E-Wali--A Good Idea

Posted by Karla Kellam
2/7/2013 9:35 AM  RssIcon

Although many Muslims do not celebrate Valentine's Day, seeing all the hearts and romantic gifts can get single Muslims to start thinking about finding a spouse. Often today’s modern Muslim woman thinks she doesn’t need a wali—especially if she’s older or a revert.The concept of having a “guardian” can brush up against a woman’s desire to make her own decision. For reverts, the default wali choice is often their Imam—who they may or may not be comfortable with. Yet, the Muslim concept of a wali, or guardian, makes a lot of sense—especially if one is trying to find a spouse through the most popular choice today, online matrimonial sites.

E-Walis are Good For:

* Reverts/Converts to Islam

* Older Muslims seeking a spouse (including those who are widowed/divorced)

* Younger Muslims who may be trying to find their own match without parental influence

So what’s an e-wali? Simply another pair of eyes that you would carbon copy (CC) or blind carbon copy (BCC) on all of your correspondence between potential spouses. This person would also ideally participate in any phone conversations, online chats, skype calls, etc. They can also help you with your advertisement as well as looking at advertisements for potential spouses. You don't even have to limit yourself to just one. Create your own e-wali committee. Choosing a marriage partner in Islam was never meant to be a solitary choice--even if you're 34 with a joint MBA/MD from Harvard or a 65 year old widow.

An e-Wali can serve a few purposes:

1) It lets somebody else see how you relate to each other (even electronically) and suggest topics which you may need to discuss before meeting. (Career, where you’ll live, parenting philosophy, etc.)

2) It lets another pair of eyes be on the lookout for incompatibility as well as a potentially abusive, controlling spouse.

3) Keeps you and your potential partner from going down the inappropriate conversation path.

4) Gives you another person to talk about your conversations with your potential spouse with. Were there any red flags? Anything that didn’t sit right? Are you looking at the person’s deen and character or are you more focused on his earning potential or looks?

5) Gives you another person who will be making du’a for you in your search for a spouse.

Choosing an e-Wali or e-Wali Committee:

  • Choose a Muslim, either male or female
  • Somebody who has been married (the longer, the better)
  • If a revert, it’s helpful to include a revert on your e-wali committee, but also choose a born Muslim as well
  • Somebody you can be honest with and ideally has known you for some time

Traditionally, a wali would be the bride’s father or elder male relative. If that is available to you, wonderful. If not, choose a friend or relative whom you trust and who ideally has already been married awhile (so they understand the reality of marriage). While a daughter might not be comfortable talking with her Dad about a potential spouse, she might find it easier to talk with her Auntie or Uncle about him. If you are a revert, it’s often helpful to have a revert for your e-wali (or e-wali committee if you have more than one) as there are often issues reverts face marrying born Muslims. Because an e-wali might be female, then she would not be able to serve as your “official” wali for your marriage contract. That’s O.K. Ideally, your e-wali can help you meet (either virtually or in real-life) with your real-life wali in discussing your potential spouse. The more people you have looking out for your future, the better!

If your potential spouse does not want a wali involved, either an e-wali or a “real life” wali, that can be a red-flag. The choosing of a spouse is extremely important in Islam. One should use every resource that they can in making that choice. One nice thing about an e-wali is that in choosing an older, married person, this e-wali can turn into a marriage mentor as time goes on.

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