Wearing shorts thrice made man a fasiq, ineligible as daughter's wali for marriage?

04 Oct 2023 07:05pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. – 123RF
Image for illustrative purposes only. – 123RF

It is common to see men wearing shorts as long as they are long enough to cover the knees which are part of the 'awrah' (intimate body parts obliged to be covered from certain groups of people).

However, there are also a few who throw on the piece of clothing imperfectly which had been said to make them among the 'fasiq' (sinner), and unfortunately cost them the eligibility to be their daughter's 'wali' (guardian) for marriage.

While it may even be common knowledge among Muslims, a video touching on the matter had gone viral at the beginning of this year.

The question is, is it true?

Before answering the question, former Federal Territory Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri in Maktabah Albakri explained that men's awrah lies between the navel and the knees as stated in Syafie and Hanbali jurisprudent sects.

"However, the navel and knees themselves are not awrah," he said as quoted in article #2345: Is it true that wearing shorts three times is considered fasiq (sinful) and deprives a man's eligibility to be a wali?

It is like the Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him's (PBUH) advice to Jarhad when his thigh was accidently revealed in prayer.

He said: "Cover your thighs because the thighs are awrah." (hadith narrated by Abu Daud, at-Tirmizi and Ahmad)

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Based on the hadith, Dr Zulkifli pointed out that violating the obligation is considered a fasiq.

"Not necessarily twice or three times. However, our duty is to always repent.

"In Islam, the most important thing is to always return to Allah and consistently say 'istighfar' (a prayer seeking for forgiveness)," he stressed.

That fact is also supported by a preacher and writer of spiritual books known as Muzuza.

He noted that anyone who frequently commits sins can indeed become a fasiq.

"However, in the case of wali for marriage, there are details which do not easily let us decide that one totally cannot be a wali," he wrote on X.

He also shared a link to the Federal Territory Mufti Office's page on the particular issue.

Citing Al-Kafi article #762: A Fasiq Wali of a Marrying Daughter, a fasiq wali is an unjust guardian.

"According to al-Fiqh al-Manhaji book, the meaning of justice there is not committing major sins, not engaging in minor sins frequently and not tainting one's dignity such as urinating in the streets, walking without shoes and the likes.

"A wali who is fasiq (unjust) cannot lead a believing woman to a marriage. In fact, the right of guardianship is transferred to the next fair guardian in order," it read.

However, the same book also stated that there are other views implying that fairness is not a condition in marriage.

"This is because the qualification to be a guardian is based on the relationship which creates a feeling of love for the good of the people under his care whether he is fair or otherwise.

"Placing fairness as a condition on guardians causes great difficulty as fair people are few especially at this time.

"In any age, it is not known that there are fasiq folks who are prohibited from leading their daughters in marriage," wrote the al-Fiqh al-Manhaji author.

Thus, the Federal Territory Mufti Office recommended that State Islamic Religious Department Marriage Division assistant registrars initiate a marriage ceremony with 'shahadah' and istighfar together with everyone present.

"Similarly, there is repetition of istighfar and repentance several times before the marriage ceremony. In addition, take the opportunity to give advice so that the guardians always do so.

"This is because in today's age, it is difficult to find a person who is not fasiq according to the standards as in the past.

"Therefore, if the wali is a 'wali mujbir' (legitimate guardian), then they should be asked to repent before the marriage ceremony takes place or they can have an 'imam' or a wedding instructor to represent them," he suggested.