Asalaam Alaikum ! Welcome to a life of Islam :)

From a completely unbiased point-of-view: You do not necessarily need Muslim witnesses, especially if you are living in a non-Islamic society.

Quran only specifies certain requirements like dowry and as such, you may see them for yourself: [4:4],[4:24] and others.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .