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I know a woman should take her guardian's will for marriage before proposing to marry someone and if her guardian refuses her right to marry then his guardianship becomes void and that she can choose someone else from her relatives preferably on her father side to act as her guardian, such as uncle, grandfather, mother or brother. Above all else, it is required for her first wedding to have a Guardian's permission as mentioned the the following hadiths.

“There is no marriage except with a walee” and “Any woman who gets married without the knowledge of her walee, her marriage is invalid.”

However, there is another hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari which states

Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 6, Book 61, Number 547 : Narrated by Sahl bin Sad A lady came to the Prophet and declared that she had decided to offer herself to Allah and His Apostle. The Prophet said, "I am not in need of women." A man said (to the Prophet) "Please marry her to me." The Prophet said (to him), "Give her a garment." The man said, "I cannot afford it." The Prophet said, "Give her anything, even if it were an iron ring." The man apologized again. The Prophet then asked him, "What do you know by heart of the Qur'an?" He replied, "I know such-and-such portion of the Qur'an (by heart)." The Prophet said, "Then I marry her to you for that much of the Qur'an which you know by heart."

This hadith is mentioned at several other places as well and something seems fundamentally wrong here. The prophet SAW didn't care to ask her about her guardian's consent, instead he married her right away, acting as both a Qazi and a Wali. I know a Qazi can act as a wali in circumstances where a rightful wali is absent, but isn't it a duty of a Qazi to inquire if there is a Wali present or not? These hadith seem to be contradicting each other.

Question: Are these two ahadith in Bukhari about guardian marriage contradicting each other?

If not, explain why they aren't!

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  • Only one of these two ahadith actually is in sahih al-Bukhari you should at least add a source for the second and edit your question title as it seems rather misleading.
    – Medi1Saif
    May 4, 2018 at 7:56

2 Answers 2

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The first hadith is not present in Bukhari, although Bukhari has a chapter named after this hadith.

It can be explained in multiple ways:

  1. It is possible that the woman did not have any relatives who could act as her guardian. For example she could be from the emigrants and had no Muslim relatives in Medinah. The guardian of such a woman is the ruler, who in this case was the Prophet ﷺ. Bukhari has hinted to this by recording the hadith in the chapter: باب السلطان ولي .

    والسلطان ولي من لا ولي له

    The ruler is the guardian of the one who does not have a guardian.

    Ibn Majah

  2. The first hadith is the general rule about marriage which applies to the Ummah. Whereas the second hadith is about the Prophet ﷺ. A marriage arranged by the Prophet ﷺ could be an exception to the rule as various scholars have claimed that he could marry without the permission of the guardian, as he himself is the foremost guardian of the believers, and no believer would disagree with him:

    النبي أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم

    The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves

    Quran 33:6

    وما كان لمؤمن ولا مؤمنة إذا قضى الله ورسوله أمرا أن يكون لهم الخيرة من أمرهم

    It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair.

    Quran 33:36

    Various scholars have noted this among the specialities of the Prophet ﷺ:

    اختصاصه صلى الله عليه وسلم بأنه يزوج من شاء من النساء بمن شاء من الرجال إجبارا بغير رضاهن ورضى آبائهن

    It is a specialty of the Prophet ﷺ that he may marry off whomever he wished from women to whomever he wishes of men without seeking their permission or the permission of their fathers.

    Khasaa’is al-Kubra

  3. The first hadith could be about marriage of those women who require a guardian, such as minors, insane or slaves etc. The second hadith involves women who do not require guardians i.e. adult, free and sane women. This is the explanation that some of the Hanafis have suggested, as in the Hanafi madhab a marriage of such women is retained as long as it is a suitable match.

    وينعقد نكاح الحرة العاقلة البالغة برضاها وإن لم يعقد عليها ولى بكرا كانت أو ثيبا عند أبي حنيفة وأبي يوسف رحمهما الله في ظاهر الرواية

    The nikah of a free, sane and adult woman stands concluded, when it is with her consent, even if the wali did not undertake this contract - regardless of whether she is a virgin or a non-virgin. This is so according to Abu Hanifah and Abu Yusuf recorded as the Zahir al-Riwayah.

    Al-Hidayah fi Sharh Bidayat al-Mubtadi

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  • Good answer and it was on the point.
    – Ren
    Mar 7 at 10:08
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May be that women has no guardian or wali and the prophet of Allah knew that fact.But it is just my assumption. As coming to your question that whether these two hadith contradict eith each other or not.Ithink these both hadith doesn't contradict with each other because the first one is the order of Prophet and the second one is the act of Prophet and we know that the words and deeds of Prophet doesn't contradict with each other as it is our akedah(belief).

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