A person wants to marry an orphaned girl

Q: I have two maternal half-sisters whose father died when they were young. Until they married, they were under the care of their cousin whose father died before the death of my sisters' father. He regards himself as their lawful Waliy (a legal guardian representing the bride) (Part No. 18; Page No. 149) because of his degree of kinship. One of the two sisters, after getting divorced, stayed in my house for seven years. When her ex-husband wanted to remarry her, her cousin, with her consent, mediated their reconciliation. My question is: What is the ruling on the cousin acting as Waliy and the sisters taking off the Hijab (veil) in his presence?

A: If the case is as you have mentioned, that there is no closer blood relative to your half-sisters than their cousin, he is regarded as their Waliy. However, he is not Mahram (unmarriageable relative) for them, and consequently, they are not allowed to take off Hijab in his presence. As for you, you are a Mahram for them and will be rewarded greatly for your kind treatment to them. You are not allowed to act as their Waliy as you are one of their kinsmen and not an agnate relative to them. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!