The ruler is a guardian for whoever has no guardian

Q 1: How should we deal with a French man who, accompanied by a Muslim woman, came to announce his conversion to Islam? The woman says she brought him to the Masjid (mosque) so that he may convert to Islam and consequently marry him. She does not observe Salah or wear the veil. Rather, she is staying here alone away from her family. However, the man stresses the fact that he wants to convert to Islam out of complete conviction. What are we to do with both of them bearing in mind that they have been married for one or two years, and have children, during which time the man was not yet a Muslim? Is his conversion to Islam acceptable? Is Istibra' (to make sure a woman is clear of pregnancy before having intercourse) applicable to their case? How can we rectify their marriage; there is no close or far relative or Wali (legally accountable person acting for a woman seeking marriage) for the woman here in France. What is the ruling on the undoubtedly illegitimate children they have?


A: First, you must tell him that you are very pleased with his conversion to Islam and that this is the greatest duty he has ever fulfilled and the greatest bounty he should ever rejoice at. Second, you should explain the pillars of Islam to him, the principles of faith, the true meaning of (Part No. 3; Page No. 387) the Two Testimonies of Faith and the meaning of belief in the Last Day, fate, and Divine Decree. Likewise, you are to explain to him that the belief held by Christians concerning `Isa (Jesus) is false, and that he should believe that `Isa, as all the other messengers, is the servant and messenger of Allah; not the son of Allah (how high He is above the claims of the Christians). Moreover, he should be taught that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last prophet, whose mission, universal in nature, is to all jinn, mankind, Arabs and non-Arabs. These points are also to be made clear to the woman, who is required to announce her conversion to Islam anew, for abandoning Salah is an act of disbelief. Third, if there is neither a close or far relative Waliy for the woman, the head of the Islamic Center in France is to be the Waliy of the marriage contract as he is the substitute Waliy in such cases. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If there is a dispute, the sultan (man in authority) is the guardian of one who has none. Undoubtedly, the head of the center has the authority in such a case because of the absence of Muslim judges there. Fourth, there is no need for Istibra' since his previous contact with her was through lawful marriage. Moreover, the children will be affiliated to him as in the case of an invalid marriage in which knowledge about the prohibition of sexual intercourse is an object of obscurity.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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